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Space and discourse interleaved: intertextuality and interpretation in the education of architects

Journal article
Authors Gustav Lymer
Oskar Lindwall
Jonas Ivarsson
Published in Social Semiotics
Volume 21
Issue 2
Pages 197-217
ISSN 1035-0330
Publication year 2011
Published at The Linnaeus Centre for Research on Learning, Interaction, and Mediated Communication in Contemporary Society (LinCS)
Department of Education, Communication and Learning
Pages 197-217
Language en
Keywords architecture; education; interaction; instruction; intertextuality; interpretation; ethnomethodology
Subject categories Pedagogy


This study examines a sequence of instructional work taken from the practice of critique in architectural education. In analyzing the ways in which one instructor assesses and interprets how a group of students have worked with references to other architects and to well-known buildings, the study provides a respecification of notions of interpretation and intertextuality as practical features of design work: design anticipates professional interpretation, and is thus prospectively oriented towards the retrospective ascription of intertextual meanings. The sequence revolves around highly ideologically charged sites. The instructional work around the use of references to these sites highlights the modes of architectural reasoning implicated in the competent handling of ideology in relation to aesthetic expression. Finally, the space of the critique itself is shown as a rich site for the reproduction of architectural knowledge, in which multiple spatial and disciplinary contexts are embedded through representation, discourse, and embodied practice.

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