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Gestalt's Theory in Relation to Architecture

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Mary Douglas

on 2 October 2013

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Transcript of Gestalt's Theory in Relation to Architecture

Gestalt Theory in Relation to Architecture
Design 110 Group 3:
Mary Douglas
Alaide Orozco Lopez
Margarita Tavera
Robert Copithorne
Isabelle Archibald

Gestalt Principles
Everything is viewd as a whole, not as individual pieces of the whole.
Landscape & Environmental Design
Gestalt in Architecture
In conclusion
Gestalt theory relies on viewing objects holistically.
Architecture is a great example of the Gestalt principles at work.
Law of Symmetry
-images with symmetrical balance more pleasing to the eye
-asymmetrical balance is distracting to the viewer
-symmetrcial designs allow the brain to understand images more clearly.
Law of Similarity
-Essential element in architectural design
-in architecture the designer must take into account the viewer's perception of the design

'States that elements that appear to have the same characteristics are perceived by the viewer as being connected or part of the same group'
Shape, color, size, even direction and text are characteristics that can show grouping in the law of similarity
Examples of Symmetry
bilateral symmetry is displayed in the parthenon
-the parthenon is both symmetrical horzontally and vertically

When observing or designing architecture individuals tend to observe objects as a whole by grouping similar or symmetrical objects together.
-many other are forms such as Rotational, Chiral and Translational symmetry are present in architectural design
“We want to hear the story first and let the meaning unfold, rather than to be present with expectations of a certain significance into which all behavior is then fitted” (Erving Polster, 1974) (Gestalt Therapy Integrated: Contours of Theory & Practice)
Individuals prefer to observe objects from a simple whole and then break it down into more complicated parts
Architecture uses repetition and a “rhythmic language" to create balance that forms a pattern that viewers absorb in its entirety rather than as separate from the whole
" Psychologists define preference as an outcome of complex processes that results from perceiving a space, and reacting to its usefulness" (S. Kaplan, 1979)
Oh La La!
We are more receptive to groups of similar images
Principles of Gestalt:
Rotational, Chiral and Translational Symmetry
Our brain focuses on the spots that are similar in shape and color and form it into a whole image instead of single components.
Figure and Ground
Rotational symmetry in St Matthias Church, Richmond, England circa 1865
Chiral symmetry in tower of pisa
Law of Similarity in Architecture
Gestalt in Architecture:
Principles of Gestalt apply specifically to architectural design
Make use of the principles, primarily symmetry and similarity
Great Mosque of Cordoba, Spain presents Translational symmetry
Architecture is closely related to the principles of Gestalt.
Examples of similarity in architecture can be seen all over
the city including the Macewan main campus!
These theories have been subconsciously used for thousands of years
S. Maria di Montesanto Church and S. Maria dei Miracoli Church on Piazza del Popolo , Rome, designed by Carlo Rainaldi is another great example of similarity in architecture.
The principles of Gestalt are prevalent in architecture, landscape, and environmental design, specifically in the principles concerning similarity and symmetry. These principles have been used since the early twentieth century, and continue to be used in the present day.
The same can be done to emphazise dissimilar objects in a group, this is known as an "anomaly"
Law of Pragnanz
Law of Simplicity

Gestalt's Theory cannot only be seen in architectural structures but also in landscapes and environmental design.
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