Crafting Urban Imaginaries: How does the Photographer’s Record of the Urban Environment Influence a Way of Seeing that is Useful for an Architect’s Response to Place?
Keywords: 
Aesthetics
Architecture
Urban analysis
Urban design
Subjectivity
Photography
Materias Investigacion::Arquitectura
Issue Date: 
2016
Publisher: 
Servicio de Publicaciones Universidad de Navarra
ISBN: 
978-848081-518-5
Citation: 
Rodgers, N., (2016) ""Crafting Urban Imaginaries: How does the Photographer’s Record of the Urban Environment Influence a Way of Seeing that is Useful for an Architect’s Response to Place?"" En: Alcolea, R.A, Tárrago-Mingo, J., (eds.), en Congreso internacional: Inter photo arch ""Interacciones"", celebrado en Pamplona, los días 2 al 4 de Noviembre de 2016, (pp. 330-341)
Abstract
This dissertation aims to examine how a photographer’s way of seeing urban landscape is communicated in photographic works and interpreted by its audience, in order to discuss how photography can be used as a tool to analyse the urban environment for architecture and city planning. This essay explores the relationship between viewing and the viewed, visual culture and collective perception, static snapshots and a rapidly changing urban disposition. By unpacking philosophical notions surrounding the viewing of a photograph, such as subjectivity, ontology, aesthetic theory and hermeneutics, this investigation evaluates fundamental principles behind how we see the world and explores how we can be manipulated or influenced by photography to apply these principles to urban design concepts and strategies. The impact that photography has had upon societies’ developmentas well as the moral and ethical weight it may carry, is scrutinised. Research has been drawn from theorists such as Walter Benjamin, Roland Barthes, Susan Sontag, Howard Becker and Ignasi de Sola-Morales to form arguments which are applied to the works of contemporary urban photographers. Nuno Cera and Stephen Gill are such urban photographers with contrasting methods and motives, whose depiction of the urban environment illustrates the advantages and limitations of photography as an analytical tool for urban intervention.
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