Use of Prepositions in the Real World

In this work, we have discussed how to use prepositions and the possibilities of manipulating and changing meaning and construction.

In the first part of the book, we lay the groundwork, describing prepositions as a part of speech and how they function in language, reviewing the types of prepositions and examples of each. We understand that there are prepositions of time, place, movement, manner, agent, measure, source, and position, and several prepositional words can fit comfortably in multiple types. Each of the types of prepositions can apply to architecture. It is clear that prepositions of time and place are relevant, but the other six types fit well, too. The nature of these other preposition types allow the designer to be more creative, where a preposition type beyond time and place may need to be interpreted to allow a very creative solution. A new point of view or artistic license will allow new forms and relationships through the exploration and extrapolation of meaning of each of preposition.

In the next section, we explore possible relationships, defined by prepositions, from the small detail to the scale of the city. The preposition game provides a means to discover and reinterpret the design, structure, and form of an architectural intervention by superimposing our abstract and playful understanding through language on our concrete and practical development of a design. Here we have the chance to work with all eight types of preposition to allow a very broad array of possible relationships or operations. The use of each preposition will produce new and different results beyond the common or habitual means of design, and within this host of possible options, there are most likely several delightful or innovative solutions that appear simply through the introduction of a particular preposition or prepositional phrase.

After the preposition game examples, the next section gives an individual description for nearly all of the prepositions in contemporary English. The description for each preposition is provided in diagrammatic, spatial, and verbal forms, and these varying forms provide meaning for the words while presenting an opportunity to vary or deepen meanings in the design to spur the designer to think creatively about the problem at hand and its solution. This section provides both a reference and perspective on the large number of possibilities in that there are over 140 prepositions described, and many of these prepositions have multiple meanings or understandings.

In the final section of the book, we have real world examples that highlight architectural innovations by looking at the problem slightly differently, and we use the preposition as the frame or filter to describe these. In truth, there are even more prepositions that can be used to characterize the form and architecture. We can say that the more viable prepositions possible, the more complex the design is, though a design does not have to be complex to be evocative and engaging. When reviewing the selection of prepositions in relation to the spaces and forms presented there are several levels of understanding you should work through. First, think about the viability of the applied word. Does the word choice align with your understanding of both the word and the space? Next, ask whether the preposition is the best choice or whether there might be a better option. The word provided may work sufficiently, but is there another preposition that can heighten the meaning or description of the space? Then, ask what is the best way to judge the possibilities. Are there metrics that you use to measure the quality of a design, and can those metrics be used to rank the preposition choice, especially if there are multiple acceptable word choices? Finally, think about what other design could use the applied preposition or those others offered as alternate solutions when analyzing the examples. How can you map the definition of the design and its associated prepositions onto your own designs? Can this be transported and translated to another project? The analysis of the preposition and the design evaluated can lead to the stronger synthesis of new architectural forms and details.

All of this is meant to inspire the reader to use this system and find new possibilities and relationships in design. The reader should question the aggregation and relationship of elements and explore through the substitution and elaboration of the preposition and its context in the sentence. Although we might believe that we have a firm grasp on possible design options, using this method presented provides many more and gives new ways at looking at the design problem.


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