Bricks as arguments
Representing polysemy in Amsterdam School architectural design
This study applies Leo Groarke’s (2019) ART approach and KC (Key Component) table method to social housing buildings designed by a significant Dutch architectural movement during the early twentieth century – the so-called Amsterdam School. Unlike members of other contemporary architectural movements, architects of the Amsterdam School seldom wrote about their theories or beliefs, leaving very little evidence about their feelings and attitudes apart from the architectural forms they constructed. The expressive designs of Amsterdam School social housing buildings Het Schip and De Dageraad present promising opportunities for theoretical reflection on architecture as a form of embodied visual and multimodal argumentation (‘bricks as arguments’), however, other theoretical tools may be necessary to supplement the ART approach in order to fashion a critical method capable of apprehending the full scope of argumentation in the complex and rich Dutch polylogue.
Keywords: Amsterdam School, architecture, argumentation, iconography, polylogue, polysemy, visual argument
- Multimodal and visual argumentation
- Social housing in the Netherlands
- Bricks as arguments
- The ‘Spire’ at Het Schip
- Decorative brickwork at Het Schip and De Dageraad
- The ‘Verboden’ sign at Het Schip
Published online: 14 December 2021
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