Lidia Gasperoni

Architecture as a Humanistic Practice. Umberto Eco and Ludwig Wittgenstein on Signs and Symbols

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Keywords: Humanistic Function; Code; Symbol; Sign; Intuition; Discursiveness; Umberto Eco; Ludwig Wittgenstein.

The aim of the paper is to clarify Umberto Eco's definition of the architect as the last humanist, who operates at once as a semiotician, an anthropologist, a sociologist, and a politician. This involves explaining the use of symbolic codes in architecture as a discursive framework that is implicitly contained in the intuitive perception of architectural works. In this regard, the humanistic function is related to explaining how the architect transforms external codes into an architectural language that is internal and immanent to architecture. I consider the humanistic dimension of architecture from a new methodological point of view, relating it to Wittgenstein's distinction between sign and symbol as different practices of perceiving and interpreting architecture.

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