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Theories of Creativity: The Presentation of Identity in Architectural Works

Part 2 Dissertation 2023
Stuart Napier
Nottingham Trent University | UK
There is no architectural design that does not bear its creator’s hallmarks, and no construction that is not related to or identified with by its users. Identity is therefore interwoven both with the creative act and the product of creation itself. However, the conscious interpretation and understanding of identity in a work of architecture is more complex. This research addresses this complexity using 20th and 21st century theories of creativity to determine how identity contributes to the act of making, and postulates where it can be found, deconstructed, and examined in generated architectures.

Malevich’s Theory of Creativity establishes the creative act as a summation of 3 factors: sensation and artistic process, consciousness and the sociocultural milieu, and the subconscious. The literature review explores these key themes from sources coetaneous to Malevich, and modern sources discussing contemporary perspectives on the Avant-Garde.

Malevich’s theory is then redefined in the modern context through the synthesis of cross-disciplinary viewpoints on the key themes. The application of the recontextualised theory to the case study (the architectural works of Steven Holl) demonstrates in a practical setting its relevance as an analytical tool for understanding the role and presentation of identity in the creation of architecture.

Stuart Napier

Ana Souto
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