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Paper Information

Journal:   HONAR-HA-YE-ZIBA   SUMMER 2007 , Volume - , Number 30; Page(s) 73 To 82.
 
Paper: 

FUNCTIONALISM AND THE MEANING OF FUNCTION

 
 
Author(s):  GHARIB POUR A.*
 
* SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE, UNIVERSITY COLLEGE OF FINE ARTS, UNIVERSITY OF TEHRAN, TEHRAN, IRAN
 
Abstract: 

The presented article is going to investigate the meaning of function in architectural Functionalism and its roots. A survey on the history of the meaning and application of "function" as a theoretical term in architectural theory is done as a prerequisite for rethinking the concept and the role of "function" in Functionalism. The study is believed to be of great importance for today's architecture because the current concepts, and even ideas, in architectural theory are still under the dominance of their predecessors in the early 20th Century Modern architecture, in which Functionalism had unquestionably a leading role. This article is prepared in three major parts. In the first part, the history of "function" through the theoretical history of architecture is briefly studied. Through this study, the root of function is referred to the ancient times and the definition of Vitruvius for architecture. This review shows that the root of the concept of function is "utilitas", and thereby "utility", which continued throughout centuries by a number of theorists. In the second part, the context of function in architecture is investigated since the application of the word ''function'' in architectural theories. In this part, the roots of different meanings of function in the context of six applications of the word since the mid eighteenth century to the late nineteenth century are studied. This investigation provides a clear explanation for different conceptions of function in contemporary architecture. In the third part, the meaning of function is studied through the ideas of those architects and critics whose names are categorized under ''functionalism'' or are believed to take ''function'' as their point of departure in their architectural theories or practice. In this part, the two important key quotations, Le. "Form follows function" by Sullivan, and "House is a machine for living in" by Le Corbusier, which have influenced the concept of Functionalism in twentieth century are mentioned and compared. The analysis of the deeper meaning of function in the mentioned quotations, that have been the slogans pros and cons of Functionalism, shows that Sullivan and Le Corbusier had very little if any common conception of function in mind. the former applied function with a more biological and organic metaphor and tried to define architecture through the organic relation of form and function, while the latter considered architecture as a machine which had to fulfill accurately the requirements of itself and the man living inside. Therefore, the comparison of these two sentences has lead to achieve a clearer clue to the plurality in the meaning of function, all representing one Functionalism. The study serves to show that Functionalism has made use of a variety of meanings and concepts within a single term, Le. function. Today not all conceptions of ''function'' in Functionalism seem to be equally referred by architects and critics in their accounts of Functionalism in architecture. The appreciation of the wider array of the meanings of function in Functionalism will certainly help us to establish a more-or-less clearer understanding of ''function'' and Functionalism. It provides us with a concrete context for our contemporary confrontation with the concept of function in architecture.

 
Keyword(s): FUNCTION, FUNCTIONALISM, UTILITY, PURPOSE, USE, RATIONALISM
 
 
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APA: Copy

GHARIB POUR, A. (2007). FUNCTIONALISM AND THE MEANING OF FUNCTION. HONAR-HA-YE-ZIBA, -(30), 73-82. https://www.sid.ir/en/journal/ViewPaper.aspx?id=103403



Vancouver: Copy

GHARIB POUR A.. FUNCTIONALISM AND THE MEANING OF FUNCTION. HONAR-HA-YE-ZIBA. 2007 [cited 2021July25];-(30):73-82. Available from: https://www.sid.ir/en/journal/ViewPaper.aspx?id=103403



IEEE: Copy

GHARIB POUR, A., 2007. FUNCTIONALISM AND THE MEANING OF FUNCTION. HONAR-HA-YE-ZIBA, [online] -(30), pp.73-82. Available: https://www.sid.ir/en/journal/ViewPaper.aspx?id=103403.



 
 
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