Seaside, Celebration och Windsor: Studier av urbana estetiska regler

Detta är en avhandling från Theoretical and Applied Aesthetics

Sammanfattning: This dissertation deals with aesthetic rules in an urban context. The dissertation develops a theoretical framework for understanding the role of aesthetic rules, especially urban design codes, in the process of improving the architectural quality of the built environment. In the context of this framework three case studies of urban design codes are presented. The over-arching aim is hermeneutical: to create a better understanding of the relationship between aesthetic rules and architectural quality. The more specific aim is to describe the cases in such a way that the reader gets an understanding of how the design codes have worked in these cases, and of their relation to the architectural quality of the places in question. The first two chapters discuss aesthetic rules mainly in relation to theories about quality and quality management. A key concept in this discussion is the division between spontaneous and stable quality derived from the philosophy of Robert M. Pirsig. This dichotomy and a comparison between the use of quality in architectural discourse and the practice of quality management leads to an assumption of the limited role of aesthetic rules. Aesthetic rules, as a part of an endeavour towards architectural quality, are assumed to be able to positively affect the stable quality, while the spontaneous quality can be influenced only indirectly. The third chapter introduces the movement of New Urbanism as the major ideological context of the three case studies. These are presented in chapter four and consist of studies of the design codes and the built environment of three Florida developments: Seaside, Celebration and Windsor. The cases are studied with qualitative research methods. They show that, alongside other factors like the ambitions of the developer and the cultural competence of the house buyers, the urban design codes in all three cases have contributed to an urban design and architecture with high stable quality. Furthermore the loose typological code in Seaside have permitted high spontaneous quality. A comparison between the more strict codes of Celebration and Windsor shows that the pattern book used in Celebration seems to be more restrictive in relation to spontaneous quality than the typological code of Windsor. In both cases, however, the high quality is predominantly stable. Consequently the cases support the assumption that aesthetic rules can affect the architectural quality in a positive way, but that great care must be taken in order not to stifle creativity and in that way prevent the appearance of spontaneous quality. Finally the conclusions and how they can be related to the Swedish planning context, together with the ethical and democratic aspects of aesthetic rules, are discussed.

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