The Idealized Temple Morphology: Surveying the Public Perception of Sacred Architecture

“The Idealized Temple Morphology: Surveying the Public Perception of Sacred Architecture”

Author: Brandon Ro

The Visibility of Research: Proceedings of the 2013 Architectural Research Centers Consortium (ARCC) Spring Research Conference

ABSTRACT: Throughout the global history of architecture, many cultures and religions have built sacred buildings and symbolic monuments under the rubric of ‘temples.’ In many instances, temple spaces have influenced the world’s cultural identity in the spheres of politics, sociology, and religion. The power of architecture lies in its ability to shape human understanding. In other words, human perceptions are often transformed to some degree when people interact with architectural configurations. Yet understanding the impact of the phenomenology of architecture on perception in such encounters is rather difficult to quantify because of the subjectivity of human experience.

In the following study, however, survey research is proving to be a viable method for: 1) testing the relevance and public reaction to conceptual models and theories of sacred architecture, 2) providing empirical and quantitative data documenting sacred architecture’s effect on human understanding and perception, and 3) producing an idealized morphology or set of design strategies that can guide architects and religious specialists in the planning phases of new projects. Overall, the study reports data gathered from over a hundred survey respondents from a convenience sampling (n=112) and serves as a preliminary attempt at bringing research into ‘sharper focus’ by surveying the public perception of sacred architecture.

Full abstract can be found at the PDF link on pages 740-741:

ARCC poster

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