Reading Architecture - Remembering - Forgetting interplay: Development of a Framework to Study Urban and Object Level Cases
This thesis explores how architecture aids in the performance of open-ended narratives by engaging both actively and passively with memory, i.e. remembering and forgetting. I argue that architecture old and new stems from specific cultural and social forms, and is dictated by processes of remembering and forgetting. It is through interaction (between inhabitant and object) that architecture is given innate meanings within an urban environment that makes its role in the interplay one of investigative interest. To enable the study of this performance, I develop a framework based on various theoretical paradigms to investigate three broad questions: 1) How does one study the performance of memory and forgetting through architecture in dynamic urban landscapes? 2) Is there a way to identify markers and elements within the urban environment that enable such a study? 3) What is the role that urban form plays within this framework and does the transformation of urban form imply the transformation of memory and forgetting? The developed framework is applied to a macro (an urban level study of Bangalore, India) and micro level study (a singular or object level study of Stari Most/ Old Bridge, Mostar, BiH), to analyse the performance of remembering and forgetting in various urban spheres through interaction with architecture and form. By means of observations, archival research, qualitative mapping, drawings and narrative interviews, the study demonstrates that certain sites and characteristics of architecture enable the performance of remembering and the questioning of forgetting by embodying features that support this act. Combining theory and empirical studies this thesis is an attempt to elucidate on the processes through which remembering and forgetting is initiated and experienced through architectural forms. The thesis argues for recognising the potential of architecture as one that embodies and supports the performance of memory and forgetting, by acting as an auratic contact zone.