The construction of plausibility in architectural design and inhabitation

  • Paul William Wright

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


This thesis outlines how architecture can be considered as an accumulation of plausibility. The term plausibility is used herein to mean what architecture is understood to be capable of, and what architecture‟s limits are understood to be. In-depth archival analysis is used to discuss such understandings from three noted architects, Charles F. A. Voysey, Charles Holden, and Berthold Lubetkin. Additionally, in-depth interviews have been undertaken with those people who currently live or work in the buildings that these architects designed. Consideration is given to the reasoning and analysis that the architects applied to the question of a building‟s plausible capability in terms of how future inhabitants and inhabitations could be affected by their efforts. The reasoning and analysis of inhabitants is similarly drawn upon in order to detail their consideration as to how and by what means it is plausible for them to be influenced by the architecture of the buildings they experience. A consistent onus on plausibility, and a concurrent understanding that plausibility is produced through an analytical capacity of both inhabitation and architectural production, is reiterated throughout, aiming to demonstrate that the inhabitation of buildings is a potentially proficient field in terms of the analysis that inhabitants can bring to their experiences, a property often overlooked by the geographical literature on architecture, but one which can make important additions to our understanding of what the experience of buildings might involve. A further necessary degree of complexity is added by recognising the time elapsed between the production of the buildings in question and their current inhabitation.
Date of Award10 Jan 2011
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Aberystwyth University
SponsorsEconomic and Social Research Council
SupervisorPeter Merriman (Supervisor) & Deborah Phyllis Dixon (Supervisor)

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