Document Type


Date of Award

Spring 1997

Degree Name

Master of Architecture - (M.Arch.)


School of Architecture

First Advisor

Karen A. Franck

Second Advisor

Leslie Weisman

Third Advisor

Zeynep Celik


This thesis is about architecture's current disregard for the lived body and about the lived bodily experiences of women in Western society. Although these seem to be two different themes, they are connected. Architecture disregards the lived body, but it can never escape it. Architects design buildings from their own lived experiences of the world and architectural theorists most often write about architecture from their experience of being in the buildings they discuss. But because architecture has been built and discussed predominantly by men, Western theories of architecture reflect mainly a male interpretation. I begin by analyzing the paradigms of the body used in architectural discourse. These paradigms are not based on a female body or on lived bodily experience. Next I examine women's particular experience in Western culture to find how their lived bodily experiences might differ from those described. Finally I propose lived bodies as a new paradigm for the bodies of architecture. This paradigm would incorporate the experiences of women and other bodies into architecture.

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