As in Sculpture so in Architecture:

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Adejumo, O. T.
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Department of Architecture
Western picturesque discourse oscillated from classical notion of “as in painting, so in poetry” to the romantic concepts of “as in poetry, so in painting” and then to “as in painting, so in architecture”. This paper explores Yoruba sculpture art philosophy to theorize design principles that may be used in contemporary sense of place conscious urban green infrastructure hubs resilient to cultural dynamism. Unlike Western aesthetic philosophy Yoruba, indeed African, aesthetic ideology did not reside in the form of art works but in “behaviour in beauty Synthesis”. Preference is given to inner beauty which is the real essence of art works. It is a general consensus that art works have in built life force (ase) that drives the religious and corresponding socio-political activities. Since ‘ase’ is defined as life force, it is the same as ‘prana’, ‘chi’, ‘aura’ or ‘subtle earth energy’. ‘Ase’ is therefore the fundamental Yoruba aesthetical tool that artists used to trigger emotional response from the viewers. Public spaces design proposition focus on making available ‘ase’ on the landscape for the wellbeing of the people. The landscape is therefore liable to manipulation during design process to achieve desired harmony through the appropriate placement of ‘shape powers’ including Yoruba cosmogram, iconographic motifs, symbols, signs, chosen form and cultural colour scheme to harness desired earth energies. ‘Ase’ centred Yoruba environmental design proposition, like other forms of landscape, is a cultural construct reflecting underpinning ideologies in local place development that should enhance attachment.
Picturesque , Sculpture , Aesthetics , ‘Ase’ , Shape Power
Adejumo, O. T. (2015). As in Sculpture so in Architecture: A Treatise for Local Aesthetic Philosophy in Public Space Design. Lagos Journal of Architecture, 1, 147-160.