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Theses

Médiation de l'architecture par l'exposition et sa réception par des visiteurs experts et non experts

Abstract : This thesis focusses on the mediation of architecture in the museum setting and on the different tools used to communicate the architectural project in the exhibition. The main goal of this research is to get a better knowledge and understanding of the reception of the different objects used to exhibit the many aspects of architectural projects by visitors (architects and non-architects). There is a general agreement on the fact that it is difficult to communicate architecture through the exhibition media. Many objects are typically used to exhibit the architectural project : drawings, models, photographs, videos and so forth. Some of these tools can be hard to understand, especially for a layperson, since they are coded objects. In order to better communicate the architectural project, curators often choose to depict it by presenting a series of objects, each tool conveying a different aspect of the building. This serial type of presentation can make the task even harder for some visitors. Since understanding an architectural project can be quite difficult for visitors, it appears important to investigate the meaning making of visitors of varying profiles. Six main questions were investigated in this thesis : (1) Which exhibition objects attracted the visitor’s attention? (2) What type of mental operations did the visitor do in relation to these objects? (3) Which obstacles did the visitor face, and what did he do when faced with such obstacles? (4) Which aspects of the architectural project (materiality, concept, context, etc.) attracted the visitor’s attention? (5) How did the visitor link the different objects presented in a serial manner? (6) Did the visitor’s professionnal profile (architect or non-architect) influence his meaning making? Data were collected among thirty visitors at the Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA) in Montreal during the exhibition « Some Ideas on Living in London and Tokyo by Stephen Taylor and Ryue Nishizawa ». Each participant was asked to express, as freely as possible, what he thought, saw, felt and imagined during the course of his visit, as is prescribed by the thinking aloud method (also known as protocol analysis). The participant is accompanied by the researcher throughout his visit. Visitor’s verbalisations are recorded, then typed and encoded for analysis. Many of the results obtained in this research confirm ideas that were presented in previous texts by scholars : the popularity of photographs ; the little interest for plans by non-architects ; the various aspects of the architectural project mentionned in relation to the objects exhibited ; the links established between objects as a means to identify the serial presentation. Other results, though, challenge some ideas frequently presented by authors, but never validated by empirical data. For instance, many curators consider a model to be a very popular and easily understood tool used to communicate architecture. In the present research, the model is not used very much by visitors. Therefore, the type of model and the way to exhibit it might make this tool more or less useful for meaning making by visitors. Many authors believe that non architects encounter difficulties and obstacles during their visit. The results obtained in this thesis show that, as expected, non architects do face obstacles, but they also reveal that architects themselves face many obstacles and challenges in their meaning making while visiting the architecture exhibition
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Marie Elizabeth Laberge. Médiation de l'architecture par l'exposition et sa réception par des visiteurs experts et non experts. Héritage culturel et muséologie. Université d'Avignon, 2012. Français. ⟨NNT : 2012AVIG1108⟩. ⟨tel-00879654⟩

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