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As famous landmark architecture, the Beijing Olympic National Stadium whose cultural significance have been revealed with the time lapse. It not only witnessed the successful hosting of Beijing Olympic Games, but also became a highlight of Beijing urban construction, and played an important role of inspiration and upgrade in contemporary architectural design and related technologies development. Facing those variety of buildings which cost a large number of money to build up, we can not only take an aesthetic investigation through shape, structure, material or other aspects, but also beyond the physical properties and from the post-modernism artiest and culture. This article is mean to illustrate national stadium from phenomenology and structuralism and semiotics parts. The spectacular aspect of the National Stadium of China, the 'bird nest" is not the result of passive manifestation of signs or culture, but rather comes form the detecting the practicability of architecture. It has specific and special meaning, and even historical responsibility that cannot be shirked, and looks forward to achieve the following objectives: to leave the historical facts, to clarify the confusion, to discuss the issue, to provide a reference. The self-proliferous diagrammatic transition and its accurate translation based on advanced computer technology, which are seen as the immanent criticality, thus the driving forces of the program. The eros, erotic love for architecture, evokes an immanent criticality, bring architecture to the realm of materiality and sensation. And, the creation of public communication in both urban and sports realm has made architecture a medium of 'philia' by which people have fun together and develope new relation with each other. Structural semiotics provide ways of studying human cognition and communication.
Keywords: the National Stadium, phenomenology, structuralism, semiotics, syntactics
1 Phenomenology in architecture
Phenomenology is a kind of descriptive analysis, in the sight of reflection, of various types of the primordial composition of consciousness, including the most basic constitution of space and form. The word 'Phenomenology' was first created by German mathematician Johann Heinrich Lambert and the philosophical methods of phenomenology is proposed by Edmund Gustav Albrecht Husserl. He defined phenomenology as the scientific research of sense innate character relationship. The original quaesitum is to argument human mind or we called that consciousness. Therefore, the phenomenon of intentionality became the interests point of philosopher Franz Brentano. As the largest and advance multifunction sports architecture, National Stadium will be analyzed in order to seek a comprehension of the relationship between the concept of phenomenology and the process of architectural design. Architecture has to be interrogated within the medium of architecture, and phenomenology has to be embedded into space and materials to be architecture. Martin Heidegger in his book Building Dwelling Thinking said 'Only if we are capable of dwelling, only then can we build(60) Dwelling is the experiment of architecture. He take apart the structure and living and thinking from philosophical perspective. From the development course of phenomenology, we can realized the force point of Phenomenology is the relationship between human and consciousness. Heidegger believe Husserl's theory is not suitable to real life and phenomenology should build up based on human experience in real life and observation on intuition. It should make the utmost effort to simplifies those advance theory. On the same way, the luminous research to architecture is to pay attention to human entitative life, and throw all of the prejudice or jaundice of science and philosophy away.
Beijing National Stadium was designed start to build in 2005, as the general engineer, Li Xinggang participate in the overall construction. In his book Witness Building the "Birdââ‚¬â„¢s Nest": Its Concepts, Technology and Bonds in Our Time, he described the whole design process. He investigate the external structure as a space skin. In the merely and vigorous gabarit, the rolled steel with same section plane overlay to supraposition external net grain. The unequal floor slab and pillars with different inclination angle bring a freedom and openness feeling to experiencers.
When people walk from the randomness modern space to the internal core space, would suddenly been scandalized at the simple merely vacuum. It is obviously, designers measure off National Stadium as two different layers. One is the space experiment and another is structure. The space experiment is direct related to the Phenomenology study. The inner forms contrast external form, which, in deed, have the logical connection. The most important revelation is the main structure engineering sits on the slightly upheaved foundation plain stage. The spectators can follow the plain stage to the main entrance of National Stadium. The tangent line in the ellipse organized the rhythm and deformation, which combine the building and being of surroundings. It present the materiality and invisible in architecture. In that way the essence and natural instincts of structure was showed up with the intervene of thoughts. The influence of phenomenology on the National Stadium, mainly lies in the aspect of method. The influence exerted by the method can be prevalently in four aspects as the following: descriptive analysis in the sight of reflection; emphasizing on directness; phenomenological reduction; seeing the essence. However, it is also connected with architecture in the aspect of content, which is inevitably caused by carrying out of the phenomenological method. What the phenomenology of architecture should engage in is the phenomenological description and analysis of human beings' architectural activities. It means that the phenomenology of architecture is not a kind of architectonic, but rather a research of one's own architectural behaviour
2 Structuralism and Semiotics
The structuralism system is the most significant vanguard motion in architecture since 1960s. It was created to aim at CIAM's functionalism theory from 1920 to 1960. With the end of World War Two, modern structure exposed a large number of problems of adapting the requirements of changing values and life styles. In the international meeting of CIAM in Otterlo, famous architect members like Louis Kahn , Aldo van Eyck and Team Ten attended and putted forward numerous thinking and ideas worth consider deeply about that, which signed the initial beginning of structuralism frame of reference. The main theoretical view points of Structuralism is that the world is formed by the structure relationships among the objects. These thoughts and methods exerted a great influence on the urban planning and architecture design at that time. To the contrary, the existentialism gradually lost the formidable magnetism of citizen who recovered from the warfare and accustomed to the stable social environment. However, the appearance of structuralism philosophy thought complied with the Times development and satisfied the social requirements, which described a remaining stable and self mediation social order could coordinate with each parts of the whole social mechanism. Structuralism thought emphasis on dominate lieges with the stabilization and invariability of social structure and fight against revolution of liberate personalities(existentialism).
The main pemmican of structuralism directly absorbed and adopted French famous linguist Ferdinand de Saussure's glossology methodology, which concretely groped for the relationship between language symbol and its intrinsic meaning. 'Language is not a function of the speaker, it is a product that is passively assimilated by the individual.' That is to say, the fact that is does not originate in one person, it belongs in the public sphere to all of us. Same in the architecture, the vested sense is proverbial in the public, as a architect, we need illustrate and analyse the syntactics how to influence people about their feelings. As the matter of face, due to the public character, then that's precisely what allows it to be communicative. In the same way, this kind of relationship could explained the existing way of creations. It holds the view of world is not made up of objects but their relationships, which is invisible and nonobjective. These deep-seated 'abstract entity' inhabit in human unconsciousness(not individual but common character). Following the viewpoint of structuralism, we should elaborate the sociality and communality as a topic to comprehend structuralism and semiotics.
Semiotic is the intermediary agent of transformations. The intelligibility of sign systems is their conventionality. That is why it is impossible for anybody to against the symbol. Architecture semiotic also promote the indicative of language. It passes massage whether subjectively or objectively to bystanders and perpetual reflecting some kind of cultural significance and time spirit. However architecture semiotic is more complicated than graphic symbol and linguistic symbol, due to it acts on intersensory perception. There are two important parts in architecture semiotic structure, one is surface structure and another is deep structure. Just as the name implies surface structure is the extrinsic form of that symbol, which conveys intuitional information to spectators and experiencers. While the deep structure stands for some kind of form and order provision. It would be influenced by local culture, humanity and history, and social environment and under certain circumstance it could dominate the architecture form.
The fact that we always know things first, before we 'just have them there before us'. But at the same time the fact that it is misleading to think that our knowing them first means that we know them positively. I have been to the national 'nest' to visit the Opening Ceremony of the Games in 2008. The national stadium is discernible by the primary cuticula. I know it first but I also know it negatively in negation of other senses. But it insists that i know things because of their conventional nature. That is to say, because the National Stadium is conventions existing within a system of conventions insofar as I recognize it. The architecture seems like be covered by two different skin with diverse characters. In addition, the outside skin of the architecture is a structure skin or we can all that interface, which was constituted by structure components and definite the territory of architecture. The outside surface bring the the sense of limitation and pattern to the space while did not lose the isolation between palaestra structure and openair National Olympic Park. That have to admit the radial and no straight forward distance circline brake the structuralism. As a semiotics aesthetics structure, it delegate similar form and order. Curve configuration hints the modern feelings. Vigorous and forceful rolled steel structure hints the power and speed which is the main soul characters in a sports building. Therefore, picture character and instruction character have the consequence of architecture form and order(tied up together and mutual unity each other). Charles Sanders Pierce believe image is a symbol even the subject dose not exist, which would not influence the fact image is a symbol. That is why we can get some experience and taste when go inside to a building like the national olympic gem. Semiotics is a profound existence appointment between human beings. In these kinds of engages, one matter configuration was defined as one specific item or feeling. Architecture, indeed, is the most complicated system of semiotics, due to the all-wave senses of human(visual, aural and tactile) would be enhanced by the building. The creating of architecture semiotics is a process of thinking which is based on human being psychological activity and be promote by the imagination, retreatment and recreating. Human thoughts determines the communication level between architecture semiotics and themselves to a certain extent. In the design process of Beijing Olympi National Stadium, architects involved life passion and inspiration, architecture semiotics and the structuralism provide a lot of guiding thoughts. The modeling use neither iconic translation nor textual translation to emphasize story and continuing, but diagrammatic transition to weaver the function and space. The creations of concept, form and space were based on the architecture itself including each kinds of conditions and elements, or the slashing requirements from the owner, which is a very important method to create the self-logic or order form of a specifically building. The design of national stadium did not dependent on some symbolistic, semiotics or intellectuality transition, but a basic structuralism way of mode to self duplicate diagram, function, space and sequence. Through the instrumentality of some transporting species, fire new redefining of social life can be experienced to the public visitors and they would have a evaluation to the concept of creating building.
Structuralism is so close to semiotics that can understand the world. Everything that constitutes it(us and meaning, texts and rituals within which we participate ). It means the world would be a random and chaotic continuum of possibilities without structures. Arbitrary and differential are two correlative qualities. The National Stadium defined not by their positive content but their relations with other term of the humanity system and culture believes. That is why seems wilderness rolled steel make up as a whole aesthetic logical form. As a matter of fact, that is the eastern countries aesthetic ideology- bring random steel structures in to order mechanical systems. Disorder arrangement is include in structuralism, and orderliness derives never ending changes. The 'bird's nest' outer housing was made up of primary structure, secondary structure and elevation stairs toward to upper stand. Each layer respectively has its legible order and rules which 'misguided' people visual by the superimposed unordered external structure appearance. The attention point of structure form originate from visual and psychological pursue. When the optic nerve contact architecture, the most simplicity logic is the human sentiment pursueing joviality of sense organ. Therefore, this kind of objectify need be seasoned with Beijing local culture which is prone to be accept straightforward by citizen. From overall landscape, there is a well know metaphor of National Stadium and the Water Cube about the origin and hypothesis of the universe- hemispherical dome. While National Stadium present vault sky and the Water Cube present square ground. That shows the respect of the traditional context and social history background. The mobilization of semiotics in China National Statium is not direct import veracious nature symbol to architecture but to integrate syntactics in architecture and historic environment. Also the China ancient items - salt flowers window, clew, lathe work pottery and official ware cauldron, proposed a explanation of the design of National Stadium. However, the chief architect Li Xinggang denied these historic items as the origin concept in an interview. He hold the idea of these given name 'bird nest' or 'ice flower pattern' is the result by nature express. In my opinion, the syntactics affect different feeling emotions in different people who has the distinct life experience and logical method. Associate now influences the Chinese culture in every people's mood. Segment of architecture can never in the final analysis be based on anything except its noncoincidence with the rest. From long distance to admire the overall view of National Stadium, the size is not as large as what is should be, and no invasive feeling on the ground. The half open skin weaver the surrounding visitors. As a composite thing existing in a spatial simultaneity, synchronically, architecture is something that in a very real sense. Individual sense is the unfolding in time of a set of possibilities given in space. That set of possibilities being sharing between population. The systematic architecture is a system of signs of space form and order. The architecture enters into this sense of the arbitrary and differential and it is actually constituent unit in a semiotic system. Neutralized by the common signifier governing our understanding of these buildings. It is a sign that can only be understood intelligibly in terms of a certain cultural understanding. Sometimes, it is very possible to imagine a circumstance in which someone would not know what it was, just like some of the structure, we lost structuralism understanding. It forcing us despite the familiarity to ask ourselves, if we come to understand - in this case, probably, it is best to say a cultural system, understood as a semiosis, with which it apperas. That is the way we realized the organization of the things around us and within us as systems of signs in semiotics.
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Christian Norberg-Schulz, Existence, Space and Architecture Praeger Publishers, London, 1971
Martin Heidegger, Poetry, Language, Thought (M), Translated and introduced by Alben Hossadfer, 1st ed. New York, 1971.
Martin Heidegger, Contributions to Philosophy (From Enowning) (Bloomington & Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1999), p. 307.
Nikolas Kompridis, "Disclosing Possibility: The Past and Future of Critical Theory", International Journal of Philosophical Studies, Volume 13, Issue September 3, 2005 , pages 325 ââ‚¬" 351.