Этническая культура (Jun 2020)

Visual Semiotics of Inequality in the Structure of an Architectural Text

  • Viktor V. Fedorov,
  • Mikhail V. Fedorov,
  • Dmitry A. Hanygin

Journal volume & issue
no. 2 (3)
pp. 78 – 82


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The article is devoted to the consideration of the architectural environment as a form of materialization of social existence. It is noted that the architectural text of a large city contains special subject and spatial inclusions – loci of power. The article focuses on the relations of topological segregation – the disproportionate distribution of structural elements in the space of a populated place. This is a set of obstacles in choosing a place, and at the same time a condition for the formation of a social hierarchy of urban spaces. Methods. In the course of the work, the problem and thematic, structural and functional and comparative and historical methods to identify basic concepts of architectural spaces of power were applied. Results. It is shown that social inequality and topological segregation occur in the city in a “natural” way, since it embodies various facets of inequality inherent in society. The typology of constantly reproducible principles of organization of architectural objects and spaces of power such as monumentality, static character, conciseness, verticality, hierarchy, the presence of a central structure, tradition, consistency, syncretism is clarified. It is shown that the emerging signs of inequality, embodied in architectural and urban planning decisions, participate in the formation of the social structure, reproduce and transform its value and semantic content. The basic principles of the organization of architectural objects and spaces of power are considered. Models for implementing these principles in the process of creating new loci of power are proposed. It is concluded that the hypothesis put forward by the authors that loci of power are the spatial embodiment of complex mechanisms for maintaining the dynamic balance of the social system is confirmed by the results of research on the semiotics of inequality in the structure of the architectural text.