Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Architecture



Major Professor

George Dodds

Committee Members

Scott Wall, Adam Drisin


Architecture of experience transforms the user of a building into an active participant of architecture, reawakening the user to the built environment. The prevalence of architecture as a sign for the purpose of commodification has in part led to a “state of distraction” (Benjamin) that needs to be refocused to make more valuable constructs.

To make this transformation one must become, according to Rainer Rilke, “as fully conscious as possible of our existence.” Our lives are experienced in culturally constructed space, both physical and conceptual, yet based in the extramental. It is not merely a mental projection; it is based in the objective and subjective. To design and envision space we must understand the elements, and their meanings, from which the fabric of experience is woven.

This document shows how increasing “our area of responsible choices” (Jencks 13) in architectural experience, rather than manipulation of a user, will help the architect create more meaningful compositions.

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