Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Architecture



Major Professor

Scott Wall

Committee Members

Brian Ambroziak, Barbara Klinkhammer


This thesis is an investigation into the appropriation and assimilation of meaning by examining the relationship between the technique and meaning of the musical sample and meaning and memory in architecture. As a previously recorded sound integrated into a new work, the sample has a dual identity as both detail and artifact. It is a detail of two or more wholes: an original condition and the new condition, and an artifact from the context of the work from which it was taken. In architectural design, each recognizable form and spatial arrangement is a sample from a prototype with its own context and history. Each time a known form or spatial arrangement is sampled meaning is communicated from the prototype to the new work. The decontextualization of the sample, its manipulation and recontextualization into a new work provides the architect a means for reinterpretation and reinvention. Through an exploration of the use of the sample in music, art and architecture this thesis shows how sampling can alter the meaning of the physical environment.

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