An investigation of significant form: through an application of the "script analogue" to Laura Ingalls Wilder's "Little House" books

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Virginia Tech

In recent years, the study of language has been found to be significant to the development of a cultural approach to landscape architecture. In particular, attention has been focused on the literary device of metaphor, due to its capacity for referencing and extending traditional landscape themes. While the potential for metaphor as a creative and interpretation device is recognized, the distance which separates theory from practice is only beginning to be spanned. A theoretical model called the t'script analogue" provides a methodological bridge for utilization of metaphor as an indicator of significance in architecture. The "script analogue" was designed by Kathleen Arceneaux for the study of the relationship of African women to their traditional architecture. This thesis proposes to borrow the "script analogue" for application to western architecture. The context for this study is provided by the regional literature of Laura Ingalls Wilder's "Little House" books, which depict pioneer life on the prairies of the mid-west during the late nineteenth century. Through application of the "script analogue" the primary metaphoric themes that linguistically connect people, place, architecture and action are pulled from the text, yielding a contextual image of the significant forms of a pioneer's domestic domain.

Architecture, language