A memorial is a special place built for resemblanceand is a protest which fills in as awareness for a memory of something, usuallya person or an event. Popular memorials include landmarks, art such assculptures, paintings, statues, fountains and even entire parklands. Mostcommon types of memorials are gravestones, plaques and war memorials honouringthose who have died in wars. Memorials began as a simple meaningful act for afamily, friends or even strangers, to reflect and mourn to one’s life that suffersa loss from sickness, tragic accident or even war. Today, strategies in architecturefrom structuralism and post-structuralism such as: presence and absence,reflection and semiotics, are used to propose memorials and further improve theeffects that memorials have on people who are part of a club or that may just bewalking past a national memorial.
This essay will conduct a critical analysis onthe concepts and theories of how presence and absence, semiotics, andreflection, structuralism and post-structuralism, and deconstruction are used toreflect on how the Rotary Club of Adelaide can apply to those concepts ofmembers or as a whole. The chosen case study that will be analysed regardingthe key concepts is the Rotary Club of Adelaide, formed in 1923 by the charterpresident of the Rotary Club of Melbourne, locatedin the Adelaide oval, War memorial Dr in Adelaide, South Australia. Two chosenanalytical diagrams will be used to support the case study to show loss andgain of the club’s population and progressive growth over key years.
The journal written by Geoffrey Broadbent ‘A PlainMan’s Guide to the Theory of signs in architecture’, demonstrates structuralismand the concept of semiotics of ‘sign and signifier’ with ascended theunderstanding of how signs, images, structures and buildings stood as more toan in depth meaning of creation and analysing how buildings bring a meaning towhich that should be understood in an order to appreciate its presence. It isdiscussed my Broadbent (1977) that the theory of signification that is quotedfrom Ferdinand de Saussure, who is a Swiss philosopher, and an American surveyornamed Charles Peirce who created a general understanding of the theory of signification.The meaning of Semiotic is pictures, words, diagrams, rain, smoke, clouds,physical form and/or buildings that are described as a form of Semiotics. The waythat semiotics is understood is by separating the three levels of function.
Pragmaticis the first level; its containment is how the founder/creator intends to carryout their signs or meanings of the purpose it serves, therefore by presenting tothe community the meaning and understanding how it can be construed bysigns/messages represented by the founder. The second level of function isSemiotics; this is consisted of how the meaning of messages is delivered out tothe public. Syntactic is the last function which is the combination of signs todemonstrate a way in which how the club demonstrates its function to thecommunity.
It is specified by Broadbent (1977) that rectangular openings which aresupported; have a relation to the arrangement of units in space of the syntagmaticrelations. There are two parts that can be simplified to a more understandableform; signified and signifier. The signified is the conceptual aspect, theunseen part of the signs, which also may be referred to its absence. The signifieris physical presence of signs or materials that the club may have used. As known in architectural language, structuralism and semioticscan be thought as “rationalism”. The meaning of a thing (or something) consistsof not only the thing its self but in relation to other things. Thisanalysis of Darryl Hattenhauser’s article ‘The Rhetoric of Architecture: ASemiotic Approach’ analysed by Geoffrey Broadbent on semiotics discussesconcepts in semiology is viewed of signs which consist of the signified andsignifier.
It is discussed by Hattenhauer (1984) that the signified is themessage conveyer and the signifier is the form and both terms transpiretogether and can only be divided conceptually. One might know the meaning ofsignifier but may not understand the other meaning of signified, accordinglystated by Hattenhauer (1984) that to understand the signifier, you must get anunderstanding of the deeper meaning of the term signifier. A great examplewould be the dots and dashes of the Morse code can be understood not by the waythey are arranged and the way they are related. By applying this theory of rationalismto architecture, Juan Bonta who is as architectural historian, shows that buildingscan underline horizontal and straight lines, but such an underlining can appearonly if a building is compared to another building. A comparison to Frank LloydWright’s Wainwright building and Louis Sullivan’s Sullivan Center Building, theyboth seem to underline more horizontal and straight lines comparing to theSullivan Center which has wider, shorter windows to make the horizontal linesstand out more.
To a non-architect’s perspective of understanding the knowledge of modernarchitecture, they are uninformed in the repetition of the practices of thecode of the architect. Modern architects attempt to be more efficient,rational, and more functional of structures of the bones of their buildings, tosomeone who is uninformed in modern architecture may not be able to recite themeanings behind signified and signifier which may result in the creation oftheir own analogical theories of structures that they may know of. The readingsof modern structures are representational as it is tried to be interpreted to aform which is not understood, accordingly they recognise it as what they believeit may resemble.