Meaning Patterns in Oral Culture

“meaning is sedimented by culture…

it is not a ‘given.”

– James Corner, quoting Nietzsche in Three Tyrannies of Contemporary Practice (1991)


This dissertation explores Bridge Street, Callan from an emic* perspective as a means of understanding how an architect might begin to abstract meaning from context. This project will take the form of context-led research as defined by Ray Lucas in Research Methods for Architecture. In this case, the context will be studied as a ‘unique’ entity – not as a ‘type.’

The work will focus on recording and excavating the town’s current social and material culture to graphically translate intangible aspects of Callan’s culture as a record for the future. This project will employ an ethnographic methodology, combining several in-depth qualitative approaches based on literature and case studies. The objectives for the research are twofold: to act as an account or repository of the lives of Bridge Street today and to reimagine how we might think about vacancies in Irish towns in the future.


CONTEXT: Bridge Street

Callan, County Kilkenny

Narrative + Perception

A Theoretical Framework

Nine Storytellers

+ The Interview Process

The Fourth Colour

A Hermeneutical Position

‘Moment’ Drawings