June 2018


«Architecton: proceedings of higher education» № 33 March 2011

Theory of architecture

Gudkov Alexey A.

PhD (Architecture), Professor, Chair of Fundamentals of Architectural Design, History of Architecture and Town Planning, Novosibirsk State Academy of Architecture and Art, Novosibirsk, Russia

Morozova Olga V.

Assistant Lecturer, Chair of Architectural Theory and Composition, Novosibirsk State Academy of Architecture and Art, Novosibirsk, Russia


The level that humanitarian knowledge has reached opens up new prospects for the use of traditional research methodologies in architectural studies, including a sociological approach to studying objects of architectural history.

Today, the principal areas of methodological interaction between architectural studies and sociology exist within the disciplinary boundaries of the sociological part of urbanism, in the sociology of architecture, and as a separate branch of historical architectural studies. The theoretical and practical importance of such interaction is explained by the fundamental disciplinary complementarity of historical architectural studies and sociology.

A brief literature review of socio-historical architectural studies reveals the importance of studying just the methodology of sociological approach to architectural historiography. A classification of the methodological approaches of sociology and its division by level is provided with the aim of emphasizing differences in the methodological foundations of specific studies (empirical – theoretical, positivistic – understanding). The principles of ‘understanding’ sociology prove to be more important for historical architectural studies since they establish "transition bridges» between the level of architecture and the level of society. Communication between architecture and social phenomena is revealed by identifying the social characteristics of a monument (such as its social functions), by determining types of social influence and the social features and characteristics of society that have a direct bearing on architecture. The basic level of understanding with regard to the organization of the society to which an architectural project studied belongs is ensured by means of a procedure of social stratification of society (macro- and micro-sociology).

The source base features a certain degree of breadth. To resolve sociological issues in the area of history of architecture, use is made of not only data from related disciplines but also of their methods. Given such approach, the ultimate result of the work is an understanding of the socio-cultural meaning of an architectural object which spreads beyond the genesis and functional aspects, which are regarded as priorities today. This opens new prospects for the advancement of this method.

Key words: sociological method, architectural studies, methodology of historical architectural research, social meaning of architectur

Russian text of this article

ISSN 1990-4126  Registration MCM el. № ФС 77-70832 of 30.08.2017 © USUAA, 2004-2017  © Architecton, 2004-2017