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Architectural metaphors of knowledge: the Mundaneum designs of Maurice Heymans, Paul Otlet, and Le Corbusier

Wouter Van Acker UGent (2012) LIBRARY TRENDS. 61(2). p.371-396
abstract
The author discusses the architectural plans of the Mundaneum made in the 1930s by the Belgian modernist architect Maurice Heymans in the footsteps of Le Corbusier and in collaboration with Paul Otlet. The Mundaneum was the utopian concept of a world center for the accumulation, organization, and dissemination of knowledge, invented by the visionary encyclopedist and internationalist Paul Otlet. In Heymans's architecture, a complex architectural metaphor is created for the Mundaneum, conveying its hidden meaning as a center of initiation into synthesized knowledge. In particular, this article deconstructs the metaphorical architectural complex designed by Heymans and focuses on how the architectural spaces as designed by Heymans are structured in analogy to schemes for the organization of knowledge made by Otlet. In three different designs of the Mundaneum, the analogy is studied between, on the one hand, the architectural structure (designed by Heymans) and, on the other hand, the structure of the cosmology, the book Monde, and the vision of knowledge dissemination as invented by Odet. The article argues that the analogies between the organization of architectural space and knowledge, as expressed in the drawings of Heymans and Otlet, are elaborated by means of a mode of visual thinking that is parallel to and rooted in the art of memory and utopian imagination.
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
year
type
journalArticle (original)
publication status
published
subject
journal title
LIBRARY TRENDS
Libr. Trends
editor
Wouter Van Acker UGent and Pieter Uyttenhove UGent
volume
61
issue
2
issue title
Information and space : analogies and metaphors
pages
371 - 396
Web of Science type
Article
Web of Science id
000314737400007
JCR category
INFORMATION SCIENCE & LIBRARY SCIENCE
JCR impact factor
0.273 (2012)
JCR rank
68/84 (2012)
JCR quartile
4 (2012)
ISSN
0024-2594
DOI
10.1353/lib.2012.0036
language
English
UGent publication?
yes
classification
A1
copyright statement
I have transferred the copyright for this publication to the publisher
id
2088333
handle
http://hdl.handle.net/1854/LU-2088333
date created
2012-04-17 13:44:17
date last changed
2015-06-17 10:01:15
@article{2088333,
  abstract     = {The author discusses the architectural plans of the Mundaneum made in the 1930s by the Belgian modernist architect Maurice Heymans in the footsteps of Le Corbusier and in collaboration with Paul Otlet. The Mundaneum was the utopian concept of a world center for the accumulation, organization, and dissemination of knowledge, invented by the visionary encyclopedist and internationalist Paul Otlet. In Heymans's architecture, a complex architectural metaphor is created for the Mundaneum, conveying its hidden meaning as a center of initiation into synthesized knowledge. In particular, this article deconstructs the metaphorical architectural complex designed by Heymans and focuses on how the architectural spaces as designed by Heymans are structured in analogy to schemes for the organization of knowledge made by Otlet. In three different designs of the Mundaneum, the analogy is studied between, on the one hand, the architectural structure (designed by Heymans) and, on the other hand, the structure of the cosmology, the book Monde, and the vision of knowledge dissemination as invented by Odet. The article argues that the analogies between the organization of architectural space and knowledge, as expressed in the drawings of Heymans and Otlet, are elaborated by means of a mode of visual thinking that is parallel to and rooted in the art of memory and utopian imagination.},
  author       = {Van Acker, Wouter},
  editor       = {Van Acker, Wouter and Uyttenhove, Pieter},
  issn         = {0024-2594},
  journal      = {LIBRARY TRENDS},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {371--396},
  title        = {Architectural metaphors of knowledge: the Mundaneum designs of Maurice Heymans, Paul Otlet, and Le Corbusier},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1353/lib.2012.0036},
  volume       = {61},
  year         = {2012},
}

Chicago
Van Acker, Wouter. 2012. “Architectural Metaphors of Knowledge: The Mundaneum Designs of Maurice Heymans, Paul Otlet, and Le Corbusier.” Ed. Wouter Van Acker and Pieter Uyttenhove. Library Trends 61 (2): 371–396.
APA
Van Acker, W. (2012). Architectural metaphors of knowledge: the Mundaneum designs of Maurice Heymans, Paul Otlet, and Le Corbusier. (W. Van Acker & P. Uyttenhove, Eds.)LIBRARY TRENDS, 61(2), 371–396.
Vancouver
1.
Van Acker W. Architectural metaphors of knowledge: the Mundaneum designs of Maurice Heymans, Paul Otlet, and Le Corbusier. Van Acker W, Uyttenhove P, editors. LIBRARY TRENDS. 2012;61(2):371–96.
MLA
Van Acker, Wouter. “Architectural Metaphors of Knowledge: The Mundaneum Designs of Maurice Heymans, Paul Otlet, and Le Corbusier.” Ed. Wouter Van Acker & Pieter Uyttenhove. LIBRARY TRENDS 61.2 (2012): 371–396. Print.