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Paradoxical relationships between Less and More in architectural Form

1,a Ahmed Mohammed Ahmed , 2,Abdullah Yousif Tayib

a,b University of Sulaimani, College of Engineering, Architecture Department

Received 10 June 2020 Accepted 27 August 2020,   Available online 30 December 2020


Nowadays, almost all forms that surround us, in our building's environment and even on papers became similar to each other. The problems with the form are related to the inability of creating it from scratch because the process of creating form today is a process of displacement of a previous formal perception towards a new formal one, or by the aid of computer, and that leads to creating the monotony in forms due to their similarities.

What is predominantly accepted as logical may not necessarily be true. The idea that is generally accepted by all architects is that the role of the architect is to build by adding, it sounds illogical to expect architects to focus on the question of builds by subtracting.

Our initial hypothesis assumed that the paradoxical soul of “less and more” in architectural form is revealed in the rhetorical figures, where the subtraction strategy is alternative of the addition strategy.

For that, the concept of form in architecture in this research has been deconstructed to its primary elements: Type „deep structure‟ and style „surface structure‟. In addition, the research clarified and set up the primary variable represented by the subtraction, and secondary variables (Fragmentation and segmentation, Transparency, Geometrical rigor, Distortion of scale, Identical repetition, Erosion) which help of creating rhetorical forms, in another word, it makes us get 'More' from 'Less'.

As a conclusion, the distinctive thing that the research revealed about the strategies of architectural form besides the subtraction strategy and the concept of rhetorical numbers, is the concept of the conceptual golden subtraction, where the research detected it in Islamic architectural design and interpreted and connected it with the disconnected letters of the holy Quran, Al-Jarjani theory of subtraction, and the design language of the architect Sinan.


Less and More, Subtraction, Rhetorical form, Type and Style, Deep structure.


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