Skip to Main content Skip to Navigation

Architecture et socialité : le design architectural d'une école nationale supérieure d'art et de design : l'École nationale supérieure des arts décoratifs (EnsAD – Paris) : une analyse empirique par la sociologie de l'architecture

Augusta Danner 1
1 SACRe - Sciences, Arts, Création, Recherche — SACRe (EA 7410)
ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris, CNSAD - Conservatoire National Supérieur d'Art Dramatique, La Femis - Ecole nationale supérieure des métiers de l'image et du son, CNSMDP - Conservatoire national supérieur de musique et de danse de Paris, EnsAD - École nationale supérieure des Arts Décoratifs, ENSBA - École nationale supérieure des beaux-arts de Paris
Abstract : The present thesis deals with the influence of architectural design on social behaviour at a time when the connection between material things and social behaviour has increasingly become a scientific focus. After all, we humans do not live apart from material things, but are surrounded by them, we use them, create associations through them and are affected by them in one way or another. Material things are perceptible and tangible. They can be felt as touching, repulsive, appealing, disrespectful, comfortable, uncomfortable, pleasant, irritating, skillful, appropriate or inappropriate and so on. Architecture can be viewed as an ordered and deliberated accumulation of material things that not only create diverse associations and affects, but also create a complete environment in which people move and stay. Architecture fills a space, surrounds and allows specific experiences by design. There are floors under one, walls which are passed by, ceilings above one, windows that allow an outside view and daylight, doors that can be opened and closed etc. All these architectural things allow a specific action and limit another. With a narrow staircase, there are hardly any ways to evade when other people meet. On a broad staircase on the other hand several people can move past each other relatively unhindered. The experience of architecture can be consciously designed by forms, materials, colours, light effects and the arrangement of architectural elements that create orientations, markings, directions and concentrations. This creates a specific architectural atmosphere which suggests a certain social behaviour through physical sensation and evocative associations.The object of the present empirical study on the influence of architectural design on social behaviour is the Ècole nationale supérieure des Arts Décoratifs (EnsAD), a prestigious university of design and art in Paris. The building of the EnsAD has been completely modernized and expanded in 2004 by the French architects Luc Arséne-Henry, Pascal Cribier and Philippe Starck. The modernized architecture is not simply designed for its functionality, but has been staged and choreographed by using colours, window openings, light effects, specific shapes and forms etc. In order to investigate the influence of EnsAD’s architectural design on social behaviour the thesis follows three guiding research questions: first, how does EnsAD’s architectural atmosphere affect sociality? Second, which associations evolve in dealing with the architectural elements and influence the social behaviour, and third, how do the architectural atmosphere and the architectural elements keep the social behaviour stable? The goal of the thesis was to describe the influence of the architectural design of the EnsAD in its affecting and associative references to social behaviour. Though, the focus is not on individual behavior, but on behavioural patterns which recur in the movement and staying in the building. In order to demonstrate the influence of the architectural design of the EnsAD on social bavior, a so-called triangulative approach was applied. Triangulation is a research method that combines different empirical approaches in order to learn more about the research object from different perspectives. The methods used here are on the one hand a quantitative survey among students in order to trace the architectural atmosphere of the EnsAD in its affecting effect. Therefore the building was subdivided into ten sub-areas, in order to show the differences between for instance the entrance, the staircase, the aisles and the studios. On the other hand, the actor-network-theory of Bruno Latour et al. is used to trace the associations resulting from the connection between the students and the architectural elements based on a group discussion with students. Thus, the chosen research approach combines a quantitative analysis, which is concentrated on affects, with a qualitative analysis based on associations.
Complete list of metadata
Contributor : Abes Star :  Contact
Submitted on : Monday, October 18, 2021 - 12:19:15 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, December 2, 2021 - 3:50:01 PM


Version validated by the jury (STAR)


  • HAL Id : tel-03382763, version 1



Augusta Danner. Architecture et socialité : le design architectural d'une école nationale supérieure d'art et de design : l'École nationale supérieure des arts décoratifs (EnsAD – Paris) : une analyse empirique par la sociologie de l'architecture. Architecture, aménagement de l'espace. Université Paris sciences et lettres, 2017. Français. ⟨NNT : 2017PSLEE092⟩. ⟨tel-03382763⟩



Record views


Files downloads