The Connection between Architecture and Ethics

By Martin Düchs.

Published by The International Journal of the Constructed Environment

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

One can distinguish roughly two dimensions in ethics. In its normative dimension, ethics is mainly concerned with conflicts between individuals and in its eudaimonistic dimension, ethics is concerned with “the good life” and how individuals can live it. In both dimensions architecture is closely related to ethics:
-Architecture is up to a certain degree public. It concerns always several people or groups, who usually have different and often conflicting interests in a building.
-Architecture can-at least in the long run-be understood as a basic human need, since it is extremely important for the well being and “the good life” of every individual, the society as a whole and the natural environment.
In this paper, I support the thesis that architecture is closely related to the normative and the eudaimonistic dimension of ethics by exploring the systematic connection between architecture and ethics and illustrate it with examples from the history of architecture.

Keywords: Architecture, Ethics, Morals, Good Life, Normative, Eudaimonistic

The International Journal of the Constructed Environment, Volume 1, Issue 4, pp.51-62. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 877.608KB).

Dr. Martin Düchs

LMU-Munich (Ludwigs-Maximilian-Universität), Munich, Bavaria, Germany

Born in 1977, I studied both, architecture and philosophy. In 2011 I finished my doctoral-dissertation on the ethics of architecture. Now I’m working as an architect in my own office and doing research on philosophical questions in architecture.