Microsoft word - aulikki herneoja_theory-guided content analysis.doc[1].doc

Theory-guided Content Analysis
in Architectural Research

Case: The Colouration of the Home During

the Post-War Reconstruction Period:
The Everyday and Architecture.

Head of Laboratory of Art end Design, Doctor of Science (Technology), Architect
University of Oulu, Department of Architecture Postal address: Aulikki Herneoja, University of Oulu, Department of Architecture, PO Box 4100, FIN-90014 University of Oulu, Finland E-mail: [email protected]


My contribution to the discussion about lack of theory or new theoretical frameworks in architectural research is to introduce how I have applied theory-guided content analysis in my PhD study The Colouration of the Home During the Post-War Reconstruction Period: The Everyday and Architecture. I have surveyed apartment interior from the perspective of colouration in Finland from 1948 to 1955. My study comprised traditionally considered high-cultured architecture - legitimate architecture - and architecture representing the everyday, which does not have the status of legitimate architecture. The primary sources for my study were two periodicals of the period: the legitimate architecture viewpoint of Arkkitehti (Architect); and belonging in the sphere of popular architecture, Kaunis Koti (Beautiful Home). I used other periodicals as well as studies conducted of the post-war reconstruction period. My research into this subject adopted a material based approach, with qualitative research methods and applied with a theory-guided content analysis by using the means of abductive reasoning. The initial presupposition in the content analysis was that the subject matter of the study depicted the studied phenomenon. The purpose of the analysis was to produce a verbal and clear description of the studied phenomenon, and array it in a concise and homologous form without losing the information contained therein. In theory-guided content analysis theoretical concepts are already known and they are brought outside. In my study outside brought main concepts were legitimate and popular architecture, taste and concepts needed Theory-guided Content Analysis in Architecture to study home, interior design and colouration. Together with defining the concepts the literary analysis based on description of the residential architecture of post-war reconstruction period and its social background form a background for re-outlining the entity in the abstract-stage by means of abductive reasoning. Conference Architectural Inquiries, Göteborg 2008 Pierre Bourdieu in his inquiries about taste 1. Background
referred to the habit of the lower classes to reduce the content of art into that of the everyday. The presupposition of my study, The Colouration Associative names for colours can be interpreted of the Home During the Post-War Reconstruction as one manifestation of this reduction, and also to Period: The Everyday and Architecture, was that signify the importance of the experience of nature. during the post-war reconstruction period, the The names were used not only by members of the tastes and preferences of architects and the general general public, but also by professionals. At the public, with respect to colour neared. During the end of the post-war reconstruction period, the post-war reconstruction period, the attention of focus of attention on the home lessened and was architects, for many reasons, was focused on the redirected more towards the future and beyond the living conditions and needs of the general public. home. At the same time, the usage of colours, in The primary focus in designing was on housing requirement generated by large numbers of homeless people after the war. Even though 2. The functionality of the
focusing on housing design was not a personal research methods employed and
choice of the architects, at least some of those who the relationship of primary
represented their profession seemed sincere in their interest in the simple and everyday, and how sources to the research
to make the everyday living environment better. questions
The discussion based upon functionalism of the The focus of my study was the colours of homes. I social content of architecture also indicated this studied the interior colourations of homes during interest. The shared experience, or the aftermath the post-war reconstruction period in Finland from of the war, also had an affect during the post-war 1948 to 1955. The aims of my study were to reconstruction period. Irrespective of class, men collate the depiction of colouration of the home had lived together on the same war-time front and during the post-war reconstruction period, as well women had taken care of the daily tasks both as to study the use of colour in legitimate and inside and outside the home. The material conveys popular architecture. Even though post-war the post-war encircling embrace of the home. architecture had been studied, the colouration of Family had been gathered together and positive the interior of the home during the period had not content in daily life was needed. In my material, previously been studied in a systematic manner. colour was identified with happiness. Even the For this reason, collation of the depiction of slightest colourful detail was desired in the middle colouration of the home during the post-war of the Finnish Depression. Nature connected the reconstruction period was essential. The second Finnish people. Even in an urban environment, the aim, to study the use of colour in legitimate and experience of nature was considered important. The multihued greenery of the window shelf presupposition that the colour preferences in the present in almost every living room was one home, of both architects and the general public, display of “the living spirit” of nature brought into neared at this time. My interest in this second aim the urban apartment. The greenery of the window of my study grew as I became more closely shelf was also taken into account in the acquainted with the residential architecture, colouration of the interior. During the post-war architectural conversations, and periodicals of the reconstruction period, colour was associated with period. The primary sources for my study were the natural world through associative names. two periodicals of the period: the legitimate Theory-guided Content Analysis in Architecture architecture viewpoint of Arkkitehti; and of this simplified and grouped material. (Tuomi & belonging in the sphere of popular architecture, Sarajärvi 2002; Eskola & Suoranta 1996; Beartaux Kaunis Koti. I used other periodicals as well as 1982) Saturation means that certain amount of studies conducted of the post-war reconstruction material is enough to bring out the researched period. My study used existing documents and I did not create my own research material (e.g. In theory-guided1 content analysis theoretical concepts are already known and they are brought outside (Tuomi & Sarajärvi 2002), when in Research Method: Theory-guided
material-guided content analysis concepts are Content Analysis
formulated from the material itself (Miles & Huberman 1984). In my study outside brought My research into The Colouration of the Home main concepts were legitimate and popular During the Post-War Reconstruction Period architecture, taste and concepts needed to study home, interior design and colouration. Together qualitative research methods and applied with a with defining the concepts the literary analysis theory-guided content analysis which is text based on description of the residential architecture analysis through which one is searching meanings of post-war reconstruction period and its social of the studied entity. The initial presupposition in background form a background for re-outlining the content analysis was that the subject matter of the entity in the abstract-stage by means of the study depicted the studied phenomenon. Research questions guide this textual content Abductive reasoning in practise
analysis. In my study I used theory-guided content Abductive reasoning offered an interesting and analysis, where the analysed units are chosen from fruitful method of inspection. This method the material, but the former knowledge guides or identified for me to further ponder the connection helps the analysis. In logic-based, theory-guided of the use of colour in detailing as a part of a analysis, or in abductive reasoning, the thought larger whole in the use of colour in the home and processes of the researcher shift between content also taking into consideration the different views and existing models. The observations made in the points of society. Single literary references or content are not considered “findings” as such, picture fragments of the use of colour had little rather they are considered “clues”, indicators of meaning if their surrounding context could not be features or dimensions of reality that cannot be understood. I related with “findings” in the discerned directly (Alasuutari 1993; 2001; Tuomi documentation that consider clues to help solve the riddle, or in perceiving the entirety of In my study side by side were the defined basic colouration of the home during the post-war concepts, the literary analysis based description of reconstruction period. For this reason, in my study the residential architecture of post-war there are relatively few colour pictures of colour reconstruction period and its social background charts or of other coloured material. Based upon and the content models based on clues found from my research approach, I did not view it relevant to the periodicals Kaunis koti and Arkkitehti. In collect colour samplings for their own sake, when theory-guided content analysis proceed first in terms of the material the same way as in material- 1 Deferent than theory-based content analysis (Miles & guided content analysis. To begin with the Huberman 1994, Sandelowski 1995, Polit & Hungler material is being simplified and then it is being grouped. The second aim is to find saturation out Conference Architectural Inquiries, Göteborg 2008 the connection to the formation of the entirety of visually without colour, through the documents provided it was possible to understand the context of colouration. Details of the composition and size The focus of the content analysis, the primary of the family were often provided in the question, sources of the Arkkitehti and Kaunis Koti or the pseudonym referred to the composition of periodicals from 1948 to 1955, were shown to be those living there (e.g. “engaged couple”). Those heterogeneous and a challenging collection of material. In particular, the periodical Kaunis Koti something about the nature of the site, especially showed itself to be a multidimensional source. if it was a new ARAVA apartment. I utilised this During the first years of its publication at the end information at the beginning of my study as I of the 1940s, only a few colour pictures appeared pondered over the composition of the readership. and their number remained in the few dozen even The Ask & Answer descriptions of colour were up to the middle of the 1950s. Colour was an not mentioned separately, but even the use of important conversation topic in a post-war pseudonyms focused on the apartment of the Finland. The methods of visually depicting family, which they wanted to build as their own colours were poor, as colour photography was in home. Often those who asked questions listed its infancy and the print quality of colour pictures their already existing furniture, which they hoped in periodicals was rough. Nonetheless, quite a bit to take with them in furnishing their new home. The editor was often placed in such a situation where a stance had to be taken on the constraints Through the familiarisation of magazine articles and the homes displayed therein, the use of colour specifically with occasional furniture items and during the post-war reconstruction period was their upholstery, rugs, textiles, and lighting revealed, but the greater picture of the colouration fixtures, the material or colour were nearly always of the home from these sources could not yet be mentioned. The colour of the walls in a room were discerned. The questions from the readership and rarely commented on, and the floor and ceiling the responses from the editors regarding interior even less so. Of the ceiling there was hardly any design solutions in the Ask & Answer (Kysykää provided a broad indication of the direction of Generally, the inspection of the colouration of interior design in Finnish urban homes. It must be rooms in the articles of Kaunis Koti followed the noted that the apartments of those asking same emphasis as the Ask & Answer column. The questions did not represent only apartments of the 39th heritage collection competition for the post-war reconstruction period, but also earlier National Board of Antiquities collection archive built apartments which were located in the from year 1994, which was directed towards those countryside or in an urban setting. The Ask & who moved into a detached house during the post- Answer column of the periodical existed from its war reconstruction period, brought in new first issue. For my method of research it was information - especially about floor and ceiling beneficial, since the question from the reader, the materials and colourations. These surfaces were black and white floor plan of the interior design only obliquely mentioned in my material. Even from the editors, as well as a highly detailed though material from the collection archive of the written exposition of the layout, were usually all National Board of Antiquities assisted my published simultaneously. In addition to furnishings, these questions and responses focused colouration of the interior of urban apartments on colour. Even though the subject matter was during the post-war reconstruction period. My Theory-guided Content Analysis in Architecture studies focussed on apartments that were often satisfaction in the quality of the interior design located in stone constructed apartment buildings, advice. The concept of taste illustrated, in part, the rather than inspection of the interior colouring of a preferences of the legitimate and popular. Other wooden detached war veteran’s house. For permeating, but indirect, clues in my material, were the similar interior designs and their buildings, wood was not used as plentifully as in wood construction houses. The choice I made was nonprofessional homes (representing different based on the emphasis of my primary source, social classes). Also, the change beginning in the 1950s to interior colouration can be seen clearly. Testing the presupposition of my doctoral thesis is There was enough repetition in the depiction of tangential also to the question: how was advice colours in the material examined, that I can say it given by professionals and how was it accepted by reached material saturation. This saturated material depicts the characteristic use of colour in the home during the post-war reconstruction period, and separates itself from the way in which 3. What was achieved by
preceding and succeeding periods used colour. Theory-guided Content Analysis?
The depiction of the change brought forth the Some results of the Case:
The colouration of the interior of
reconstruction period home. Saturation in the the home’s rooms
material regarding the use of colours in high and popular architecture was not as simplistic. The During the post-war reconstruction period, periodical Arkkitehti did not write about colours, colouration of the interior of the home was non- so a direct commentary from a legitimate uniform. The compositions and methods to use professional publication was not possible. colour changed according to room type. The However, the architects who wrote for Kaunis overarching concept in the colouration of the Koti did illuminate the thoughts of architects on rooms was a purposeful aesthetic. Changes dealt colour and its uses in the context of the home. The with the development phase and content of room opinions of the editors with respect to colours in types as well as the emphasis given to the space of the home is quite clear in the material from the whole of the rooms. In addition to the changes Finland’s only interior designing periodical, among room type colouration, some of the Kaunis Koti, during the post-war reconstruction furnishings of the home and their colouration period. Kaunis Koti also had articles other than by changes were noticeable during the post-war architects about the use of colours in the home. reconstruction period. The importance of good Sizable content was also formed from readership taste was also emphasised in different ways in directed interior design advice of the Ask & different room types. For older, already formalised Answer column of Kaunis Koti. The question of room types, good taste was often brought forth, how the general public responded to the advice of and interior design according to good taste was architects and interior design periodicals was more constructed from previous criticism of colouration problematic. Aside from a few exceptions, my of interior design. In connection with newer room material does not contain any direct reader types, a purposeful aesthetic was at the forefront feedback. I studied the colour preferences of the and good taste was hardly talked about, since general public through indirect expressions and colouration was not given a value in relation to observations. From this perspective, the lack of what had come before. Dissymmetry of reader feedback can be considered a sign of colouration was common for all home interiors. Conference Architectural Inquiries, Göteborg 2008 The dissymmetry was derived from the modernity that in a double room apartment with one principle of embracing the new and forbidding occupant, both rooms were furnished in the style Furnishing of the living room and bedroom was The composition of cool
constructed from criticism. The question of good complementary colours and the
taste was present in interior design and the balancing of tones in the living
discussions of its colouration. The direction in the room and the master bedroom
use of colours in my material did not show any great disagreement. First of all, the criticism was The living room and the master bedroom had a directed from the previous furnishing periods. The formalised position in the room typology of the unifying furnishings of the hallway, the dining home. The living room, called the ”soul of the room, and the bedroom of the previous period home”, was the central and largest space of the were too heavy and bulky for a living room and home. Each home had a living room. During the master bedroom of the reconstruction period. post-war reconstruction period, even a single Furniture that referred to a historical style was not room apartment was furnished in the pattern of the popular, even though there was an acceptance in living room. A separate bedroom for the parents combining the new and the old. During the post- was a luxury for low-income families, and for that war reconstruction period the use of dissymmetry reason, other functions were connected to the in furnishing was typical. Even in this regard, a master bedroom. This fitting together of many differentiation was made between classicism and functions for the same room was common with the the search for symmetry of previous styles2. The living room and the master bedroom. In addition entire interior design of the room during the post- to a bed for the parents, there could be a cot next war reconstruction period was to be balanced, but to the mother’s bed and sometimes the bed of the older child was also fitted into the same space. dissymmetry was harder to put into practice as the Often the sewing machine, chair for making double bed involved a type of symmetry, but handicrafts, and writing desk ended up in the despite of all this, differences in colour choice bedroom of the parents. In the living room the were utilised. For example, the bedding and the socialising and conversational groups were in a rugs beside the bed were of different colours. In central position, but typically the dining group the living room, dissymmetry in the choice of was also situated in the same space. Instead of the furniture items, their placement, and colouration bedroom, the work space with its writing desks were easier to actualise. For example, the chairs and books shelves, the mother’s chair with her for the social group were different, but were also baskets of threads and the father’s reading space differently coloured. At least the sofa was to be of find their place in the living room. If there was a a different colour to the armchairs as well as the fireplace in the living room, a few pieces of carpet for that group. Also, the living room carpets furniture were placed around it to form a cosy were of different colours, which proceeded to corner. Often one of the members of the family make different furniture groups into their own slept in the living room. The central difference islands. During the post-war reconstruction period between the living room and master bedroom was it was important that the greenery shelf on the that in the parent’s bedroom the beds could be seen, but the box spring bed in the living room was disguised during the day time as a sofa, or the national romantic architecture and industrial design. place to sleep was a sofa bed. It is worth noting Theory-guided Content Analysis in Architecture window was always arranged in a dissymmetric light-gray and white. Also the window shelf’s fashion: the greenery comprised of different green colour was an important part of the entire plants, and one of them had to be a vine which colouration of the room. The dining group of the was placed to frame the window. Also, certain living room was by tone brown, and at the most colour combinations raised criticism. In the coloured upholstery was used on the chairs. Three bedroom, heavy greens and rust-brown colours typical colour combinations could be discerned for were forbidden. In living rooms brown-orange- the bedroom: light coloured – with primary yellow colour combination, among others, was colours in the details, yellowish – greenish, and forbidden. Also, darkly stained furniture was not gray – brown. The bedrooms did not have a recommended and wooden parts should be a multihued greenery of the window shelf, in my natural wood colour. Typically wooden parts were material no plants were mentioned for the elm or birch. Later on during the post-war reconstruction period, the combining of natural wood and painted surfaces was recommended, As the post-war reconstruction period progressed, especially in book shelves and row cabinets. Also, the furnishings and their colouration in the living two different types of wood could be combined in rooms and bedrooms noticeably changed. At the the same piece of furniture. Foreign influences beginning of my study the furniture was delicate were approached cautiously. Large patterned and small, with individual pieces of furniture with Danish wallpapers raised conflicting commentary. tapered feet and rounded corners. Each function While the general public was warned against its had its own table which was typically made of use, display homes by interior designers visibly lacquered wood. The living room had numerous displayed these wallpapers. It was communicated little tables or smoking tables - as they were called to the general public that a restrained and relaxed at the time. In the bedroom, on each side of the interior decoration was stylish and therefore bed was a nightstand and in addition a dressing table. At times, the vanity table was placed so that multicoloured interiors were crude and belonged it would also serve as a nightstand for one of the hopelessly to bad taste. The atmosphere of the parents. Armchairs and sofas were softly living room should be relaxed, warm, and contoured with rounded edges, in a similar manner protective. The atmosphere of the bedroom should as the tables. In the conversational group of the living room, one of the chairs was often the wicker chair made out of rattan, and even in the There were unifying features between the living bedroom, it was often recommended to place one room and master bedroom, but the scale of colours wicker chair for sewing or reading. Slowly in the bedroom was more diluted than in the living towards the end of the period, the functions of the room. In each room type, the room was light tables combined and unified into a long table coloured. The stronger colouration in the living which had many different purposes. In the living room was based on the carpets, the type of wood room, the long unified table in front of the in the furnishings, and the upholstery fabrics used. window was a flower, radio, magazine and writing Equally in the bedroom, colour was used as in the table. In the bedroom, the long table served as a living room with carpets and loose furniture, not combined dressing table and desk. The surface to mention the large horizontal surface of a was often mentioned to be linoleum - or linol as it bedspread. Three typical colour combinations can was called at the time. The use of long shelves be discerned for the social group of the living was also recommended. It was recommended for room: blue - red, blue - brown, and yellow - living rooms as book and magazine shelving, brown. Very often to these were combined with using long uniformed wall-mounted shelves, while Conference Architectural Inquiries, Göteborg 2008 in the bedroom, a long unified table at the end of a At the beginning I described my study to be a double bed was used as a desk. As the tables qualitative study of architecture. As far as I can discern, in Finland, besides this study, there has rectangular shape, the shapes of seating been no academic, or doctoral dissertation level straightened and the wicker chair was not research conducted into the relationship between mentioned in interior design advice. Painted wood colour and architecture. International research began to be used in addition to lacquered surfaces. relating to colour and architecture has been conducted, but this research often relies on colouration gained new features. During the psychology, physics, or chemistry. For the unique period I have studied, at the beginning of the position of architecture, a comprehensive and period the colour scale could be easily associated multidisciplinary approach would come close to with natural colours, which also appeared in the describing the relationship between colour and names given to the colours. Colours were not even architecture. There are many contact points when strong or bright, purely primary colours, but between colour and light. As with colour research, they had been slightly broken or tinted. During the in the field of architecture, light research seeks its end of the post-war reconstruction period, the own place and value. While marginalised in colour scale receded from the natural colour Finland, internationally recognised architectural scheme of Finnish nature and became more light and colour research should be developed graphic. Black began to be used as its own colouring for interior design. In the beginning, black was used for the colouration of the feet of furniture and in other details. In saturated colours the colour scheme receded from the natural colour schemes of Finnish nature and, for example, References
tomato red and lemon yellow colours began to be Alasuutari, P. Johdatus yhteiskuntatutkimukseen. Alasuutari, P. Laadullinen tutkimus. 4. In conclusion
3.uud.painos,Vastapaino, Tampere, (1993) The colouration of the home during the post-war reconstruction period is one example of a study looking into the use of colour during a certain Bertaux, D. The life course approach as a period. In the future it is important that challenge to the social sciences. in T.K. construction and meaning in the use of colour in Hareven & K.J. Adams (edit.) Ageing and homes, in other periods, also be studied. In life course transitions: an interdisciplinary addition, talking about colour has shown itself to perspective. Tavistock London 1982 be important when discussing spaces and interiors Eskola, J. & Suoranta, J. Johdatus laadulliseen tutkimukseen. University of Lapland, architecture, such as talking about space among non-architects is often hard. Colour as a spatial Herneoja, A. Jälleenrakennuskauden kodin concept, and as a question are more approachable väritys. Arki ja arkkitehtuuri. English by the general public, and could open an avenue During the Post-War Reconsruction Period. Theory-guided Content Analysis in Architecture Department of Architecture, Publication A Miles, M. B. & Huberman, A. M. Qualitative data Polit, D. F. & Hungler, B. P. Nursing Research. Principles and Methods. JB Lippincott Renvall, P. Nykyajan historiantutkimus. WSOY, Sandelowski, M. Qualitative analysis: What it is and how to begin. Research in Nursing & Tuomi, J.& Sarajärvi, A. Laadullinen tutkimus ja sisällönanalyysi. Tammi, Helsinki, 2002 Conference Architectural Inquiries, Göteborg 2008


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