The Emergence of Cities, in Between the Urban Morphological Studies, the Design Poetic Achievements and the Ethnometodological Social Surveys


  • Magdalena Saura Carulla
  • José Muntañola Thornberg
  • Júlia Beltran Borràs
  • Josué Nathan Martínez Gómez
  • Rasoul Ameli Najafabadi
  • Sara Cristina Molarinho Marques


The morphological studies about the transformations of cities have been made in the last fifty years following different «morphological schools» according to countries, cultures and theories. We will present our own theoretical and practical view points, based upon a socio-physical dimension of architectural design following architectural and planning ideas by Spiro Kostoff, Alberto Magnaghi, Mikhail Bakhtin, Paul Ricoeur, Bill Hillier, Rainer E. Zimmermann, and others, in the sense that, in between the design poetic prefigurative act, the morphological configurative studies of cities and the anthropological refigurative surveys of the users, specific emergent powers develop in the making of the cities, in a socio-physical and space-time structural chronotopic manner. Instate of a confrontation in between the prefigurative poetic views of architects and planners with the configurative outputs of the morphological studies or with the refigurative analyses of the social behavioral and cognitive social sciences, their dialogical interplays will help the three different spatial viewpoints to observe the city as a common study case. We will analyze some study cases in different countries that have been studied in recent PhD dissertations in architecture or that they are now investigated in this way. This chronotopic and dialogical holistic perspective opens new ways to a more refined human engagement, where the local to global confrontations can achieve in a positive emergence not always predicted, neither by the morphological studies nor by the ethnometodological social survey.