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Atmosphere III

Conceptual Personae

Defne Çakır, Pelin Gür, Nur Çağlar

Published Feb 11, 2020

Concepts have components that accumulate in the same plane, and these components form the conceptual personae. Conceptual personality philosophically defines the level of the user's immanence and plays a role in generating new meanings due to the user's experience. “Philosophy constantly brings conceptual personae to life; it gives life to them.'' The conceptual personae are clarified with six different characters that concepts have. The concept has a history, becoming, intensive feature, incorporeal also concept is absolute and relative and not discursive. The atmosphere also carries these characteristic features as a concept with their constituent components.

As a concept, the atmosphere has a ‘history.' ''Every concept always has a history, even though this history zigzags, though it passes, if need be, through other problems or onto different planes. In any concept, there are usually bits or components that come from other concepts, which corresponded to other problems and presupposed other planes ‘’. All of the components that define the atmosphere refers to history. These components, which are used to describe and transform each other, are parts of a timeline and continuously reinterpret and reproduce the atmosphere. In this process, they create a zone for each other as a reference.

On the other hand, the atmosphere has a ‘becoming’ that includes its relationship with other components. ‘’A concept requires not only a problem through which it recasts or replaces earlier concepts but a junction of problems where it combines with other coexisting concepts ‘’.  Although these components condensate in different atmosphere zones, they can indicate similar meanings, support each other, reinterpret and reproduce the meaning of the atmosphere they create together. This unity and formations create an internal consistency between concepts. ''But the concept also has an exoconsistency with other concepts, when their respective creation implies the construction of a bridge on the same plane. Zones and bridges are the joints of the concept ''.

The atmosphere created by unexpected encounters and accumulation has an ‘intensive feature’ with its components. Each part of the atmosphere exists in different depths and meanings. Each component has a sense of being together, as they cannot be considered separable from the atmosphere's concept.

In the concept there are only ordinate relationships, not relationships of comprehension or extension, and the concept's components are neither constants nor variables, but pure and simple variations ordered according to their neighborhood. A concept is a heterogenesis that is to say, an ordering of its components by zones of neighborhood. It is ordinal, an intension present in all the features that make it up. The concept is in a state of survey [survol] in relation to its components, endlessly traversing them according to an order without distance.

It is the relationship between the components that supports, develops, and transforms the atmosphere's concept. This relationship is an endless journey of meaning.

The atmosphere as a concept is ‘incorporeal,' although it develops through the tactile relationships that the body enters with space. This relationship is independent of energy and is formed through senses and emotions. ‘’The concept speaks the event, not the essence of the thing-pure event, a haecceity, an entity: the event of the Other or of the face (when, in turn, the face is taken as concept). It is like the bird as event ‘’. The atmosphere as a concept is also an event of the moment, so it happens. Conceptually, the atmosphere is an act of thought. The action is shaped according to the variations created by the infinite association of components, so it is specific at various density levels.

One of the components that make up the atmosphere's character is 'absolute and relative.' Fragments of the atmosphere come together in different ways, and the relations between them continually change. Thus, fragments with different intersections form a fusion that can be perceived as a whole.  ‘’The concept is, therefore, both absolute and relative: it is relative to its components, to other concepts, to the plane on which it is defined, and to the problems it is supposed to resolve; but it is absolute through the condensation it carries out, the site it occupies on the plane, and the conditions it assigns to the problem. As a whole, it is absolute, but insofar as it is fragmentary, it is relative ‘’.  With its absolute and relative structure, the atmosphere reproduces the atmosphere's meaning in each combination; therefore, it is dynamic.

The concept of the atmosphere is ‘not discursive.' Components of the atmosphere come together heterogeneously. Each of them resonates within themselves and with each other; harmony or cause-effect relationship is not sought in these associations. While components create the concept of atmosphere, they are not complementary to each other but are components that combine on different levels. ''As fragmentary totalities, concepts are not even the pieces of a puzzle, for their irregular contours do not correspond to each other. They do form a wall, but it is a dry-stone wall, and everything holds together only along diverging lines. Even bridges from one concept to another are still junctions, or detours, which do not define any discursive whole. They are movable bridges.''

As long as the atmosphere's components associate in various ways, it also diversifies the atmosphere's definition by continually changing and transforming over time. The atmosphere is an exchange between the material or spiritual properties of the place and the immaterial realm of human perception and imagination. The atmosphere is not a physical 'thing' or an exact fact, as it is human experiential 'creation,' it is entirely temporal. The atmosphere is open to reinterpretation. Even if the fragments that make up the atmosphere remain the same, the user's atmosphere experience changes. This change can be explained to the user by 'core affect.' At the center of emotions, moods, and other emotional events are the different perceived situations experienced. These conditions, called core effects, affect reflexes, perception and behavior and are affected by many internal and material causes. ‘’Core affect can therefore be experienced as free-floating (mood) or can be attributed to some cause and thereby begin an emotional episode‘’. With the intersection of different perception levels and the user's emotional experience, the atmosphere is reinterpreted and gains different meanings each time. In the light of all these, atmosphere as a concept has a history, becoming, intensive feature, incorporeal that is absolute and relative and not discursive. The atmosphere is a concept with its conceptual personae and perceivable components, experienced, and reproducible.


[i] According to Deleuze & Guattari, concepts need ‘conceptual personae’ that can be considered certain concepts. For them, every concept has a ‘history’ as ‘’there are usually bits or components that come from other concepts''. A concept also has a ‘becoming’ as it ‘’branches off toward other concepts that are differently composed but that constitute other regions of the same plane''.  Each concept has ‘intensive’ components: ''the point of coincidence, condensation, or accumulation of its components''. The concept is an ‘incorporeal’ as ‘’it is act of thought, it is thought operating at infinite (although greater or lesser) speed''. The concept is both ‘absolute' as a whole and ‘relative’ as being fragmentary; the concept is ‘not discursive’ as ‘’it does not link propositions together.''

Deleuze G. & Guattari F., What is Philosophy? trans. Hugh Tomlinson and Graham Burchell. New York: Columbia University Press, 1994, p.62

[ii] Core affect: For Russel, the Core effect is essentially how the user feels at any point in time. Russel argues that the core effect is directly related to the user but can also be directed to an object through attributions and reinterpretations. Schutz, Quijada, de Vries & Lynde (2010). Emotion in Educational Contexts (pp. 591-596). ISBN 9780080448947, Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-08-044894-7.00605-9.


This study prepared within the scope of a graduate course MIM 505, at TOBB ETU, faculty of architecture. The main objective of the study is to rebuild the concept of atmosphere from a broader perspective. In order to create a structure and determine a frame for the study, a digital analysis and re-reading process were carried out within linked three different phases. These three phases involve determining the sources with the database ‘Web of Science’, exposing the relations between these sources via ‘VOSviewer', re-reading through digital scanning over obtained information by the help of ‘Voyant tools’. This process of digital analysis offered an environment for re-reading and re-constructing of the concept of atmosphere. Also, for the study, a comprehensive infographic that shows how the concept of atmosphere was reconstructed was prepared. (https://graphcommons.com/graphs/bae787c4-cc50-401d-a657-3d9bf0da3586)

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