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Architectural sociology is receiving renewed attention but still remains a neglected area of investigation. As a major theoretical perspective within sociology, symbolic interaction helps us understand how the designed physical environment and the self are intertwined, with one potentially influencing and finding expression in the other; how architecture contains and communicates our shared symbols; and how we assign agency to some of our designed physical environment, which then invites in a different kind of self-reflection. This article discusses numerous instances of symbolic interaction theory–architecture connections, with applied examples showing how symbolic interactionists and architects can collaborate on projects to the benefit of each, and to the benefit of humanity


Architecture—Psychological aspects; Design—Human factors; Social change; Symbolic interactionism; Symbolism in architecture


Architecture | Environmental Design | Place and Environment | Sociology

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