This paper investigates morphological theory as an intellectual framework for research and design. The first part of the paper will review morphological studies in the fields of urban geography, urban planning and architecture, particularly in England from the 1940s to the 1980s. While urban geographers and planners were concerned primarily with town plans, building forms and land use, architectural theoreticians were more interested in the topological relationship between urban and architectural space. The underlying premises and principles of these two approaches will be reviewed. The second part of the paper will focus on typology in Europe and North America. The reinterpretation of typology by Italian architects helped to bridge the gap between individual elements of architecture and the overall form of the city. However, typological theory became less accessible in post-war England and the United States. After 1980, the debate on typology became muted by the onset of vague notions such as functionalism, bio-technical determinism, and contextualism. This paper will propose a redefinition of morphology as a heuristic device, in contrast with the dichotomic view of urban morphology and architectural typology. Morphology will be shown to combine the geometrical and topological; the intentional and accidental; the real and abstract; and a priori and a posteriori. The last part of the paper discusses the lack of comparative theories and methods surrounding the physical form of architecture and the city by Korea commentators. Empirically rooted facility planning, non-comparative historical studies, and iconographic criticism emerged as a central preoccupation of architectural culture between the 1960s and 1980s, a time when international debate on architecture and urbanism was most intense. This paper will give consideration to the built environment as a dynamic physical entity and space as an epiphenomenon of daily urban life, such that collaboration between urban designers, architects, and landscape architects is seen as both beneficial and necessary.
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