Canter, David V. (2008) Do We Need a Metatheory of the Built Environment? Buliding Research and Information, 36 (6). pp. 663-667. ISSN 0961-3218

The special issue of Building Research & Information, guest edited by L. Koskela (36(3) 2008), that explores developing theories of the built environment reveals just how complicated it is to articulate any one theory that covers all aspects of the built environment. Drawing on early work, it is suggested that this difficulty has its roots in the belief that there can be one model that will amalgamate the many different perspectives that make up the use and experience of the built environment. It is shown that treating building users as either subjects or objects both have their problems and that some concept of a 'place', which combines both perspectives, is needed to make sense of what it is that the built environment is creating. This allows the combination of the building as 'filter', 'social facilitator', and 'symbol' to be integrated into the broader challenges of sustainability and social-ecological systems.

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