Colors of Rhetoric: Places of Invention in the Visual Realm

Rhetoric has been broadly defined as the art of persuasion. Unfortunately, in the last two centuries, rhetoric has suffered a rather bad reputation because it has been deliberately overused to mislead and manipulate. However, the present argument claims that rhetoric is, above all, a method for creation, considering it as the study of the general relationships of unexpectedness for invention and persuasion.

Since rhetoric was established in the early fifth century, it has been concerned almost solely with language, public speaking, and literature. The term “figure” (such as metaphor, antithesis, metonymy, among many others) refers to any device or pattern of language in which meaning or form is enhanced or changed.
This study extrapolates to architecture and visual arts, what rhetoric does, which is not more than to put “things” together that have not been put together before, to create a new whole. Through the analysis of a large and heterogeneous group of art and architectural examples, this research constitutes a “proto-manual” of more than a hundred rhetorical tools and means by which architecture might be thought of, created, explained, and communicated. It reveals a particular methodology for the creation and communication of architecture and other visual disciplines beyond intuition and magic inspiration. This study attempts to explore the practical possibilities of application of rhetorical methods rather than to elaborate a comprehensive theory of rhetoric in the visual realm.

Investigating the relationships among form, event, body, subject, matter and/or space, the study reflects on the spatial and social conventions, contradictions, and dislocations found in contemporary “everyday” life. Rhetorical figures are used as interrogative and critical tools to stimulate our social conscience and also to assist spectators’ awareness of the challenges of our society.

  • ISBN

  • Title

    Colors of Rhetoric: Places of Invention in the Visual Realm
  • Author

    Dr. María Fullaondo
  • Publisher

    ORO Editions
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Cite: "Colors of Rhetoric: Places of Invention in the Visual Realm" 03 Mar 2022. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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