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Senses of “shipscapes”: an artful navigation of ship architecture and aesthetics

John Griffiths (Stetson School of Business and Economics, Mercer University, Atlanta, Georgia, USA)
Kathy Mack (Stetson School of Business and Economics, Mercer University, Atlanta, Georgia, USA)

Journal of Organizational Change Management

ISSN: 0953-4814

Article publication date: 18 October 2011

Abstract

Purpose

In the context of organizational aesthetics, “built environments” remain under‐explored. The purpose of this paper is to enter the maritime world of ship architectures to navigate sensory‐aesthetic knowledge of a sailor's place‐based memories.

Design/methodology/approach

Challenges have been issued to explore the potential for artistic‐sensual methodologies to both study and represent organizational aesthetics. The authors accept these challenges in the context of “shipscapes”.

Findings

A sailor's “artworks” become artefacts through which are evoked rich, multi‐sensory descriptions of deep‐sea tug vessels. The sailor's sensible knowledge is related to seafaring practice, the aesthetic taste for ships and the aesthetic bond with them. Sensory‐aesthetic architectural memories are further connected to functional and symbolic aspects of ships as built environments.

Research limitations/implications

Certain place/space shipboard knowledge remains constrained by the boundaries of an “arts‐based” sensory‐aesthetic method.

Originality/value

The multi‐sensed, remembered and co‐constructed nature of “shipscapes”, as celebrated through a seafarer's already created art, keeps aesthetic knowledge close to the source of both embodied experience and aesthetic meaning.

Keywords

Citation

Griffiths, J. and Mack, K. (2011), "Senses of “shipscapes”: an artful navigation of ship architecture and aesthetics", Journal of Organizational Change Management, Vol. 24 No. 6, pp. 733-750. https://doi.org/10.1108/09534811111175724

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited