"The proposed article will outline a medial theory of architecture in whichthe use of architectural form is strongly conditioned by three separate"kinds" of socio-cultural use of space. As a medium of cultural expression,atchitectural form and its effect is seen to change dramatically according tothese larger spatial predispositions of society. While not chronologicallyexclusive within a particular culture, these different effects appear to ex-plain major historical changes in architectural form. Labeling the specificmedial role of architecture, rather then the differences of socio-culturalspace per se, three kinds of architectural effect are hypothesized: lithecosmic, 2)the arch/tectonic, and 3)the semiotic. The argument will bedeveloped through the use of historical and ethnographic examples from theS.W. Pueblo Indians of the U.S., and the flat-land agricultural areas of Scan-dinavia.Whether applied to the dwelling, settlement and landscape meaning of prim-itive tribes or the founding of Rome, the ubiquitous usage of symbolic"cognitive maps" created a pervasive ritual efficacy in the early forms of virtually all societies. Diverse socio-spatial groups in this way maintainedtheir integration, whether in egaliration or hierarchical form. At the otherextreme of time, the contemporary, one finds essentially a territorial usageof space. Social space has lost its symbolic definitions and ritual cantexts,and has become available for the more immediate political and economic ma-nipulation of individuals and groups. Its legitimacy rests not on symboliceffect, but immediate power. Between these two extremes stands an inter-mediate and often adjacent condition which largely coincides with the term"peasant". Here, indigenous conceptions of cosmos are either prohibited bymore powerful intrusive others, or are severely impacted by other culturalcontact and technological change. The results are relatively small, isolatedgroups, perhaps either rural or urban, whose intense, highly intimate useof space Is neither "sacred" (cosmic) nor "profane" (territorial).This paper will detail the unique ways in which architectural form and ef-fect are correlated to the above. In the cosmic , architectural form is highlyconstrained by the meanings of symbolic domains and their ritual positions,e.g. In the threshold, ehile largely unavailacle to the stylistic manipulationof the later semiotic. The villages and perhaps urban ghettos of "peasant"groups are also largely unavailable for purposes of style and status but arealso prohibited from the oven usage of cosmic symbols and ritual. In thiscase, the usually highly condensed spatial form of the architecture, togetherwith the intense daily social life, provides a theoretically unique effect, thearchitectonic. Finally, it is maintained that the cosmic or ritual influence onarchitectural form is inherently different from the more language-like ma-nipulation of style can be used to communicate signs of territorial identityand status."