An interdisciplinary collection of essays in the history and philosophy of architecture.
Of the many arguments for proportion systems in architecture the most ancient and compelling is that the natural world is an intelligible, mathematically ordered whole, and the artifacts we place in it, as extensions of nature, should obey the same laws. Although this was still the argument of Le Corbusier - as earlier of Alberti - it was profoundly shaken by post-Renaissance science and the empiricist philosophy which flowed from it. In Proportion, Richard Padovan looks at the problem from a new angle, taking empiricism as a starting-point. In order to know anything about the world, we have to discover regularities in it. These regularities can be explained, not by assuming that they are inherrent in nature and that nature impresses them on the mind but they are inherent in the mind and the mind impresses them on nature. Our perception of the world, our scientific hypotheses, are therefore artifacts, no less than our buildings and other works of art. Both science and art are ways of making the world intelligible; that is to say, of making in intelligible world. And in art as in science the key to intelligibility is mathematical order.
Philosophy for Architects is an engaging and easy-to-grasp introduction to philosophical questions of interest to students of architectural theory. Topics include Aristotle's theories of "visual imagination" and their relevance to digital design, the problem of optical correction as explored by Plato, Hegel's theory of zeitgeist, and Kant's examinations of space and aesthetics, among others. Focusing primarily on nineteenth- and twentieth-century philosophy, it provides students with a wider perspective concerning philosophical problems that come up in contemporary architectural debates.
Kolb discusses postmodern architectural styles and theories within the context of philosophical ideas about modernism and postmodernism. He focuses on what it means to dwell in a world and within a history and to act from or against a tradition.
Phenomenologies of the City: Studies in the History and Philosophy of Architecture brings architecture and urbanism into dialogue with phenomenology. Phenomenology has informed debate about the city from social sciences to cultural studies. Within architecture, however, phenomenological inquiry has been neglecting the question of the city. Addressing this lacuna, this book suggests that the city presents not only the richest, but also the politically most urgent horizon of reference for philosophical reflection on the cultural and ethical dimensions of architecture. The contributors to this volume are architects and scholars of urbanism. Some have backgrounds in literature, history, religious studies, and art history. The book features 16 chapters by younger scholars as well as established thinkers including Peter Carl, David Leatherbarrow, Alberto Pérez-Gomez, Wendy Pullan and Dalibor Vesely. Rather than developing a single theoretical statement, the book addresses architecture’s relationship with the city in a wide range of historical and contemporary contexts. The chapters trace hidden genealogies, and explore the ruptures as much as the persistence of recurrent cultural motifs. Together, these interconnected phenomenologies of the city raise simple but fundamental questions: What is the city for, how is it ordered, and how can it be understood? The book does not advocate a return to a naive sense of ’unity’ or ’order’. Rather, it investigates how architecture can generate meaning and forge as well as contest social and cultural representations.
Karsten Harries provides a new and long-overdue reading of Martin Heidegger's well-known essay "Building Dwelling Thinking." Donald Kunze and Stephen Parcell consider possibilities of meaningful architectural space for a visual culture, continuing themes they addressed in Chora 1. Further reflections on the spaces of literature, cinema, and architecture include an interview with French writer and film maker Alain Robbe-Grillet and articles by Dagmar Motycka Weston on the surrealist city, Tracey Eve Winton on the museum as a paradigmatic modern building, and Terrance Galvin on spiritual space in the works of Jean Cocteau. Jean-Pierre Chupin and Bram Ratner explore historical themes in their essays on French Renaissance architect Philibert de l'Orme and the Jewish myth of the Golem. Gregory Caicco addresses ethical questions in his essay on the Greek agora and the death of Socrates, as does Lily Chi in her meditation on the critical issue of use in architectural works. A concern with architectural representation and generative strategies for the making of architecture is present throughout, especially in the essay by Joanna Merwood on the provocative House by British artist Rachel Whiteread.
Peter Eisenman is one of the most controversial protagonists of the architectural scene, who is known as much for his theoretical essays as he is for his architecture. While much has been written about his built works and his philosophies, most books focus on one or the other aspect. By structuring this volume around the concept of form, Stefano Corbo links together Eisenman’s architecture with his theory. From Formalism to Weak Form: The Architecture and Philosophy of Peter Eisenman argues that form is the sphere of mediation between our body, our inner world and the exterior world and, as such, it enables connections to be made between philosophy and architecture. From the start of his career on, Eisenman has been deeply interested in the problem of form in architecture and has constantly challenged the classical concept of it. For him, form is not simply a cognitive tool that determines a physical structure, which discriminates all that is active from what is passive, what is inside from what is outside. He has always tried to connect his own work with the cultural manifestations of the time: firstly under the influence of Colin Rowe and his formalist studies; secondly, by re-interpreting Chomsky’s linguistic theories; in the 80’s, by collaborating with Derrida and his de-constructivist approach; more recently,by discovering Henri Bergson's idea of Time. These different moments underline different phases, different projects, different programmatic manifestos; and above all, an evolving notion of form. Taking a multi-disciplinary approach based on the intersections between architecture and philosophy, this book investigates all these definitions and, in doing so, provides new insights into and a deeper understanding of the complexity of Eisenman’s work.
Architectural Reflections: Studies in the Philosophy and Practice of Architecture focuses on the principles, techniques, and the philosophical context and practice of architecture. The book first ponders on natural imagination, ethics of architecture, and an interpretation of Wittgenstein's comments on architecture. Topics include the meaning of play, language-game and gesture-language, role of aesthetics, reality of architecture, fine art and practical art, origin of the work of architecture, concept of psychological 'position', artistic condensation, and figures of architectural form. The manuscript then examines Alvar Aalto and the state of modernism and Gunnar Asplund and the dilemma of classicism. Topics include modernism and modernismus, issue of classicism, and connections and collaborations. The text takes a look at the thoughts of Hans Scharoun, Sigurd Lewerentz, and Gerrit Rietveld on the relationship of philosophy and architecture. The publication is a valuable reference for philosophers and architects wanting to study further the philosophy and practice of architecture.
In this second volume in the Chora series, contributing authors take an interdisciplinary approach to architecture and other cultural concerns, challenging readers to consider alternatives to conventional aesthetic and technological reductions.
What should our buildings look like? Or is their usability more important than their appearance? Paul Guyer argues that the fundamental goals of architecture first identified by the Roman architect Marcus Pollio Vitruvius - good construction, functionality, and aesthetic appeal - have remained valid despite constant changes in human activities, building materials and technologies, as well as in artistic styles and cultures. Guyer discusses philosophers and architects throughout history, including Alberti, Kant, Ruskin, Wright, and Loos, and surveys the ways in which their ideas are brought to life in buildings across the world. He also considers the works and words of contemporary architects including Annabelle Selldorf, Herzog and de Meuron, and Steven Holl, and shows that - despite changing times and fashions - good architecture continues to be something worth striving for. This new series offers short and personal perspectives by expert thinkers on topics that we all encounter in our everyday lives.
At the start of this book Imre Makovecz gently criticises the commentators who first brought his work to the West. He is grateful to them of course, but he claims they only half understood, simplifying and misinterpreting. They presented him as a heroic rebel against the communist system, rather than seeing his battle against a larger enemy that we all still face: this he calls impersonal intelligence. When he remarks that architecture is not regarded as an art in Hungary, but as a service, and that it has no place in the Ministry of Culture, we find it all too familiar. It is perhaps understandable that someone so concerned with cultural memory -- especially long-repressed folk memories -- should arise in much-oppressed Hungary, which was fought over for millennia even before the advent of the Soviet Empire, but the same cultural amnesia is occurring throughout the world, exhibited in increasing rootlessness and placelessness. Perhaps the most misleading reading of all has been Makovecz the wild man or primitive, but this book shows him to be a highly articulate architectural philosopher and intellectual, conversant from the start with a wide range of international sources. There is much more to the work than the expressive image we first encounter. It warmly embraces place and community, and quite aside from its ecological dimension, there is a concern with the building process and the participation of craftsmen that would have warmed William Morris' heart. Most bold and most intriguing is Makovecz's claim to be tapping into ancient and universal folk memories that are lodged in hand-made patterns, gestures and even dance. Over the last century we have had to revise our sense of civilisation, for cities and writing are but five thousand years old, yet our forebears tens of thousand years ago could scarcely have been less intelligent and communicative than ourselves.
The Missed Encounter of Radical Philosophy with Architecture brings together a respected team of philosophers and architecture scholars to ask what impact architecture has over today's culture and society. For three decades critical philosophy has been in discourse with architecture. Yet following the recent radical turn in contemporary philosophy, architecture's role in contemporary culture is rarely addressed. In turn, the architecture discourse in academia has remained ignorant of recent developments in radical philosophy. Providing the first platform for a debate between critics, architects and radical philosophers, this unique collection unties these two schools of thought. Contributors reason for or against the claim of the "missed encounter" between architecture and radical philosophy. They discuss why our prominent critical philosophers devote stimulating writings to the ideological impact of arts on the contemporary culture - music, literature, cinema, opera, theatre - without attempting a similar comprehensive analysis of architecture. By critically evaluating recent philosophy in relation to contemporary architecture, The Missed Encounter of Radical Philosophy with Architecture presents a thorough understanding of the new relationship between architecture and radical philosophy.
In this second volume in the Chora series, contributing authors explore critical questions for the theory and practice of architecture. They take an interdisciplinary approach to architecture and other cultural concerns, challenging readers to consider alternatives to conventional aesthetic and technological reductions.
Die "Theorie der Architektur bringt als Forschungsfeld so vielfältige Disziplinen wie Anthropologie, Architektur- und Kunstgeschichte, Architektur- und Kunsttheorie, Linguistik, Philologie, Philosophie, Psychologie, Soziologie und Urbanistik in ein Gespräch über Architektur zusammen. 24 Autoren präsentieren zeitgenössische Positionen zur Theorie der Architektur, die in drei Kapiteln nach ihren verschiedenen Untersuchungsgegenstände geordnet sind: Begriffe, Diskurse, Ideen Dinge, Räume, Bauten Praktiken, Erfahrungen, Aneignungen Das Buch erscheint zu Ehren des Architekturtheoretikers Eduard Führ. Die Autoren: Böhringer, de Bruyn, Dreyer, Feldhusen, Friesen, Führ, Gleiter, Günter, Hahn, Harries, Hasse, Janson, Lampugnani, Leatherbarrow, Miller, Moravánszky, Neumeyer, Oechslin, Pérez-Gómez, Poerschke, Sieverts, Staub, Wagner, Waldenfels
JPVA Journal of Philosophy and the Visual Arts No 6 Complexity Architecture / Art / Philosophy 'Beginning with complexity will involve working with the recognition that there has always been more than one. Here however this insistent "more than one" will be positioned beyond the scope of semantics; rather than complexity occurring within the range of meaning and taking the form of a generalised polysemy, it will be linked to the nature of the object and to its production. Complexity, therefore, will be inextricably connected to the ontology of the object. What this means is that complexity, in resisting the hold of a semantic idealism on the one hand, and the attempt to give to it the position of being the basis of a new foundationalism on the other, becomes a way of thinking both the presence and the production of objects.' Andrew Benjamin The Journal of Philosophy and the Visual Arts has set new standards in its exploration of themes central to philosophy's relation to the visual arts, illuminating areas of art criticism, architecture, feminism as well as philosophy itself. Rather than simply reflecting current trends it provides a forum in which the real developments in the analysis of the visual arts and its larger cultural and political context can be presented. Articles by well known philosophers and theorists, as well as some lesser known, together with writings by artists and architects allow a strong interdisciplinary approach reflecting the Journal's roots in post-structural theory. Previous issues include: Philosophy & the Visual Arts (No 1) Philosophy & Architecture (No 2) Architecture, Space, Painting (No 3) The Body (No 4) Abstraction (No 5)
An understanding of what we mean by the present is one of the key issues in literature, philosophy, and culture today, but also one of the most neglected and misunderstood. Present Hope develops a fascinating philosophical understanding of the present, approaching this question via discussions of the nature of historical time, the philosophy of history, memory, and the role of tragedy. Andrew Benjamin shows how we misleadingly view the present as simply a product of chronological time, ignoring the role of history and memory. Accordingly, discussion of what is meant by the present disappears from philosophical concern. To draw attention to this absence, Andrew Benjamin introduces the notion of hope and asks what this concept can tell us about the present. At the heart of the outstanding work is an emphasis on the relation between hope and the Jewish tradition. Through discussions of philosophical responses to the Holocaust, the work of Walter Benjamin, Daniel Libeskind's Jewish Museum, and the poetry of Paul Celan, Present Hope shows how we must look beyond the purely philosophical horizon to understand the present we live in.