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By seeing beyond the glittering novelty of form, it is criticism's role to assess and promote the positive effects architecture can bring to society and the wider world
From the Smithsons’ claim to have originally coined the term, to its alleged incarnation in the béton brut of Le Corbusier’s Unités, the provenance of New Brutalism, seen as a corrective to ‘soft’ Modernism, is as problematic as what it stood for: ethic or aesthetic?
As abstract art forms based on rhythm, proportion and harmony, architecture and music share a clear cultural lineage. Now, through digital expression, architecture can attain new heights of creative supremacy
Techno-fetishists may have argued for a scientifically determined architecture in the ’60s and ’70s, but at the same time more politically engaged voices were calling for the reinterpretation of space as an arena for the lived experiences of the everyday
The great divide: technology vs tradition
The second essay in AR’s series: Troubles in Theory
As a major exhibition opens at the V&A on the same subject, Charles Jencks has published an account of Postmodernism’s historic and unfolding story. While the author includes many recent architectural projects, these later examples emerge as antithetical to the movement’s original intent. But if the current crop of architecture is devoid of meaning, could Postmodernism find a future in the complexity of the city and a world of rapid scientific and technological transition?
Becoming a subject of interest to those beyond the profession in the late 1960s, architecture - and its theory - in turn opened up to outside influences. An anti-institutional ideology, with strong French philosophical connections - Foucault, Barthes, Derrida - served to undermine architecture’s own disciplinary focus. Key figures - Summerson, Banham, Eisenman - sought to regain the lost territory, but a unified theory of architecture remains elusive. The first of three essays outlines ...
In the autopoiesis of architecture, Patrik Schumacher introduces a new unifying theory of architecture. Peter Buchanan decodes, dissects and weighs up Schumacher’s arguments