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Kant for Architects

Author: Diane Morgan
Publisher: Routledge
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This book introduces architects to a philosopher, Immanuel Kant, whose work was constantly informed by a concern for the world as an evolving whole. According to Kant, in this interconnected and dynamic world, humans should act as mutually dependent and responsible subjects. Given his future-oriented and ethico-politically concerned thinking, Kant is a thinker who clearly speaks to architects. This introduction demonstrates how his ideas bear pertinently and creatively upon the world in which we live now and for which we should care thoughtfully. Kant grounded his enlightened vision of philosophy’s mission using an architectural metaphor: of the modest 'dwelling-house'. Far from constructing speculative 'castles in the sky' or vertiginous 'towers which reach to the heavens', he tells us that his humble aim is rather to build a 'secure home for ourselves', one which appropriately corresponds at once to the limited material resources available on our planet, and to our need for firm and solid principles to live by. This book also explores Kant's notions of cosmopolitics, which attempts to think politics from a global perspective by taking into account the geographical fact that the earth is a sphere with limited land mass and natural resources. Given the urgent topicality of sustainable development, these Kantian texts are of particular interest for architects of today. Students of architecture, who are necessarily trained in negotiating between theory and practice, gain much from considering Kant, whose critical project also consisted of testing and exploring the viability of ideas, so as to ascertain to what extent, and crucially, how ideas can have a constructive effect on the whole world, and on us as active agents therein.


Philosophy for Architects

Author: Branko Mitrovic
Publisher: Chronicle Books
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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.


On the Ruins of Babel

Author: Daniel Purdy
Publisher: Cornell University Press
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The eighteenth century struggled to define architecture as either an art or a science-the image of the architect as a grand figure who synthesizes all other disciplines within a single master plan emerged from this discourse. Immanuel Kant and Johann Wolfgang Goethe described the architect as their equal, a genius with godlike creativity. For writers from Descartes to Freud, architectural reasoning provided a method for critically examining consciousness. The architect, as philosophers liked to think of him, was obligated by the design and construction process to mediate between the abstract and the actual. In On the Ruins of Babel, Daniel Purdy traces this notion back to its wellspring. He surveys the volatile state of architectural theory in the Enlightenment, brought on by the newly emerged scientific critiques of Renaissance cosmology, then shows how German writers redeployed Renaissance terminology so that "harmony," "unity," "synthesis," "foundation," and "orderliness" became states of consciousness, rather than terms used to describe the built world. Purdy's distinctly new interpretation of German theory reveals how metaphors constitute interior life as an architectural space to be designed, constructed, renovated, or demolished. He elucidates the close affinity between Hegel's Romantic aesthetic of space and Daniel Libeskind's deconstruction of monumental architecture in Berlin's Jewish Museum. Through a careful reading of Walter Benjamin's writing on architecture as myth, Purdy details how classical architecture shaped Benjamin's modernist interpretations of urban life, particularly his elaboration on Freud's archaeology of the unconscious. Benjamin's essays on dreams and architecture turn the individualist sensibility of the Enlightenment into a collective and mythic identification between humans and buildings.


Gadamer for Architects

Author: Paul Kidder
Publisher: Routledge
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"Providing a concise and accessible introduction to the work of the twentieth century's celebrated German philosopher, Hans-Georg Gadamer, this book focuses on the aspects of Gadamer's philosophy that have been the most influential among architects, educators in architecture, and architectural theorists. Gadamer's philosophy of art gives a special place to the activity of "play" as it occurs in artistic creation, in language, and in thinking. His ideas on the function of symbols and meaning in art draw upon his teacher, Martin Heidegger, while developing further the applicability of Heideggerian thinking. His theory of interpretation, or "philosophical hermeneutics" offers profound ways to understand the influence of the past upon the present, and to appropriate the past in ever new forms. Gadamer's sensitivity to the way that theory arises out of practice and must maintain its relevance to practice gives his thought a remarkable usefulness and applicability. For architects, architectural theorists, architectural historians, and undergraduate and postgraduate students of architecture, Gadamer's thinking opens a world of possibilities for understanding how building today can be rich with human meaning, relating to architecture's history in an insightful manner that does not merely repeat nor merely repudiate that history"--


Aesthetics and Architecture

Author: Edward Winters
Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
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The Continuum Aesthetics Series looks at the aesthetic questions and issues raised by all major art forms. Stimulating, engaging and highly readable, the series offers food for thought not only for students of aesthetics, but also for anyone with an interest in philosophy and the arts. Aesthetics and Architecture places analytical philosophical aesthetics at the heart of thinking about, and looking at, architecture. The book looks at classic and contemporary aesthetic and philosophical views of architecture. It considers, with stimulating insight and great clarity, how Classicism, Modernism, Structuralism, Post-structuralism and Situationism have influenced architectural aesthetics and shaped our view of the built environment. It also explores the challenges to the various intellectual and cultural movements that inform how people create and look at buildings. The book moves on to investigate the aesthetic qualities, demands and approaches specific to architecture and architectural thinking, concluding with 'a programme for contemporary architecture'. Anyone studying or interested in architecture or philosophical aesthetics will find this book a rich source of ideas, insight and information. Combining a clear and engaging style with a sophisticated treatment of a fascinating subject, Aesthetics and Architecture is a valuable contribution to contemporary aesthetics - one that revitalises the way we look at the form, purpose and meaning of our built environment.


Architectural theory

Author: David Smith Capon
Publisher: Academy Editions Ltd
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The two volumes of Architectural Theory bring together the fundamental elements of architecture and present them in a new and accessible format. The books define the areas of knowledge necessary for successful design and criticism and, for the first time in the history of architectural literature, integrate all the concepts to form a balanced and comprehensive whole. Volume One, A History of the Categories in Architecture and Philosophy, establishes the framework of architectural theory. The author presents a systematic analysis of what constitutes 'good' architecture in the West, tracing the history of architectural theory through the metaphysics of ancient Greece, the doctrines of early and medieval Christianity, up to the concepts and 'categories' of modern philosophy. The twentieth century has seen more building and more analysis of building than any other. Volume Two, Principles of Twentieth-century Architectural Theory Arranged by Category, focuses on the recent fragmentation of architectural theory into distinct doctrines. Formalism, minimalism, mannerism, functionalism, rationalism, brutalism, positivism, romanticism, expressionism, classicism, constructivism, organicism, modernism, futurism, radicalism, deconstructivism, historicism, post-modernism - each movement has influenced the shape of architectural thinking over the last century. Principles of Twentieth-century Architectural Theory Arranged by Category analyses each in turn and places each in context. The volumes are liberally illustrated with representative buildings of the period and include a glossary of terms, a thesaurus, an annotated guide to further reading as well as diagrammatic links connecting themes across both volumes. The two volumes, whether studied together or individually, will prove invaluable to students of architecture and related disciplines.


Intersections

Author: Iain Borden
Publisher: Psychology Press
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Over the last decade, critical theories of different kinds have had an enormous impact on many different disciplines and practices. Intersections is the first book to survey comprehensively this impact on Architecture, providing sixteen essays that intersect a particular critical theory with specific architectural ideas, projects and events. An extended essay by the editors gives an in-depth introduction to the subject. Essays range from psychoanalysis and interiors; colonialism and modern urbanism; gender and the renaissance; to heteroptopia and Las Vegas. Contributors come from Europe and the USA, and include Iain Borden, Zeynep Celik, Sarah Chaplin, Beatriz Colomina, Darell Fields, Murray Fraser, Diane Ghirado, Joe Kerr, Clive Knights, Neil Leach, Barbara Penner, Jane Rendell, Katherine Shonfield, Helen Thomas, Jeremy Till, Henry Urbach and Sarah Wigglesworth.


Deconstruction

Author: Martin McQuillan
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
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First published in 2001. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.


Aesthetic Theory Essential Texts for Architecture and Design

Author: Mark Foster Gage
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
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A collection of pivotal ideas about beauty from throughout history, with an introduction and critical headnotes. This collection of writings on beauty includes selections from twenty key philosophers and theoreticians spanning two millennia: Plato • Aristotle • Vitruvius • Alberti • Kant • Burke • Fiedler • Nietzsche • Wilde • Bergson • Bell • Scott • Benjamin • Bataille • Sontag • Jameson • Scarry • Nehamas • Zangwill • Freedberg and Gallese With an introduction and critical headnotes explaining the importance of each text, Mark Foster Gage offers a framework for a provocative history of ideas about beauty as they relate to contemporary thinking on architecture and design. In a world increasingly defined by sumptuous visuality, the concepts of beauty and visual sensation are not mere intellectual exercises but standards that define the very nature of design practice across disciplines and that are essential to the emerging worlds of design and architecture in the twenty-first century.


The Mental Life of the Architectural Historian

Author: Gevork Hartoonian
Publisher: Cambridge Scholars Publishing
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Starting with the question concerning the discursive formation of architectural history, the chapters compiled in this book attempt to re-read the historiography of early modern architecture from the point of view of the theoretical work produced since the post-war era. Central to the objectives of the argument are the ways in which, firstly, architectural history differs from the traditions of art history, and, secondly, that the historical narrative works its autonomy through theoretical representation, the discursive flow of which is interrupted by the historian’s urge to support arguments with references to buildings, texts, drawings, and historical events. The historians discussed in this volume are those regularly addressed by most critics revisiting modern architectural history. Individual chapters are dedicated to N. Pevsner, H. R. Hitchcock, and S. Giedion, an economy of selection that is formative for a critical understanding of the canon established by these historians. Themes such as periodization, autonomy, and time are discussed, and the coda of the final chapter expands on the scope of “critical historiography” popularised by Kenneth Frampton and Manfredo Tafuri.