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Forty Ways to Think About Architecture: Architectural History and Theory Today

ISBN: 978-1-118-82261-6
280 pages
August 2014
Forty Ways to Think About Architecture: Architectural History and Theory Today (1118822617) cover image

Description

How do we think about architecture historically and theoretically? Forty Ways to Think about Architecture provides an introduction to some of the wide-ranging ways in which architectural history and theory are being approached today.

The inspiration for this project is the work of Adrian Forty, Professor of Architectural History at the Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London (UCL), who has been internationally renowned as the UK’s leading academic in the discipline for 40 years. Forty’s many publications, notably Objects of Desire (1986), Words and Buildings (2000) and Concrete and Culture (2012), have been crucial to opening up new approaches to architectural history and theory and have helped to establish entirely new areas of study. His teaching at The Bartlett has enthused a new generation about the exciting possibilities of architectural history and theory as a field.

This collection takes in a total of 40 essays covering key subjects, ranging from memory and heritage to everyday life, building materials and city spaces. As well as critical theory, philosophy, literature and experimental design, it refers to more immediate and topical issues in the built environment, such as globalisation, localism, regeneration and ecologies. Concise and engaging entries reflect on architecture from a range of perspectives.

Contributors include eminent historians and theorists from elsewhere – such as Jean-Louis Cohen, Briony Fer, Hilde Heynen, Mary McLeod, Griselda Pollock, Penny Sparke and Anthony Vidler – as well as Forty’s colleagues from the Bartlett School of Architecture including Iain Borden, Murray Fraser, Peter Hall, Barbara Penner, Jane Rendell and Andrew Saint. Forty Ways to Think about Architecture also features contributions from distinguished architects, such as Tony Fretton, Jeremy Till and Sarah Wigglesworth, and well-known critics and architectural writers, such as Tom Dyckhoff, William Menking and Thomas Weaver. Many of the contributors are former students of Adrian Forty.

Through these diverse essays, readers are encouraged to think about how architectural history and theory relates to their own research and design practices, thus using the work of Adrian Forty as a catalyst for fresh and innovative thinking about architecture as a subject.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements 7

Introduction 8

Adrian Forty, Future Imperfect: Inaugural Professorial Lecture, delivered at UCL in December 2000 17

1 ANDREW SAINT, How To Write About Buildings? 33

2 ANNE HULTZSCH, Pevsner vs Colomina: Word and Image on the Page 36

3 ANTHONY VIDLER, Smooth and Rough: Tactile Brutalism 43

4 BARBARA PENNER, Homely Affi nities 48

5 BEN CAMPKIN, On Regeneration 54

6 BRIAN STATER, Fresh Reactions to St Paul’s Cathedral 60

7 BRIONY FER, Photographs and Buildings (mainly) 65

8 DAVID DUNSTER, Stirling’s Voice: A Detailed Suggestion 72

9 DAVIDE DERIU, Carte Blanche? 77

10 ELEANOR YOUNG, Buildings: A Reader’s Guide 83

11 GRISELDA POLLOCK, The City and the Event: Disturbing, Forgetting and Escaping Memory 89

12 HILDE HEYNEN, The Most Modern Material Of Them All … 95

13 IAIN BORDEN, ‘Things that People Cannot Anticipate’: Skateboarding at the Southbank Centre 100

14 IRENA ŽANTOVSKÁ MURRAY, ‘Truth, Love, Life’: Building with Language in Prague Castle under Masaryk 106

15 JAN BIRKSTED, Le Corbusier: Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics 112

16 JANE RENDELL, During Breakfast 119

17 JEAN-LOUIS COHEN, [American] Objects of [Soviet] Desire 127

18 JEREMY MELVIN, Words and Buildings 134

19 JEREMY TILL, Slow Hard Look 140

20 JOE KERR, Topography, Biography and Architecture 144

21 JOHN MACARTHUR, Of Character and Concrete: The Historian’s Material 150

22 JONATHAN CHARLEY, Spectres of Marx in City X 155

23 JONATHAN HILL, History by Design 163

24 KESTER RATTENBURY, Angel Place: A Way in to Dickens’s London 168

25 LAURENT STALDER, On ‘Sachlichkeit’: Some Additional Remarks on an Anglo-German Encounter 174

26 MARK SWENARTON, Double Vision 180

27 MARY MCLEOD, Modernism 185

28 MICHAEL EDWARDS, Yes, And We Have No Dentists 193

29 MURRAY FRASER, Reyner Banham’s Hat 197

30 PEG RAWES, Situated Architectural Historical Ecologies 204

31 PENNY SPARKE, Objects 210

32 SIR PETER HALL, Richard Llewelyn Davies, 1912–1981: A Lost Vision for The Bartlett 214

33 SARAH WIGGLESWORTH, Things Ungrand 220

34 TANIA SENGUPTA, ‘Minor’ Spaces in Officers’ Bungalows of Colonial Bengal 224

35 THOMAS WEAVER, Memoirs of Adrian 235

36 TOM DYCKHOFF, All That Glitters 239

37 TONY FRETTON, A Response to Words and Buildings 243

38 VICTORIA PERRY, Material Culture: ‘Manchester of the East’, Le Corbusier, Eames and Indian Jeans 249

39 WILLIAM MENKING, Mr Mumford’s Neighbourhood 254

40 YAT MING LOO, Banyan Tree and Migrant Cities: Some Provisional Thoughts for a Strategic Postcolonial Cosmopolitanism 259

Author Biographies 266

Index 275

Photo credits 280

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Author Information

Iain Borden is Professor of Architecture and Urban Culture at the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL, where he is also Director of Architectural History & Theory and the Vice-Dean of Communications for the wider Bartlett Faculty of the Built Environment.

Murray Fraser is Professor of Architecture and Global Culture at the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL, where he acts as the Vice-Dean of Research for the Bartlett Faculty of the Built Environment.

Barbara Penner is Senior Lecturer in Architectural History at the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL, where she is Programme Director for both the PhD Architectural History & Theory and BSc Architectural and Interdisciplinary Studies.

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Press Release

July 18, 2014
Forty Ways To Think About Architecture

Forty Ways To Think About Architecture provides an introduction to some of the wide-ranging ways in which architectural history and theory are being approached today.

The inspiration for this project is the work of Adrian Forty, Professor of Architectural History at the Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London (UCL), who has been internationally renowned as the UK’s leading academic in the discipline for 40 years.

Forty’s many publications, notably Objects of Desire (1986), Words and Buildings (2000) and Concrete and Culture (2012), have been crucial to opening up new approaches to architectural history and theory and have helped to establish entirely new areas of study. His teaching at The Bartlett has enthused a new generation about the exciting possibilities of architectural history and theory as a field.

Forty Ways To Think About Architecture is a collection of 40 essays covering key subjects, ranging from memory and heritage to everyday life, building materials and city spaces. As well as critical theory, philosophy, literature and experimental design, it refers to more immediate and topical issues in the built environment, such as globalisation, localism, regeneration and ecologies. Concise and engaging entries reflect on architecture from a range of perspectives.

Contributors include eminent historians and theorists – such as Jean-Louis Cohen, Briony Fer, Hilde Heynen, Mary McLeod, Griselda Pollock, Penny Sparke and Anthony Vidler – as well as Forty’s colleagues from the Bartlett School of Architecture including Iain Borden, Murray Fraser, Peter Hall, Barbara Penner, Jane Rendell and Andrew Saint.

Forty Ways To Think About Architecture also features contributions from distinguished architects, such as Tony Fretton, Jeremy Till and Sarah Wigglesworth, and well-known critics and architectural writers, such as Tom Dyckhoff, William Menking and Thomas Weaver.

Through these diverse essays, readers are encouraged to think about how architectural history and theory relates to their own research and design practices, thus using the work of Adrian Forty as a catalyst for fresh and innovative thinking about architecture.

Forty Ways To Think About Architecture is available wherever books are sold priced £24.99.

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 Notes to editors:

  • Review copies and jacket images are available on request
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