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An Introduction to Architectural Theory: 1968 to the Present

ISBN: 978-1-4051-8062-7
286 pages
April 2011, ©2011, Wiley-Blackwell
An Introduction to Architectural Theory: 1968 to the Present (1405180625) cover image


A sharp and lively text that covers issues in depth but not to the point that they become inaccessible to beginning students, An Introduction to Architectural Theory is the first narrative history of this period, charting the veritable revolution in architectural thinking that has taken place, as well as the implications of this intellectual upheaval.
  • The first comprehensive and critical history of architectural theory over the last fifty years
  • surveys the intellectual history of architecture since 1968, including criticisms of high modernism, the rise of postmodern and poststructural theory, critical regionalism and tectonics
  • Offers a comprehensive overview of the significant changes that architectural thinking has undergone in the past fifteen years
  • Includes an analysis of where architecture stands and where it will likely move in the coming years
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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations viii

Prelude: The 1960s 1

Technology and Ecology 3

Social Underpinnings of Modernism 6

1968 11

Part One: 1970s 15

1 Pars Destruens: 1968–1973 17

Venturi and Scott Brown 18

Rossi and Tafuri 23

The Milan Triennale 27

The IAUS and the New York Five 30

2 The Crisis of Meaning 37

Semiotics and Architecture 39

Five on Five 43

Gray and White 45

Variations on a Theme 48

3 Early Postmodernism 53

The Language of Postmodernism 54

Consummation in Venice 57

European Counterpoints 59

4 Modernism Abides 65

The Chicago High-Rise 65

German Engineering 70

British Renaissance 74

Post-Metabolism in Japan 79

The Special Case of Alexander 85

Part Two: 1980s 89

5 Postmodernism and Critical Regionalism 91

Postmodernism Further Defined 91

Postmodernism Opposed 94

Critical Regionalism and Phenomenology 97

Mérida and Venice 102

6 Traditionalism and New Urbanism 108

The Prince of Architecture 108

The Paternoster Controversy 111

Toward a New Urbanism 115

7 Gilded Age of Theory 123

Poststructural Theory 123

Poststructural Architecture 129

Eisenman and Tschumi 131

8 Deconstruction 141

Postmodernism Undefined 142

Gehry 146

The 68ers Come of Age 149

“… a devious architecture …” 154

Part Three: 1990s and Present 159

9 Wake of the Storm 161

Fragments of Fragments 161

From Derrida to Deleuze 164

Geometry and Autonomy 167

The End of the Figure: Manipulated Grounds 171

Form without Rhetoric 174

10 Pragmatism and Post-Criticality 177

OMA 177

The Orange Revolution 185

Post-Criticality 192

11 Minimalisms 194

Materiality and Effects 195

Neo-modernism 205

Phenomenological Architecture 210

12 Sustainability and Beyond 215

The Green Movement 217

McDonough and Yeang 218

Green Urbanism 223

Biophilic Design 226

Neuroaesthetics 229

Notes 231

Acknowledgments 265

Index 266

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Author Information

Harry Francis Mallgrave is Professor of Architecture at Illinois Institute of Technology, and has enjoyed a distinguished career as an award-winning scholar, translator, and architect. His most recent publications include The Architect's Brain (Wiley-Blackwell 2010), Modern Architectural Theory: A Historical Survey, 1673-1968, Architectural Theory Volume I: An Anthology from Vitruvius to 1870 (Wiley-Blackwell 2005) and, with co-editor Christina Contandriopoulos, Architectural Theory Volume II: An Anthology from 1871 to 2005 (Wiley-Blackwell 2008).

David Goodman is Studio Assistant Professor of Architecture at Illinois Institute of Technology and is co-principal of R+D Studio. He has also taught architecture at Harvard University's Graduate School of Design, and Boston Architectural College. His work has appeared in the journal Log, in the anthology Chicago Architecture: Histories, Revisions, Alternatives, and in the Northwestern University Press publication Walter Netsch: A Critical Appreciation and Sourcebook.

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"This book will provide a unique complement to several annotated anthologies covering this material. . . Recommended. Lower-level undergraduates through professionals/practitioners; general readers." (Choice, 1 October 2011)
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