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An Introduction to Architectural Theory: 1968 to the Present

ISBN: 978-1-4051-8063-4
288 pages
April 2011, Wiley-Blackwell
An Introduction to Architectural Theory: 1968 to the Present (1405180633) 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.

Prelude: The 1960s.

Technology and Ecology.

Social Underpinnings of Modernism.


Part I: 1970s.

1. Pars Destruens: 1968–1973.

Venturi and Scott Brown.

Rossi and Tafuri.

The Milan Triennale.

The IAUS and the New York Five.

2. The Crisis of Meaning.

Semiotics and Architecture.

Five on Five.

Gray and White.

Variations on a Theme.

3. Early Postmodernism.

The Language of Postmodernism.

Consummation in Venice.

European Counterpoints.

4. Modernism Abides.

The Chicago High-Rise.

German Engineering.

British Renaissance.

Post-Metabolism in Japan.

The Special Case of Alexander.

Part II: 1980s.

5. Postmodernism and Critical Regionalism.

Postmodernism Further Defined.

Postmodernism Opposed.

Critical Regionalism and Phenomenology.

Mérida and Venice.

6. Traditionalism and New Urbanism.

The Prince of Architecture.

The Paternoster Controversy.

Toward a New Urbanism.

7. Gilded Age of Theory.

Poststructural Theory.

Poststructural Architecture.

Eisenman and Tschumi.

8. Deconstruction.

Postmodernism Undefined.


The 68ers Come of Age.

". . . a devious architecture . . ."

Part III: 1990s and Present:

9. Wake of the Storm.

Fragments of Fragments.

From Derrida to Deleuze.

Geometry and Autonomy.

The End of the Figure: Manipulated Grounds.

Form without Rhetoric.

10. Pragmatism and Post-Criticality.


The Orange Revolution.


11. Minimalisms.

Materiality and Effects.


Phenomenological Architecture.

12. Sustainability and Beyond.

The Green Movement.

McDonough and Yeang.

Green Urbanism.

Biophilic Design.





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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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