An Introduction to Architectural Theory

An Introduction to Architectural Theory : 1968 to the Present

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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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Product details

  • Paperback | 286 pages
  • 152 x 226 x 16mm | 421.84g
  • Wiley-Blackwell (an imprint of John Wiley & Sons Ltd)
  • Chicester, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1. Auflage
  • 1405180625
  • 9781405180627
  • 279,950

Back cover copy

An Introduction to Architectural Theory is the first comprehensive and critical history of architectural theory over the last forty years. Mallgrave employs the words theory and architecture in a broad sense--the latter encompassing aspects of urban planning, structural, and landscape design, while theory too is often indistinguishable from practice. The text surveys the intellectual history of architecture since 1968, including criticisms of high modernism, the rise of postmodern and poststructural theory, critical regionalism and tectonics, and the significant changes that architectural thinking has undergone in the past fifteen years, concluding with an analysis of where architecture stands and where it will likely move in the coming years.

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.
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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


Merida 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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Review Text

"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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Review quote

"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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About Harry Francis Mallgrave

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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