Negation of the Centered Bourgeois Subject

The bourgeois humanist conception of the creating or viewing subject is one of a free, active, autonomous, and unified personality appropriate for the freedoms of an emergent capitalist society and the formal ideologies of humanism reinforce this self-created signification. But industrial capitalism also engenders acute anxieties deriving from the chaotic metropolitan experience, and these challenge the viability of such a conception. In order to criticize and dismantle the humanist subject and...

New Realism Decentered Subject Experiences Totality

Under these circumstances, the function of a new realism would be clear to resist the power of reification in consumer society and to reinvent that category of totality which, systematically undermined by existential fragmentation on all levels of life and social organization today, can alone project structural relations between classes as well as class struggles in other countries, in what has increasingly become a world system. Such a conception of realism would incorporate what was always...

Postmodernism Cultural Studies and Textualization

Depending upon the intellectual domain, textualization is codified by a number of names. For example, historian Bryan Palmer warns of the linguistic turn in the writing of history. As he writes in Descent into Discourse The Reification of Language and the Writing of Social History, language has become the essential ground within which social life is embedded.98 Palmer finds this problematic, arguing that language is reified and thus placed beyond social, economic, and political relations, which...

Rethinking Whom to Educate

Architectural education does not train students to be advocates of their ideas. In school, architectural initiates generally present their design ideas to other architects, who frequently dodge or fudge questions of how money, legislation, politics, and sociology will shape implementation of their proposals. When architectural students then enter the commercial realm and discover their lowly status, they do not have the skills or experience to initiate their ideas. Too often they join the fray...

Power of Place Los Angeles

In 1983, a group of architects, planners, preservationists, historians, and designers formed a nonprofit corporation to commemorate sites in Los Angeles indicative of the city's multiethnic history. Known as Power of Place,75 the corporation was established by Dolores Hayden and sought to help everyone recall and remember the contributions made by ethnically diverse populations to the built and natural landscape of L.A. Building on recent advances in American social history, and helped by a...

Masters of the Organic

Probably the two greatest influences on architectural theory during the first half of the twentieth century, Frank Lloyd Wright and Le Corbusier, each had a more than casual interest in natural factors. Luis Fern ndez Galiano attributes this not solely to the moral imperative of environmentalism but to the transcendent metaphysical function of energy in the conception of architecture that had particular appeal to the mythopoeic methods of both architects.62 Despite their mutual interest in...

Notes

None look at him through the prism of gender as a midwestern-bred white male working in a world privileging whiteness and masculinity. In a brief chapter, architectural historian David Van Zanten initiates a gender analysis of Wright's early life and work. Sociologist Michael Kimmel refers to an upcoming biography of Frank Lloyd Wright from the perspective of masculinity. See David van Zanten, Frank Lloyd Wright's Kindergarten Professional Practice and Sexual Roles, in Ellen Perry Berkeley and...

The Ecology Question

Peter Calthorpe

Despite the technical and biological issues concerning architecture and ecology, the attempt to restore the ecological balance of the biosphere can be viewed as having profound social relevance. In effect the very means for exploiting and con trolling the natural environment are no different from those that have been used to exploit and control the social one. The Ecology Question in current architectural discourse is analogous to The Housing Question formulated by Engels during the nineteenth...

An Architecture of Mind and Body

Philosopher and educator John Dewey spent his life combating the tendency of educators to divorce mind from body and reason from emotion. But this separation tendency is part of a larger contemporary Western pattern of separation of mind and body in various institutions and settings. While architectural theorists today are abuzz with talk of architecture and body invaders, or bodybuildings, some architects are making efforts to not simply anthropomorphize, but to create an architecture that...

Slavery

The physical manifestation of racial separation and domination becomes an important starting point in understanding the African American experience and its relation to architecture. The architecture and the planning of slavery most clearly reveal racial impacts on our built environments. Looking at the system of slavery, we can see how attitudes toward racial differences generated opportunities and structured design ideas for artisan-slaves and those who stole their labor. In a perverse way,...

The Solar Stigmata of the Ecology Movement

There is an ironic serendipity in the proliferation of solar collectors, attached to buildings with functionalist conviction in the 1970s, and the deconstructivist taste for fragmentation in the 1980s, when an aesthetic based on dismembered bits of metal trusses that could have carried solar panels but didn't was widely admired. (A synthesis finally occured when the Benisch & Partner office hired a designer from Coop Himmelblau to work on the Hysolar Institute in Stuttgart in 1988 and placed...

Catholic University of Louvain Atelier Lucien Kroll

Lucien Kroll

In 1969 an extraordinary experiment in architecture began under the leadership of Belgian architect Lucien Kroll. The Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium was expanding its medical school in the outskirts of Brussels. Kroll's entry into the project came one year after the university had already relocated some facilities. Constructed were a large hospital, support facilities, and residential buildings in an architectural style and spatial arrangement that were uncreative, rigid, and...