Architectural Principles in the Age of Cybernetics by Christopher Hight

By Christopher Hight

A theoretical historical past of anthropomorphism and share in glossy structure, this quantity brings into concentration the discourse round share with present difficulties of post-humanism in structure along the recent probabilities made to be had via electronic applied sciences.

The e-book examines how the physique and its ordering has served as a imperative website of architectural discourse in fresh many years, in particular in makes an attempt to reformulate architecture’s courting to humanism, modernism and expertise. not easy a few thoughts and different types of architectural historical past and situates present debates inside a broader cultural and technological context, Hight makes advanced principles simply accessible.

Extensively illustrated and written with no educational jargon for an educated yet non-specialized architectural viewers, this ebook elucidates the usually imprecise debates of avant-garde architectural discourse and layout, whereas demonstrating how those debates have affected daily areas and ideas of structure. hence, it is going to entice expert architects, lecturers and scholars, combining because it does an insightful creation to the basic problems with architectural background and concept during the last fifty years with completely new formulations of what that background is and potential.

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Likewise, the repetition of the Vitruvian system at “the level of the unconscious” excludes alternative bodies and subjects. Because architecture participates in the construction of subjectivity, power and gender, ARCHITECTURAL PRINCIPLES IN THE AGE OF CYBERNETICS 39 the opening of architecture to these others is potentially liberating. Thus, Agrest suggests alternative architectural geometries, drawing upon different models of the body that might open architecture to other forms of subjectivity.

Many of these journals are now defunct—indeed ANY was conceived with a built-in expiry date. But through them, post-structuralist theory, new scientific paradigms and computer-aided design were annealed into a formation that continues to proliferate within schools and increasingly influences the design that emerge from professional practices. Such “post-structuralists” are overtly antagonistic to the position represented by Pérez-Gómez and Rykwert and vice versa. ” In turn, the phenomenologists often ridicule the post-structuralists for their continuing reliance upon formalism, Zeitgeists, and instrumental references to science and technology.

In fact, they understand the modernist architectures of the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries as merely extensions of classical humanism. The apparent abstraction and functionalism of Modernism were merely new guises of the classical value system of architecture. In discussing gender, for example, Agrest argues that the Vitruvian tradition extends into modernity and continues to inscribe its phallocentrism into architectural geometry, form and space. While Agrest’s Renaissance enjoyed a rich and continuous examination of sexuality and gender (albeit with the result of repressing the feminine), modern architectural discourse simply naturalized this classical repression and moreover repressed gender altogether with its references to seemingly “objective” and value-free criteria like function, science and construction.

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