We are presenting some interesting ideas from The Plan Journal’s section on Theory. In the first contribution “Toward an Ethical Technique: Reframing Architecture’s ‘Critical Call’ through Hannah Arendt,” the author Paul Holmquist “examines how the critical vocation of architecture might be reclaimed through reconsidering the interrelationship of technique and politics in light of the political philosophy of Hannah Arendt.” In the second contribution “Planning Criticism: Operative Contingencies in the Project of the Italian Tendenza,” the author Pasquale De Paola “analyzes operative theoretical contingencies relative to the ‘project’ of the Italian Tendenza, which is examined as an historical form of ideological criticism of the discipline of architecture and its contentious relationship between intellectual and capitalistic production.” In the third contribution “Crafting the Architectural Measured Drawings,” the author Serra Akboy-İlk explains that “deconstructing the built environment through two-dimensional mediums is a specific way of understanding the world.”
Finally, we learn from CriticAll! (2021).
In the essay “Toward an Ethical Technique: Reframing Architecture’s ‘Critical Call’ through Hannah Arendt,” the author Paul Holmquist writes:
“Implicit in Modern Architecture’s claim to socio-political efficacy was the presumption not only to give expression to the lived reality of modernity, but to transform it through technique. The precise relation between technique and lived reality underlying this claim was perhaps articulated most clearly by Walter Benjamin.”
Paul Holmquist, Hannah Arendt. © The Fred Stein Archive.
Holmquist continues to explain:
“Arendt’s formulation of a fabricated, common world as the pre-condition for politics thus provides a way to reconceive the relationship of technique to human reality invoked by Benjamin in ethical, rather than technical, terms. The human sense of reality is not a given condition for Arendt, but constituted through lived experience with others by virtue of the commonness and publicity of the world.”
In the article “Planning Criticism: Operative Contingencies in the Project of the Italian Tendenza,” the author Pasquale De Paola “explores the ideological and historiographical production of the 1960s and 1970s. This was when the term Rationalism and its theoretical body of work acquired renewed prestige replacing the ephemeral aesthetic of the Modern Movement with a grounded and critical discourse based on Aldo Rossi’s and Massimo Scolari’s position relative to the need for architecture to re-affirm its own statute, in order to free itself from any form of technocratic utopia.”
Pasquale De Paola, Aldo Rossi, with Fabio Reinhart, Bruno Reichlin and Eraldo Consolascio, La città analoga, collage, various materials, 200 cm x 200 cm (6’ 6” x 6’ 6”), 1976. Collezione privata. © Eredi Aldo Rossi, courtesy Fondazione Aldo Rossi.
De Paola continues to explain that:
“questions of interdisciplinarity remain essential toward an understanding of future architectural contingencies, it is only by questioning the status quo of architecture and re-examining its past that a new sense of criticality can be generated.”
In the essay “Crafting the Architectural Measured Drawings,” the author Serra Akboy-İlk explains that “architectural documentation is an intellectual pursuit, where architects are in pursuit of apprehending their surroundings in a way that goes beyond superficial observation and are entitled to produce just more than mediocre representations.”
Serra Akboy-İlk, section drawing of the Statue of Liberty, Liberty Island, Manhattan, New York County, NY (HAER NY,31-NEYO,89- (sheet 35 of 36)). Drawing delineated by Cory Edwards, Ryan Pierce, and Dana Lockett.
“Advanced surveying technologies allow architects to collect accurate base information rapidly and remotely. While increasingly preferred in the documentation practice, these methodologies, however, transform the nature of architects’ immersion in the architectural setting. The manual recording of a building is a reciprocal process where analysis, interpretation, and representation starts in the field when inquirers place a tape measure on the surface. The inquirers instantaneously begin to mediate the essence of the heritage through horizontal and vertical abstraction and to determine the content of the measured drawings.”
CriticAll! (2021) is a compilation of design analyses across design theory, aesthetics and history. The text was edited by Joannette van der Veer. The essays written by Vanessa Brazeau, Lara Chapman, Pete Fung, Iskander Guetta, Adina Glickstein, Judith Leijdekkers, Rosannagh Maddock, Jo Minhinnett, PLSTCTY Studio, Josh Plough, Bessie Rubinstein, Y. Selim, Lauren Thu, Anniek Tijmes, Joannette van der Veer, Vincent van Velsen, Stijn van de Vyver and Zack Wellin are assorted insights ranging from design constructs and environments to objects and systems.
Publisher: Onomatopee Projects
Book Format: Paperback, 124 x 249 mm / 5 x 9.5 in.; 104 pages
Publishing Date: 11/16/2021
To learn more, check out: CriticAll!
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