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In recent years architectural discourse has witnessed a renewed interest in materiality under the guise of such familiar tropes as 'material honesty,' 'form finding,' or 'digital materiality.' Motivated in part by the development of new materials and an increasing integration of designers in fabricating architecture, a proliferation of recent publications from both practice and academia explore the pragmatics of materiality and its role as a protagonist of architectural form. Yet, as the ethos of material pragmatism gains more popularity, theorizations about the poetic imagination of architecture continue to recede. Compared to an emphasis on the design of visual form in architectural practice, the material imagination is employed when the architect 'thinks matter, dreams in it, lives in it, or, in other words, materializes the imaginary.' As an alternative to a formal approach in architectural design, this book challenges readers to rethink the reverie of materials in architecture through an examination of historical precedent, architectural practice, literary sources, philosophical analyses and everyday experience. Focusing on matter as the premise of an architect’s imagination, each chapter identifies and graphically illustrates how material imagination defines the conceptual premises for making architecture.
Material Imagination in Architecture draws on history and the visual arts, and contemporary architecture to explore this popular theme in architectural practice and education. In the context of a discipline increasingly driven by digital production, this text explores architecture and making and the diverse influences on the material reality of architectural form: it argues that the crafts, fabrication and assemblage of its making remain vital elements of contemporary architectural language. This broad-ranging text bridges the gap between a technical or otherwise fragmentary knowledge of materials of the specialist, and the tacit or instinctive understanding of materials that the artist, sculptor or architect may have. It identifies key material themes pertinent to contemporary architectural debate and develops a discourse about future practice that is framed by environmental imperatives and grounded in a historical understanding of the meaning and use of materials. Material iconology in architecture is a well-established tradition and this book draws on that background to investigate the possibilities, and limits, of using materials in contemporary design to communicate the themes and contexts of an architectural project, a material’s relationship to context, and to the history of practices that belong to the traditions of making buildings. Each theme is explored in case studies from twelve countries around the world, including the UK, USA, Spain, Italy, Germany, Australia and China.
Covering 250 years of design tools and technologies, this book reveals how architects have produced the drawings, models, renderings and animations which show us the promise of what might be built.
In The Emerald City, Dan Willis takes us on a flight of imagination that paradoxically never strays far from the most tangible, even intimate subjects. His essays range from the Tower of Babel to the Wizard of Oz, from Christo to Christmas trees, from the "lightness of being" to the "weight of architecture." This ultimately optimistic book suggests that architecture is as vital as ever: "It is tempting to say that our present cultural situation...has rendered architecture nearly impossible if not unnecessary. But it is also possible to look to what our lives, at the turn of the millennium, typically lack-fulfillment, spirituality, a sense of belonging, weight-and to conclude that the ground for architecture has never been more fertile. The texts-intelligent and readable-draw equally from literary sources, architectural practice, philosophical analyses, pop culture, and everyday experiences. Willis's perspective as a writer, architect, artist, and teacher informs his work; his texts are at once reflective and proactive, as they challenge readers to rethink their participation in the built environment. Accompanying the text are the author's original illustrations, which link the forms and forces surrounding architecture at the end of the twentieth century in novel, thought-provoking ways.
"Originally published as Volume 39, Issue 4 of Art History."
The thirteen essays in this collection include historical subjects as well as speculative theoretical "projects" that blur conventional boundaries between history and fiction. Ricardo Castro provides an original reading of the Kogi culture in Colombia; Maria Karvouni explores philological and architectonic connections between the Greek demas (the political individual) and domus (the house); Mark Rozahegy speculates on relationships between architecture and memory; Myriam Blais discusses technical inventions by sixteenth-century French architect Philibert de l'Orme; Alberto Pérez-Gómez examines the late sixteenth-century reconstruction of the Temple of Jerusalem by Juan Bautista Villalpando; Janine Debanné offers a new perspective on Guarino Guarini's Chapel of the Holy Shroud in Turin; Katja Grillner examines the early seventeenth-century writings of Salomon de Caus and his built work in Heidelberg; David Winterton reflects on Charles-François Viel's "Letters"; Franca Trubiano looks at Jean-Jacques Lequeu's controversial Civil Architecture; Henrik Reeh considers the work of Sigfried Kracauer, a disciple of Walter Benjamin; Irena ðantovská Murray reflects on work by artist Jana Sterbak; artist Ellen Zweig presents a textual project that demonstrates the charged poetic space created by film makers such as Antonioni and Hitchcock; and Swedish writer and architect Sören Thurell asks a riddle about architecture and its mimetic origins. The essays in this volume demonstrate a reconciliatory architecture that respects cultural differences, acknowledges the globalization of technological culture, and points to a referent other than itself.
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