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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.
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.' 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.
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.
"Originally published as Volume 39, Issue 4 of Art History."
This edited collection addresses the vital role of the imagination in the critical interpretation of architectural representations. By challenging the contemporary tendency for computer-aided drawings to become mere ‘models’ for imitation in the construction of buildings, the articles explore the broader range of methods and meanings at stake in the creation and interpretation of architectural drawings, models, images and artefacts. These critical – and often practice-led – investigations are placed alongside a range of historical studies considering the development of representational techniques such as perspective, orthography and diagramming. By also addressing the use of visual representation in a number of related disciplines such as visual arts, film, performance and literature, the book opens up debates in architecture to important developments in other fields. This book is key reading for all students of architecture and architectural theory.
Films use architecture as visual shorthand to tell viewers everything they need to know about the characters in a short amount of time. Illustrated by a diverse range of films from different eras and cultures, this book investigates the reciprocity between film and architecture. Using a phenomenological approach, it describes how we, the viewers, can learn how to read architecture and design in film in order to see the many inherent messages. Architecture’s representational capacity contributes to the plausibility or 'reality' possible in film. The book provides an ontological understanding that clarifies and stabilizes the reciprocity of the actual world and a filmic world of illusion and human imagination, thereby shedding light on both film and architecture.

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