ARCH 577 Readings Timeline


The Seven Lamps of Architecture


John Ruskin
Architectural Deceits come in 3 forms:
Suggestion of structure
Painting of surfaces
The use of cast or machine-made ornaments

The City in the Garden


Ebenezer Howard:
3 Magnets - Town, Country, and Town-Country
Raymond Unwin + Barry Parker did the arch
When the population exceeded 32,000 a new city would be formed

How the Other Half Lives


Jacob Riis:
Documented the dismal living conditions in NYC tenaments.
NYC tried to help with ordinances, but was met with resistance by everyone involved

Ornament in Architecture


Louis Sullivan:
Ornament is OK, as long as it is integrated into the design process from the beginning.

The Tall Office Building


Louis Sullivan:
Form ever follows function.
Came up with the model skyscraper.



Henry van de Velde:
Use materials how they are meant to be used.
People need to be both artists and rational thinkers.

Formation of the Modern


Hans Poelzig:
Don't forget about the past but move on to the future in an educated way.
Adapting older structures is ok.
Progress can't be forced, but must come on its own.

Ornament and Crime


Adolf Loos:
Ornament is primitive and not economical.
We as a civilization have outgrown ornament.

Organic Architecture


Frank Lloyd Wright:
Buildings, furnishings, and environments are all part of the building.
All parts of the building work together

Aims of the Werkbund


Hermann Muthesius:
The Arts and Crafts movement has given a new shape to buildings
Modern buildings are brutal and lack culture

Werkbund Thesis and Antithesis


Muthesius & Van de Velde:
Muthesius - standardise the new styles
Van de Velde - standardization should not happen

The Futurist Manifesto


Marinetti & Sant'Ella:
Endorses technology, proper material use, and reasoned plan
Rejects old buildings, classical forms, and using new materials to emulate old ones.

A Programme for Architecture


Bruno Taut:
Architecture should be the driving force behind the betterment of humanity
All public buildings should be picked by anonymous competitions

Manifesto I


De Stijl
The old focuses on the individual & the new focuses on the universal
Traditions, dogmas, and individual pride get in the way of progress

The Problem of a New Architecture


Erich Mendelsohn:
Glass, iron, and concrete provide new opportunities for new forms
New arch. shouldn't draw inspiration from history, but rather from its own vision of space

Staadliches Bauhaus in Weimar


Walter Gropius:
Ultimate aim of all visual arts is the complete building
Art can't be taught but individual crafts can be
Collaboration between arch. and other disciplines required

Work Council for Art


Group formed to "liberate" art and provide it to the masses
Arch. should be an ally to the other arts
Museums should be available to the public

New Ideas on Architecture


Architecture is the expression of man's noblest thoughts
Gothic arch. is the pinnacle of architecture
Exhibitions are good Things

Basic Principles of Constructivism


Naum Gabo/Antoine Pevsner:
Reject solid mass, color, decoration
Buildings should not be plastic, but should convey movement

Towards a New Architecture


Mass - geometrical and mathematical forms are beautiful
Surface - best if divided by direct and simple lines
Plan - "the generator"
Regulating lines bring order to architecture

Working Thesis


Ludwig Mies van der Rohe:
Office buildings should be undivided and made of concrete, iron, and glass
Buildings consist of skin and bones - columns and curtain walls

Guiding principles of town planning


Le Corbusier:
Old towns are unorganized, dirty, and unworthy of the age
Cars and their speed will change the city forever

Five Points Towards a New Architecture


Le Corbusier/ Pierre Jeanneret:
Piloti; Roof Garden; Free plan; Free facade; Horizontal windows

The New Era


Ludwig Mies van der Rohe:
The new era is a fact regardless of our acceptance
We must establish new values for this new era

Young Architecture


Frank Lloyd Wright:
The house is a machine for living but it also has a symbolic meaning
Architects should not box up spaces
Modern architecture is married to the ground
Interior space is as vital as the exterior

Charter of Athens


4 Keys to Planning: Housing, work, recreation, traffic
All dimensions of the city must be based on the human scale
Strict zoning

The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction


Walter Benjamin:
Technology has enabled the reproduction of art but has diminished the aura that surrounds artwork

Order Is


Louis Khan:
Geometric design and order are at the heart of architecture
There is little collaboration between architects - holding back arch.

The Future of the Past


Sibyl Moholy-Nagy
Modernists disregard history and precedent
2nd Gen. modernists emphasize structure, precedent, regionalism

The Death and Life of the Great American Cities


Jane Jacobs:
Main Ideas contradictory to Robert Moses
4 generators of diversity: mixed use, short city blocks, buildings of different ages, concentration of urban population

Saarinen (Perspecta 7)


Eero Saarinen:
International Style is too simple
Function & Structure is in the Zeitgeist
Building partis should be all-encompasing

On the Typology of Architecture


Giulio Carlo Argan:
The search for type establishes a connection with history and gives architecture legitimacy
Type allows for a base design and thus variations upon it.

Social Pressures on Informal Groups


Leon Festinger:
A study on human interactions and the factors that drove them
He related physical structure to the formation of friendships
2 Factors - Physical distance and positional relationships

Complexity and Contradiction


Robert Venturi:
Advocates complexity and rejects the glass box - less is a bore
Arch. should not oversimplify everything, should solve all problems at once
Rejects the free plan and advocates "things within things" plan.

House form and Culture


Amos Rapoport:
Vernacular architecture acts as context to the high style buildings
Vernacular buildings have a type which can be altered as needed
Vernacular buildings are best analyzed by construction techniques

Contextualism: Urban Ideals + Deformtions


Thomas Schumcher:
Buildings should adapt to their context
A balance between a traditional city and a modern one is needed

A&P Parking Lots or Learning from Las Vegas


Venturi & Scott-Brown
Architecture is influenced by the speed of the car
Advocates the use of the 'decorated shed" over the "duck"
An architecture of communication over an architecture of space

Collage City


Collin Rowe:
Collage is the ideal way to make a city
Cities should remind us of the past but look towards the future
Foxes vs Hedgehogs

Collage City: Utopia - Decline and Fall?


Collin Rowe:
Classical utopias are meant to be ideas
Activist utopias are meant to be built
Modernist architecture tried to achieve utopia, but failed.

The Tell-the-Tale Detail


Marco Frascari:
Architecture is the result of details which add meaning
Tectonics unify the tangible and intangible
The joint is the beginning of ornament

Prospects for a Critical Regionalism


Kenneth Frampton:
Design should respond to local social, political, economical, and environmental problems and conditions
Design should be regional, not universal

Three Kinds of Historicism


Alan Colquhoun:
HIstoricism studies institutions in their historical context
Arch. should use history to guide design but improve upon it.
History should be viewed subjectively to be properly examined

Rappel a l'Ordre, the Case for Tectonics


Kenneth Frampton:
Arch. has been reduced to scenography
Tectonics have been lost as an art and need to be brought back.
Arch. forms should embody structure and vice-versa

Architecture without Architects


Bernard Rudofsky:
Vernacular architecture is not built by designers, but rather by laymen to meet their needs.

Creating Architectural Theory


Jon Lang:
Positive theory says how the world is
Normative theory says how the world should be
Positive can lead to normative
Normative theory should be questioned and improved upon

The Phenomenon of Place


Christian Norberg-Schulz:
Phenomenology makes architecture meaningful
Introduces genius loci - the spirit of the place

The City of Dreadful Night


Peter Hall:
Chronicles the slum problem in urban areas
Europe - public housing solution
America - private sector
Solutions proposed because of fire, decease, real estate prices

The Condition of Postmodernity


David Harvey:
Postmodernism stresses individualism and piecework solutions
Modernism stresses universal solutions and a top-down approach
Postmodernism accepts fragmentation, individuality, chaos, and anarchy.
Postmodernism is a collage of fragments within a single space

For an Architecture of Reality


Michail Benedikt:
Presence, Significance, Materiality, Emptiness
The world is important because of itself and doesn't need symbolism

Architectural Curvilinearity: The Folded, the Pliant, and the Supple


Greg Lynn:
Folding structures are heterogeneous and satisfy both the theoretical and practical needs of today's designers.
Folding allows buildings to relate to their neighbors through reflections

The Art and Practice of Building Communities


Schneekloth & Shibley:
Placemaking should include users and builders as well as designers
Similar and related to critical regionalism

Theorizing a New Agenda for Arch.


Kate Nesbit:
Theory poses alternative solutions to the status quo
Theory is biased, unlike the facts of history
Architects often place too much emphasis on theory

Global Transformation


Held and McGrew:
Globalization - interconnectedness of economies, politics, and ideas of the world that is changing the notion of nation-states.
Transformationalists - nation-states hold power over their borders, but it's not absolute. Globalization drives change in the world.
Hyperglobalists - nation-states are unnatural, they claim that a truly global civilization will arise.
Globalization is a historical process that can be traced centuries back.



Digital narratives are frequently utopian, socialist, and futurist
Computer skills are similar to craft skills, writing, and publishing.
Digital narratives are disembodied, not physical

Scale and Span in a Global Digital World


Digital and non-digital are not exclusive
Counters the argument that digitalization will eliminate architecture

Global Dimensions


Skeptic of globalization says that its neither good nor bad and that the nation-state is resilient but not dead
Globalization is blurring the concepts of space and place
Economic, political, and cultural processes shape globalization

An Intro to Arch. Theory


Postmodernism responded to individual problems - everyone has a voice; one universal solution no longer adequate; no meta-narrative
1968 - Pivotal year for social events.

Modernism Abides


Modernism didn't die out in the 1970s. It was still used in large-scale commercial projects
Shows examples of tech and engineering driving aesthetics.



The world is made of boundaries pierced by network access points
In the digital world, destinations outweigh the journey of the message - who cares where email is in between inboxes
You no longer have a home turf, you are always connected

American Modernism


The American skyscraper drove the European imagination
Skyscrapers were not generally modernist buildings
NYC had taller buildings due to better soil conditions
1916 NYC Zoning Code; Chicago Tribune competition

Construction a New Agenda for Arch. Theory


No prevailing theory since modernism
Postmodernists realized that architecture can't change the world
Theory is getting replaced by practice

The Poverty of Postmodernism


Tim Dean:
Postmodernism is an obsolete idea with a convoluted language
Claims subjectivity, but opinions are driven by media, politics, etc