Architecture of Thought

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Overview

In Architecture of Thought, Andrzej Piotrowski maps and conceptually explores material practices of the past, showing how physical artifacts and visual environments manifest culturally rooted modes of thought and participate in the most nuanced processes of negotiations and ideological exchanges. According to Piotrowski, material structures enable people to think in new ways—distill emerging or alter existing worldviews—before words can stabilize them as conventional narratives.

Combining design thinking with academic methods of inquiry, Piotrowski traces ancient to modern architectural histories and—through critical readings of select buildings—examines the role of nonverbal exchanges in the development of an accumulated Western identity. Unlike studies that organize around the traditional scheme of periodization in history, Architecture of Thought uses an interdisciplinary approach to investigate a wide spectrum of cultural productions in different times and places.

 

Operating from the assertion that buildings are the most permanent record of unself-conscious beliefs and attitudes, it discusses Byzantium and the West after iconoclasm, the conquest and colonization of Mesoamerica, the Reformation and Counter-Reformation in Eastern Europe, the rise of the culture of consumerism in Victorian England, and High Modernism as its consequence. By moving beyond the assumption that historical structures reflect transcendental values and deterministic laws of physics or economy or have been shaped by self-conscious individuals, Piotrowski challenges the traditional knowledge of what architecture is and can be.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780816673049
  • Publisher: University of Minnesota Press
  • Publication date: 5/4/2011
  • Pages: 408
  • Product dimensions: 7.20 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Andrzej Piotrowski is associate professor in the School of Architecture, University of Minnesota. He is coeditor of The Discipline of Architecture (Minnesota, 2001).

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments Introduction: The Moving Target of Architecture
1. Architecture and Medieval Modalities of Thought
2. Colonization and Symbolic Reality in Mesoamerica
3. Structures of Tolerance and Religious Domination
4. Technologies of Thought in Victorian England
5. High Modernism According to Le Corbusier Closing Remarks: The West Notes Illustration Credits Index

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