Differences: Topographies of Contemporary Architecture

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Differences brings together ten essays written over the past decade by the distinguished Spanish architect and theorist Ignasi de Solà-Morales. Many of the essays have never previously been translated, and the author has provided a new introduction especially for this English edition.Contemplating the panorama of contemporary art and architecture, de Solà-Morales posits that there is no one way to describe today's practice; instead he concentrates on elucidating the present dynamic of contrast, diversity, and tension.In an unorthodox pairing, de Solà-Morales derives his inspiration from both phenomenology and Deleuzean poststructuralism. Combining these philosophical inheritances allows him to reinvoke the human subject without referring to classical humanism or announcing the death of the object. His retrospective review of the disciplines of art and architecture,particularly as they have developed since World War II, provokes him to design,draft, and ultimately build a description of Modernism 's lineage of subjectivity.

The result is a provocative construction of fluid "topographies" that articulate,rather than depict, the shaky ground on which our current artistic and architectural production rests.The essays: Sado-masochism: Criticism and Architectural Practice.

Topographies of Contemporary Architecture. Mies van der Rohe and Minimalism.

Architecture and Existentialism. Weak Architecture. From Autonomy to Untimeliness.

Place: Permanence or Production. Difference and Limit: Individualism in Contemporary Architecture. High-Tech: Functionalism or Rhetoric. The Work of Architecture in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction.

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What People Are Saying

From the Publisher
"Following traces that are neither modern nor postmodern, Ignasi deSolà-Morales opens a deterritorialized territory harboring richpossibilities for architectural theory and practice. Philosophicallyastute and critically savvy,Differences resists the fashionableallure of nihilism by discerning creative resources circulating in thechaotic currents of contemporary culture." Mark C.

Taylor, Preston S. Parish Professor of Humanities, Williams College

"Ignasi de Solà-Morales' term starting points perfectlycaptures the light and acute temperament of these essays. With the nimbleease of Deleuzean vectors,these writings start from contemporary practiceand move into fresh horizons of architectural thinking. At a time when mostarchitectural writing seems to fall within either the limits of journalismor the rigorous territories of academic research, this collection of textsdraws an unfrequented path of discourse, a topography that becomes aninvitation to approach architectural ideas through pleasures of reading." Xavier Costa, Head, Department of Architecture,Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona, Spain

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780262540858
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Publication date: 12/4/1996
  • Series: Writing Architecture
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 172
  • Product dimensions: 5.37 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Table of Contents

Subjectifying the Modern
Introduction 3
1 Topographies of Contemporary Architecture 13
2 Miles van der Rohe and Minimalism 29
3 Architecture and Existentialism 41
4 Weak Architecture 57
5 From Autonomy to Untimeliness 73
6 Place: Permanence or Production 93
7 Difference and Limit: Individualism in Contemporary Architecture 107
8 High Tech: Functionalism or Rhetoric 117
9 The Work of Architecture in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction 133
10 Sado-masochism: Criticism and Architectural Practice 139
Bibliography 145
Note on Sources 149
Illustration Credits 151
Index of Names 152
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