Primitive: Original Matters in Architecture

Overview

This innovative edited collection charts the rise, fall and possible futures of the word primitive.

The word primitive is fundamental to the discipline of architecture in the west, providing a convenient starting point for the many myths of architecture's origins. Since the almost legendary 1970s conference on the Primitive, with the advent of post-modernism and, in particular, post-colonialism, the word has fallen from favour in many disciplines. Despite this, architects ...

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Overview

This innovative edited collection charts the rise, fall and possible futures of the word primitive.

The word primitive is fundamental to the discipline of architecture in the west, providing a convenient starting point for the many myths of architecture's origins. Since the almost legendary 1970s conference on the Primitive, with the advent of post-modernism and, in particular, post-colonialism, the word has fallen from favour in many disciplines. Despite this, architects continue to use the word to mythologize and reify the practice of simplicity.

Primitive includes contributions from some of today’s leading architectural commentators including Dalibor Vesely, Adrian Forty, David Leatherbarrow, Richard Weston and Richard Coyne. Structured around five sections, Negotiating Origins; Urban Myths; Questioning Colonial Constructs; Making Marks; and Primitive Futures, the essays highlight the problematic nature of ideas of the primitive, engage with contemporary debate in the field of post colonialism and respond to a burgeoning interest in the non-expert architecture.

This now controversial subject remains, for better or worse, intrinsic to the very structure of Modernism and deeply embedded in architectural theory. Considering a broad range of approaches, this book provides a rounded past, present and future of the word primitive in the architectural sphere.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415385381
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 10/28/2006
  • Edition description: 1ST
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Jo Odgers is an architect and lecturer at the Welsh School of Architecture, Cardiff University. She previously worked in architectural practice for 15 years. She is currently working on the architecture and writings of John Wood of Bath in relation to the tradition of Occult Philosophy. She is Associate Editor of arq (Cambridge University Press). Her next project (with Flora Samuel) is a book entitled Facades.

Flora Samuel is an architect and senior lecturer at the Welsh School of Architecture, Cardiff University. Co-author, with Sarah Menin, of Nature and Space: Aalto and Le Corbusier and author of Le Corbusier: Architect and Feminist she is currently writing Le Corbusier in Detail as a Leverhulme Fellow. She has a particular interest in the narratives implicit within the construction of buildings and was one of the original initiators of the Primitive conference from which this book has evolved.

Adam Sharr is a lecturer at the Welsh School of Architecture and principal of Adam Sharr Architects, based in Cardiff. His book Heidegger’s Hut will be published by The MIT Press in 2006. He is Associate Editor of arq (Cambridge University Press), editor of made and Joint Secretary of AHRA (Architectural Humanities Research Association).

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Table of Contents


Illustration credits     ix
Notes on contributors     x
Acknowledgements     xvi
Introduction   Jo Odgers   Flora Samuel   Adam Sharr     xvii
Original matters     1
Primitive: the word and concept   Adrian Forty     3
Negotiating origins     15
The primitive as modern problem: invention and crisis   Dalibor Vesely     17
Origins redefined: a tale of pigs and primitive huts   Mari Hvattum     33
The primitive hut: fantasies of survival in an all-white world   Lorens Holm     43
Gottfried Semper's primitive hut: duration, construction and self-creation   Jonathan A. Hale     55
Mineral matters: formation and transformation   Richard Weston     63
Questioning colonial constructs     71
Post-colonizing the primitive   Felipe Hernandez   Lea Knudsen Allen     73
Notes for an alternative history of the primitive hut   Stephen Cairns     86
Reinventing 'primitiveness': Henri Lacoste and the Belgian Congo Pavilion at the 1931 International Colonial Exposition in Paris   Johan Lagae     96
The radicalization of the primitive in Brazilian modernism   Styliane Philippou     108
The need to be critical   Robert Brown     121
Urban myths     125
Practically primitive   David Leatherbarrow     127
Giants and columns   Nicholas Temple     139
The emblematic city: John Wood and the re-founding of Bath   Jo Odgers     150
Alvar Aalto and the primitive suburb   Harry Charrington     166
Metaphorical Manhattan - 'Paradise Lost'   Lorna McNeur     176
Making marks     181
The perception of self-negation in the space of emptiness: the primitive in Tadao Ando's architecture   Jin Baek     183
The 'primitive surface': carving, modelling, marking and transformation   Stephen Kite     194
The modern-day primitive hut? 'Self-building' with Jung, Aalto and Le Corbusier   Flora Samuel   Sarah Menin     207
The wisdom of the sands   Simon Unwin     221
Primitive futures?     227
Digital commerce and the primitive roots of architectural consumption   Richard Coyne     229
Primitive and the everyday: Sergison Bates, Lefebvre and the guilt of architectural expertise   Adam Sharr     240
Heart of Darkness: air of comfort    Helen Mallinson     251
Primitive: from which construction begins   Peter Salter     260
The United Cultures of Britain   CJ Lim     267
Select bibliography     273
Index     279
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