Theoretical Meltdown / Edition 1

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If the 20th century can be characterised by theories and manifestoes, which emanated across every sphere of life from politics to the fine arts, the beginning of the 21st century can be distinguished by its very break from theory. This effective ‘theoretical meltdown’ has manifested itself in a period of uncertainty, which can be perceived in the way disciplines coalesce with each other and blur their parameters: fine art becoming indistinct from advertising imagery; architecture incorporating communication techniques; and sculpture dealing with living spaces; while architecture reshapes fragments of the natural environment. 

  • The issue topically calls the contemporary situation in architecture to account.
  • Features writings by and interviews with some of the most remarkable protagonists of the debate: Ole Bouman, Ricardo Diller & Elizabeth Scofidio, Neil Leach, Bernard Tschumi and Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown.
  • Acts as a barometer to architectural design, inviting 10 international critics to highlight the most relevant current work.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780470997796
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 2/24/2009
  • Series: Architectural Design Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 136
  • Product dimensions: 8.20 (w) x 10.70 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Luigi Prestinenza Puglisi is an architectural writer and critic. He teaches contemporary architectural history at ‘La Sapienza’ University of Rome. He writes for Domus, The Plan, L’Arca, Abitare and AD, is the Italian correspondent for A10 (The Netherlands), Monument (Australia) and The Architects’ Newspaper (US), and an editor at Le Carré Bleu. He is the director of the weekly presS/Tletter ( and curator of numerous exhibitions and events. His many books include HyperArchitecture (Testo&Immagine & Birkhäuser, 1998), Antonio Citterio (Edilstampa, 2005), Dieci Anni di architettura: 1996–2006 (Prospettive edizioni, 2006) and New Directions in Contemporary Architecture (John Wiley, 1988). He was also guest-editor of AD Italy: A New Architectural Landscape (2007).

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Anything Goes (Luigi Prestinenza Puglisi).

Theory in Architecture XIII to XX Century (Francesco Proto).

A Short History of Western Architecture from Vitruvius to Rem Koolhaas (Francesco Proto).

Critic's Focus: junya.ishigami+associates (Joseph Grima).

Evaporating Theory: An Interview with Yves Michaud (Luigi Prestinenza Puglisi).

Critic's Focus: muf architecture/art (Claes Sörstedt).

Twenty Years After (Deconstructivism) An Interview with Bernard Tschumi (Michele Costanzo).

Critic's Focus: Nábito Arquitectura (Manuel Gausa).

Digital Morphogenesis (Neil Leach).

Critic's Focus: Atelier Kempe Thill (Hans Ibelings).

Meeting the New Boss: After the Death of Theory (Christopher Hight).

Critic's Focus: Josep Lluís Mateo/MAP Architects (Krunoslav Ivanisin).

The Life of Space (Derrick de Kerckhove and Antonio Tursi).

Critic's Focus: (ecosistema urbano) (Roman Rutkowski and Lukasz Wojciechowski).

Architecture as a Dissident Practice An Interview with Diller Scofidio + Renfro (Olympia Kazi).

Critic's Focus: Supersudaca (Carlos Sant' Ana).

Club Cinemetrics: New Post-Perspectival Design Methodologies (Brian McGrath, Hsueh, Cheng Leun, Paul CHU Hoi Shan, José De Jesús Zamora and Victoria Marshall).

Critic's Focus: Stalker/ON (Peter Lang).

That Old Thing Called Flexibility: An interview with Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown (Francesco Proto).

Critic's Focus: The Center for urban Pedagogy (CUP) (Bill Menking).

Spaces of Freedom (Emiliano Gandolfi).

'To Go Beyond or Not to Be' Unsolicited Architecture: An Interview with Ole Bouman (Luca Guido).

Critic's Focus: MAD (Jiang Jun).

Cross the River by Touching the Stones: Chinese Architecture and Political Economy in the Reform Era: 1978-2008 (Tao Zhu).

Critic's Focus: Exit Ltd (Shumon Basar).

Some Conclusions Liberating Ourselves from the Tyranny of Architecture (Luigi Prestinenza Puglisi).

A Not So Well-Reasoned: Bibliography (Francesco Proto).

Interior Eye: WORK Architecture Company's Diane von Furstenberg Studio, New York (Jayne Merkel).

Building Profile: Vassall Road Housing and Healthcare Centre, Brixton, London (David Littlefield).

Practice Profile: 51% Studios (Howard Watson).

Spiller's Bite: What Are You Looking At (Neil Spiller)?

Unit Factor: Algorithmic Design (Maria Bessa).

Yeang's Eco-Files: Nanoenergy (Ken Yeang).

McLean's Nuggets (Will McLean).

Userscape: Investigating Culture Through the Senses (Valentina Croci).

Site Lines: Baroque Parameters (Andrew Saunders).

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