Style: In Defence Of... Parametricism

Machine Books
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This series is about style.

Philosopher Georg Lukacs described the style of a piece of work as the attempt to reproduce one's view of the world within it. Looked at in this way, he says, style ceases to be a formalistic category but rather, “it is rooted in content; it is the specific form of a specific content.” After all, style is not technique, but ought to convey an intention. Sociologist Georg Simmel said that style is the aesthetic attempt to provide a “unifying encompassing context”.

This series is about the content and context of style.

Undoubtedly, it will irritate and enthuse but it is intended to be a fillip for our contemporary era in which style is often equated with fashion - where style can be dismissed in order to avoid dealing with its essence. Therefore these essays are not style over substance, but the very substance of style.

The De Stijl manifesto of 1918 argued that the liberal arts should engage in a dialogue to create a new “wisdom of life”. The robustness of these essays suggests that such an ambition still resonates. Such an exchange can still appear vital and captivating.

Each Style: In Defence Of… confronts us with new ideas for contemplation and critique. We hope that minds might be open to critically engage with each of these polemical bulletins. In so doing, we might reasonably formulate what we stand for.

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About the author

Patrik Schumacher is a partner at Zaha Hadid Architects

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Additional Information

Machine Books
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Published on
Aug 25, 2015
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Architecture / General
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Take a theoretical approach to architecture with The Autopoiesisof Architecture, which presents the topic as a discipline withits own unique logic. Architecture's conception of itself isaddressed as well as its development within wider contemporarysociety.

Author Patrik Schumacher offers innovative treatment thatenriches architectural theory with a coordinated arsenal ofconcepts facilitating both detailed analysis and insightfulcomparisons with other domains, such as art, science and politics.He explores how the various modes of communication comprisingarchitecture depend upon each other, combine, and form a uniquesubsystem of society that co-evolves with other importantautopoietic subsystems like art, science, politics and theeconomy.

The first of two volumes that together present a comprehensiveaccount of architecture's autopoiesis, this book elaborates thetheory of architecture?s autopoeisis in 8 parts, 50 sections and200 chapters. Each of the 50 sections poses a thesis drawing acentral message from the insights articulated within the respectivesection. The 200 chapters are gathering and sorting the accumulatedintelligence of the discipline according to the new conceptualframework adopted, in order to catalyze and elaborate the newformulations and insights that are then encapsulated in the theses.However, while the theoretical work in the text of the chaptersrelies on the rigorous build up of a new theoretical language, thetheses are written in ordinary language ? with the theoreticalconcepts placed in brackets. The full list of the 50 theses affordsa convenient summary printed as appendix at the end of thebook.

The second volume completes the analysis of the discourse andfurther proposes a new agenda for contemporary architecture inresponse to the challenges and opportunities that confrontarchitectural design within the context of current societal andtechnological developments.

This is the second part of a major theoretical work by PatrikSchumacher, which outlines how the discipline of architectureshould be understood as its own distinct system ofcommunication. Autopoeisis comes from the Greek andmeans literally self-production; it was first adopted in biology inthe 1970s to describe the essential characteristics of life as acircular self-organizing system and has since been transposed intoa theory of social systems. This new approach offers architecturean arsenal of general comparative concepts. It allows architectureto be understood as a distinct discipline, which can be analyzed inelaborate detail while at the same time offering insightfulcomparisons with other subject areas, such as art, science andpolitical discourse. On the basis of such comparisons the bookinsists on the necessity of disciplinary autonomy and argues for asharp demarcation of design from both art and engineering.Schumacher accordingly argues controversially that design as adiscipline has its own sui generis intelligence – withits own internal logic, reach and limitations.

Whereas the first volume provides the theoretical groundwork forSchumacher’s ideas – focusing on architecture as anautopoeitic system, with its own theory, history, medium and itsunique societal function – the second volume addresses thespecific, contemporary challenges and tasks that architecturefaces. It formulates these tasks, looking specifically at howarchitecture is seeking to organize and articulate the complexityof post-fordist network society. The volume explicitly addresseshow current architecture can upgrade its design methodology in theface of an increasingly demanding task environment, characterizedby both complexity and novelty. Architecture’s specific rolewithin contemporary society is explained and its relationship topolitics is clarified. Finally, the new, global style ofParametricism is introduced and theoretically grounded.

The revered architectural reference, updated with contemporaryexamples and interactive 3D models

The Interactive Resource Center is an online learningenvironment where instructors and students can access the toolsthey need to make efficient use of their time, while reinforcingand assessing their understanding of key concepts for successfulunderstanding of the course. An access card with redemption codefor the online Interactive Resource Center isincluded with all new, print copies or can bepurchased separately.    (***If you rent or purchase aused book with an access code, the access code may have beenredeemed previously and you may have to purchase a new access code-ISBN: 9781118986837).

The online Interactive Resource Center containsresources tied to the book, such as:

Interactive Animations highlighting key conceptsPhoto Gallery of architectural precedents illustrated in thebookFlashcards for focused learning

Architecture: Form, Space, and Order, Fourth Edition isthe classic introduction to the basic vocabulary of architecturaldesign, updated with new information on emerging trends and recentdevelopments. This bestselling visual reference helps both studentsand professionals understand the vocabulary of architectural designby examining how space and form are ordered in the environment.

Essential and timeless, the fundamental elements of space andform still present a challenge to those who crave a deeperunderstanding. Taking a critical look at the evolution of spaces,Architecture distills complex concepts of design into aclear focus that inspires, bringing difficult abstractions to life.The book is illustrated throughout to demonstrate the conceptspresented, and show the relationships between fundamental elementsof architecture through the ages and across cultures. Topicsinclude:

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