Architecture, Aesthetics, and the Predicaments of Theory
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Architecture, Aesthetics, and the Predicaments of Theory offers a critical analysis of the methodological constants and shared critical strategies in the history of theoretical discourse on Western architecture. Central to these constants is the persistent role of aesthetics as a critical tool for delimitation of architecture. This book analyzes the unceasing critical role aesthetics is given to play in the discourse of architecture.
The book offers a close and critical reading of three seminal texts from three different periods in the history of theoretical discourse on Western architecture – the Renaissance, the Enlightenment, and the 19th century Romanticism. The first text is Leone Battista Alberti's Ten Books on Architecture of 1452, the next Marc-Antoine Laugier’s An Essay on Architecture of 1753, and last, John Ruskin’s Seven Lamps of Architecture of 1849. Additional influential texts from, among others, the 20th and 21st centuries are engaged along the way to locate and contextualize the arguments within the broader discursive tradition of Western architecture.
The book will interest scholars and students of architecture, architectural history and theory, as well as scholars and students of cultural studies, aesthetic philosophy, art history, literary criticism, and related disciplines.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
I. In Retrospect
II. Leone Battista Alberti and the Ten Books on Architecture: From the Beautiful to the Ornamental
On Design and Matter
In the Cause of Perfection: On Drawings and Models
The Ethics of Convenience: On Tyrants and Kings
Opinions and Judgements: On the Beautiful and the Ugly - with Pleasure and Disgust
On the Ornamental and the Theoretical
III. Marc-Antoine Laugier and the An Essay on Architecture: From the True to the Supplemental
On Cause and Effect
The Lesson and the Gift
On the True and the Beautiful
On Origination and Substitution
On the Essential and the Inconsequential
IV. John Ruskin and the Seven Lamps of Architecture: From Incorporation to Dissolution
On Laws and Lights
On the Gift with/out Return
On Truth and Deception
On Life and Death, by Analogy
On Power and Awe
On Pleasure and Disgust
On the Borderline
V. The In/Terminable Return
Amir H. Ameri is a Professor of Architecture at the University of Colorado, Denver. He has taught architectural history, theory, and design at various academic institutions throughout the United States. His research and teaching explore the multifaceted dialogue between architecture and culture. His previous book, The Architecture of the Illusive Distance, was published by Ashgate/Routledge.