Architecture and Identity
Responses to Cultural and Technological Change
Expanding his collected essays on architectural theory and criticism, Chris Abel pursues his explorations across disciplinary and regional boundaries in search of a deeper understanding of architecture in the evolution of human culture and identity formation. From his earliest writings predicting the computer-based revolution in customized architectural production, through his novel studies on ‘tacit knowing’ in design or hybridization in regional and colonial architecture, to his radical theory of the ‘extended self’, Abel has been a consistently fresh and provocative thinker, contesting both conventions and intellectual fashions.
This revised third edition includes a new introduction and six additional chapters by the author covering a broad range of related topics, up to recent concerns with genetic design methods and virtual selves. Together with the former essays, the book presents a unique global perspective on the changing cultural issues and technologies shaping human identities and the built environment in diverse parts of the world, both East and West.
Table of Contents
Preface Acknowledgements Introduction Part 1: Science and Technology 1. Evolutionary planning 2. Ditching the dinosaur sanctuary 3. Empathy in science and design 4. Return to craft manufacture 5. Visible and invisible complexities 6. The virtual studio 7. Genetic designs: a memetic critique 8. Technically embodied selves Part 2: Critical Theory 9. Cultures as complex wholes: a developmental perspective 10. Architectural language games 11. Tacit knowing in learning to design 12. Metaphor in architectural creativity 13. The essential tension 14. Tradition, innovation and linked solutions Part 3: Regionalism and Globalization 15. Architecture as identity: the essence of architecture 16. Living in a hybrid world: built sources of Malaysian identity 17. Regional transformations 18. Localization versus globalization 19. Towards a global eco-culture 20. Asian urban futures: the view from the East 21. A fragile habitation: coming to terms with the Australian landscape 22. Reimagining the Vertical Garden City Postscript: Notes on a Field Theory of Identity Bibliography Index
Chris Abel is an award-winning author of numerous interdisciplinary publications on the built environment and identity formation and has taught at universities around the world, most recently at the University of Sydney and the University of Ulster, Belfast. He now lives in France, close to Paris. For more, see: www.chrisabel.com
"Chris Abel is a nomad in the intellectual as well as in the geographical sense. The result is always unconventional and challenging, and sometimes impressively prescient." - Colin Davies, The Architectural Review, on the first edition
"Architecture and Identity is a classic. The first edition established it as the textbook for the connection between these two important arenas of popular interest. This third edition includes a masterful addition to the original text, one that not only takes the larger cultural discourses seriously, but building on earlier essays also reflects on and contextualizes the present moment in the history of the built environment." - Nezar AlSayyad, University of California, Berkeley
"The impressive breadth of these collected essays from Chris Abel draws out the intellectual ground necessary to bring our ever-fresh obsession with technology in architecture, into the historical and cultural frame it desperately needs. For anyone interested in actually understanding the radical responses of architecture to the changing times, Abel offers a powerfully argued perspective built over many years of reflection that is more relevant than ever." - Anthony Burke, University of Technology Sydney