What if the house you are about to enter was built with the confessed purpose of seducing you, of creating various sensations destined to touch your soul and make you reflect on who you are? Could architecture have such power? This was the assumption of generations of architects at the beginning of modernity.
Exploring the role of theatre and fiction in defining character in architecture, Louise Pelletier examines how architecture developed to express political and social intent. Applying this to the modern day, Pelletier considers how architects can learn from these eighteenth century attitudes in order to restore architecture's communicative dimension.
Through an in-depth and interdisciplinary analysis of the beginning of modernity, Louise Pelletier encourages today's architects to consider the political and linguistic implications of their tools. Combining theory, historical studies and research, Architecture in Words will provoke thought and enrich the work of any architect.
Introduction Part 1: Character and Expression: Staging Architecture 1. Architecture as an Expressive Language 2. Character Theory at the Theatre 3. Rules of Expression and the Paradox of Acting Part 2: Playacting and the Culture of Entertainment: Architecture as Theatre 4. Theatre as the Locus of Public and Social Expression 5. Theatre Architecture and the Role of the Proscenium Part 3: Language and Personal Imagination: An Architecture for the Senses 6. Taste, Talent and Genius in Eighteenth-Century Aesthetics 7. Newtonian Empirical Sciences and the Order of Nature 8. Empirical Philosophy and the Nature of Sensations Part 4: Plotting an Architectural Program: The Space of Desire 9. Staging an Architecture in Words 10. The Narrative Space of Desire Conclusion: The Temporality of Human Experience Selected Bibliography