1st Edition

Economy and Architecture

Edited By Juliet Odgers, Mhairi McVicar, Stephen Kite Copyright 2015
    284 Pages
    by Routledge

    284 Pages
    by Routledge

    Economy and Architecture addresses a timely, critical, and much-debated topic in both its historical and contemporary dimensions. From the Apple Store in New York City, to the street markets of the Pan American Highway; from commercial Dubai to the public schools of Australia, this book takes a critical look at contemporary architecture from across the globe, whilst extending its range back in history as far as the Homeric epics of ancient Greece.

    The book addresses the challenges of practicing architecture within the strictures of contemporary economies, grounded on the fundamental definition of ‘economy’ as the well managed household – derived from the Greek oikonomiaoikos (house) and nemein (manage). The diverse enquiries of the study are structured around the following key questions:

    • How do we define our economies?
    • How are the values of architecture negotiated among the various actors involved?
    • How do we manage the production of a good architecture within any particular system?
    • How does political economy frame and influence architecture?

    The majority of examples are taken from current or recent architectural practice; historical examples, which include John Evelyn’s villa, Blenheim Palace, John Ruskin’s Venice, and early twentieth century Paris, place the debates within an extended critical perspective.

    Illustration Credits  Notes on Contributors  Acknowledgements  Foreword David Leatherbarrow  Introduction Juliet Odgers, Mhairi McVicar, Stephen Kite  Part 1: Defining Households  1. Equalitarianism  Simon Sadler  2. The Earthly Paradise of Economie Sociale Diana Periton  3. Parker Morris and the Economies of the Fordist House Gary Boyd  4. Care of Commons: Exploring Questions of Care, Gifts and Reciprocity in Making New Commons Kim Trogal  5. John Evelyn’s Villa at Sayes Court: A Microcosm of Labour and Love Juliet Odgers  Part 2: Negotiating Values 6. Architectural Husbandry Christine Stevenson  7. Home Economics Flora Samuel  8. Four Economies of Architecture Adam Sharr  9. The Libidinal Economy of Architecture: Skin, Membranes and Other Surfaces of Desire Chris Smith  10. Architectural Renewal and Poetic Persistence: Investing in an Economy of Stories Lisa Landrum  Part 3: Managing Production  11. Scarcity Constructs Jeremy Till  12. Economy of Means Jonathan Sergison  13. An Optional Extra: Valuing Architecture at the Brompton Boilers Mhairi McVicar  14. The Architect: A Disappearing Species in a Financialized Space? Silke Ötsch  15. The Pan-American Highway: Informal Urbanism in Latin-American Border Cities Cristian Suau  Part 4: Politics and Economy  16. The Death and Life of PFI Urbanism Owen Hatherley  17. A Stimulus for Education: Global Economic Events and the Design of Australian Schools Hannah Lewi and Cameron Logan  18. Restricted by Scarcity, Striving for Greater Bounty: The Role of Architecture in Making Dubai Kevin Mitchell  19. Designing Public Space in Austerity Britain Suzanne Hall  20. The Bricks of Venice: Material and Craft in John Ruskin’s Political Economy Stephen Kite  Select Bibliography  Index


    Juliet Odgers is Lecturer in Architecture at the Welsh School of Architecture, Cardiff University. This is the third in a series of edited books by Routledge to which she has contributed as editor, the others are Primitive: Original Matters in Architecture (2008), and Quality out of Control: Standards for measuring Architecture, (2010). Her primary research field is in early modern garden design and visions of nature, on which see, ‘Gaffarel’s Influence on John Evelyn’, in Jacques Gaffarel : between Magic and Science, (Rome: Serra, 2014). She is an editor of Architectural Research Quarterly, (CUP).

    Mhairi McVicar is Senior Lecturer at the Welsh School of Architecture. Her research investigates the pursuit of precision and its consequences in architectural practice. Recent publications include ‘Specifying intent at the Museum of Childhood’ in Architectural Research Quarterly (2012), 'God is in the details/The detail is moot: A meeting between Koolhaas and Mies’ in Reading Architecture and Culture: Researching Buildings, Spaces and Documents (Routledge, 2012) and ‘Passion and Control: Lewerentz and a mortar joint’ in Quality Out of Control (Routledge, 2010).

    Stephen Kite is a Professor at the Welsh School of Architecture, Cardiff University, Wales, UK. His research explores the history and theory of architecture and its wider connections to visual culture. His recent books are a study of the critical writings on architecture and art of Adrian Stokes: Adrian Stokes: An Architectonic Eye (MHRA, Legenda, 2009), and an examination of the evolution of Ruskin’s observation of architecture: Building Ruskin’s Italy: Watching Architecture (Farnham: Ashgate, 2012). His current book project is Shadow Makers: a Cultural History of Shadows in Architecture (London: Bloomsbury, forthcoming). He is an editor of Architectural Research Quarterly, (CUP).