1st Edition

Functionalism Revisited
Architectural Theory and Practice and the Behavioral Sciences

ISBN 9781138260825
Published November 9, 2016 by Routledge
376 Pages

USD $62.95

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Book Description

A range of current approaches to architecture are neglected in our contemporary writings on design philosophies. This book argues that the model of 'function' and the concept of a 'functional building' that we have inherited from the twentieth-century Modernists is limited in scope and detracts from a full understanding of the purposes served by the built environment. It simply does not cover the range of functions that buildings can afford nor is it tied in a conceptually clear manner to our contemporary concepts of architectural theory. Based on Abraham Maslow's theory of human motivations, and following on from Lang's widely-used text, Creating Architectural Theory: The Role of the Behavioral Sciences in Environmental Design, Lang and Moleski here propose a new model of functionalism that responds to numerous observations on the inadequacy of current ways of thinking about functionalism in architecture and urban design. Copiously illustrated, the book puts forward this model and then goes on to discuss in detail each function of buildings and urban environments.

Table of Contents

Contents: Preface; Part I Introduction: Architectural Theory and Functional Theory: The inheritance: architectural practice and architectural theory today; A framework for theory in architecture. Part II Creating a Theory of Functionalism: Concepts of function in architecture; Experiencing architecture: the foundation for a theory of functionalism; Functionalism updated. Part III The Functions of the Built Environment: Theory and Practice: Basic Functions; The accommodation of activities: behaviour settings and architecture; Shelter and salubrious environments; Physical and psychological safety and security; Architecture, financial security and profit; Identity and community; Identity, individualism and the unique; Buildings as signs and status symbols; Advanced Functions: The cognitive function of architecture: the environment as a source of learning; Experiential aesthetics and intellectual aesthetics. Part IV Externalities: Buildings in Context: The function of the new as a shaper of its context. Part V Conclusion: Architectural theory, functional theory and design methodology; References and bibliography; Index.

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Jon Lang is Professor at the University of New South Wales, Australia, ERG/Environmental Research Group, Philadelphia , USA and Walter Moleski, Professor at the Drexel University, USA, ERG/Environmental Research Group, Philadelphia, USA


'In Functionalism Revisited, Jon Lang and Walter Moleski develop a critique of functionalism, providing a theoretical framework for organizing the broad range of purposes that the built environment affords people. The book fulfills a longstanding need to synthesize the research on environment and people in a manner of use to architects and urban designers.' Ali Madanipour, Newcastle University, UK '"Function" has been a four-letter word in architecture for far too long. Fortunately, Jon Lang and Walter Moleski have rehabilitated the concept, redefining its value through a rigorous and insightful presentation of all that a good theory of functionalism can offer. Both international and interdisciplinary in scope, Functionalism Revisited needs to be read by architects, urban designers and their clients, now more than ever.' Karen A. Franck, New Jersey Institute of Technology, USA 'Professor Lang is an international authority on architectural theory and has contributed to generations of young architects and urban designers through his teaching and writing. This latest publication on functionalism serves as a much needed roadmap for understanding buildings and cities in transition from the last century to the present.' Alfonso Vegara, Fundación Metrópoli, Spain 'This is a must read contribution and would be an excellent text for both undergraduate and graduate students in architecture, urban design and allied fields. In addition to fulfilling the need to synthesize knowledge about people into knowledge about environments, the book is also of great value in terms of offering cross cultural examples from developed and developing contexts and presenting a wide spectrum of perspectives and important determinants in designing future built environments.' International Journal of Architectural Research