1st Edition

Introducing Architectural Theory Debating a Discipline

By Korydon Smith, Miguel Guitart Copyright 2012
    448 Pages 25 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    364 Pages 25 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This is the most accessible architectural theory book that exists. Korydon Smith presents each common architectural subject – such as tectonics, use, and site – as though it were a conversation across history between theorists by providing you with the original text, a reflective text, and a philosophical text. He also introduces each chapter by highlighting key ideas and asking you a set of reflective questions so that you can hone your own theory, which is essential to both your success in the studio and your adaptability in the profession. These primary source texts, which are central to your understanding of the discipline, were written by such architects as Le Corbusier, Robert Venturi, and Adrian Forty. The appendices also have guides to aid your reading comprehension; to help you write descriptively, analytically, and disputationally; and to show you citation styles and how to do library-based research. More than any other architectural theory book about the great thinkers, Introducing Architectural Theory teaches you to think as well.

    Preface: To Educators: The Impetus for this Book  Part 1: Debate in Architecture Introduction: To Students: Why Architectural Theory is Vital.  Debating a Discipline: Architecture, Argument, and the Concept of the Dialectic  Part 2: Dialectical Readings in Architecture 2.1 Tectonics.  1. Simplicity and Complexity: Original Text: Where Do We Stand? Marcel Breuer  Reflective Text: Excerpts from Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture Robert Venturi  Philosophical Text: On Simplicity Vittorio Gregotti.  2. Ornament and Austerity  Original Text: Ornament and Crime Adolf Loos  Reflective Text: Ornament and Crime: The Decisive Contribution of Adolf Loos Reyner Banham  Philosophical Text: Ornament Is No Crime Joseph Rykwert  3. Honesty and Deception  Original Text: The Lamp of Truth John Ruskin  Reflective Text: Excerpts from ‘Discourses on Architecture’ Eugene-Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc  Philosophical Text: Truth to the Medium: Using Materials Fil Hearn  4. Material and Immaterial  Original Text: Excerpts from The Art of Building in Ten Books (Book III) Leon Battista Alberti  Reflective Text: Excerpts from The Eyes of the Skin Juhani Pallasmaa  Philosophical Text: Excerpts from Immaterial Architecture Jonathan Hill  2.2 Use  5. Function and Form  Original Text: The Tall Office Building Artistically Considered Louis Sullivan  Reflective Text: Excerpts from ‘Architecture and Disjunction’ Bernard Tschumi  Philosophical Text: Function Adrian Forty  6. Function and Form (part 2)  Original Text: Excerpts from ‘An American Architecture’ Frank L. Wright  Reflective Text: Post-Functionalism Peter Eisenman  Philosophical Text: Purpose, Function, Use Richard Hill  7. Body and Building  Original Text: Excerpts from The Ten Books on Architecture (Book III) Marcus Vitruvius  Reflective Text: Le Modulor Le Corbusier  Philosophical Text: Hidden Lines: Gender, Race, and the Body Lance Hosey  8. Proportion and Organization  Original Text: Excerpts from The Four Books on Architecture Andrea Palladio  Reflective Text: The Plan of the Modern House Le Corbusier  Philosophical Text: The Mathematics of the Ideal Villa Colin Row  2.3 Site  9. Context and Building  Original Text: Excerpts from The Radiant City Le Corbusier  Reflective Text: Excerpts from The Death and Life of Great American Cities Jane Jacobs  Philosophical Text: Contextualism: Urban Ideals and Deformations Tom Schumacher  10. Context and Building (part 2)  Original Text: Experts from The Ten Books on Architecture (Book I) Marcus Vitruvius  Reflective Text: Excerpts from Learning from Las Vegas Robert Venturi, Denise Scott Brown, and Steven Izenour  Philosophical Text: Context Adrian Forty  11. Natural and Constructed  Original Text: Excerpts from ‘An Essay on Architecture’ Marc-Antoine Laugier  Reflective Text: Territory and Architecture Vittorio Gregotti  Philosophical Text: On Site: Architectural Preoccupations Carol Burns  12. Natural and Constructed (part 2)  Original Text: Excerpts from 'Genius Loci' Christian Norburg-Shulz  Reflective Text: Excerpts from ‘Place and Placelessness’ Edward Relph  Philosophical Text: Genius Loci: Hidden Truth or Hidden Agenda? Kathryn Moore  Appendices (for students)  Guide to Reading Comprehension and Analysis.  Guide to Descriptive, Analytical, and Disputational Writing.  Guide to Citation Styles.  Guide to Library-based Research


    Korydon Smith is Associate Professor in the Fay Jones School of Architecture at the University of Arkansas. He teaches courses in architectural theory, methods, and design, and has coordinated design studios at all year levels.

    "This is a very good and timely architectural theory text, especially for undergraduate architecture history, theory, and introductory courses. [The book’s structure] makes it possible for students to develop the ability to understand the transformation of architectural ideas over the course of history and, more importantly, to develop critical thinking skills and understand, at a fairly young age, the most important debates around which the discipline of architecture is constructed. In addition, the questions he poses at the beginning and end of each chapter are clearly stated and challenging. I would recommend it to anyone interested in architecture."

    Jean La Marche, architecture professor and author