This Thing Called Theory: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

This Thing Called Theory

1st Edition

Edited by Teresa Stoppani, Giorgio Ponzo, George Themistokleous


336 pages

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Paperback: 9781138223004
pub: 2016-10-27
Hardback: 9781138222991
pub: 2016-11-01
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pub: 2016-11-10
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In the age of post-digital architecture and digital materiality, This Thing Called Theory explores current practices of architectural theory, their critical and productive role. The book is organized in sections which explore theory as an open issue in architecture, as it relates to and borrows from other disciplines, thus opening up architecture itself and showing how architecture is inextricably connected to other social and theoretical practices.

The sections move gradually from the specifics of architectural thought – its history, theory, and criticism – and their ongoing relation with philosophy, to the critical positions formulated through architecture’s specific forms of expression, and onto more recent forms of architecture’s engagement and self-definition. The book’s thematic sessions are concluded by and interspersed with a series of shorter critical position texts, which, together, propose a new vision of the contemporary role of theory in architecture. What emerges, overall, is a critical and productive role for theory in architecture today: theory as a proposition, theory as task and as a ‘risk’ of architecture.

Table of Contents

1. This Thing Called Theory Teresa Stoppani, Giorgio Ponzo, George Themistokleous Part 1: Theories and Histories 2. Manfredo Tafuri and the Death of Architecture Marco De Michelis 3. Theories and History of Architecture (museums) Sergio M. Figueiredo 4. Architecture In/Out of the Boudoir? The autonomy of architecture and the architecture of autonomy Ole W. Fischer 5. Repositioning – Before Theory Kyle Miller Part 2: Between History and Philosophy 6. Which "Humanism"? On the Italian Theory of Architecture, 1951-1969 Amir Djalali 7. Philosophical Thinking as Political Praxis: Giorgio Agamben and inoperative architecture Camillo Boano 8. Affective Encounters Amidst Feminist Futures in Architecture? Hélène Frichot9. Repositioning – The After(s) and the End(s) of Theory Deborah Hauptmann Part 3: Beyond the Image 10. Drawing Jerusalem. Notes on Hans Bol’s Jerusalem, with Christ and the Good Shepherd (1575) Andrew Benjamin 11. Architectural Drawing: architecture’s speculative visual history Desley Luscombe12. God’s Eye View Adam JasperPart 4: Critical Displays 13. Aktion 507: Politics Become Theory Become Praxis Florian Kossak 14. Architecture and the Neo-avant-garde Michael Chapman 15. Exhibits That Matter: Material Gestures with Theoretical Stakes Maarten Liefooghe 16. Repositioning – This Think Called Crit … Brian Hatton Part 5: Theories of Things 17. Ready, Steady, Cook with Bergson, Plato and Gordon Matta-Clark Stephen Walker 18. Pragmatics: Towards a Theory of Things Gerry Adler 19. Expendability of Life and Technology: Architecture’s Thing and the Thingness of Theory Ivana Wingham Part 6: The Transactions of Architecture 20. Architecture and the Promise of Post-capitalism Anthony Burke 21. Domestic, Production, Debt: For a Theory of the Informal Platon Issaias 22. White, Wide, and Scattered: Picturing (her) Housing Career Helen Runting and Hélène Frichot 23. Toward a Theory of Interior Ross Exo Adams 24. Repositioning – Theory Now. Don’t excavate, change reality! Roemer Van Toorn Part 7: Forms of Engagement 25. (Un)political Pippo Ciorra 26. Prince Complex: Narcissism and Reproduction of the Architectural Mirror Camilo Amaral 27. Less than Enough: a critique of Aureli’s project Douglas Spencer 28. Repositioning – Having Ideas Mario Carpo 29. ‘But that is not enough’ Teresa Stoppani Index

About the Editors

Teresa Stoppani is Professor of Architecture at Leeds Beckett University, where she directs the PhD in Architecture programme. She is the author of Paradigm Islands: Manhattan and Venice (Routledge, 2010) and of the forthcoming X Unorthodox Ways to Rethink Architecture and the City (Routledge, 2017).

Giorgio Ponzo is Teaching Fellow in Architectural Design and Pedagogy at the Edinburgh College of Art, the University of Edinburgh, and PhD candidate at Leeds Beckett University. His research pursues a definition of (architectural) knowledge as a combination and recombination of fragments of discourse, where the work of the architect becomes a combinatory practice.

George Themistokleous is a Lecturer in Architectural History and Theory and Architectural Design at Leeds Beckett University. His doctoral research considers the limitations of current architectural representational methods in relation to a re-thinking of bodily and machinic vision, through custom made optical devices and multimedia installations.

About the Series


Critical Studies in Architectural Humanities
Critiques is the book series of the AHRA – Architectural Humanities Research Association. Originally established in 2003 AHRA supports and disseminates interdisciplinary scholarship in all areas under the broad heading of architectural humanities, including architectural history, theory, culture, design and urbanism.

This original series of edited books contains selections of essays developed from the best papers presented at the annual AHRA International Conferences. Each year the event has a particular thematic focus while sharing an emphasis on new and emerging areas of critical research. Recent interdisciplinary areas addressed include urban studies, spatial politics, anthropology, exhibitions and representation.

To find out more about AHRA activities including the themes to be addressed in forthcoming conferences please follow the link below:

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