Virilio for Architects: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Virilio for Architects

1st Edition

By John Armitage


144 pages

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Paul Virilio is an innovative figure in the study of architecture, space, and the city. Virilio for Architects primes readers for their first encounter with his crucial texts on some of the vital theoretical debates of the twenty-first century, including:

  • Oblique Architecture and Bunker Archeology
  • Critical Space and the Overexposed City
  • The Ultracity and Very High Buildings
  • Grey Ecology and Global Hypermovement

In exploring Virilio’s most important architectural ideas and their impact, John Armitage traces his engagement with other key architectural and scientific thinkers such as Claude Parent, Benoit B. Mandelbrot, and Bernard Tschumi. Virilio for Architects allows students, researchers, and non-academic readers to connect with Virilio’s distinctive architectural theories, critical studies, and fresh ideas.


'An exciting ride on the Virilian rollercoaster, where even concrete bunkers (almost) 'melt into air'. This book marks an important advance - written by someone who, like Virilio himself, is sensitive to both the aesthetic and the ethical implications of his work.' - Jonathan Hale, Reader in Architectural Theory, University of Nottingham, UK

Table of Contents

Series Editor’s Preface List of Illustrations Acknowledgements 1. Introduction Virilio’s Architectural Career 2. Analysing the Oblique Post-Second World War French Architecture, the École des Beaux-Arts, and Architecture Principe ‘Manhattan Out’ ‘The Oblique Function’ The Oblique Church of Sainte-Bernadette du Banlay, Nevers Analysing the Oblique: Bunker Archeology 3. Critical Space On the Origins of Virilio’s Conception of Critical Space The Overexposed City The Interface of Virtual Space The Contamination of Real Space by Virtual Space The Struggle to Redefine the Unity of Time and Place in the Overexposed City Recombining the Real Space/Virtual Space Divide The Sudden Confusion between Reception and Perception, or the Transformation of Matter into Light Virilio: Architectural Theory and Practice 4. The Big Night: Into the Ultracity The Big Night The Unknown Quantity: Farewell to the Milky Way From Urban Stasis to Urban Escape Into ‘The Ultracity’: Anti-Ecological and Escapist Strategies in the City of Extremes Motorized and Accelerated Temporalities: The Mutation of Technical Progress Very High Buildings or Exurbanism at Altitude 5. Bernard Tschumi, Grey Ecology, and the Cities of the Beyond Tschumism Grey Ecology Critical and Hypercritical Space Global Hypermovement Hyper-World Space or the Revolution of the Hyperevent In the Cities of the Beyond Thinking Differently: Grey Ecology and the Question Concerning the Contemporary World-City Further Reading Bibliography Index

About the Author

John Armitage is Professor of Media Arts at Winchester School of Art, University of Southampton. He is the author and editor of numerous books on the work of Paul Virilio including Virilio and the Media and The Virilio Dictionary.

About the Series

Thinkers for Architects

Architects have often looked to thinkers in philosophy and theory to find design ideas or in search of a critical framework for practice. Yet architects, and students of architecture, can struggle to navigate thinkers’ writings. It can be daunting to approach original texts with little appreciation of their contexts. And existing introductions seldom explore architectural material in any detail.

This original series offers clear, quick and accurate introductions to key thinkers who have written about architecture. Each book summarises what a thinker has to offer for architects. It locates their architectural thinking in the body of their work, introduces significant books and essays, helps decode terms and provides quick reference for further reading. If you find philosophical and theoretical writing about architecture difficult, or just don’t know where to begin, this series will be indispensable.

Books in the Thinkers for Architects series come out of architecture. They pursue architectural modes of understanding, aiming to introduce a thinker to an architectural audience. Each author in the series – an architect or an architectural critic – has focussed on a selection of a thinker’s writings which they judge most relevant to designers and interpreters of architecture. Thinkers for Architects has proved highly successful, now with over ten volumes dealing with familiar cultural figures whose writings have influenced architectural designers, critics and commentators in distinctive and important ways. The series continues to expand, addressing an increasingly rich diversity of contemporary thinkers who have something to say to architects.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
ARCHITECTURE / Study & Teaching
ARCHITECTURE / Buildings / General