Visioning Technologies brings together a collection of texts from leading theorists to examine how architecture has been, and is, reframed and restructured by the visual and theoretical frameworks introduced by different ‘technologies of sight’ – understood to include orthographic projection, perspective drawing, telescopic devices, photography, film and computer visualization, amongst others.
Each chapter deals with its own area and historical period of expertise, organized sequentially to mark out and analyse the historical evolution of how architecture has been transformed by technologically induced shifts in human perception from the 15th century until today. This book underlines the way in which architectural forms and design processes have developed historically in conjunction with the systems of sight we manufacture technologically and suggests this continues today. Paradoxically, it is premised on the argument that these technological systems tend, in their initial formulations, to obtain ever greater realism in our visualizations of the physical world.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Reproducing Reality – A Psychological Origin for the Technological Visualisation of Space? (Graham Cairns), Neo-Formalism: The Technological and Social Evolution of Visual Representation and the Emergence of Contemporary Optics and Architecture (Graham Cairns), Part I: Perspective, 1. Envisioning Geometry - Architecture in the Grip of Perspective (Nicholas Temple), 2. Desargues’ Oeuvres: On Perspective, Optics and Conics (Nader El-Bizri), 3. Galileo’s Limit: Mechanical Sciences’ Technologies of Sight and the Translation of Analogical Representations into Diagrammatic Illustrations (Federica Goffi), Part II: Photography, 4.The Transformative Interface: Fragmentation, Process and Construction in the Photographic Representation of Architecture (Nigel Green), 5. The Great Publicist of Modern Building’: Photography and Architecture in the Inter-war Years (Valeria Carullo), 6. Photography and Architecture - From Technical Vision to Art and Phenomenological (Re)vision (Iñaki Bergera), Part III: Film, 7. Absorbing Cinematic Modernism: From the Villa Savoye to the Villa Arpel (François Penz), 8. Cinematic Space and Time: The Morphing of a Theory in Film and Architecture (Graham Cairns), 9. Intersecting Frames: Film + Architecture (Scott McQuire), Part IV: Digital Technologies, 10. Hyperreality, Vision and Architecture (David Ross Scheer), 11. Rebooting Spaceship Earth - Astrospatial Visions for Architecture and Urban Design (Davina Jackson), 12. Leveraging nature to envision (functional) space: An Architecture of Machinic Abduction (Tim Ireland)
Graham Cairns is an academic and author in the field of architecture who has written extensively on film, advertising and political communication. He has held Visiting Professor positions at universities in Spain, the UK, Mexico, the Gambia, South Africa and the US. He has worked in architectural studios in London and Hong Kong and previously founded and ran a performing arts organization, Hybrid Artworks, specializing in video installation and performance writing.
He is author and editor of multiple books and articles on architecture as both a form of visual culture and a socio-political construct. He developed this book during a two year period as Visiting Scholar at Columbia University, New York. He is currently director of the academic research organization AMPS (Architecture, Media, Politics, Society), and Executive Editor of its associated journal Architecture_MPS. He is Honorary Senior Research Associate at the Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London, UK.