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Peter Zumthor. Thinking Architecture. Second, expanded edition. Birkhäuser- Publishers for Architecture. Basel • Boston • Berlin. File:Zumthor Peter Thinking Architecture pdf Zumthor_Peter_Thinking_Architecture_pdf (file size: MB, MIME type: . Some of the otharchitecture without thinking about it. ometimes I can almost feel.

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ppti.info - Download as PDF File .pdf), Text File .txt) or view presentation slides online. peter zumthor thinking architecture. PDF | Architecture is part of the history of existential meanings and thoughts. Essentially, the purpose of architecture is to make meanings manifest as a concrete. Peter Zumthor Thinking Architecture. 33 Pages. Peter Zumthor Thinking Architecture. Armando Ixta. Uploaded by. Armando Ixta. Download with Google.

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Description Thinking Architecture 3. Book Details Author: Peter Zumthor Pages: For instance, it revealed Tijuana had the largest index of domestic violence. Once it reveals zones of vulnerability the municipality can reorient their resources to tackle them. Artists would be now called to support very specific intervening scripts. What precedes the programmatic is the change in public policy. We asked why not to make a survey not dedicated to one city but a survey on the border between two cities to see their interdependence?

What are their myths, beliefs, and correspondences about each other? We performed it and it revealed these cities want to collaborate. There is an understanding of positive implications of regional public sensitivity that transcends the jurisdictional border.

You want to learn from poor areas, gain useful knowledge from informal urbanism. What sort of knowledge is that? We argue we can learn from the slums of Tijuana to reinvent the oil-hungry suburbia which is the DNA of Southern California. If we are able to translate many of their unconscious strategies of development, the way people self-organize, the way they correspond to topography, we can improve the future of our cities.

I said many times that informal urbanism is not just style or certain aesthetics, as many artists unfortunately believe, but urbanistic praxis. If the first ring of suburbanization outside of city has transformed so radically already, can we anticipate how the subsequent rings of suburbanization will transform in next years? From there emerges the idea that the future of South California depends on the transformation of the large to the small.

Can large, big box economy development with huge houses adapt to the future by turning into smaller environments? Not only in terms of the size of its buildings but also in terms of programs. But what sort of knowledge for such a transformation you have in mind?

The transformation of the city through informal economies and informal planning contains intelligence. There is creativity in a way how people negotiate with space, boundaries, retrofit environments and provide them with program… there are social and spatial strategies that are off the radar of institutions of planning or even universities.

In fact, the schools of architecture lack tools to methodologically measure and visualize those dynamics. Most of the students are educated how to do buildings as self-contained entities.

Our architectural education is ignoring the complexity of this social-political dynamics. Part of the problem is people are afraid of these issues because what they see is messiness, an idiosyncratic montage of informal ways of living. What you can take is, for instance, the different idea of density. The issue is how to socialize density? Density is not a sum of objects but of social interactions. How do buildings perform in thoseterms?

How they create social frames? What vision you have for the city of the future? You say Dubai or London is not the future… so what the city of future can be like? A lot of people are seduced by the idea of self-driving cars and many such ideas. OK, but it is the same model of individual transport vehicle even though it is flying. Can we speculate the city of the future might completely shift this paradigm?

The future of the city depends less on buildings, glamorous dream castles architects tend to design, but more on the reorganization of socio-economic relations. For the future of the city, I say something that is professional suicide: the future of the city depends less on buildings, glamorous dream castles architects tend to design, but more on the reorganization of socio-economic relations. As designers, we need to figure out how to re-engage public policy that is inclusive from the bottom up.

Top-down welfare state might not be possible any longer. However, the historical record is mixed on the matter of whether architects are at the same time pursuing art or what we now consider as art or should be thought of as artists. Moreover, the historical record and resulting disjunctive claim do not address cases where even the most basic tools or structural principles are not deployed.

Some such cases of not observing basic structural principles, as fantasy architecture, may be deemed marginal; other such cases, as landscape architecture, are not. Another dimension of defining architecture as a practice is specifying the sorts of structures that architects design. At a bare minimum, we can say that they feature some connection to human use.

A dominant reading of the Vitruvian tradition has it that architecture embodies and is best understood through the three aspects of beauty, structural integrity, and utility. An essentialist variant suggests that architects must observe all three aspects or that any structure aspiring to architectural status features all three. Other prominent views advance a single aspect, generally function or form, as primary.

Thus, functionalist architectural doctrine places function or utility at the heart of the architectural enterprise, with other aspects of architecture subordinate thereto.

A hard-line functional essentialist holds that, if a built structure has no function, then it is not architecture. As a modest dissent, Graham proposes that such a structure is an architectural work—but a failure at such.

One brand of more radical rejection suggests that some architectural objects—perhaps including follies, memorials, or monuments—need have no function at all. As a competing essentialism, formalist architectural doctrine suggests that an object is architectural just in case it features forms proper to the domain.

A common interpretation says that forms proper to architecture can be chosen off a stylistic menu or combination of menus , leaving architects great latitude while upholding the possibility of contrasting, non-architectural forms this is difficult to square, however, with some experimental architecture.

As Graham notes , the traditional question in architectural theory of whether form trumps or precedes function may be cast in such terms. Against these traditional brands of essentialism, two further kinds of doubt may be cast.

First, it may be that the Vitruvian triad, or some single aspect thereof, does not represent the right list—we should include either further aspects or different aspects altogether. Alternatives might include dimensions such as context, relations among architectural objects, systemic features, sustainability, and psychological or social features.

Some theorists propose other candidates as essential architectural aspects, including space Zevi or the organizing concept of the parti Malo Second, it may be that essentialism represents a false start. A more determined nominalist has it that diversity among architectural objects is sufficient to quash the prospect that they share any essential aspects.


Whether architecture always, only sometimes, or never is an artform. At the negative extreme, architecture may be viewed like any engineered artifact that only incidentally bears aesthetic value. Any view of even slightly more positive valence bows in the direction of intent to generate aesthetic value. The classic Vitruvian view, for example, has it that engineered design and aesthetic design are conjoint intentional elements of architectural objects.

At the positive extreme, that is, the suggestion that architecture is always and in all ways an art, we may lose any means of discriminating among built structures as art or not.

This is a troubling prospect to exclusivists who see architecture as a high art only see below. In the negative camp, S. Davies argues that mere production of occasional artworks does not suffice to constitute an artform—crafts being a notable example—and the aim of architecture is frequently, or even typically, not the production of art but useful items that do not aim at artistic value.

In the positive camp, Stecker responds that we can carve out a subclass of architectural objects that are art even if not all are. He adds, by way of historical argument, that architecture was included among the artforms, by early agreement among aestheticians. We might have grounds for dismissing architecture from the canonical list if the nature of architecture has changed, and in this vein Stecker notes a rising tide of building design that is functionally oriented without significant aesthetic investment.

A further alternative is to say that architectural objects are all art works, or at least intended as such, within bounds. If the negative view is correct, then we need at least a workable set of criteria by which to discriminate architectural objects as art.

To this end, we may draw on our intuitions, norms, or socially expressed views. Further considerations may include the pertinent cultural tradition in which an architectural object is created, whether particular sorts of aesthetic qualities count more towards artwork status, or whether there is instrumental benefit in considering the object as art.

What renders architecture distinct from other artforms if it is one. If architecture counts among the artforms, we may think that it has distinctive features as such. Another distinctive mark of architecture among the artforms is its nontraditional status as a narrative medium: the design of circulatory pathways allows architectural objects to communicate a sequence of events through the movement of visitors or inhabitants.

Whether architecture includes all built structures. Among the issues noted here, that of the greatest consequence is the question of what counts among architectural objects.

On an inclusivist or expansive conception, architectural objects are those designed objects ranging over the whole of the built environment; on an exclusivist conception, the range describes only some coherent subset of the whole of the built environment. Examples of exclusivist subsets include a only built structures that people can occupy typically: houses, temples, office buildings, factories, etc. An inclusivist conception entails a vastly larger architectural domain of objects—and areas of practice and inquiry.

Proponents of exclusivity S. Stecker offers a putative variation, allowing that as a broader creative medium architecture has an inclusivist character—though, as an artform, architecture is exclusivist. Scruton, for his part, identifies a specific intent to exalt: architecture as a pursuit has lofty goals or purposes, such that architectural objects do as well.

One commonsense justification for exclusivity overlaps with an institutionalist perspective: laymen and connoisseurs alike can differentiate between the striking work of an architect and the humdrum, cookie-cutter building design of a draftsman.

Then, contra Stecker, we can effortlessly count all built structures as architecture, though some such things—like garage doors or drainage ditches—will neither look like, nor be, art. Another line of attack is to respond to exclusivists that architects simply have intentions to create objects that are, in one aspect, art—and that they may fail as art is beside the point.

Further, it may be that recognizing intentions is irrelevant to judging a built structure as architecture, as when we judge as architecture the vernacular structures of foreign cultures.

Finally, inclusivism has its own commonsense justification: we standardly refer to a creator of a mundane built structure as the architect, which seems less a linguistic shortcut than recognition of the training and ethos attached to the creator of architectural objects. It is not clear how to craft intermediary positions between inclusivism and exclusivism, given that the various brands of exclusivism are not absolute and test cases are instead subject to judgment along any number of parameters.


Inclusivism, by contrast—along with any attached views on, for example, architectural appreciation or the nature of aesthetic success in architecture—is an absolutist doctrine. All elements of the built environment—and much else besides—must count as architectural objects, or else the view fails. Metaphysics The metaphysics of architecture covers a surprising range of questions for those who see in architecture no more than metaphysically mundane built structures or stones, wood, metal, and concrete arranged in a pleasing fashion: the nature of architectural objects and their properties and types, the relations of architectural parts and wholes, and the prospect of architectural causality.

Yet such intuitions may be misguided. For one, though some built structures—including roadways, bazaars, and newspaper kiosks—are not buildings per se, we may take them to have architectural properties and thereby consider them as architectural objects.

For another, the outputs of architecture are not limited to built structures but include as well models, sketches, and plans, and this variety prompts questions as to whether these are all reasonably considered architectural objects and which, if any, such form of output represents a primary sort of object in architecture.

A third consideration is the focus in architecture, not solely on whole or individual buildings, but also on parts of buildings and buildings considered in context, among other buildings and in landscapes downwards and upwards compositionality or modularity. A fourth consideration is that—as with music and photography—where multiple instantiations of a given work are possible, we may dispute whether the work is identical to the instancing built objects or else to the common entity e.

In addition to such challenges, the intuitive view must best alternative views. Instantiating architectural objects. To address one sort of question about the identity of an architectural object, we seek kind-wise criteria that establish when an object is architectural, instead of being non-architectural altogether or only derivatively so.

To address another sort of identity question, we look for instance-wise criteria that establish when an object is this or that singular object, or an instance of a multiple object. Ready criteria for identifying object instances in architecture include historical, environmental, stylistic, and formal features—all of which may be read as signaling intentions to design particular, self-contained architectural objects.

Architectural objects as ontologically distinctive. Yet another way to pick out architectural objects is to set them apart from other art objects or artifacts.

An inclusivist may add features special to the built environment beyond the realm of buildings. Kinds of architectural ontologies. One option is concretism, which—in keeping with standard causal efficacy claims and expressed intentions of architects, clients, and users—suggests that architectural objects are either built structures or, on one variant, otherwise physically instantiated designs for such structures such as models.

Concretism is supported by an artifactual ontology that subsumes architectural objects into the class of objects that are the product of intentions, designs, and choices on the view that all art objects are best so understood, see Dutton , S.

Davies , Thomasson , and Levinson One version of architectural artifactualism identifies buildings as systems Handler As against concretism, intentionality may be the mark of materially constituted, designed architectural objects but that need not commit us to their existence alone or their primacy among such objects.

Moreover, taking intentions as determinative leaves the concretist with the problem of shifting intentions and unintended goals attached to built structures over time.

Abstractist alternatives follow a well-worn path in aesthetics Kivy ; Dodd ; critics include S. Davies ; Trivedi ; Kania ; D.

Davies and accommodate an expansive architectural domain that includes historical, fantasy, and unbuilt works. Per classic Platonism, abstractism allows identification of an architectural object and concrete counterparts—including multiple replicas—by reference to a single, fixed, and unchanging background source of what real world structures or fantasy structures are and should look like.

Against abstractism, some architectural objects are apparently singular because historically and geographically contingent Ingarden ; it is unclear what an experiential account of architectural abstracta looks like; and abstracta are not created whereas architectural objects are. On his nominalist view, the objects turn out to be the built structures but an available realist interpretation—which may better accommodate the multiples that are key to his story—takes the objects to be the class of such structures.

Another alternative suggests that architecture consists in actions or performances per Currie ; D. Lopes proposes the possibility of an events or temporal parts ontology for a kind of built structure that passes in and out of existence, though De Clercq , counters that such can be rendered in a material objects ontology through temporal indexing.

Yet other ontologies are contextual or social constructivist, proposing that architectural objects exist, beyond their status as structured materials, in virtue of ways our reality is framed, psychologically, socially, or culturally per Hartmann , Margolis A shift in any such frame may bring about shifting identity in an architectural object, in the manner of Borgesian art indiscernibles Danto , and it may count in favor of those ontologies that architectural indiscernibles are all around, in the form of repurposed built structures.

Picking an ontology has wide-ranging significance, relative to questions of material constitution, composition, part-whole relations, properties, and relations in architecture, as well as the character of architectural notation, language, cognition, or behavior; there are also ramifications for simplicity and complexity, and the nature of ornament, proportion, context, and style. In architectural practice, the ontology of choice also colors perspectives on such matters as intellectual property rights, collaborative work, and preservation of architectural structures.

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This view is consonant with an equally customary perspective identifying architectural objects with architectural works. Both alternatives share a commitment to some form of compositionality among architectural objects, that putting bits together yields aesthetically meaningful and utility-bearing composites, and taking them apart yields like results.

In this, the mereological view represents a downward-compositionalism, suggesting that architectural aesthetics demands our focus on structural or other elements that can be meaningfully distinguished. Yet architectural objects appear to have a role in causing events to happen or other things to come into being. For example, socio-psychological evidence suggests that architectural objects cause behavior, and much of architectural design is predicated on this claim.

Thus, the presence of one or more architectural objects might have a causal effect on the genesis or character of one or more further works by dint of social utility, planning needs, or aesthetic drivers.

If true, then—as with consequentialism in ethics—further questions arise regarding the range of causal possibilities. Where ethicists ask whether a bad may generate a good, we may ask whether the presence or construction of a functionally or aesthetically impoverished architectural object might occasion the presence or construction of a more useful or pleasing architectural object.

Architectural Language and Notation The notion that there is or should be an architectural language—or more than one—has a provenance dating to ancient times. Variations of the thesis range over elements of an architectural language, how it may be used, and from whence it may be derived. The core idea, in its most prominent form, is that architecture as a corpus of design ideas realized or otherwise features a set of fundamental design and style elements which can be combined and related according to a set of rules syntax , capable of constituting or parlaying meaning semantics , and subject to contextual sensitivity and internal or relational constraints on deployment and realization pragmatics.

Beyond these structural parallels with basic facets of natural language, it is held that the purposes and possibilities of architecture qua language yield further parallels, best explained by the notion that architecture has, or even is, a language. Proponents of such views tend to subscribe, however, to defenses rooted in one or another feature of language. On syntactically-inspired views—the perspectives most indebted to the Vitruvian account—there is at least one architectural grammar or set of rules for guiding proper assemblage of parts and orientation, relation, and combination of whole architectural objects.

Some late twentieth century architectural theory embraced a grammar framework Alexander et al. Adherents of the view Summerson assign themselves the central task of identifying such rules. Even if this is achieved, though, a greater puzzle is whether there are identifiably preferable syntaxes—and what the criteria should look like. On a semantics-inspired view, architectural objects or their component parts bear meanings.

A primary motivation for this view is that, like objects of other artforms, architectural objects are expressive, which suggests that what they express is meaning Donougho Proponents point to an array of architectural meanings, internal or external to the object. The former tells us something about the architectural object its function or internal composition or how it relates to other architectural objects stylistic conventions ; the latter tells us something about the world, as for example, national or cultural associations per geographically variant design vocabularies , theological or spiritual significance per religious design vocabularies , or per Hegel , the Absolute Spirit.

A more ambitious proposal Baird has it that architectural objects exhibit such semantic phenomena as metaphor, metonymy, or ambiguity. Primarily, though, buildings function symbolically through exemplification literal or explicit denotation or expression metaphorical exemplification of properties of ideas, sentiments, or objects in the world. While Goodman may have identified a denotative role for buildings, this is not clearly a semantic role.

A third approach, rooted in semiotics, emphasizes the role of architectural objects as signs that prompt spectator behavior Koenig , or indicate aspects of themselves, such as function Eco In either case, architectural objects are taken to operate as communicative systems Donougho The architectural language thesis, in its various forms, is widely discredited in recent philosophy of architecture.

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To begin with, architecture features some qualities and exhibits some phenomena resembling those of natural language, but the parallels are neither comprehensive nor fully compelling.

On the syntactic side, architecture may feature some brand of compositionality but different parts of architectural objects do not appear to function as do phrases or clauses Donougho As regards semantics, no likely candidate for an architectural vocabulary regularly yields any specific class or instance of meaning. Nor are there truth conditions such as might supply the meaning of a well-defined architectural sequence Taurens As for pragmatics, there is no clear parallel with implicature or related phenomena, hence architecture is incapable of the accuracy or concision of expression we associate with language Clarke and Crossley Finally, relative to semiotics, not all—or even many—buildings signify and we would only want some to do so.

Regarding semantics, whatever we gain in fixing particular meanings to architectural objects, we stand to lose in fungibility of their forms. In the end, it is useful to ask what work we expect the architecture-as-language thesis to do.

One view Alexander et al. However, it may be sufficient to highlight ways in which architecture is like a language, though they do not add up to an architectural language Forty If so, then the thesis works best as a powerful metaphor rather than as literal truth.Architectural appreciation is social in building on our understanding of architectural objects as it develops, and matures, in experience of a built structure with and in relation to other individuals and groups of people.

It generates a place. Our architectural education is ignoring the complexity of this social-political dynamics. The big metropolitan global capitals of capitalism have become hugely mono-cultural and hugely mono-use. Any view of even slightly more positive valence bows in the direction of intent to generate aesthetic value. Photo: Laura Padgett Photo: Laura Padgett To me, buildings can have a beautiful silence that I associate with attributes such as composure, self-evidence, durability, presence, and integrity, and with warmth and sensuousness as well; a building that is being itself, being a building, not representing anything, just being.

The result is an environment. Goodman suggests that architecture is a borderline case of an allographic artform, as its notational schemes—in the form of plans—are intended to guarantee that all objects as are compliant are genuine instances of the work.

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