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Interactions between architecture and philosophy: eight case-studies from the twenties to today

English title Interactions between architecture and philosophy: eight case-studies from the twenties to today
Applicant Patrão Neves de Frias Martins André
Number 202983
Funding scheme Postdoc.Mobility
Research institution
Yale School of Architecture Yale University
Columbia GSAPP Columbia University
Main discipline Architecture and Social urban science
Start/End 01.10.2021 - 30.09.2023
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All Disciplines (2)

Discipline
Architecture and Social urban science
Philosophy

Keywords (25)

Pragmatism; Fredric Jameson; Adolf Loos; Albena Yaneva ; Joan Ockman; Bernard Tschumi; Bruno Latour; Martin Heidegger; Ludwig Wittgenstein; Jean Baudrillard; Cornel West; Theory of Architecture; Architecture / Philosophy; Philosophy of Architecture; Jacques Derrida; Karsten Harries; Anthony Vidler; Peter Eisenman; Richard Rorty; Mary McLeod; Manfredo Tafuri; Michel Foucault; Rem Koolhaas; Kenneth Frampton; History of Architecture

Lay Summary (French)

Lead
Architecture et philosophie, dans leurs multiples conceptions et formulations, selon différents auteurs, mouvements, styles, écoles de pensée, et époques jusqu’à nos jours, ont interagi et continuent de le faire l’une avec l’autre. Cette habitude bien établie exerce des effets directs et conséquents sur les deux disciplines, parfois en stimulant des projets novateurs, mais aussi souvent minés par de réciproques malentendus, de mauvaises interprétations, et de graves méconnaissances. Il semble donc étonnant que ce lien lui-même soit rarement questionné comme un sujet en soi. Pourquoi l’architecture sollicite-t-elle la philosophie ? Pourquoi la philosophie se tourne-t-elle vers l’architecture ? Si tant est que ce contact doive se produire, comment se produit-il ou comment devrait-il se produire ? Quelles sont les promesses et problèmes contenus dans ces intersections ?
Lay summary

Ces questions si fondamentales ont depuis peu commencé à attirer l’attention sérieuse d’un nombre toujours croissant d’architectes et de philosophes. Afin d’y répondre, cette recherche propose une investigation historique, compréhensive et inédite, sur la relation contemporaine entre l’architecture et la philosophie, depuis ses précédents au début du xxème siècle, en passant par son apogée entre les années 60 et 90, jusqu’à ses développements d’aujourd’hui. L’analyse porte sur huit ensembles de cas particulièrement influents et déterminants, et où, pour chacun d’entre eux, soit une discipline a interpellé l’autre, soit elles ont toutes deux collaboré. Des œuvres comme le projet d’une maison par Ludwig Wittgenstein ; des conférences pour une audience d’architectes comme celles de Martin Heidegger, Theodor Adorno, et Michel Foucault ; la collaboration entre Jacques Derrida et Peter Eisenman dans la planification d’un jardin, ou entre Bruno Latour et Albena Yaneva dans l’écriture d’un essai ; et des discussions publiques entre Jean Baudrillard et Jean Nouvel ou entre Cornell West et Rem Koolhaas : ces moments particuliers parmi d’autres entrelacent l’architecture et la philosophie dans un échange mutuellement bénéfique qui s’étend sur la théorie critique, la phénoménologie, le structuralisme, le poststructuralisme, la déconstruction, la notion plus vaste de postmodernisme, le pragmatisme, et l’« actor-network theory ».

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 22.06.2021

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Abstract

Architecture and philosophy, in their multiple conceptions and formulations, across authors, movements, styles, schools of thought, and epochs up to the present day, have and continue to engage one another. In philosophical writings, architecture appears referred to, spoken of, described, defined, categorized, and figuratively or even effectively used. In architectural discourse, by theoreticians and practitioners alike, philosophy appears in syllabi, bibliographies, in designs’ conceptual justification, their critique, and broader theory, through quotes or references to philosopher’s names, works, and terminology, not to mention in the commonplace expression “a philosophy”. These long-established habits exert direct and consequential effects upon each discipline, sometimes stimulating creative endeavors, yet often undermined by mutual miscommunications, misinterpretations, and misconceptions. It thus seems astonishing that the very fact of this engagement rarely comes into question as an issue in itself. Why does architecture reach out to philosophy? Why does philosophy turn to architecture? How does or ought this contact occur, if it ought to at all? What are the promises and problems contained in their intersections?In response to such fundamental interrogations, which have recently and increasingly occupied a growing number of architects and philosophers, and envisaging original and much-needed contributions to the field, this research proposes an unprecedented comprehensive historical investigation of the contemporary relation between architecture and philosophy, from its antecedents in the early 20th century, across its heyday between the 60’s and 90’s, up until developments today. The study focuses on eight sets of influential game-changing case-studies from the last 100 years where one discipline engaged the other or both collaborated. Works such as Ludwig Wittgenstein’s design for a house; lectures to architectural audiences like Martin Heidegger’s, Theodor Adorno’s, or Michel Foucault’s; collaborations like Jacques Derrida and Peter Eisenman’s in a project for a garden or Bruno Latour and Albena Yaneva’s in an essay; and public discussions between Jean Baudrillard and Jean Nouvel’s or Cornell West and Rem Koolhaas: these and many other particular instances intertwine architecture and philosophy in a mutually beneficial exchange that rangers across critical theory, phenomenology, structuralism, post-structuralism, deconstruction, the very notion of postmodernism, pragmatism, and actor-network theory.This project is expected to yield three major outputs. The core research shall result in the publication of a book analyzing each of the eight case-studies individually, as well as their interconnection in a larger history of architectural-philosophical relations between the 1920’s and the 2020’s. In parallel, that deep study will continue to unearth other lesser-known or overlooked works, to be published in an alternative anthology of architectural-philosophical texts, a flipside to the currently reigning canon. Ultimately, both renowned and obscure sources provide relevant insights to actively address pressing debates in each domain, explored through papers, essays, conferences, teaching seminars and workshops, and academic activities in collaboration with local faculty and their own educational curriculum and research plans.Reliant on essential archival material, site visits, and interviews in the United States of America, this project is hosted by the Universities of Yale and Columbia, with the support of Professors Joan Ockman and Mary McLeod.
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