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Architectural Theory: The Latest Architecture and News

Collective Design: Alison & Peter Smithson

Between 1973 and 1975, Alison and Peter Smithson, published a series of seven articles in Architectural Design questioning the unity of the architectural form, as well as their commitment as architects. In recognition of the inevitable cultural fragmentation of society, they question the collective dimension of their work and their relationship with the community.

Texts: Peter & Alison Smithson | Commentary: Marc-Antoine Durand, Xavier Van Rooyen | Interviews: Dirk Van Den Heuvel, Peter Murray | Translations: Francis Guevremont, Ian Monk | Graphic design: Matthieu Becker

Français / English, 192 pages + 2 bookmarks

The Good Metropolis: From Urban Formlessness to Metropolitan Architecture

From the Publisher:
The book presents the first historical analysis of the productive tension between the city and the architectural form. It introduces 20th-century theories to construct a historical context from which a new architecture-city relationship emerged. The book provides a conceptual framework to understand this relationship and comes to the conclusion that urbanization may be filled with potential, i.e. be a Good Metropolis.

How Architectural Theory Distances People from Design

This article was originally published on Common Edge as "How Architectural 'Theory' Disconnects the Profession from the Public."

Whatever the form—personal, theoretical, scholarly—architects frequently veer into the philosophical terrain when defending otherwise subjective design decisions. Personally, this may be justifiable. But professionally, this reliance on quasi-philosophical spin is one of the fundamental ways architecture differs from other practical pillars of society, such as law, finance or medicine. Those disciplines are based on structures of knowledge (precedent or code, economics, and science, respectively) that mediate between professional decisions and subjective judgement.