Autonomy and Morality: Gottfried Semper in Dresden, by Stefan Koller

This paper examines how we can morally appraise buildings, by introducing a framework and a case study to test the framework. The first part of this talk introduces a framework enabling us to take certain moral appraisals of buildings and urban designs at face value. In the proposed framework, buildings (or sets of buildings) are morally appraised…

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Bare Architecture: a water-line, by Conrad Bercah

1950–1975: The three most famous and influential architects of the first three quarters of the twentieth century—Frank Lloyd Wright in the first (1900–1925), Le Corbusier in the second (1925–1950), Louis Kahn in the third (1950–1975)—were invited to Venice, the unique city par excellence, to engineer a specific plot. They were introduced to the city’s population…

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Urban or Moral Decay?: the case of 20th century Detroit, by Carolyn Fahey

If architects are indeed servants to society, and their buildings the products of their services, how are we to understand the building’s role in society’s morality? Stanley Cavell’s account of morality describes that morality demands acceptance and mutual understanding. In The Claim of Reason, Cavell writes, “what is required in confronting another person is not…

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Autonomous Architecture of Each Given Situation, by Petra Ceferin

The question of the autonomy of architecture and its significance for the ethical dimension of architecture is an important one; and should be asked together with another equally important question: What is architecture; and according to what kind of structural logic does it work? Today, architectural practice that isolates itself from the broader historical, social…

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Double Bind: On Material Ethics, by Andrej Radman

Ethics is derived from the Greek word ethos meaning dwelling or habitat. But rather than the ideological notion of ‘habitus’, the emphasis must be placed on the habit. Habit is not to be seen as a mere passive response to a stimulus, but as a creative power. As the feminist philosopher Rosi Braidotti has recently…

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Modernity / Anthropocene / Architecture, by Can Boyacioglu

More than forty years passed since McHarg re-described architecture as a profession that aimed to adapt humanity to nature in a situation that humanity is in an evolutionary adaptation problem. Today architecture still tries to create a theory to “fit in”. The aim of this paper is to understand modern holistic view of architecture to urban ecosystem…

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The Image in Power – Vilém Flusser and the Ethics of Architecture, by Felipe Loureiro

Philosopher Vilém Flusser has summarized the history of Western Culture in the following itinerary: First, we left a “four-dimensional Lebenswelt”, creating three-dimensional objects and thus stepping into culture; Then, we “stepped back into the imagination, to make images of objects”; Afterwards, “we stepped back from imagination into contextual texts”; Moreover, finally, “we stepped back from description and culture and conception into calculation.…

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