Building and Body in Spenser’s House of Temperance, by Archie Cornish

Both the house and the body contain life. A house’s inhabitants are analogous to the ‘person’ of modern character theory which lives in the physical stuff of a body. Just as the philosophy of architecture emphasises the effect of a building on the constitutions of those who live in it, physiological enquiry continues to emphasise…

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The classical form, unspoilt, by Andreas Grüner

Either you like classical ornament or you hate it – and if you work as an architect today, you have to hate it. While on the art market ancient statues, baroque vedute with Roman temples and empire style furniture continue to realize absurd prices just to provide elitist apartments with classical beauty, contemporary architectural ideology…

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Architecture is concealed to itself: Helmuth Plessner and his influence on twentieth-century architects, by Gerry Adler

  ‘[…] man never returns. We have to renounce the romanticism of alienation and homecoming inherent in Marxism and admit to ourselves its illusionary character.’ Helmuth Plessner, 1969   Architectural anthropology is currently experiencing great traction, as a reaction to the perceived aridity and exclusivity of much contemporary philosophy and evincing a renewed interest in…

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Polyclinics and Polyclitus: Or, diathesis and the architecture of health in Britain between the wars, by Andrew Tripp

What kind of architecture does weakness deserve? This paper concerns a particular concept of weakness, the weakness of the body, within a particular historical and architectural context, the architecture of interwar Britain. In the 1920s and 30s in Britain, the professionalization of architectural and medical disciplines progressed hand in hand, as did the philosophical and…

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Antwerp Reimagined: Hieronymus Cock’s 1557 View of Antwerp , by Laura Sanders

Antwerp in 1557 was a rare re-envisioning of urban design, the largest bastioned fortification in Europe and one of the earliest realizations of a modern bastion enceinte. Contemporary treatises on architecture cited Antwerp a model of perfection. Militaristically planned space was a means of evolving of city forms away from their medieval hybridity towards modern…

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Modernist architecture in the image of man: Anthropology’s use in Dutch Structuralism, by Stefan Koller

This presentation explores the success and failure of Dutch structuralism’s attempt to remake modernist architecture with ‘a human face’, and to supplant the allegedly inhumane modernism of the 1930s and 1940s, as epitomized in the Athens Charter. Central to this attempt would be structuralist efforts to redefine core modernist determinants such as mentioned in Giedion´s…

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Questioning Hylomorphism: An Existential and Organic Approach to Architecture and Materiality, by Travis Anderson

Architectural theory, and much architectural practice, is guided predominantly by Aristotle’s hylomorphic understanding of form and matter. In consequence, matter is customarily conceived by architecture as meaningful only to the degree that it is shaped and given form by rational ideas and their corresponding visual expressions–lines, symbols, plans, drawings, and increasingly, computer-generated images, As Katie…

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Architecture as Society’s “Heavy Medium of Communication“: an approach between philosophical anthropology, cultural philosophy and social philosophy, by Joachim Fischer

This contribution suggests a particular theoretical approach aiming to connect buildings and interactions – a theoretical operation that also attempts to introduce the cultural and social philosophy of architecture to the centre of the analysis of (pre-modern as well as modern) societies. According to philosophical anthropology (Plessner, Gehlen), humans are conceived to be excentrically positioned…

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