Learning and Theorizing Modernity

The 8 x 8 lecture series through video presentation is an attempt to articulate two aspects, primarily it articulates what is modernism and secondly it articulates what is architectural theory and how one can begin to understand the nature of architecture theory. The eight lectures titles are listed below with each lecture is explained with text and supported by YouTube video.

What is Architectural Theory | What is Modern Construct of Thought | What is Social Construct of Modern | What is Technological Construct of Modern | What is Representational Construct of Modern | What is International Construct of Modern | What is Stoic Construct of Modern | What is Ethical and Moral Construct of Modern

LECTURE I: WHAT IS ARCHITECTURE THEORY

The undergraduate program is often bases its grounding on three prong approach to create comprehensive understanding on architecture discipline: namely, History & Theory | Technology | design. The discourse of architectural theory is generally clubbed with history & theory,with assumption that inquiry system of history or theory of history has same fundamental principles as architectural theory. The intent is to build the argument that theoretically architectural theory is a separate discipline. The history often needs navigation its discourses through linear/comparative timeline, causes, imperatives and historic-ism / historiography or through social and cultural imperatives while architectural theory is a discussion, debate and writing on architectural trends, pattern or history of ideas including theory of history.  Architectural theory is an intellectual discipline locating self and society while history obscures the cult of individualism, bridging the discourses on knowledge and virtues within moral embankment. Architectural theory investigates the methods of critical, creative, interdisciplinary, and outward-facing research while history is inward journey of locating historic-ism logic.  If history brings critical objectivity of past or philosophy to study of fact for contemporary learning, the Architectural theory speculates on past and present simultaneously and influences the process of making of architectural pedagogy.  It’s an epistemological position as a necessary condition that shapes the architectural theory. 

LECTURE II: WHAT IS MODERN CONSTRUCT OF THOUGHT

Within the topic of “Modern Construct of Thought” we shall articulate two main questions

Why architecture theory begins with modern architecture

What are modern, modernism and Modernity?

In general history of Pre-modern architecture one can see that it has demonstrated architecture of power, wealth surplus or hierarchy while modernity brought about the secular tenets that has influence the thought process at various aspects simultaneously. The basic fundamental of  theory is about bringing some sense of neutrality in representation and generic in understanding of the pattern,  hence it is necessary to theorize the complex situation and many changes that modernity has exerted on society, city and nations.

LECTURE III: WHAT IS SOCIAL CONSTRUCT OF MODERN

Within the topic of “Social Construct of Modern”, we shall articulate two main questions:

Why and how a social aspect is required to articulate for architectural theory?

How modern architecture is to be theorized from social construct of modern?

The early 18th Century and mid 18th century, History witness important transition or change in everything that happened in society. Society was emerging with newer form of production and consumption pattern. It was tending towards rationality in their thought and act.

LECTURE IV: WHAT IS TECHNOLOGICAL CONSTRUCT OF MODERN

Within the topic of “Technological Construct of Modern”, we shall discuss the two main aspects of industrial revolution. Subsequently we shall articulate three significant changes in this period that has influenced the conceptualization mode and tectonics of modern architecture. Let’s first discuss two main aspects reasoning why technological construct of modern is important from architectural theory point of view.

  • The development of science and technology within the late 17th century and mid 18th century gave rise to significant change in general welfare within the framework of a democratically organized state.
  • Though Industrial Revolution has no clearly defined beginning or end, but this period was marked with extraordinary quickening in the rate of growth and change worldwide, including mode and method of architectural production.

LECTURE V: WHAT IS REPRESENTATIONAL CONSTRUCT OF MODERN

Within the topic of “Representational Construct of Modern”, we shall address two questions?

Question one: What is representation

Question two: why representation is important for architectural theory

The representation is an intellectual process of qualitative subtraction. The representation is a process of essentialization of real or imagined object or phenomena; it means you attempt to depict part of real or imagined object or phenomena without losing its essential characteristics or what is intentionally and intellectually depicted is representative of whole. The part gives you a glimpse or understanding of the real or imagined object or phenomena at large. The representation has potential to influence the ideological, political, or social issues of our time through its delineation of what is not apparent   and has potential to project the imagined reality. Hence it is impossible to divorce representation from the real world that we live in or imagined world that we embark on.

LECTURE VI: WHAT IS INTERNATIONAL CONSTRUCT OF MODERN

Within the topic of “International Construct of Modern”

we shall address three questions? 

What is Internationalism 

How is internationalism related modernity?

Why internationalism is important for architectural theory 

Internationalism is an outcome widespread of modernity and modern ethos, within Europe, Central America and subsequently across the world. The internationalism thrived on architecture that is uniform, standard and product of excessive use of steel and glass. The use of raw concrete was receded to a point of being skeletal and skeptical in aesthetics.

LECTURE VII: WHAT IS STOIC CONSTRUCT OF MODERN

Within the topic of “Stoic Construct of Modern”, we shall address three questions? 

What is Stoicism 

How is Stoicism related modernity?

Why Stoic Architectural discourse is important for architectural theory 

It is about virtue, the highest good, which is based on knowledge; wisdom to live in harmony with the divine Reason. It’s a philosophical position that emerged in 3rd century BC, hinging on personal ethics informed by its systemic logic and natural world, which is indifferent to the pleasure and pain.

LECTURE VIII: WHAT IS ETHICAL AND MORAL CONSTRUCT OF MODERN

Within the topic of “Ethical and moral construct of modern”, we shall address three questions? 

What is ethical and moral position in Architecture 

How is ethical and moral position related modernity?

Why ethical and moral position Architectural discourse is important for architectural theory 

The ethics and moral positions are set of rules as guiding principles with larger and deeper virtues of life and existence that shapes understanding and making of architecture. The knowledge system that has been triggered by modernity was rational in nature. The rational approach sought for methodical path towards architectural understanding. However the school of thought, which dwelt on intuitive approach, seeking formal and context contextual response along with larger question of virtues and existence.

Cover Photo Credit: Manoj Parmar Architects

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s