Author: Branko Mitrovic
The book publication on “Architectural Principles in the Age of Fraud” is an attempt to articulate the pervasive impact of current trend in architecture, which is seems to be loaded with self-confidence, mutually admirating and composting ingredient for social media assumably and popularly trending as “that is where things are going”. The author argues that architectural trends are loaded with froth of incomprehensible jargon and misinterpretation of philosophies. It all began in twentieth century architectural writing where obfuscation of philosophy began to play an evasive role in shaping architecture of contemporary times. The author complements the argument with modernist era, where architects turned to German Philosophy of History in order to justify the main claim that architecture must be appropriate to its time. This claim dismisses the alternate approach. Modernism brought about the most material condition for the most unfaithful manifestation of time and spiritual substances and social context. The book by Tom Wolfe “From Bauhaus to our House” is an excellent outcome that attempted to address the author’s claim.
The academics of 80’s and 90’s attempted to improve the role of academics by allowing academic space turning into an ideological space as avant-garde appears to be the most uninviting project that one can imagine especially when one scans the architectural trends around the globe. The argument in the further chapter continue to build the essential quality of architecture hinging on aesthetic, visual and formal which is being replace with the romantic fallacy and assumption that what matters in the work of art and architecture always depends on the meanings, ideas and concepts associated with the work. Such imposition often compromises the delight and formal aspects of architecture. Ethical fallacy seeks to replace aesthetic evaluation and genesis of formal response without conditional baggage of ideas of mortality associated with it. The aesthetic formalism is not competent to address the architecture of its time, such naïve assumption led to hostile arrogance towards “composition in architecture” into buzzword “honesty and truthful”.
The author also attempted to use the “Obfuscation” as a critical as well as rhetorical tool to discuss the architectural history and theory and traces back the writing of Immanuel Kant, Martin Heidegger, Norberg – Schultz, Juhani Pallasmma (“Every art needs to be connected with its ontological essence, particularly at periods when the art form trends to turn into an empty aestheticized mannerism”)
The book has a marginally pessimistic tone, however it does not, at any give time, takes away the inquisitiveness of the reader to check what it unfolds in the next chapter. The book merely presents the facts and historical turnaround on architectural discourse and how such turn around has enveloped the academic space and set the stage non-aesthetics.
Image Credit: https://architecturenow.co.nz/articles/architectural-principles-in-the-age-of-fraud/
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