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Introduction: Architecture's Double-Bind
Introduction: Architecture's double-bind

According to cultural observers, contemporary life changes at heretofore unheard of speed and is rife with uncertainty. From Marshall Berman to David Harvey, Reyner Banham to Paul Virilio, risk and radical transformation characterize everyday life in our postmodern era. How is it then that architects, and the professional institutions that represent them, continue to paint a portrait of a timeless profession? More than law or medicine, architecture ardently upholds its unchanging core as demonstration of the field's essential nature. Even within the arts, in contrast to painting or sculpture, architecture grounds itself on tradition, precedent, and an established body of knowledge.

Indeed, the architectural office in the nineteenth century is recognizably similar to that of the twenty-first century. The most recent ...

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