The SAGE Handbook of Architectural Theory documents and builds upon some of the most innovative developments in architectural theory over the last two decades. Bringing into dialogue a range of geographically, institutionally and historically competing positions, the book examines and explores parallel debates in related fields. The book is divided into eight sections. Creating openings for future lines of inquiry and establishing the basis for new directions for education, research and practice, the book organizes itself around specific case studies to provide a critical, interpretive and speculative enquiry into the relevant debates in architectural theory. A methodical, authoritative and comprehensive addition to the literature, the Handbook is suitable for academics, researchers and practitioners in architecture, urban geography, cultural studies, sociology and geography.
Chapter 11: Introduction: Enacting Modernity
Introduction: Enacting Modernity
Is it possible to gather up the discrepant materials, sentiments, forms and efforts of various peoples and ‘send them off’ into a horizon that everyone values as either necessary or better? Or is any assemblage always provisional and haphazard – full of tensions and make-shift ‘deals’ where the contributions of components are always subject to negotiations among their ‘messy’ inclinations and histories? These questions, at the heart of architecture and urbanism's long preoccupation with modernity, continue to haunt a world increasingly convinced that it was never ‘modern’ and re-emphasize the contestations always at work in how things – materials, language, bodies – are brought together. In other words, the concerns of the present seem to deal with the troublesome practices ...