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.
In the 1980s, after the steep disciplinary decline of architecture's and urbanism's authority, architects found themselves with a reduced field of influence in social decisions concerning the environment, the cities and architecture itself. As this erosion progressed and the ‘classical’ fundaments of modern architecture weakened (Eisenman 1984), the notion of ‘preservation’ proved itself to be a convincing source of legitimation. Silently, unnoticed, ‘preservation’ replaced ‘modernization’ as the driving force behind social decisions concerning the most important commissions and prestigious sites. As architects found that this enabled them to [Page 275]most effectively claim and defend a disciplinary field of influence they began to accept, some with enthusiasm, others with resignation, the new predominance of conservation over renovation. For the first time since the early twentieth ...