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 21: 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 ...