FIGMENTS OF THE ARCHITECTURAL IMAGINATION
AUTHOR: TODD GANNON
In-depth investigations into the projects and ideas of noted contemporary architects including Archigram, Preston Scott Cohen, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Peter Eisenman, Wes Jones, Oyler Wu Collaborative, Jason Payne, Patterns, Lindy Roy, servo, Bernard Tschumi, and UN Studio.
Gathering twenty essays written over twenty years, 'Figments of the Architectural Imagination' explores the frontiers of speculative architectural design, theory, and pedagogy to offer clear-eyed and incisive treatments of some of the most important projects, practices, and polemics at work making contemporary architecture contemporary.
These sharp and insightful texts, whether addressing the impact of digital technology, the design of an effective hotel, the emergence of the Los Angeles vanguard, or the proper execution of a thesis project, combine frontline reportage, archival scholarship, trenchant prose, and impressive critical acumen to cut through the cacophony of recent architectural discourse with uncommon clarity, intelligence, rigor, and wit.
From these monographic essays, this collection opens onto larger themes and more overtly socio-political issues: the spatial politics of hotels, the environmental politics of the desert, and the aesthetic politics of US federal buildings. In these occasional pieces, as in most of the essays gathered here, I bolster my arguments with some “theory” (read the scare quotes as you choose), but most of the time I take on overtly theoretical issues in the company of friends—materiality and virtuality with Kate Hayles; object-ori-ented ontology with Graham Harman, David Ruy, and Tom Wiscombe; the legacy and possible futures of abstraction with Andrew Zago. Why this is the case is difficult to say. I guess I’ve always seen theory more as a tool than a topic. In any case, I believe it is important to understand the essays in this volume—whether written alone or collaboratively and however theoretically freighted they may be—as products of ongoing conversations with my colleagues. It is equally important to understand them in the context of teaching at Ohio State, UCLA, Otis College, and SCI-Arc, which occasionally prompts musings on pedagogy such as those in “On Prophets and Professionals,” a response to a friend’s misgivings about architectural education; “Five Points for Thesis,” a summation of my approach to graduate thesis at SCI-Arc; and “Mind the Gaps,” a stocktaking of my first few years as head of the architecture program at Ohio State.
“Architecture, Gannon often insists, cannot be reduced to buildings. Rather, it exists only when the array of artifacts produced by our field – buildings, drawings, writings, and more, come to life in the mind of an attentive observer.”
G. E. KIDDER SMITH BUILDSProject type
WAY BEYOND BIGNESSProject type
Living + Dying INbetweenPeter Zweig
The Landscape ProjectProject type
Environmental Activism by DesignColeman Coker, Sarah Gamble, Katie Swenson , and Thomas Fisher
Johnston MarkleeBenjamin Wilke
Impossible and Hyper-Real Elements of ArchitectureCarl Lostritto
Architectural Ceramic Assemblies Workshop VLaura Garofalo and Omar Khan
Innovation In PracticeValeria Federighi
FIGMENTS OF THE ARCHITECTURAL IMAGINATIONTodd Gannon
Landscape ApproachDr. Shelagh McCartney, Samantha Solano, Sonja Vangjeli, & Hannes Zander
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