Theories and Manifestoes of Contemporary Architecture

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Charles Jencks, Karl Kropf
Wiley, Aug 5, 1997 - Architecture - 312 pages
The last forty years have seen an outburst of theories and manifestoes which explore the possibilities of architecture: its language, evolution and social relevance. With many ′crises in architecture′ and the obvious urban and ecological problems, Modernism has been criticised, questioned, overthrown, extended, subverted and revivified – not a peaceful time for architectural thought and production. The result has been a cascade of new theories, justifications and recipes for building.

This anthology, edited by the well–known historian and critic Charles Jencks, and the urbanist and theorist Karl Kropf, collects the main texts which define these changes. Essential for the student and practitioner alike, it presents over 120 of the key arguments of today′s major architectural philosophers and gurus. These show that the Modern architecture of the early part of this century has mutated into three main traditions: a critical and ecological Post–Modernism; a High–Tech and sculptural Late Modernism; and a deconstructive, subversive New Modernism.

Here are the seminal texts of James Stirling, Robert Venturi, Colin Rowe, Christopher Alexander, Frank Gehry, Reyner Banham, Bernard Tschumi, Rem Koolhaas and many others who have changed the discourse of architecture. Here also are the anti–Modern texts of the traditionalists – Leon Krier, Demetri Porphyrios, Quinlan Terry, Prince Charles and others. Many of these texts are concise, edited versions of influential books.

Highly informative and richly illustrated with over forty drawings and photographs, this volume is a vital learning and teaching tool for all those interested in the philosophies of contemporary architecture.

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About the author (1997)

Charles Jencks was the first to demonstrate that Modern architecture in the 1960s and 1970s had undergone a profound mutation into three major approaches - Post-Modernism, Late Modernism and New Modernism. He has shown how our pluralist age has oscillated between these and traditional approaches in his key books: The Language of Post-Modern Architecture (sixth edition, 1991), Architecture Today (third edition, 1994), and The New Moderns (1990), all published by Academy.
Karl Kropf is an urbanist engaged in both theoretical research and practice, focusing on the morphogenesis and dynamics of urban form. With a background in the sciences, history and design, he is a member of the Urban Morphology Research Group and a founder member of the International Seminar on Urban Form. He has worked for a number of firms, including Skidmore Owings and Merrill in San Francisco, and as a consultant in France and the UK.

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