The Theory of Architecture: Concepts Themes & Practices

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John Wiley & Sons, Apr 15, 1994 - Architecture - 512 pages
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The Theory of Architecture Concepts, Themes & PracticesPaul-Alan Johnson Although it has long been thought that theorydirects architectural practice, no one has explained precisely howthe connection between theory and practice is supposed to work.This guide asserts that architectural theory does not directpractice, but is itself a form of reflective practice. Paul-AlanJohnson cuts through the jargon and mystery of architectural theoryto clarify how it relates to actual applications in the field. Healso reveals the connections between new and old ideas to enhancethe reader’s powers of critical evaluation. Nearly 100 majorconcepts, themes, and practices of architecture—as well as therhetoric of architects and designers—are presented in aneasily accessible format. Throughout, Johnson attempts to reduceeach architectural notion into its essential concept. By doing so,he makes theory accessible for everyday professional discussion.Topics are arranged under ten headings: identification, definition,power, attitudes, ethics, order, authority, governance,relationship, and expression. Areas covered under these headingsinclude:
  • Utopic thought in theories of architecture
  • Advocacy and citizen participation in architecture
  • The basis of architectural quality and excellence
  • The roles of the architect as artist, poet, scientist, andtechnologist
  • Ethical obligations of architecture
  • Rationales for models and methods of design
  • How authority is determined in architecture
  • How architects structure their concepts
  • Conventions of communication within the architecturalprofession
Each section begins by showing the etymology of key terms of thetopic discussed, along with a summary history of the topic’suse in architecture. Discussions probe the conceptual andphilosophical difficulties of different theories, as well as theirpotential and limitations in past and present usage. Among theprovocative issues discussed in terms of their relationship toarchitecture are chaos theory, feminism, service to the community,and the use of metaphor. Johnson points out with stunning claritythe intentions as well as the contradictions and inconsistencies ofall notions and concepts. All architects and designers, as well asstudents and teachers in these disciplines, will gain many insightsabout architectural thought in this groundbreaking text.
 

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Contents

I
xiii
II
1
III
25
V
75
VI
111
VII
149
VIII
191
IX
231
X
269
XI
309
XII
347
XIII
395
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About the author (1994)

PAUL-ALAN JOHNSON, PhD, is Senior Lecturer and Director of Theory in the School of Architecture at the University of New South Wales, Australia. He is a chartered architect and a leading authority on Australian public housing and dwelling design. Dr. Johnson is also a consultant on architectural history, design, and aesthetics to government departments and environmental groups. He is internationally known for his work in geometry and symbolism in colonial town planning.

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