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Architectural theory is the act of thinking, discussing, and writing about
architecture upright=1.45, alt=Plan d'exécution du second étage de l'hôtel de Brionne (dessin) De Cotte 2503c – Gallica 2011 (adjusted), Plan of the second floor (attic storey) of the Hôtel de Brionne in Paris – 1734. Architecture (Latin ''archi ...

architecture
. Architectural theory is taught in all architecture schools and is practiced by the world's leading
architect An architect is a person who plans, designs and oversees the construction of buildings. To practice architecture means to provide services in connection with the design of buildings and the space within the site surrounding the buildings that h ...

architect
s. Some forms that architecture theory takes are the
lecture upright=1.3, Nobel lecture A lecture (from the Greek ''lecture'', meaning reading) is an oral presentation intended to present information or teach people about a particular subject, for example by a university or college teacher. Lectures are ...

lecture
or dialogue, the treatise or book, and the paper project or competition entry. Architectural theory is often didactic, and theorists tend to stay close to or work from within schools. It has existed in some form since
antiquity Antiquity or Antiquities may refer to Historical objects or periods Artifacts * Antiquities, objects or artifacts surviving from ancient cultures Eras Any period before the European Middle Ages In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages ...

antiquity
, and as publishing became more common, architectural theory gained an increased richness. Books, magazines, and journals published an unprecedented number of works by architects and critics in the 20th century. As a result, styles and movements formed and dissolved much more quickly than the relatively enduring modes in earlier history. It is to be expected that the use of the internet will further the discourse on architecture in the 21st century.


History


Antiquity

There is little information or evidence about major architectural theory in antiquity, until the 1st century BC, with the work of
Vitruvius Vitruvius (; c. 80–70 BC – after c. 15 BC) was a Roman architect and engineer during the 1st century BC, known for his multi-volume work entitled ''De architectura''. He originated the idea that all buildings should have three attribute ...

Vitruvius
. This does not mean, however, that such works did not exist, given that many works never survived antiquity. Vitruvius was a Roman
writer A writer is a person who uses written words in different styles and techniques to communicate ideas. Writers produce different forms of literary art and creative writing such as novels, short stories, books, poetry, plays, screenplays, telepl ...

writer
,
architect An architect is a person who plans, designs and oversees the construction of buildings. To practice architecture means to provide services in connection with the design of buildings and the space within the site surrounding the buildings that h ...

architect
, and
engineer Engineers, as practitioners of engineering, are Professional, professionals who Invention, invent, design, analyze, build and test Machine, machines, complex systems, architecture, structures, gadgets and materials to fulfill functional objecti ...

engineer
active in the 1st century BC. He was the most prominent architectural theorist in the Roman Empire known today, having written ''
De architectura (''On architecture'', published as ''Ten Books on Architecture'') is a treatise on architecture upright=1.45, alt=Plan d'exécution du second étage de l'hôtel de Brionne (dessin) De Cotte 2503c – Gallica 2011 (adjusted), Plan of the ...

De architectura
'' (known today as ''The Ten Books of Architecture''), a treatise written in
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in relation with") is "an appa ...

Latin
and
Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of ...
on architecture, dedicated to the emperor Augustus. Probably written between 27 and 23 BC, it is the only major contemporary source on classical architecture to have survived. Divided into ten sections or "books", it covers almost every aspect of Roman architecture, from town planning, materials, decorations, temples, water supplies, etc. It rigorously defines the classical
orders of architecture An order in architecture is a certain assemblage of parts subject to uniform established proportions, regulated by the office that each part has to perform. Coming down to the present from Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the form ...
. It also proposes the three fundamental laws that
architecture upright=1.45, alt=Plan d'exécution du second étage de l'hôtel de Brionne (dessin) De Cotte 2503c – Gallica 2011 (adjusted), Plan of the second floor (attic storey) of the Hôtel de Brionne in Paris – 1734. Architecture (Latin ''archi ...

architecture
must obey, in order to be so considered: ''firmitas, utilitas, venustas'', translated in the 17th century by
Sir Henry Wotton Sir Henry Wotton (; 30 March 1568 – December 1639) was an English author, diplomat and politician who sat in the House of Commons The House of Commons is the name for the elected lower house of the bicameral parliaments of the United Kingdom ...
into the English slogan ''firmness, commodity and delight'' (meaning structural adequacy, functional adequacy, and beauty). The rediscovery of Vitruvius' work in 1414 had a profound influence on architects of the
Renaissance The Renaissance ( , ) , from , with the same meanings. is a period Period may refer to: Common uses * Era, a length or span of time * Full stop (or period), a punctuation mark Arts, entertainment, and media * Period (music), a concept in m ...

Renaissance
, adding archaeological underpinnings to the rise of the
Renaissance style Renaissance architecture is the European architecture of the period between the early 14th and early 16th centuries in different regions, demonstrating a conscious revival and development of certain elements of ancient Greek Ancient Gre ...
, which was already under way. Renaissance architects such as
Brunelleschi Filippo Brunelleschi ( , , also known as Pippo; 1377 – 15 April 1446), considered to be a founding father of Renaissance The Renaissance ( , ) , from , with the same meanings. was a period in European history marking the transition f ...
and
Leon Battista Alberti Leon Battista Alberti (; 14 February 1404 – 25 April 1472) was an Italian Renaissance humanist Renaissance humanism was a revival in the study of classical antiquity, at first Italian Renaissance, in Italy and then spreading across Western Eu ...

Leon Battista Alberti
found in ''De architectura'' their rationale for raising their branch of knowledge to a scientific discipline.


Middle Ages

Throughout the Middle Ages, architectural knowledge was passed by transcription, word of mouth and technically in master builders' lodges. Due to the laborious nature of transcription, few examples of architectural theory were penned during this time. Most written works during this period were theological, and were transcriptions of the Bible. Since the architectural theories were on structures, fewer of them were transcribed. The
Abbot Suger Suger (; la, Sugerius; 1081 – 13 January 1151) was a France, French abbot, statesman, and historian. He was one of the earliest patrons of Gothic architecture, and is widely credited with popularizing the style. Life Suger's family origi ...

Abbot Suger
's ''Liber de rebus in administratione sua gestis'' was an architectural document that emerged with
Gothic architecture Gothic architecture (or pointed architecture) is an architectural style An architectural style is a set of characteristics and features that make a building or other structure notable or historically identifiable. It is a sub-class of sty ...
. Another was
Villard de Honnecourt Perpetuum Mobile of Villard de Honnecourt (about 1230) Villard de Honnecourt (''Wilars dehonecort'', ''Vilars de Honecourt'') was a 13th-century master mason from Picardy in northern France. He is known to history only through a surviving portfol ...

Villard de Honnecourt
's portfolio of drawings from about the 1230s. In
Song Dynasty The Song dynasty (; ; 960–1279) was an imperial dynasty of China that began in 960 and lasted until 1279. The dynasty was founded by Emperor Taizu of Song Emperor Taizu of Song (21 March 927 – 14 November 976), personal name Zhao Kua ...
China, Li Jie published the ''
Yingzao Fashi arm clusters containing cantilever is anchored and extends over the edge of a swimming pool). The bottom example is created by adding a Robin boundary condition to the beam element, which essentially adds an elastic spring to the end board. T ...
'' in 1103, which was an architectural treatise that codified elements of
Chinese architecture Chinese architecture is an architectural style An architectural style is a set of characteristics and features that make a building or other structure notable or historically identifiable. It is a sub-class of style in the visual arts genera ...

Chinese architecture
.


Renaissance

The first great work of architectural theory of this period belongs to
Leon Battista Alberti Leon Battista Alberti (; 14 February 1404 – 25 April 1472) was an Italian Renaissance humanist Renaissance humanism was a revival in the study of classical antiquity, at first Italian Renaissance, in Italy and then spreading across Western Eu ...

Leon Battista Alberti
, ''
De re aedificatoria#REDIRECT De re aedificatoria ''De re aedificatoria'' (''On the Art of Building'') is a classic architectural treatise written by Leon Battista Alberti Leon Battista Alberti (; 14 February 1404 – 25 April 1472) was an Italian Renaissance human ...
'', which placed Vitruvius at the core of the most profound theoretical tradition of the modern ages. From Alberti, good architecture is validated through the Vitruvian triad, which defines its purpose. This triplet conserved all its validity until the 19th century. A major transition into the 17th century and ultimately to the
Age of Enlightenment The Age of Enlightenment (also known as the Age of Reason or simply the Enlightenment); ger, Aufklärung, "Enlightenment"; it, L'Illuminismo, "Enlightenment"; pl, Oświecenie , "Enlightenment"; pt, Iluminismo, "Enlightenment"; es, link=n ...
was secured through the advanced mathematical and optical research of the celebrated architect and geometer
Girard Desargues Girard Desargues (; 21 February 1591 – September 1661) was a French mathematician A mathematician is someone who uses an extensive knowledge of mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers ( ...
, with an emphasis on his studies on conics, perspective and projective geometry.


Enlightenment

The Age of the Enlightenment witnessed considerable development in architectural theory on the European continent. New archaeological discoveries (such as those of
Pompeii Pompeii (, ) was an ancient city located in what is now the ''comune The (; plural: ) is a of , roughly equivalent to a or . Importance and function The provides essential public services: of births and deaths, , and maintenan ...

Pompeii
and
Herculaneum Herculaneum ( it, Ercolano) was an ancient town, located in the modern-day ''comune The (; plural: ) is a basic Administrative division, constituent entity of Italy, roughly equivalent to a township or municipality. Importance and f ...

Herculaneum
) drove new interest in Classical art and architecture. Thus, the term ''neoclassicism'', exemplified by the writings of Prussian art critic
Johann Joachim Winkelmann Johann Joachim Winckelmann (; ; 9 December 17178 June 1768) was a Germany, German art historian and archaeologist. He was a pioneering Hellenism (neoclassicism), Hellenist who first articulated the difference between Ancient Greek art, Greek, Hel ...
, arose to designate 18th-century architecture, which looked to these new classical precedents for inspiration in building design. Major architectural theorists of the Enlightenment include Julien-David Leroy, Abbé
Marc-Antoine Laugier The abbé Image:Abbé, Nordisk familjebok.png, upFrench abbé of the 18th century ''Abbé'' (from Latin ''abbas'', in turn from Greek language, Greek , ''abbas'', from Aramaic ''abba'', a title of honour, literally meaning "the father, my father", ...
,
Giovanni Battista Piranesi Giovanni Battista (or Giambattista) Piranesi (; also known as simply Piranesi; 4 October 1720 – 9 November 1778) was an Italian Classical archaeologist, architect An architect is a person who plans, designs and oversees the construction o ...
,
Robert Adam Robert Adam (3 July 17283 March 1792) was a British neoclassical architect, interior designer and furniture designer This is a list of notable people whose primary occupation is furniture design. A * Alvar Aalto Hugo Alvar Henrik A ...
, James Stuart, Georg Friedrich Hegel and
Nicholas Revett Nicholas Revett (1720–1804) was a British architect. Revett is best known for his work with James "Athenian" Stuart documenting the ruins of ancient Athens , image_skyline = File:Athens Montage L.png, center, 275px, alt ...

Nicholas Revett
.


19th century

A vibrant strain of
Neoclassicism Neoclassicism (also spelled Neo-classicism; from Ancient Greek, Greek νέος ''nèos'', "new" and Ancient Greek, Greek κλασικός ''klasikόs'', "of the highest rank") was a Western cultural movement in the decorative arts, decorative a ...
, inherited from
Marc-Antoine Laugier The abbé Image:Abbé, Nordisk familjebok.png, upFrench abbé of the 18th century ''Abbé'' (from Latin ''abbas'', in turn from Greek language, Greek , ''abbas'', from Aramaic ''abba'', a title of honour, literally meaning "the father, my father", ...
's seminal Essai, provided the foundation for two generations of international activity around the core themes of classicism,
primitivism Primitivism is a mode of aesthetic idealization that either emulates or aspires to recreate "primitive" experience. In Western art ''; by Johannes Vermeer Johannes Vermeer ( , , #Pronunciation of name, see below; October 1632 – December 16 ...
and a "return to Nature." Reaction against the dominance of
neoclassical architecture Neoclassical architecture is an architectural style An architectural style is a set of characteristics and features that make a building or other structure notable or historically identifiable. It is a sub-class of style in the visual arts ge ...
came to the fore in the 1820s with
Augustus Pugin Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin ( ; 1 March 181214 September 1852) was an English architect, designer, artist and critic who is principally remembered for his pioneering role in the Gothic Revival style of architecture. His work culminated in d ...
providing a moral and theoretical basis for
Gothic Revival architecture Gothic Revival (also referred to as Victorian Gothic, neo-Gothic, or Gothick) is an that began in the late 1740s in England. The movement gained momentum and expanded in the first half of the 19th century, as increasingly serious and learned ad ...
, and in the 1840s
John Ruskin John Ruskin (8 February 1819 20 January 1900) was an English writer, philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, ...

John Ruskin
developed this ethos. The American sculptor
Horatio Greenough Horatio Greenough (September 6, 1805 – December 18, 1852) was an American sculptor best known for his United States government commissions ''The Rescue (statue), The Rescue'' (1837–50) and ''George Washington (Greenough), George Washington ...

Horatio Greenough
published the essay "'American Architecture" in August 1843, in which he rejected the imitation of old styles of buildings and outlined the functional relationship between architecture and decoration. These theories anticipated the development of Functionalism in
modern architecture Modern architecture, or modernist architecture, was an architectural movement or architectural style An architectural style is a set of characteristics and features that make a building or other structure notable or historically identifiable ...

modern architecture
. Towards the end of the century, there occurred a blossoming of theoretical activity. In England, Ruskin's ideals underpinned the emergence of the
Arts and Crafts movement The arts refers to the theory, human application and physical expression of creativity found in human cultures and Society, societies through Skill, skills and imagination in order to produce Physical object, objects, Natural environment, ...
exemplified by the writings of
William Morris William Morris (24 March 1834 – 3 October 1896) was a British textile designer, poet, novelist, translator and socialist activist associated with the British Arts and Crafts Movement. He was a major contributor to the revival of tradit ...

William Morris
. This in turn formed the basis for
Art Nouveau Art Nouveau (; ) is an international style Style is a manner of doing or presenting things and may refer to: * Architectural style, the features that make a building or structure historically identifiable * Design, the process of creating som ...
in the
UK
UK
, exemplified by the work of
Charles Rennie Mackintosh Charles Rennie Mackintosh (7 June 1868 – 10 December 1928) was a Scottish architect, designer, water colourist and artist. His artistic approach had much in common with European Symbolism (arts), Symbolism. His work, alongside that of his wi ...

Charles Rennie Mackintosh
, and influenced the
Vienna Secession The Vienna Secession (german: Wiener Secession; also known as ''the Union of Austrian Artists'', or ''Vereinigung Bildender Künstler Österreichs'') is an art movement, closely related to Art Nouveau Art Nouveau (; ) is an international styl ...

Vienna Secession
. On the Continent, the theories of
Viollet-le-Duc
Viollet-le-Duc
and
Gottfried Semper Gottfried Semper (; 29 November 1803 – 15 May 1879) was a German architect, art critic An art critic is a person who is specialized in analyzing, interpreting, and evaluating art Art is a diverse range of (products of) human activities ...
provided the springboard for enormous vitality of thought dedicated to architectural innovation and the renovation of the notion of style. Semper in particular developed an international following, in
Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin Berlin (; ) is the Capital city, capital and List of cities in Germany by population, largest city of Germany by both area and population. Its 3,769,495 inh ...

Germany
,
England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to its west and Scotland to its north. The Irish Sea lies northwest of England and the Celtic Sea to the southwest. E ...

England
,
Switzerland , french: Suisse(sse), it, svizzero/svizzera or , rm, Svizzer/Svizra , government_type = Federalism, Federal semi-direct democracy under an assembly-independent Directorial system, directorial republic , leader_title1 = Fe ...

Switzerland
,
Austria Austria (, ; german: Österreich ), officially the Republic of Austria (german: Republik Österreich, links=no, ), is a landlocked Eastern Alps, East Alpine country in the southern part of Central Europe. It is composed of nine States o ...

Austria
,
Bohemia Bohemia ( ; cs, Čechy ; ; hsb, Čěska; szl, Czechy) is the westernmost and largest historical region Historical regions (or historical areas) are geographical Geography (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, ...

Bohemia
,
France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one continent A continent is one of several large landmasses ...

France
,
Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of a peninsula delimited by the Alps The Alps ; german: Alpen ; it, Alpi ; rm, Alps; sl, Alpe ) are the highest ...

Italy
and the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...

United States
. The generation born during the middle-third of the 19th century was largely enthralled with the opportunities presented by Semper's combination of a breathtaking historical scope and a methodological granularity. In contrast to more recent, and thus "modern", thematically self-organized theoretical activities, this generation did not coalesce into a "movement." They did, however, seem to converge on Semper's use of the concept of ''Realismus'', and they are thus labelled proponents of architectural realism. Among the most active Architectural Realists were: Georg Heuser, Rudolf Redtenbacher, Constantin Lipsius,
Hans Auer __NOTOC__ Hans Wilhelm Auer (26 April 1847 – 30 August 1906) was a Swiss Swiss may refer to: * the adjectival form of Switzerland *Swiss people Places *Swiss, Missouri *Swiss, North Carolina *Swiss, West Virginia *Swiss, Wisconsin Other uses * ...
, Paul Sédille, Lawrence Harvey,
Otto Wagner Otto Koloman Wagner (; 13 July 1841 – 11 April 1918) was an Austrian architect, furniture designer and urban planner. He was a leading member of the Vienna Secession movement of architecture, founded in 1897, and the broader Art Nouveau move ...
and Richard Streiter.


20th century

In 1889
Camillo Sitte Camillo Sitte (17 April 1843 – 16 November 1903) was an Austria Austria (, ; german: Österreich ), officially the Republic of Austria (german: Republik Österreich, links=no, ), is a landlocked A landlocked country is a country ...
published ''Der Städtebau nach seinem künstlerischen Grundsätzen'' (translated as ''City Planning According to Artistic Principles'') which was not exactly a criticism of architectural form but an aesthetic criticism (inspired by medieval and
Baroque The Baroque (, ; ) is a style Style is a manner of doing or presenting things and may refer to: * Architectural style, the features that make a building or structure historically identifiable * Design, the process of creating something * Fashi ...

Baroque
town planning) of 19th-century urbanism. Mainly a theoretical work, it had an immediate impact on architecture, as the two disciplines of architecture and planning intertwined. Demand for it was so high that five editions appeared in German between 1889 and 1922 and a French translation came out in 1902. (No English edition came out until 1945.) For Sitte, the most important issue was not the architectural shape or form of a building but the quality of the urban spaces that buildings collectively enclose, the whole being more than the sum of its parts. The Modern Movement rejected these thoughts and
Le Corbusier Charles-Édouard Jeanneret (6 October 188727 August 1965), known as Le Corbusier ( , , ; roughly, "the crow-like one"), was a Swiss Swiss may refer to: * the adjectival form of Switzerland ,german: Schweizer(in),french: Suisse(sse), it ...

Le Corbusier
energetically dismissed the work. Nevertheless, Sitte's work was revisited by
post-modern Postmodernism is an intellectual stance or mode of discourse defined by an attitude of skepticism Skepticism (American American(s) may refer to: * American, something of, from, or related to the United States of America, commonly known a ...
architects and theorists from the 1970s, especially following its republication in 1986 by Rizzoli, in an edition edited by Collins and Collins (now published by
Dover Dover () is a town and major ferry port in Kent Kent is a county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary The ''Chambers Dictionary'' (''TCD'') was first publishe ...

Dover
). The book is often cited anachronistically today as a vehicle for the criticism of the
Modern Movement , Solomon Guggenheim Museum 1946–1959 Modernism is both a philosophy, philosophical movement and an art movement that arose from broad transformations in Western society during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The movement reflecte ...
. Also on the topic of artistic notions with regard to urbanism was
Louis Sullivan Louis Henry Sullivan (September 3, 1856 – April 14, 1924) was an American architect, and has been called a "father of skyscrapers" and "father of modernism". He was an influential architect of the Chicago School, a mentor to Frank Lloy ...
's ''The Tall Office Building Artistically Considered'' of 1896. In this essay, Sullivan penned his famous alliterative adage "form ever follows function"; a phrase that was to be later adopted as a central tenet of Modern architectural theory. While later architects adopted the abbreviated phrase "form follows function" as a polemic in service of functionalist doctrine, Sullivan wrote of function with regard to biological functions of the natural order. Another influential planning theorist of this time was
Ebenezer Howard Sir Ebenezer Howard (29 January 1850 – 1 May 1928) was an English urban planner and founder of the garden city movement, known for his publication ''To-Morrow: A Peaceful Path to Real Reform'' (1898), the description of a utopian city in whic ...

Ebenezer Howard
, who founded the
garden city movement The garden city movement is a method of urban planning in which self-contained communities are surrounded by " greenbelts", containing proportionate areas of residences, industry, and agriculture. The idea was initiated in 1898 by Ebenezer Ho ...
. This movement aimed to form communities with architecture in the
Arts and Crafts style The arts refers to the theory, human application and physical expression of creativity Creativity is a phenomenon whereby something somehow new and somehow valuable is formed. The created item may be intangible (such as an idea, a scienti ...
at
Letchworth Letchworth Garden City, commonly known as Letchworth, is a town in Hertfordshire Hertfordshire (; often abbreviated Herts) is one of the home counties in southern England England is a that is part of the . It shares land borders ...
and
Welwyn Garden City Welwyn Garden City ( ) is a town in Hertfordshire, England, north of London. It was the second Garden city movement, garden city in England (founded 1920) and one of the first New towns in the United Kingdom, new towns (designated 1948). It is ...
and popularised the style as domestic architecture. In
Vienna Vienna ( ; german: Wien ; bar, Wean, label=Bavarian language, Austro-Bavarian ) is the Capital city, national capital, largest city, and one of States of Austria, nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's List of cities and towns in Austria, mos ...

Vienna
, the idea of a radically new
modern architecture Modern architecture, or modernist architecture, was an architectural movement or architectural style An architectural style is a set of characteristics and features that make a building or other structure notable or historically identifiable ...

modern architecture
had many theorists and proponents. An early use of the term ''modern architecture'' in print occurred in the title of a book by
Otto Wagner Otto Koloman Wagner (; 13 July 1841 – 11 April 1918) was an Austrian architect, furniture designer and urban planner. He was a leading member of the Vienna Secession movement of architecture, founded in 1897, and the broader Art Nouveau move ...
, who gave examples of his own work representative of the
Vienna Secession The Vienna Secession (german: Wiener Secession; also known as ''the Union of Austrian Artists'', or ''Vereinigung Bildender Künstler Österreichs'') is an art movement, closely related to Art Nouveau Art Nouveau (; ) is an international styl ...

Vienna Secession
with
art nouveau Art Nouveau (; ) is an international style Style is a manner of doing or presenting things and may refer to: * Architectural style, the features that make a building or structure historically identifiable * Design, the process of creating som ...
illustrations, and didactic teachings to his students. Soon thereafter,
Adolf Loos Adolf Franz Karl Viktor Maria Loos (; 10 December 1870 – 23 August 1933) was an Austrian architect and influential European theorist of modern architecture Modern architecture, or modernist architecture, was an architectural style based ...

Adolf Loos
wrote ''
Ornament and Crime "Ornament and Crime" is an essay and lecture by modernist architect Adolf Loos that criticizes ornament in useful objects. History Contrary to popular belief that it was composed in 1908, Adolf Loos first gave the lecture in 1910 at the Akademi ...
'', and while his own style is usually seen in the context of the
Jugendstil Jugendstil ("Youth Style") was an artistic movement, particularly in the decorative arts ] The decorative arts are arts or crafts whose object is the design A design is a plan or specification for the construction of an object or system or ...

Jugendstil
, his demand for "the elimination of ornament" joined the slogan "
form follows function Form follows function is a principle of design associated with late 19th and early 20th century architecture upright=1.45, alt=Plan d'exécution du second étage de l'hôtel de Brionne (dessin) De Cotte 2503c – Gallica 2011 (adjusted), ...
" as a principle of the architectural so-called
Modern Movement , Solomon Guggenheim Museum 1946–1959 Modernism is both a philosophy, philosophical movement and an art movement that arose from broad transformations in Western society during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The movement reflecte ...
that came to dominate the mid-20th century.
Walter Gropius Walter Adolph Georg Gropius (18 May 1883 – 5 July 1969) was a German architect and founder of the Bauhaus School, who, along with Alvar Aalto, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Le Corbusier and Frank Lloyd Wright, is widely regarded as one of the pio ...
,
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe Ludwig Mies van der Rohe ( ; ; born Maria Ludwig Michael Mies; March 27, 1886August 17, 1969) was a German-American architect An architect is a person who plans, designs and oversees the construction of buildings. To practice architecture ...
and
Le Corbusier Charles-Édouard Jeanneret (6 October 188727 August 1965), known as Le Corbusier ( , , ; roughly, "the crow-like one"), was a Swiss Swiss may refer to: * the adjectival form of Switzerland ,german: Schweizer(in),french: Suisse(sse), it ...

Le Corbusier
provided the theoretical basis for the International Style with aims of using industrialised architecture to reshape society.
Frank Lloyd Wright Frank Lloyd Wright (June 8, 1867 – April 9, 1959) was an American architect, designer, writer, and educator. He designed more than 1,000 structures over a creative period of 70 years. Wright believed in designing in harmony with humanity and t ...

Frank Lloyd Wright
, while modern in rejecting historic revivalism, was idiosyncratic in his theory, which he conveyed in copious writing. Wright did not subscribe to the tenets of the International Style, but evolved what he hoped would be an American, in contrast to a European, progressive course. Wright's style, however, was highly personal, involving his particular views of man and nature. Wright was more poetic and firmly maintained the 19th-century view of the creative artist as unique genius. This limited the relevance of his theoretical propositions. Towards the end of the century
postmodern architecture Postmodern architecture is a style or movement which emerged in the 1960s as a reaction against the austerity, formality, and lack of variety of modern architecture, particularly in the International Style (architecture), international style ad ...
reacted against the austerity of High Modern (International Style) principles, viewed as narrowly normative and doctrinaire.


Contemporary

In contemporary architectural discourse theory has become more concerned with its position within culture generally, and thought in particular. This is why university courses on architecture theory may often spend just as much time discussing philosophy and cultural studies as buildings, and why advanced postgraduate research and doctoral dissertations focus on philosophical topics in connection with architectural humanities. Some architectural theorists aim at discussing philosophical themes, or engage in direct dialogues with philosophers, as in the case of
Peter Eisenman Peter Eisenman (born August 11, 1932) is an American architect. Considered one of the New York Five, Eisenman is known for his writing and speaking about architecture as well as his designs, which have been called high modernist or deconstructiv ...
's and
Bernard Tschumi Bernard Tschumi (born 25 January 1944 in Lausanne, Switzerland) is an architect, writer, and educator, commonly associated with deconstructivism. Son of the well-known Swiss architect Jean Tschumi and a French mother, Tschumi is a dual French-Sw ...
's interest in
Derrida Derrida is a surname shared by notable people listed below. * Bernard Derrida (born 1952), French theoretical physicist * Jacques Derrida (1930–2004), French philosopher ** Derrida (film), ''Derrida'' (film), a 2002 American documentary film * Ma ...
's thought, or Anthony Vidler's interest in the works of
Freud Sigmund Freud ( , ; born Sigismund Schlomo Freud; 6 May 1856 – 23 September 1939) was an Austrian neurologist Neurology (from el, νεῦρον (neûron), "string, nerve" and the suffix -logia ''-logy'' is a suffix in the English l ...

Freud
and
Lacan Jacques Marie Émile Lacan (; ; 13 April 1901 – 9 September 1981) was a French psychoanalyst and psychiatrist A psychiatrist is a physician A physician (American English), medical practitioner (English in the Commonwealth of Nations ...

Lacan
, in addition to an interest in
Gaston Bachelard Gaston Bachelard (; ; 27 June 1884 – 16 October 1962) was a French philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy. The term ''philosopher'' comes from the grc, φιλόσοφος, , translit=philosophos, meaning 'lover of wisd ...
's ''Poetics of Space'' or texts by
Gilles Deleuze Gilles Deleuze (; ; 18 January 1925 – 4 November 1995) was a French philosopher who, from the early 1950s until his death in 1995, wrote on philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such a ...

Gilles Deleuze
. This has also been the case with educators in academia like Dalibor Vesely or Alberto-Perez Gomez, and in more recent years this philosophical orientation has been reinforced through the research of a new generation of theorists (E.G.
Jeffrey Kipnis
Jeffrey Kipnis
or Sanford Kwinter). Similarly, we can refer to contemporary architects who are interested in philosophy and cultural studies. Some are interested in
phenomenology Phenomenology may refer to: * Empirical research, when used to describe measurement methods in some sciences * An empirical relationship or phenomenological model * Phenomenology (architecture), based on the experience of building materials and the ...
, like
Christian Norberg-Schulz Christian Norberg-Schulz (23 May 1926 – 28 March 2000) was a Norwegian architect An architect is a person who plans, designs and oversees the construction of buildings. To practice architecture means to provide services in connection with the ...
, or specialize as philosophers and historians of science, such as
Nader El-Bizri Nader El-Bizri ( ar, نادر البزري, ''nādir al-bizrĩ'') is a professor of philosophy and civilization studies at the American University of Beirut The American University of Beirut (AUB) ( ar, الجامعة الأميركية ف ...
who is also a notable phenomenologist (especially in
Heidegger Martin Heidegger (; ; 26 September 188926 May 1976) was a key German philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, ...

Heidegger
studies). Others, like Beatriz Colomina and Mary McLeod, expand historical understandings of architecture to include lesser or minor discourses that have influenced the development of architectural ideas over time. Studies in feminism in architecture, and in sexuality and gender as potent cultural expressions, are also considered an integral part of the latter 20th-century theoretical discourse, and are associated with such persons as Dolores Hayden, Catherine Ingraham, Jennifer Bloomer and Sylvia Lavin. The notion that theory entails critique also stemmed from post-structural
literary studies Literary criticism (or literary studies) is the study, evaluation Evaluation is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A system, su ...
in the work of many other theorists and architects, such as Mark Wigley and Diana Agrest, among others. In their theories, architecture is compared to a language which can be invented and re-invented every time it is used. This theory influenced the so-called deconstructivist architecture. In contrast, network society innovators, especially Silicon Valley software developers, have embraced
Christopher Alexander Christopher Wolfgang Alexander (born 4 October 1936 in Vienna Vienna ( ; german: Wien ; bar, Wean, label= ) is the , largest city, and one of of . Vienna is Austria's , with about 2 million inhabitants (2.6 million within the , nearly ...

Christopher Alexander
's emphasis on
The Timeless Way of Building ''The Timeless Way of Building'' is a 1979 book by Christopher Alexander that proposes a new theory of architecture (and design in general) that relies on the understanding and configuration of design patterns. Although it came out later, it is ess ...
(1979) based on pattern languages that are optimized on-site as construction unfolds. Since 2000, architectural theory has also had to face the rapid rise of urbanism and
globalization Globalization, or globalisation (Commonwealth English The use of the English language English is a of the , originally spoken by the inhabitants of . It is named after the , one of the ancient that migrated from , a peninsu ...

globalization
. By developing a new understanding of the city, many theorists developed new understandings of the urban conditions of our planet (E.G.
Rem Koolhaas Remment Lucas Koolhaas (; born 17 November 1944) is a Dutch architect An architect is a person who plans, designs and oversees the construction of buildings. To practice architecture means to provide services in connection with the design o ...

Rem Koolhaas
's ''Bigness''). Interests in fragmentation and architecture as transient objects further affected such thinking (e.g. the concern for employing high technology), but also related to general concerns such as
ecology Ecology (from el, οἶκος, "house" and el, -λογία, label=none, "study of") is the study of the relationships between living organisms, including humans, and their physical environment. Ecology considers organisms In biol ...
,
mass media Mass media refers to a diverse array of media Media may refer to: Physical means Communication * Media (communication), tools used to deliver information or data ** Advertising media, various media, content, buying and placement fo ...
, and economism. In the past decade, there has been the emergence of the so-called "Digital" Architecture. Several currents and design methodologies are being developed simultaneously, some of which reinforce each other, whereas others work in opposition. One of these trends is
Biomimicry Biomimetics or biomimicry is the emulation of the models, systems, and elements of nature for the purpose of solving complex human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and widespread species of primates, characterized by bipedality ...
, which is the process of examining nature, its models, systems, processes, and elements, to emulate or take inspiration from them in order to solve human problems.Reading University: What is Biomimetics?
Retrieved 3 June 2012. Architects also design organic-looking buildings in the attempt to develop a new formal language. Another trend is the exploration of those computational techniques that are influenced by algorithms relevant to biological processes and sometimes referred to as
Digital morphogenesisDigital morphogenesis is a type of generative art in which complex shape development, or morphogenesis, is enabled by computation. This concept is applicable in many areas of design, art, architecture, and modeling. The concept was originally develo ...
. Trying to utilize Computational creativity in architecture,
Genetic algorithms spacecraft antenna. This complicated shape was found by an evolutionary computer design program to create the best radiation pattern. It is known as an evolved antenna. In computer science Computer science deals with the theoretical found ...
developed in computer science are used to evolve designs on a computer, and some of these are proposed and built as actual structures. Since these new architectural tendencies emerged, many theorists and architects have been working on these issues, developing theories and ideas such as Patrick Schumacher's Parametricism. Contemporary architecture's theoretical world is plural and multicolored. There are different dominant schools of architectural theory which are based on linguistic analysis, philosophy, post-structuralism, or cultural theory. For instance, there is emerging interest in the re-discovery of the post-modernist project ( Sam Jacob), in the definition of new radical tendencies of architecture and its implication in the development of cities ( Pier Vittorio Aureli), in the embrace of the idea of discipline (Dora Epstein Jones or Todd Gannon) and in a new formalist approach to architecture through the appropriation of concepts from the Object Oriented philosophy ( Peter Trummer or Tom Wiscombe). It is too early, however, to say whether any of these explorations will have widespread or lasting impact on architecture.


Some architectural theorists


Historical

*
Vitruvius Vitruvius (; c. 80–70 BC – after c. 15 BC) was a Roman architect and engineer during the 1st century BC, known for his multi-volume work entitled ''De architectura''. He originated the idea that all buildings should have three attribute ...

Vitruvius
*
Leon Battista Alberti Leon Battista Alberti (; 14 February 1404 – 25 April 1472) was an Italian Renaissance humanist Renaissance humanism was a revival in the study of classical antiquity, at first Italian Renaissance, in Italy and then spreading across Western Eu ...

Leon Battista Alberti
*
Andrea Palladio Andrea Palladio ( , ; 30 November 1508 – 19 August 1580) was an Italian Renaissance The Italian Renaissance ( it, Rinascimento ) was a period in Italian history The history of Italy covers the Ancient Period, the Middle Ages and t ...

Andrea Palladio
*
Sebastiano Serlio Sebastiano Serlio (6 September 1475 – c. 1554) was an Italian Mannerist architect, who was part of the Italian team building the Château de Fontainebleau, Palace of Fontainebleau. Serlio helped canonize the classical orders of architecture ...

Sebastiano Serlio
*
Gérard Desargues Girard Desargues (; 21 February 1591 – September 1661) was a France, French mathematician and engineer, who is considered one of the founders of projective geometry. Desargues' theorem, the Desargues graph, and the crater Desargues (crater), D ...
*
Filarete Antonio di Pietro Aver(u)lino (; – ), known as Filarete (; from grc, φιλάρετος, meaning "lover of excellence"), was a Florentine Renaissance architect An architect is a person who plans, designs and oversees the construction of bui ...
*Francesco di Giorgio *Teofilo Gallaccini *Marc-Antoine Laugier *Antoine-Chrysostome Quatremere de Quincy * Giambattista Piranesi *Carlo Lodoli *Francesco Milizia *
John Ruskin John Ruskin (8 February 1819 20 January 1900) was an English writer, philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, ...

John Ruskin
*
Horatio Greenough Horatio Greenough (September 6, 1805 – December 18, 1852) was an American sculptor best known for his United States government commissions ''The Rescue (statue), The Rescue'' (1837–50) and ''George Washington (Greenough), George Washington ...

Horatio Greenough
*
Eugène Viollet-le-Duc Eugène Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc (; 27 January 181417 September 1879) was a French architect and author who restored many prominent medieval landmarks in France, including those which had been damaged or abandoned during the French Revolution. Hi ...

Eugène Viollet-le-Duc
*
Karl Friedrich Schinkel Karl Friedrich Schinkel (13 March 1781 – 9 October 1841) was a Prussia Prussia, , Old Prussian Distribution of the Baltic tribes, circa 1200 CE (boundaries are approximate). Old Prussian was a Western Baltic language belonging to ...
* Paul Sédille *
Hermann Muthesius Adam Gottlieb Hermann Muthesius (20 April 1861 – 29 October 1927), known as Hermann Muthesius, was a German architect An architect is a person who plans, designs and oversees the construction of buildings. To practice architecture means to pr ...

Hermann Muthesius
*
Frank Lloyd Wright Frank Lloyd Wright (June 8, 1867 – April 9, 1959) was an American architect, designer, writer, and educator. He designed more than 1,000 structures over a creative period of 70 years. Wright believed in designing in harmony with humanity and t ...

Frank Lloyd Wright


Formalism and space

*
Hans Auer __NOTOC__ Hans Wilhelm Auer (26 April 1847 – 30 August 1906) was a Swiss Swiss may refer to: * the adjectival form of Switzerland *Swiss people Places *Swiss, Missouri *Swiss, North Carolina *Swiss, West Virginia *Swiss, Wisconsin Other uses * ...
* Konrad Fiedler *Henri Focillon *Paul Frankl *Adolf von Hildebrand *Emil Kaufmann *Theodor Lipps *Alois Riegl *Geoffrey Scott (architectural historian), Geoffrey Scott *August Schmarsow *
Gottfried Semper Gottfried Semper (; 29 November 1803 – 15 May 1879) was a German architect, art critic An art critic is a person who is specialized in analyzing, interpreting, and evaluating art Art is a diverse range of (products of) human activities ...
*John Summerson *Robert Vischer *Heinrich Wölfflin *Wilhelm Worringer *Hans Van der Laan


Modernist

*Reyner Banham *Ernesto Nathan Rogers *Bruno Zevi *Sigfried Giedion *Leonardo Benevolo *Steen Eiler Rasmussen *
Otto Wagner Otto Koloman Wagner (; 13 July 1841 – 11 April 1918) was an Austrian architect, furniture designer and urban planner. He was a leading member of the Vienna Secession movement of architecture, founded in 1897, and the broader Art Nouveau move ...
*
Le Corbusier Charles-Édouard Jeanneret (6 October 188727 August 1965), known as Le Corbusier ( , , ; roughly, "the crow-like one"), was a Swiss Swiss may refer to: * the adjectival form of Switzerland ,german: Schweizer(in),french: Suisse(sse), it ...

Le Corbusier
*
Adolf Loos Adolf Franz Karl Viktor Maria Loos (; 10 December 1870 – 23 August 1933) was an Austrian architect and influential European theorist of modern architecture Modern architecture, or modernist architecture, was an architectural style based ...

Adolf Loos
*Lewis Mumford *Edoardo Persico *Raymond Unwin *
Ebenezer Howard Sir Ebenezer Howard (29 January 1850 – 1 May 1928) was an English urban planner and founder of the garden city movement, known for his publication ''To-Morrow: A Peaceful Path to Real Reform'' (1898), the description of a utopian city in whic ...

Ebenezer Howard
*Rudolf Arnheim *Lúcio Costa *
Frank Lloyd Wright Frank Lloyd Wright (June 8, 1867 – April 9, 1959) was an American architect, designer, writer, and educator. He designed more than 1,000 structures over a creative period of 70 years. Wright believed in designing in harmony with humanity and t ...

Frank Lloyd Wright


Postmodern and contemporary

*
Christopher Alexander Christopher Wolfgang Alexander (born 4 October 1936 in Vienna Vienna ( ; german: Wien ; bar, Wean, label= ) is the , largest city, and one of of . Vienna is Austria's , with about 2 million inhabitants (2.6 million within the , nearly ...

Christopher Alexander
*Stan Allen * Pier Vittorio Aureli *Andrea Branzi * Patrizio Ceccarini *Preston Scott Cohen *Peter Cook (architect) *Gillo Dorfless *
Nader El-Bizri Nader El-Bizri ( ar, نادر البزري, ''nādir al-bizrĩ'') is a professor of philosophy and civilization studies at the American University of Beirut The American University of Beirut (AUB) ( ar, الجامعة الأميركية ف ...
*
Peter Eisenman Peter Eisenman (born August 11, 1932) is an American architect. Considered one of the New York Five, Eisenman is known for his writing and speaking about architecture as well as his designs, which have been called high modernist or deconstructiv ...
*Hal Foster (art critic) *Kenneth Frampton *Marco Frascari *K. Michael Hays *Mark Jarzombek *Charles Jencks * *
Rem Koolhaas Remment Lucas Koolhaas (; born 17 November 1944) is a Dutch architect An architect is a person who plans, designs and oversees the construction of buildings. To practice architecture means to provide services in connection with the design o ...

Rem Koolhaas
*Leon Krier * Sanford Kwinter *Catherine Ingraham *Sylvia Lavin *David Leatherbarrow *Marc Linder *
Christian Norberg-Schulz Christian Norberg-Schulz (23 May 1926 – 28 March 2000) was a Norwegian architect An architect is a person who plans, designs and oversees the construction of buildings. To practice architecture means to provide services in connection with the ...
*Werner Oechslin *Juhani Pallasmaa *Alberto Pérez-Gómez *Paolo Portoghesi *Aldo Rossi *Colin Rowe *Joseph Rykwert *Yehuda Safran *Denise Scott Brown *Richard Sennett *Daniel Sherer *Robert Somol *Deyan Sudjic *Manfredo Tafuri *Robert Tavernor *Panayotis Tournikiotis * Peter Trummer *
Bernard Tschumi Bernard Tschumi (born 25 January 1944 in Lausanne, Switzerland) is an architect, writer, and educator, commonly associated with deconstructivism. Son of the well-known Swiss architect Jean Tschumi and a French mother, Tschumi is a dual French-Sw ...
*Oswald Mathias Ungers *Robert Venturi * Dalibor Vesely * Anthony Vidler *Paul Virilio *Sarah Whiting *Bruno Zevi *Bahram Shirdel


Digital architecture

*Ole Bouman *Mario Carpo *Mark Foster Gage *Greg Lynn *Malcolm McCullough *Antoine Picon *Nikos Salingaros *Patrik Schumacher *Lars Spuybroek Anti-architecture *George Bataille *Guy Debord *Michel Foucault *Henri Lefebvre


See also

*Vastu shastra *Phenomenology (architecture)


Notes


References

*Reyner Banham. ''Theory and Design in the First Machine Age''. Praeger Publishers, 1960. *Patrizio Ceccarini, ''Catastrophisme architectural. L'architecture comme sémio-physique de l'espace social''. Paris, L'Harmattan, 2004. * Patrice Ceccarini, ''Le système architectural gothique. Théologie sciences et architecture au XIII° siècle à Saint-Denis (Tome 2). Morphogenèse et modélisation de la basilique de Saint-Denis''. Paris, Editions de l'Harmattan, 2013. *
Nader El-Bizri Nader El-Bizri ( ar, نادر البزري, ''nādir al-bizrĩ'') is a professor of philosophy and civilization studies at the American University of Beirut The American University of Beirut (AUB) ( ar, الجامعة الأميركية ف ...
, 'On Dwelling: Heideggerian Allusions to Architectural Phenomenology', Studia UBB Philosophia 60 (2015): 5–30. *Bernd Evers, Christoph Thoenes, et al. ''Architectural Theory from the Renaissance to the Present''. Taschen, 2003. * Saul Fisher
"Philosophy of Architecture"
''Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy'' (Fall 2015 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.) *K. Michael Hays (ed.). ''Architecture Theory since 1968''. Cambridge: MIT Press, 1998. *Mark Jarzombek
"The Cunning of Architecture's Reason,"
Footprint (#1, Autumn 2007), pp. 31–46. *Stephen R. Kellert, Judith Heerwagen, and Martin Mador (eds.), "Biophilic Design: the Theory, Science, and Practice of Bringing Buildings to Life", John Wiley, New York, 2008. *Hanno-Walter Kruft. ''A history of architectural theory: from Vitruvius to the present''. Princeton Architectural Press, 1994. *Harry F. Mallgrave, ''Modern Architectural Theory: A Historical Survey, 1673-1969''. Cambridge University Press, 2005. *Kate Nesbitt. ''Theorizing a New Agenda for Architecture: An Anthology of Architectural Theory''. Princeton Architectural Press, 1996. *Joan Ockman, Edward Eigen. ''Architecture Culture 1943-1968: A Documentary Anthology''. Rizzoli, 1993. *Nikos Salingaros. "A Theory of Architecture". Umbau-Verlag, 2006. . *Andrea Sauchelli
"On Architecture as a Spatial Art"
''Nordic Journal of Aesthetic'', 43 (2012) *Manfredo Tafuri, translated by Giorgio Verrecchia. ''Theories and History of Architecture''. Harper & Row, 1968. {{ISBN, 0-06-438580-9 *Vitruvius, Translation: Morris Hicky Morgan (1960). ''The Ten Books On Architecture''. Dover Publications.


External links


Collection of source documents in the history, theory and criticism of 20th-century architecture
Architectural theory, Architectural history