On Constraint and Agency in Contemporary Architecture
Published by: University of Massachusetts Press
Today, the field of architecture faces a reckoning. While there is no longer consensus on what defines an architectural work, theorists, historians, and practitioners are grappling with urgent issues—among them the impact of climate change, the dynamics of power and race in relation with the built environment, and the technological, practical, and ethical dimensions of architecture. As established practices, academic objectives, and professional expectations come under scrutiny, architecture is in search of new definitions, identities, and voices.
Inspired by Italo Calvino’s memos about literature in the twenty-first century, this volume—the second in a series— situates architecture within a broad framework, exploring its complex interactions with environmental, cultural, political, social, artistic, and technological forces. The editors’ objective is to spur conversation across the boundaries that divide architecture’s theorists and historians from practitioners. In addition to the editors, the contributors include Sanford Kwinter, Aleksandra Jaeschke, Jennifer Mack, Rahul Mehrotra, Charles Waldheim, Kristi Cheramie, Jesse Reiser, Julian Harake, Jenny E. Sabin, Charles Davis, Esra Akcan, and David Karmon.
“This volume directly addresses the issues that most interest architecture readers today, namely environmental sustainability and racial and social justice, and taken together these essays emphasize the importance of continuing critical thought and reflection to better understand them. The collection significantly advances the multiplicity of voices in an essential way.”—Paul Emmons, associate dean for graduate studies at the Washington-Alexandria Architecture Center, Virginia Tech
“I believe this important book takes architectural discourse well beyond the old debate and disparity between prescription and invention and beyond the challenging of disciplinary boundaries.”—Teresa Stoppani, author of Unorthodox Ways to Think the City: Representations, Constructions, Dynamics