The Discipline of Architecture

The Discipline of Architecture

The Discipline of Architecture

The Discipline of Architecture

Excerpt

The disciplinary character of architecture is one of the most important, though underexplored, issues that architects face today. Disciplinarity— the way that architecture defines, creates, disseminates, and applies the knowledge within its domain of influence — is increasingly central to the discussions about the present and future direction of the field. However, we rarely focus on how our seeing, thinking, and understanding of architecture or on how the social construction of our field can obstruct or advance our ability to create a built world viable and valuable for the next century.

Following a line of thought developed by Ellen Messer-Davidow, David Shumway, and David Sylvan (e.g., 1993a, 1993b) and others in which knowledge is seen as “historically and socially contingent, ” and disciplines as “historically discontinuous” knowledge formations in constant change (Shumway and Messer-Davidow 1991, 218), the essays collected here, many of them presented at the conference “Knowledges: Production, Distribution, Revision, ” address this disciplinary question. They suggest that what propels architecture — such as procedures for design, education, research, publication, career advancement — is what has usually been considered to be peripheral to the field. This collection shifts the emphasis to what we believe is the center of the problem — the epistemological and political dimensions of architectural knowledge.

The chapters of this book show that the practices of knowledge production and dissemination do not play a minor supportive role in the . . .

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