Perspecta 33 explores the concept of architectural autonomy and its relationship to the discipline’s potential as a critical agent.The journal revisits the debate of the past thirty years over architectural autonomy—the belief that architecture is a self-contained field with its own legible, meaningful forms. It addresses the twentieth-century lineage of autonomy from its origins in the fine arts and art history to its architectural manifestation in the 1970s—a time when the functionalist, utilitarian nature of the modernist era led to a perceived dissolution of the discipline’s professional boundaries. From this historical understanding, the journal investigates current practice, asking whether autonomy is still essential to the “critical project.” Perspecta 33 notes a shift in critical attention from the center of the discipline to its periphery, where architecture is able to translate intelligence from other disciplines into its own conventions and language, as well as pass ideas and speculation into the world. New methods of architectural production (digital design, imaging, and fabrication), growing environmental concerns, and changing ideas about domesticity and urban space suggest alternative directions for criticality.The essays are organized in two parts: those that explicitly engage the history of architectural autonomy and those that offer alternatives or counterexamples. In addition to the articles, there is a portfolio of contemporary projects that draw their criticality from disciplines outside architecture.
Hubert Damisch—Ledoux with Kant
Anthony Vidler—The Ledoux Effect: Emil Kaufmann and the Claims of Kantian Autonomy
Stanford Anderson—Quasi-Autonomy in Architecture: The Search for an ‘In-Between’
Diane Y. Ghirardo—Manfredo Tafuri and Architecture Theory in the U.S., 1970-2000
Christopher Wood—Why Autonomy?
K. Michael Hays, Lauren Kogod, the Editors—Twenty Projects at the Boundaries of the Architectural Discipline Examined in Relation to the Historical and Contemporary Debates over Autonomy
Robert Somol and Sarah Whiting—Notes Around the Doppler Effect and Other Moods of Modernism
Elizabeth Grosz—Notes on the Thing
Bernard Cache—Gottfried Semper: Stereotomy, Biology, and Geometry
Bernard Cache and Patrick Beaucé—Digital de l'Orme
Michael Stanton—The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: The Urbanism of Good and Bad Intentions
Hashim Sarkis—Constants in Motion: Le Corbusier’s ‘Rule of Movement’ at the Carpenter Center
Neal Leach—Belonging: Toward a Theory of Identification with Place