Architecture, the most durable of the arts, is inextricably linked to issues of memory, nostalgia, and history. Yet, in this impatient century, the discipline’s relationship to the past has become increasingly fraught. The stream of readily accessible information has trapped us in a perpetual present, and our attention spans have been reduced to 140-character bursts. As archives overflow and data multiplies, these accumulating facts lack any theory of significance. Is history still relevant in a media landscape where time passes at an accelerated pace?
This issue of Perspecta—the oldest and most distinguished student-edited architectural journal in America—proposes that amnesia, often seen as a destructive force, might also be understood as a productive one, that the gaps it creates might also provide spaces for invention. Contributions from a diverse group of scholars, artists, and practitioners explore the paradoxical nature of amnesia: How can forgetfulness be both harmful and generative? What will we borrow or abandon from yesterday to confront tomorrow? What sort of critical genealogies can be repurposed, suppressed, or manufactured to reenergize current practice? How might we construct counter-narratives, rebel histories, and alternative canons that are relevant to our present moment?
Perspecta 48 considers the uses and abuses of history and ignites a debate about the role of memory in architecture.
Esra Akcan, Amale Andraos, Iwan Baan, Mario Carpo, David Chipperfield, T.J Demos, Kyle Dugdale, Ed Eigen, Marco Frascari, Maria Giudici, Karsten Harries, Sam Jacob, Andrew Kovacs, Sylvia Lavin, Gary Leggett, Richard Mosse, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Stephan Petermann and OMA/AMO, Matt Roman, Saskia Sassen, Russell Thomsen, Anthony Vidler, Stanislaus von Moos.