Essays In Architecture

“In this collection of seminal texts, Kipnis reminds us once again why his unique ability to focus our close attention to the specifically architectural qualities of buildings and the intellection that produces them makes him the most important architectural critic practicing today. His utterly distinctive voice pulses with the vitality of contemporary culture until the language of each essay constructs architectural qualities of its own.”
Sylvia Lavin, Director of Critical Studies and MA/PhD Programs, UCLA Architecture

“Like all great critics, Kipnis does not describe things as they are, or have been understood, but as they could be, reconstituting the matter into something: more; powerful. Within these texts disciplinary concerns and cultural logics (proper to architecture, but in proximity to other discourses) are of paramount importance, and beauty (or the like) reigns supreme. With so intoxicating a description of possibility, who cares if it is true or not? These writings challenge architecture to relevance, to importance, and to make the world again and again, as necessary and desired.”
John McMorrough, Architecture Program Chair, Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, University of Michigan

Hubert Damisch is one of the very few philosophers who have taken the field of architecture seriously. This book will be the first time English-speaking readers will have the privilege of reading his provocative takes on a range of issues from geometry and perspective, to Le Corbusier and Diller and Scofidio.

(Mark Jarzombek, Professor of the History and Theory of Architecture, MIT)

This translation of Hubert Damisch's incisive and profound essays on architecture is long overdue. Among Paris intellectuals, Damisch is unquestionably alone in having considered designs and building as theoretical objects. From archetypes such as the column or the wall, to the works of Le Corbusier, Adolf Loos, and his close friend Jean Prouvé, considered in compelling detail, he highlights with utmost elegance fundamental issues in architecture.

(Jean-Louis Cohen, Sheldon H. Solow Professor in the History of Architecture, Institute of Fine Arts, New York University; author of Architecture in Uniform, The Future of Architecture Since 1889, and Le Corbusier: An Atlas of Modern Landscapes)

Drawing from an enormous range of historical subject matter, from the Renaissance to the present, Damisch probes not what architecture was but what architecture is -- what kind of knowledge, what kind of thing, the philosophical nature of its existence, and how architecture functions as a fundamental postulate for our being in the world. Reading Damisch writing architecture leads us through origins and ends, disciplines and practices, and produces sheer exhilaration of architectural thought.

(K. Michael Hays, Eliot Noyes Professor of Architecture Theory, Harvard Graduate School of Design; author of Architecture's Desire)

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