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Architecture and Aesth ethics. Francesco Algarotti. Towards the middle of the 18 th century, Europe was witnessing the first signs of the Enlightenment. Together with these advancements of reason, a similar movement is to be observed within the theoretical approaches to architecture. In , two most significant books, albeit advocating contradictory ideas, were published: Essai sur l'architecture written by the Jesuit priest Marc-Antoine Laugier, 2 and count Francesco Algarotti's Saggio sopra l'architettura.

Thus, during the almost thirty years of its issuing, the encyclopedic enterprise was successively confronted with censorship, interdiction, and the need to resort to underground printing; in their turn, Laugier's reflections were received with irate displeasure, the manifestations of which varied from insult to charges of plagiarism; 4 Algarotti's essay was itself critical towards these novel approaches and synchronized with the major conservative opinion in presenting the theories of a certain personage, Carlo Lodoli, with which he fundamentally disagreed.

Plainly or indirectly expressed, Laugier's and Lodoli's architectural criticism shared with the encyclopedic general tone two underlying features: the disapproval of the traditionally consolidated preconceptions, and the appeal to first principles, extracted from direct observation and research.

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Although dissimilar in reasoning, both of them called for an increase in rationality and adequacy within architectural thought and design, as they concluded that modern architecture had drifted away from the primary patterns, losing at the same time a certain inner coordination between matter and form.

It is particularly with regard to this last issue that one might consider relevant the surprisingly novel and visionary reflections of Carlo Lodoli, frequently looked upon as one of the forerunners of functionalism. A brief biographical survey should be, at this point, introductory. Early in his life, he entered the Franciscan order, proving a particular inclination towards philosophy and mathematics. At the age of twenty he went to Rome, where he spent several years , during which he developed a taste for arts and history, and started his inquiries into other provinces of spirit.

Later on, between and , he moved to Verona, where he frequented the circle of Francesco Scipione Maffei, illustrious antiquarian and humanist, who kept a rich correspondence with the most prominent scientists of his time.

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However, Lodoli's most substantial activity, between and , was displayed as "revisore" for the books to be published in Venice, during which time, because of his liberal approach, the editorial production seems to have flourished. He spent most of his life in the cloister of San Francesco della Vigna, famous for its 16 th century church, designed by Francesco Giorgio and Andrea Palladio according to Pythagorean ratios. He accepted but a small group of young Venetian aristocrats; Francesco Algarotti was among them, and later on Giovanni Battista Piranesi and Andrea Memmo would also join in.

It is worth mentioning that Lodoli was frequently present in the Venetian erudite circles especially in the entourage of the British consul Joseph Smith , were he could find opportunities to present his own theories, and that around him an entire collectivity, known as "i rigoristi", gathered, shared and continued spreading his ideas, even after his death. Carlo Lodoli was confronting solely Italian late Baroque architecture, quite often theatrical and abundantly ornamented.

He spent his last years in solitude and suffering from a disease that eventually, on the 28 th of October , would cause his death. It is on this unusual theorist's personality and thought that my paper will focus, while attempting to retrace his conceptual edifice, together with its sources and articulations. Not irrelevant, on the other hand, are the circumstances under which the Lodolian system was forged and spread; therefore, shaping the context against which it vehemently stands might be necessary.

Finally, since Lodoli is addressing the issue of architectural truth as opposed to its ornate dissimulation, by emphasizing intrinsic qualities and inferred rules, I shall also approach the ethical dimension of his discourse, within the broader context of the coeval aesthetic theories. However, placing him in the same context with the visionary architects of the late 18 th century and even with the contemporary French theoreticians would seem rather misleading. We have no evidence of an authentic, historical interference: all we know about fra' Lodoli somewhat points towards isolation.

As he was largely ignored in the 19 th century, despite the post mortem publishing of the exhaustive account given by his disciple, Andrea Memmo, his 'portrait' is regrettably modern. We have to cope with this sort of 'modernity', since he was rediscovered after the First World War, in a time when the totalitarian architecture — mainly in Italy and Germany — was considered to have found a forerunner. Nevertheless, the Lodolian bibliography remains to this day rather scattered, despite the fact that prominent historians of architecture like Emil Kaufmann or Joseph Rykwert have contributed to it.

The most complete published analysis, compared to which any subsequent essay proves almost redundant, was produced by Louis Cellauro in My own contribution is an attempt to see Lodoli's theory through the lens of the coeval scientific achievements, while presenting him as an actor of the architectural crisis at the end of classical modernity. The somewhat enthusiastic rediscovery of Carlo Lodoli in the 20 th century irreversibly pulled him out of oblivion. Still, given the temporal distance, one is tempted to overestimate the real impact, as well as the true meaning of his ideas and vocabulary.

It is obvious that his "functionalist" approach considerably differed from that of Louis Sullivan, as the word "function" didn't mean the same thing in the 18 th century and two hundred years later. On the other hand, eager to prove the continuity, the modern interpretation itself is running the risk of omitting the initial context and relations. A careful historical view is therefore recommended. When scrutinizing Carlo Lodoli's theory, one is discouraged from the very beginning by two conspicuous setbacks: his lack of an appropriate professional instruction, and the fact that he never published a treatise on architecture.

In other words, he would most likely risk to seem irrelevant, were it not, paradoxically, precisely because this inquiry was conducted by an outsider with a differently shaped forma mentis , that his approach was so original, free of the misconceptions that the Vitruvian dogma had perpetuated for centuries.

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Lodoli's authorship still remains an ambiguous matter. While it is certain that he never published a treatise, the presupposition of his writing such an opus is likewise turbid. On the one hand, all his papers were forever lost — those that were not lost during his last travels between Venice and Padua were seized by the Inquisition, inadequately preserved and finally destroyed; on the other hand, some contemporary voices supported the supposition of a more or less imminent publication.

Francesco Algarotti was the first to formulate it, under the title Saggio sopra l'architettura , in The context of its writing, the ambitions and, moreover, the reception of this essay, are well enough documented. The fear that the maestro's reflections might be lost, and the conviction that he himself will never commit his writings to publishing, determined Andrea Memmo to ask one of Lodoli's disciples to compile them.

After a first failed attempt involving a certain Federico Foscari , he finally came to an agreement with count Algarotti; it was perhaps his notoriety, and the further wide circulation of the book that overcame the restrictions at first imposed by Algarotti — not to disclose such an enterprise, and, more importantly, not to interfere with it until the end. The fact is that, once the essay was published, all Memmo's expectations proved thwarted: Algarotti's version was but a sketchy rendering of the Lodolian doctrine, ironically indulgent and, in places, overtly critical.

Although planned in two volumes, this work was entirely published only towards the middle of the next century, when the initial pursuit had long since lost its timeliness. In fact, already by , the year of the first edition, Lodoli was on his way of being forgotten, as the architectural debate was centered on other issues, such as the revolutionary utopias or the archeological discoveries and measurements published by Julien-David Le Roy, James Stuart and Nicholas Revett among others that were heralding the historicism.

In a number of ways — such as the style, purpose, or reasoning — these two texts Algarotti's and Memmo's seem to be complementary: the brevity of the first is contrasted by the prolixity of the second; one author wrote in order to contest, while the other composed a sort of glorifying apology; Algarotti distorted his character, whereas Memmo monumentalized his. The difficulties in retracing the original formulation are multiplied by the circumstances under which the two texts were written and published. Thus, Algarotti's essay appeared during Lodoli's life, more precisely in the period of intensive circulation of his opinions, while Memmo's book, initially published more than twenty years after the death of both his teacher and his rival, was reconstituted through recollection.

Ultimately, the unsolvable problem regarding the analysis of this common material is its authenticity. In other words, what is at stake, in attempting to recover Lodoli's thought, is its degree of transparency and objectivity in relation to the ideas of this "author-character". Francesco Algarotti's discourse might be rendered as follows: one of his contemporaries nameless, mentioned as "valentuomo" or "filosofo" has identified in the field of both ancient and modern architecture more errors and abuses than anyone else before him.


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Therefore, debating upon the question of ornament — and, ultimately, upon that of architectural language — the ingenious writer declares that falsehood outmatches in beauty the pursuit of truth. At a first glance, the manner in which this reasoning is transmitted is at once disdainful and personally taken. It is obvious that Saggio sopra l'architettura was ever intended as an objective theory, 20 but as an offensive against some ideas considered too extravagant, and even dangerous.

Still, besides the reluctance, one should remark the intelligence with which they are expressed, recalling the already famous "querelle des anciens et des modernes". Unlike this abbreviated literary exercise, Andrea Memmo's text has a more complex structure, combining various types of discursive strategy: biography, theoretical approach, polemic, treatise-like systematization etc. More significantly, although the author lacked both architectural knowledge and praxis , he was eager to learn by reading the most relevant treatises, for which, in , when he had just started to write, he kept asking his friends.

Memmo's book is commonly considered to be the most faithful expression of its original source, notwithstanding certain reservations concerning the objectivity of the rendering and the correctness of the information. At this point, a short remark is necessary. Besides the fact that Elementi d'architettura lodoliana is somewhat anachronistic, it also had a limited circulation.

In fact, neither Memmo's book nor Algarotti's were translated and, unless read in original, they must have had a little impact abroad. However, towards the end of the 18 th century, a notorious compiler, Francesco Milizia, appears to have disseminated — as his own — the Lodolian ideas. In the second volume of his book, Andrea Memmo reveals the structure of what might have been Lodoli's treatise, a scheme of his conceptual edifice. He does so by providing two versions, the first of which was conceived in nine chapters, and the second in six. Its first book Libro I would have examined various constructive systems, on an evolutionary line starting with ancient Egypt, continuing with the Etruscan and Greek orders, to end with the French Gothic and Spanish Moorish architecture; this overview of the architectural history would have prefaced the exposure of the Vitruvian fallacy.

Starting from here, Lodoli would have exposed the faults and contradictions of the five architectural orders, demonstrating the inappropriate relationship between classical form and stone "loro insussistenza in pietra". This introductory chapter would have concluded with a plea for the necessity of imposing new rules "un nuovo istituto" in order to free civil architecture from the captivity of false models.

Once architecture was established as a science, new principles would have been determined "devonsi esigere pricipii" in order to organize a system — architecture itself — composed of unchanging "primary elements" "parti integrali immutabili" and "secondary elements" "parti integrali secondarie". The next two books Libri VI-VII would have elucidated the question of "secondary elements", focusing on commodity and ornament , approaching such matters as quantity and quality, norms and distribution, interior and exterior.

The eighth book Libro VIII would have spoken about the components of the ancient constructive system, to which the new rules might be applied, together with the columns' true ratios, while the last one Libro IX is only mentioned, without any indication of its content. The second version of the presumed Lodolian plan is conceived around the same notions and argumentation, albeit with a somewhat modified distribution.

However, a conspicuous novelty is its concise richness in theoretical content; if the first account was limited to delineating a possible treatise, this second one is already operating with definitions and more detailed classifications. For instance, the author asserts Libro I that function and representation are to be scientifically achieved, and that solidity, analogy and commodity are the essential properties of representation.

Beyond the exact phrasing of a text which is tedious enough and sometimes threatened by inadvertences, we notice that Lodoli's theoretical edifice is centered on truly innovative ideas. The most outstanding is the pair function-representation on the basis of which, in fact, the entire criticism of ancient and modern architecture is further developed.

Still, this is not seen in terms of an external relationship between a building and its purpose, but as an inner process , an intrinsic action.

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This is what Lodoli is made to assert: " The function of some matter which is able to create a structure is that multiplied and modified action that results from the matter itself […] according to its nature and the set purpose , and which harmonizes solidity, proportionality and commodity. Such a definition not only confers a certain "organicity" to the process of turning matter into form, but also institutes a direct relation between nature and finality, adjusted by the neutral rigor of science.

It is important to note that the terms themselves were in use within the scientific discourse. Thus, the noun funzione — derived from the Latin verb fungi to execute, to operate and adopted by the late Renaissance scientists in contradistinction to that of structure — was borrowed by Lodoli from the vocabulary of mathematics. Within this scientific frame, the physicist Giovanni Poleni for instance whom Lodoli knew well , investigated the "catenary curve" as applied to the San Pietro cupola in Rome; to him, the technical application of this notion was a representation.

The elucidation of the meaning this conceptual pair had in 18 th century, of which Lodoli was perfectly aware when applying it to architecture, is essential, since these terms constitute the "foundation" of his conceptual edifice. Only by resorting to the relation between function and representation is one able to understand the harsh criticism of the classical order, whose prototype was of a different material — wood — with obviously different properties and manifestations; to paraphrase Algarotti's paraphrase of Lodoli, the classical order's matter — fundamentally lithic — doesn't signify itself.

Unlike other contemporary theorists, who usually developed their own conjectures within the architect's profession — and, consequently, within the mimesis theory — abbot Lodoli related to architecture through a scientifically irrigated reflection, based on calculation and experiment. As already outlined, this particular positioning was determined by his formative path and his later activities and concerns. Thus, apparently, Lodoli's main contribution to the 18 th century debate on architecture was limited to promoting a fresh terminology, providing a starting point for a new reflexivity and language, as well as a connecting link between creativity and science.

In fact, this novel discursive articulation is but the exterior aspect of a more profound revision of the fundamental architectural presupposition, undertaken through the framework of an exterior body of knowledge. Through the frequented authors, Lodoli placed himself within a complex epistemological network which blends modern thought, medieval scholasticism and ancient knowledge, made to communicate with the "Cartesian doubt" and the Enlightenment rationalism. In attempting to reconstruct his mental build-up one should observe from the outset that Father Lodoli's knowledge was both vast and diversified.

It appears that his intellectual pursuit and abilities were truly remarkable since, as Andrea Memmo lets us know, he was able to quote his authors by heart. We are not to forget that as a "revisore" he was committed to reading a variety of texts that must have, in one way or another, worked upon him. Being a scholar of his times, he was familiarized with the latest theories, and even in contact with some of their authors, when not personally acquainted with them.

This is not only the case of Montesquieu, 37 but also that of the eccentric philosopher Giovanni Battista Vico, to whom he wrote several times and whose masterpiece, Principj d'una Scienza Nuova d'intorno alla commune natura delle nazioni , he unsuccessfully tried to republish in Venice, in He surely was an unusual thinker, who resisted not only the still active scholasticism, but the modern theories — such as those of Locke, Descartes or Newton — as well. Meditating upon an impressive quantity of information gathered from numerous domains, he aspired to formulate the principles of a new science which should elucidate the nature of nations, natural law and, ultimately, the law governing the evolution of humanity itself.

Takagi, Mr. It is going to be a fantastic journey for the visitors. From room to room, visitors will be invited to live in as an allegorical dream, the various stages of an adventurous way, made with various discoveries, games and surprises, between the lightness of a theme park and the seriousness of an exhibition. His work is a navigation inside an anachronistic network of cultural and historical references combining both classical culture and pop culture, especially those from his childhood.

A wide range of cultural materials such as Baroque ornaments, Renaissance grotesques, American cartoons, Japanese anime and manga are fused in his works — definitely dazzling for your eyes. A labyrinth is installed as the central part of the exhibition, and an animated demonstration will be projected on the walls. To register, please click here. The artisanal techniques they specialize in have enabled the most exceptional, innovative pieces to be created, under the direction of both famous and new artists.

The test of fire: exhibition of the vases. The tour of the Seven Gods of Fortune. Group exhibition organized by Toshio Shimizu Art Office. Most of the works presented at the Hara Museum are part of this new solo show. The Hara Museum is proud to present the first solo exhibition at a museum by the rising French artist Nicolas Buffe.


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Born in Paris and currently based in Tokyo, Buffe creates art that is grand and yet lighthearted, whose influences range from Renaissance grotesques and Baroque ornament to American and Japanese sub-cultures such as manga, anime and video games. His fusion of Eastern and Western traditions both classical and modern has been garnering attention not only within art circles, but also in areas as diverse as opera and fashion.

This exhibition pays homage to the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili1, a book published in Venice in During his first encounter with the book, Buffe was struck by the structural similarity between the story of Polifilo and the initiation quests that he experienced in video games such as Legend of Zelda, Super Mario Bros and Final Fantasy. Like the book, this exhibition comprises an allegorical dream in which the hero the visitor must make it through several stages of an adventure during which he encounters magical objects and images, makes discoveries, plays games and even engages in interactive play through the magic of Augmented Reality AR 2.

Buffe plays on the architectural characteristics of the museum to transform all of its spaces into a wonderland. AR: Augmented Reality. An enhanced version of reality produced by the overlaying of digital information onto image data from a camera. Born in Paris and now based in Tokyo, Buffe creates an that is grand and yet lighthearted with a style that fuses together Japanese and American sub-cultures with classical European aesthetics.

Directions: 5 minutes by taxi or 15 minutes on foot from JR Shinagawa Station Takanawa exit ; or from the same station take the No. So I jumped enthusiastically into the project, which has allowed me to work with choreographer Kamel Ouali and conductor Jean-Christophe Spinosi. Yet other categories reflect a range of types and sources of architectural knowledge. Another division distinguishes between architectural beliefs associated with creators and users. My experience of a built structure qua creator is perforce different than my experience of the same structure qua user, and the sorts of beliefs I arrive at may differ accordingly.

As architect, Jones believes that an arch of one design but not another will keep the bridge up; as someone strolling underneath the bridge, Smith believes that an arch of a different design would have been a greater aesthetic success. This much accords with other artforms featuring practical functions. Further, architectural beliefs may differ by their technical or non-technical nature; by perspective and role of the belief-holder; or by facts about physical experience of the work or other modalities of belief acquisition.

Architectural knowledge in broader context. To see how architectural knowledge may be similar to, or differ from, aesthetic knowledge generally, consider two dimensions of aesthetic knowledge, knowing through art and knowing about art Kieran and Lopes As concerns knowing through architecture, cognitive content arises in reflecting—to varying degrees—taste and style sensibilities of its creators, structural properties per engineering principles deployed; and cultural and social values of historical, communal, and economic contexts.

To know a built structure in this regard is to know such matters as the tradition in which it is built; design aspirations of the architect and initial occupants; and intentions relative to contributing to the built or natural landscape. The success of this thesis is predicated on successful communication through architectural objects, whether as symbols or otherwise.

Architectural belief and knowledge have as well wholly distinctive features, reflective of special characteristics of the domain, its practice, and its objects. These include:. Beliefs about systems. Architectural objects as wholes are systems or system-like, in that they constitute sets of interrelated structural components, with characteristic behavior or processes yielding outputs from inputs, and where the parts are connected by distinctive structural and behavioral relations Boyce That we take whole architectural objects to be or to be represented as systems or system-like suggests how architectural beliefs are distinctive among beliefs about artworks.

Whereas the first two functional and interactional features are typical to all design, the third feature marks architecture as an artform that, in providing an immersive and systemic physical environment, intensely draws on and shapes social, psychological, and economic features of experience. Our beliefs about architectural objects and interactions with and in them are shaped correspondingly, in ways that do not arise in engagement with other artforms.

Partial and full information. Representation in architecture encompasses multiple modes, including built objects, physical models, virtual models, data arrays, plans, sketches, photographs, and drawings. Each such mode may be viable as representing an architectural object just in case some features of the object are adequately, accurately, regularly, and optimally represented through the mode. This view of viable representation in architecture is at odds with the standards for such in other artforms. Consider a representation of the Mona Lisa. If you do not have complete visual access through the representation from any acceptable angle to the full tableau, you may be said to lack full acquaintance with the work through the representation, and your consequent aesthetic beliefs about the Mona Lisa may be discounted accordingly.

By contrast, if architectural beliefs required anything like full acquaintance with the object or fully informed testimony to be viable, our architectural beliefs would not typically or frequently be viable. Socially constructed knowledge. In architecture, as in other design fields, design problems are not thoroughly or fully articulated all at once or by any particular individual.

The primary components of design knowledge—problems and their possible solutions—are instead distributed across persons. Art and architecture worlds per se are undoubtedly not a sole source of epistemic norms. It may be thought that qualities of architecture such as systematicity and the deeply social character of the discipline are immaterial to aesthetic beliefs.

However, architecture is a holistic enterprise: a design decision to cantilever a terrace is at once of aesthetic and engineering significance. In like fashion, that architectural objects constitute systems is pertinent in shaping aesthetic beliefs because there are more and less attractive ways to shape the flow of persons, or even electricity, through a built structure. And that architectural objects are designed through social processes has import for corresponding aesthetic beliefs. As distinct from mere experience of architectural objects, appreciation of architectural objects brings to bear cognition and other inputs, such as history and context.

Appreciation goes beyond knowledge , too, insofar as we may know an architectural object and its qualities without appreciating it. Thus, Winters proposes that appreciating architecture consists in enjoyment of architectural objects from experience, tout court , as wed to understanding them, where the latter consists in grasping their aesthetic significance in specifically visual fashion, and critically assessing the judgment of architects in addressing design challenges.

Architectural appreciation may be built on the judgment of others; it is essential to rendering judgment. Accordingly, learning to appreciate architectural objects is a cornerstone of architectural education. A key contributing feature in this last regard is acquiring agility with classifying in the domain Leder et al.

The appreciation and judgment of architectural objects are typically thought to reflect aesthetic and utility-wise considerations, and engage individual perspective, experience, reasoning, and reflection such as we associate with appreciating and judging in other artforms. One question regarding appreciation is whether there is a special mode attached to architectural objects. We might think this is so given that, unlike most arts though very like other design forms , appreciation in architecture is aesthetic and utility-oriented.

A resulting puzzle is whether, and under what circumstances, we might have one without the other. Further questions regarding appreciation concern the relative roles in appreciation of individual experience of architecture, as against the social or the environmental. Individual Appreciation. The prevailing philosophical view of architectural appreciation is a psychological account with debts to the Kantian tradition: direct, immediate aesthetic experiences of architectural objects among individuals constitute the basis of appreciation.

Iseminger provides a general aesthetics account in this vein. A primary variant has it that architectural appreciation is the product of individual cognition of the content, form, properties, and relations of architectural objects. A recent variation suggests that, in addition to or in lieu of cognitive response, physiological experience proprioception is a central source of beliefs associated with architectural appreciation. On either model, it is experience of individuals that feeds and influences appreciation. Social and Environmental Role in Architectural Appreciation. Direct, immediate individual experience is not the only source of information shaping architectural appreciation.

Considering the breadth of the architectural enterprise, it may not even be the best source. Others include access to information about works through standard representational modes that are not the works themselves for example, drawings or photographs , transmission of tacit working knowledge through apprenticeship learning, and collective belief formation through client briefings and studio crits. Architectural appreciation is social in building on our understanding of architectural objects as it develops, and matures, in experience of a built structure with and in relation to other individuals and groups of people.

Indeed, a central goal of architectural education is structured imparting of collective wisdom as to how to best classify architectural objects and, relatedly, what the markers of appreciation have looked like, or should look like—as well as how they articulate with practical knowledge. Further, architectural appreciation is environmental in building on our understanding of architectural objects based on experiences in relation to their natural and built surroundings. On one view, an architectural object may be more difficult to appreciate if we find that relation unexpected, or contrary to normative sensibility Carlson If, however, appreciation does not require enjoyment or satisfaction of any sort—and instead engages our understanding of, for example, what was intended and why—we may well appreciate in its own right an architectural object that has a surprising, even obnoxious relation to its surroundings.

Some problems of architectural ethics are characteristic of a range of typical moral dilemmas—agent-centered, norms-oriented concerns—as may arise for architects. In addition to a traditional set of questions applied to the architectural domain, architectural ethics also addresses problems special to the discipline and practice—as shaped by its social, public, practical, and artistic nature. As conceptually prior to a normative ethics of architectural practice, a meta-ethics of architecture assesses alternate ethical modalities, such as whether architecture might be considered moral or immoral relative to its objects built structures or to its practices as a set of institutions or social phenomena.

Another meta-ethical issue concerns whether moralism or autonomism best characterizes the relationship of aesthetics to ethics, as that plays out in architecture. Ethical modalities of architecture. There are three typical candidate modalities of ethics in architecture. For one, there is the establishment of criteria for ethical norms of the enterprise such as architects in practice may observe. For example, architects can craft designs in ways that lower the likelihood of cost overruns and enhance safety.

In an interpersonal vein, architects can represent their work honestly to clients or contractors. Another modality—beyond enterprise-defined ethical norms—is pursuit of criteria to gauge architects as moral agents broadly producing or doing good or bad in the world. For example, architects may create objects that uplift or constrain individual users and inhabitants; other architects may promote social utility by designing housing for those in need of shelter.

Finally, there is the modality of seeking criteria to judge architectural objects as morally good or bad insofar as they directly produce pleasure or pain. As an indirect example, a hospital design is intended to facilitate the minimizing of pain, by fostering environmental conditions conducive to excellence in health care and patient well-being.

As a more direct case, a bus shelter is intended to reduce exposure to the elements and corresponding discomfort.

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This last candidate may be attractive if we see architecture primarily as a product rather than as a practice; it is noxious if we are unwilling to assign moral values to artifacts as we do to actions or their properties. A built structure might be inhumane in that it is bleak or uninhabitable, though it does not follow that the structure itself bears inhumane values. Value Interaction. Vitruvian principles underlying much of architectural theory suggest a tendency to link the aesthetic and the utility-promoting.

So, too, functional beauty theory recommends that aesthetic and ethical considerations are linked in architecture. To crystallize the matter, we may ask if it is possible for a built structure to be good though not aesthetically so. In this debate, architecture would seem a promising domain in which to find robust relations. At a moralist extreme, there is the suggestion—supported by some traditions in architectural theory Pugin , Ruskin —that aesthetic tasks in architecture simply are ethical tasks, reflecting ethical choices.

One prominent moralist perspective locates the ethical element of aesthetic architectural choice in obligations to a sort of honesty, in designing works that accurately represent underlying structural principles or operational capacities. From another angle, moralists point to the emotional impact of built environments as indicative of a union of the aesthetically gripping and morally compelling Ginsburg , though it may be noted that even where we detect such a union we need not judge the aesthetics of the architectural object on the basis of any ethical import so communicated.

At the other extreme, autonomists propose that problems of ethics and aesthetics neither need arise at once, nor need be resolved at once, in architectural design. If we see a correlation in some architectural objects of ethically and aesthetically compelling design solutions, we see in other objects no correlation at all.

There is good reason to uncouple these values just in case they must conflict. Suppose there is an ethical premium, for example, on the need to create environmentally sustaining structures, and that we identify resolutions of that problem as generally bearing the greatest mark of moral worth. Then a connection between ethics and aesthetics in architecture seems improbable. A third position altogether proposes a pluralism. Sometimes ethical and aesthetic value march hand-in-hand, other times not—and their ways of matching up are diverse and run in various directions.

So one architectural design may be aesthetically compelling as it reflects its ethically upstanding character, whereas another design may be aesthetically compelling as it reflects its ethically deficient character. An even more generalized pluralism would suggest that a wide range of aesthetic and ethical valences can be matched up in different ways; we might value a war memorial for the way it grimly expresses the horrors of war.

Traditional questions of architectural ethics. Architects design structures and environments for people, with concomitant effects on personal behavior, capacity to choose courses of action, and ability to satisfy preferences, visit harm, generate benefit, or exercise rights.

To begin with, a traditional architectural ethics requires an account of architectural responsibilities. As concerns obligations to persons, the range of stakeholders in architecture is great, hence ethical responsibility is diffuse. A further set of questions concerns rights. It is relatively novel to speak of authorial or community rights in architecture; owner or client rights are historically parasitic on property or sovereign rights.

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Other possibilities include rights of developers, builders, engineers, environments, and societies. As that list grows, two further questions concern the sorts of rights that can be attributed to such parties or entities, and the criteria for distributing and prioritizing them given aesthetic as well as moral considerations. Architectural utility is familiar as a Vitruvian concept but has a wholly other sense in an agent-centered normative ethics, with a possible moral weighting not found in classic architectural theory.

Guidelines are needed to determine the usefulness of architectural goods such as built structures, restorations, reconstructions, or plans. These might include their social character, or individual preferences of the architect, owner, end-users, or public. A utilitarian approach to architectural ethics is attractive in capturing the aims of architecture to promote well-being, and relying on a ready marker of architectural value. However, it also discounts other traditional architectural imperatives such as a Vitruvian-style pluralist may honor, including beauty and structural integrity Spector Finally, a traditionalist picture of architectural ethics requires an account of virtues in the domain though these may be orthogonal to normative ethics.

Future-Focused Architectural Ethics. The focus of ethical rights and responsibilities in architecture is typically taken as relative to present or past. Thus, we speak of obligations to design and build in ethically responsible fashion, or preserve past architectural objects.

There are future-focused obligations, as well. Sustainable design is forward-looking even as it is centered on what we design and build today. Further ethical issues may arise relative to future architectural objects. As to obligations to future architectural objects , we see as much in the short-term instance of planning around near-future buildings.

Special ethical questions of architecture. Architectural practice generates special moral issues as befit its proper, idiosyncratic features, distinctive among the arts, the professions, and social practices. Yet other ethical issues special to architecture range over matters of personal and social spaces and the articulations thereof, including criteria for designing around concerns related to privacy, accessibility for the public generally and handicapped in particular , respecting community and neighborly preferences, and promoting civic values.

Other ethical matters special to architecture are particularly visible in global perspective. For example, there is inequitable distribution of housing across the developed and developing nations, and part of the solution may be architectural Caicco Further, architecture incurs special environmental obligations given that waste and degradation affect, and are affected by, architectural design.

One conceptual challenge of sustainability facing architects is to determine whether development is, in principle, a countervailing interest. This is to ask, once environmental obligations are defined, how they may be factored into or weighed against infrastructural and design interests and preferences. Professional Ethics. Fisher Professional ethical codes govern conduct in and thereby protect the architectural profession and avert problems related to business, fiduciary, insurance, or liability functions; the design function is an ethical focus relative to disability.

Architectural law highlights professional ethics matters as concern property, liability, and honesty. The law clarifies responsibilities among parties to architectural practice; defines who or what in commercial architectural interactions has moral agency—hence rights; and describes utility-wise or financial measures of distribution in architecture.

Fisher a. Intellectual Property. One conceptual issue concerning architectural intellectual property is how such rights are to be weighed against other sorts of property rights, such as domestic or commercial rights. A further issue is determined on the basis of judging architecture to be a service or product.

Taking architecture as service means that architects do not have a stake on copyright, as they would then be creators-by-contract; tradition has it that rights to expression of ideas so created accrue to the contracting party. Copyright raises other concerns.

Philosophy of Architecture

Alternatively, we might view this as a routine episode in the history of architectural copying without attribution or permission. The challenge is to define relevant obligations of one architect to others, present or past. Architect as judge in owner-contractor disputes.

Architects have a dual role, serving as designer and administrator of architectural projects, and in this capacity may adjudicate between owner and contractor in matters of dispute. Standard issues concern conflicts of interest, grounds for adjudication, and criteria of fairness. Architectural objects often develop over time in cumulative and mutable fashion, through additions and alterations that—perhaps more frequently than not—change the design of a different, original architect or that of a prior alteration.

For any particular changes, or in consideration of design changes overall, we may stipulate obligations to respect original or prior intent and execution. One brand of such obligations, recognized in historic preservation and landmark laws, requires that aesthetic concerns in the public interest trump private interests. Key conceptual questions concern how to determine the source and conditions of any such obligations—and the sorts of responsibilities architects should have to existing structures.

Those responsibilities may extend to commitment to the integrity of work by fellow architects. While all artforms admit of a certain social character, architecture enjoys a particularly social nature, and may even be said to be an intrinsically social artform. There are two prominent candidate reasons as to why this is so.


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For one, a central aim of architecture is to design shelter and so meet a variety of social needs. For another, architecture as practice is a social process or activity as it engages people in interpersonal relations of a social cast. The first candidate reason stands or falls on whether, in fulfilling social needs, architecture is thereby rendered a social art. For an artform to be intrinsically social, any such need fulfilled should be critical rather than discretionary or extravagant.

Thus, for example, addressing housing demands overall meets the criticality test—though addressing design demands for a third home does not. The first reason looks right because architects often integrate social needs into design thinking. Armed with socially minded intentions, they create built structures which serve myriad social ends. A difficulty arises, however, in consistently upholding such intentions as a mark of the social if a such intentions are unclear from experiencing architectural objects, instantiations, or representations thereof, b built structures are repurposed, or c there are architectural objects with no corresponding relevant intentions.

A second candidate reason that architecture is a social art is that processes of making architecture are thoroughly and ineluctably social phenomena, constituted by interactions of social groupings created and governed by social conventions and arrangements. On this view, the social nature of architecture consists in the status of the discipline as shaped by social convention—where such convention is designated by, and guides actions of, architects and other relevant agents.

Architectural phenomena are social, then, because they occur as a result of contracts, meetings, firms, charettes, crits, juries, projects, competitions, exhibitions, partnerships, professional organizations, negotiations, workflow organization, division of labor, and myriad other conventional and agreement-bound purposive actions and groupings of architects and other architectural stakeholders.

One might object that, on an institutional theory, all artforms are social in just these ways. However, as played out in art worlds, institutional theories tell us what counts as an art object rather than how such objects are constituted to begin with. Either view is temporally sensitive. Architecture as object and pursuit produces a great range of effects on social structures and phenomena, in particularly acute fashion in relation to housing, land use, and urban planning. In turn, architecture is shaped by such social concerns as scarcity, justice, and social relations and obligations. Some of this shaping results from social group and institution requirements for space and the structured organization thereof, to promote group or institutional function and identity Halbwachs Causal direction.

We might see social forces as primarily shaping architecture or else architecture as primarily shaping social forces. Detractors counter that we cannot shape society through the built environment—or we ought not do so. What rests on directionality is how we parse not only theoretical relations but also practical consequences and perspectives concerning a host of social phenomena. To take one example, how we gauge and address the possibilities that architecture offers relative to social inequality is likely a function of whether architecture contributes to, or instead reflects, social classes and social hierarchies.

We might wonder whether architects can design so as to promote class equality—or solidarity, justice, autonomy, or other social phenomena as we might foster. On a third, holistic option, causality runs in both directions. Two examples of such are a systems analyses, which take built structures as social systems that contribute to social function, and b urban sociology, which takes the city en gros as social structuring of space which shapes its habitants, who in turn shape the city Simmel As expanded to environmental sociology, the suggestion is that built environments promote patterns of living, working, shopping, and otherwise conducting commerce among groups and in relation to other individuals.

Other social science domains suggest attendant conceptual issues. For another, sociology of architecture also studies the profession: the backgrounds and relations of architects and other stakeholders, norms governing behavior, and social structures of an architecture world constitute a species of artworld. This last suggestion prompts the question as to what influence we should attribute to an architecture world on the status of architectural objects.

The architecture world raises issues beyond those motivating Danto or Dickie, engaging many parties whose interests and preferences are not primarily aesthetic or even economic but driven by social, commercial, engineering, planning, and various other factors. For a third, a Science and Technology Studies perspective Gieryn investigates how architecture—primarily in its optimization focus, qua engineered technology—shapes knowledge formation for example, in laboratory or university design and organizes social behavior for example, in architecture for tourism or retail sales.

Conceptual issues here include whether there are global principles of optimization of architectural design for social advancement, and what sorts of moral constraints are appropriate to such optimization. That architecture has some political aspects is a widely held, if not entirely uncontested thesis, with weaker and stronger variants.

One weak version suggests that designing built structures entails political engagement through interactions of architects and the public. For example, architects solicit political support of government officials for development projects, governments engage architects to design built structures that express political programmatic messages, and citizens do political battle amongst themselves over architectural designs or preservation decisions.

A stronger version highlights a possible role for architecture as an instrument of politics. In other words, designing built structures entails political engagement through the control by force of behaviors and attitudes of people who interact with those structures. That architecture might have any significant role in politics, or the other way around, calls for explanation.

One account stresses that the two domains are oriented around utility-maximization.