The Theory of Architecture: Concepts Themes & Practices, by Paul-Alan Johnson


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The Theory of Architecture: Concepts Themes & Practices, by Paul-Alan Johnson

The Theory of Architecture: Concepts Themes & Practices, by Paul-Alan Johnson

The Theory of Architecture: Concepts Themes & Practices, by Paul-Alan Johnson

Get Free Ebook The Theory of Architecture: Concepts Themes & Practices, by Paul-Alan Johnson

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The Theory of Architecture: Concepts Themes & Practices, by Paul-Alan Johnson

The Theory of Architecture Concepts, Themes & Practices Paul-Alan Johnson Although it has long been thought that theory directs architectural practice, no one has explained precisely how the connection between theory and practice is supposed to work. This guide asserts that architectural theory does not direct practice, but is itself a form of reflective practice. Paul-Alan Johnson cuts through the jargon and mystery of architectural theory to clarify how it relates to actual applications in the field. He also reveals the connections between new and old ideas to enhance the reader’s powers of critical evaluation. Nearly 100 major concepts, themes, and practices of architecture–as well as the rhetoric of architects and designers–are presented in an easily accessible format. Throughout, Johnson attempts to reduce each architectural notion into its essential concept. By doing so, he makes theory accessible for everyday professional discussion. Topics are arranged under ten headings: identification, definition, power, attitudes, ethics, order, authority, governance, relationship, and expression. Areas covered under these headings include:
* Utopic thought in theories of architecture
* Advocacy and citizen participation in architecture
* The basis of architectural quality and excellence
* The roles of the architect as artist, poet, scientist, and technologist
* Ethical obligations of architecture
* Rationales for models and methods of design
* How authority is determined in architecture
* How architects structure their concepts
* Conventions of communication within the architectural profession
Each section begins by showing the etymology of key terms of the topic discussed, along with a summary history of the topic’s use in architecture. Discussions probe the conceptual and philosophical difficulties of different theories, as well as their potential and limitations in past and present usage. Among the provocative issues discussed in terms of their relationship to architecture are chaos theory, feminism, service to the community, and the use of metaphor. Johnson points out with stunning clarity the intentions as well as the contradictions and inconsistencies of all notions and concepts. All architects and designers, as well as students and teachers in these disciplines, will gain many insights about architectural thought in this groundbreaking text.

  • Sales Rank: #3494562 in Books
  • Published on: 1994-04-15
  • Original language: English
  • Number of items: 1
  • Dimensions: 9.41″ h x 1.10″ w x 7.44″ l, 1.84 pounds
  • Binding: Paperback
  • 512 pages

From the Back Cover
The Theory of Architecture Concepts, Themes & Practices Paul-Alan Johnson Although it has long been thought that theory directs architectural practice, no one has explained precisely how the connection between theory and practice is supposed to work. This guide asserts that architectural theory does not direct practice, but is itself a form of reflective practice. Paul-Alan Johnson cuts through the jargon and mystery of architectural theory to clarify how it relates to actual applications in the field. He also reveals the connections between new and old ideas to enhance the reader’s powers of critical evaluation. Nearly 100 major concepts, themes, and practices of architecture—as well as the rhetoric of architects and designers—are presented in an easily accessible format. Throughout, Johnson attempts to reduce each architectural notion into its essential concept. By doing so, he makes theory accessible for everyday professional discussion. Topics are arranged under ten headings: identification, definition, power, attitudes, ethics, order, authority, governance, relationship, and expression. Areas covered under these headings include:

  • Utopic thought in theories of architecture
  • Advocacy and citizen participation in architecture
  • The basis of architectural quality and excellence
  • The roles of the architect as artist, poet, scientist, and technologist
  • Ethical obligations of architecture
  • Rationales for models and methods of design
  • How authority is determined in architecture
  • How architects structure their concepts
  • Conventions of communication within the architectural profession

Each section begins by showing the etymology of key terms of the topic discussed, along with a summary history of the topic’s use in architecture. Discussions probe the conceptual and philosophical difficulties of different theories, as well as their potential and limitations in past and present usage. Among the provocative issues discussed in terms of their relationship to architecture are chaos theory, feminism, service to the community, and the use of metaphor. Johnson points out with stunning clarity the intentions as well as the contradictions and inconsistencies of all notions and concepts. All architects and designers, as well as students and teachers in these disciplines, will gain many insights about architectural thought in this groundbreaking text.

About the Author
PAUL-ALAN JOHNSON, PhD, is Senior Lecturer and Director of Theory in the School of Architecture at the University of New South Wales, Australia. He is a chartered architect and a leading authority on Australian public housing and dwelling design. Dr. Johnson is also a consultant on architectural history, design, and aesthetics to government departments and environmental groups. He is internationally known for his work in geometry and symbolism in colonial town planning.

Most helpful customer reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful.
Undone by his own scholarship
By Dr Garry
This work has 120 sub-chapter-sized chunks on all manner of topics concerning architectural theory. Think of them as 120 bite-size essays. Snuggle into bed, drop a sleeping pill into your cup of cocoa, and while you sip your velvety chocolate goodness you can easily read an essay before falling into the embrace of Morpheus.

What you will gain from that exercise, I am not entirely sure. Mr Johnson has gone to an enormous amount of effort to explore pretty much everything that might come under the rubric of a “theory of architecture”. The book is well worth reading for that effort alone, as it at least gives a framework for thinking, and it is certainly a must read for any postgrad at an American Ivy League architecture school looking for source material.

But Mr Johnson’s scholarship and work undoes him in the end. In his lengthy– and very well organised book– he shows that there is no such thing as a “theory of architecture”; that is all just a cobbled-together mess, drawing bits from here, bits from there. His very chapter organisation demonstrates that.

That the discipline of architecture has utterly failed to construct any coherent theories is no fault of Mr Johnson. That Mr Johnson has failed to realise that, is his own fault.

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful.
A notable exploration of architectural philosophy and theory
By Michael D. Gibson
Johnson’s exploration of the theory of western architecture is meticulously organized and incredibly concise. Drawing from a wide collection of sources, “The Theory of Architecture” is a perfect beginning to understanding the paradigms that have shaped western architectural heritage–this book does not pretend to be something it is not. It is an honest, functional, and explicit work that should not be overlooked.

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