February 28, 2019 - PennDesign - Architectural Theory Now?
e-flux Architecture
February 28, 2019
February 28, 2019

PennDesign

Photo: Ed Akins II, Atlanta, GA.

Architectural Theory Now?
Spring 2019 Symposium
April 4–5, 2019

PennDesign
210 S. 34th Street
Meyerson Hall
19104 Philadelphia, PA
US
Hours: Monday–Friday 5pm–9am

archdept@design.upenn.edu

www.design.upenn.edu
Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

Architectural Theory Now?
Spring 2019 Symposium
April 4–5, 2019

PennDesign
210 S. 34th Street
Meyerson Hall
19104 Philadelphia, PA
US
Hours: Monday–Friday 5pm–9am

archdept@design.upenn.edu

www.design.upenn.edu
Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

Architectural Theory Now?
Symposium Hosted by the Graduate Architecture Program, University of Pennsylvania

Architectural theory is today at an impasse, if not passé. Not only are many print journals now gone, architectural theory courses have been eliminated in many schools’ curricula in favor of technology-centered courses, research studios, history without theory, and autonomous theory. It’s as if architectural theory, a field of inquiry developed and articulated over a few thousand years, filling archives and rare book rooms with beguiling works of architectural knowledge, was suddenly transformed in unrecognizable ways. Presented by the graduate program in the Department of Architecture at PennDesign, this symposium asks, “What has happened to architectural theory and where is it headed?” Is it M.I.A., D.O.A. or simply in transition? What constitutes the practice of architectural thinking—or theory—today?

Surely, even if earlier preoccupations now seem irrelevant, architects and students still seek to reflect on the greater purpose of their activities. Age-old architectural concerns about aesthetics, function, materials, and construction have not disappeared. Yet more comprehensive intellectual tools are needed to interpret, assess, and evaluate the long-term social and cultural implications of architectural work, in particular the highly technological expansion of design and building. If little in architectural theory, as developed in recent decades, has prepared architects to thoughtfully engage in our contemporary challenges, it is perhaps time to make a new start in defining architectural theory now.

Keynote Conversants
David Leatherbarrow (PennDesign)
Joan Ockman (PennDesign)
Adam Sharr (Newcastle University)
Jonathan Massey (University of Michigan)
Jane Rendell (Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London)
Francesca Hughes (University of Technology Sydney)
Michael Caldwell (The Ohio State University)
Michael Benedict (University of Texas at Austin)

Organizers
Franca Trubiano (PennDesign)
David Leatherbarrow (PennDesign)
Peter Laurence (Clemson University)


Thursday, April 4, 2019
6pm-7:30pm

Keynote Conversation I: Within/Without

Friday, April 5, 2019
9am
Opening Remarks
9:30am-11am
Paper Session I: Within/Without
Papers which discuss architectural theory’s dual origins in ideas, principles and contexts internal to the discipline and far beyond it. 
11:15am-12:30pm
Keynote Conversation II: Practices
1pm-2pm
Tour of Architectural Archives: PennDesign
2pm-3:30pm
Paper Session II: Practices
Papers which discuss contemporary practices of architectural theory as defined through the lens of writers, philosophers, and theorists. 
3:45pm-5:15pm
Paper Session III: Re-definitions
Papers which expand the definition of architectural theory by introducing and discussing alternative methods, practices, and values. 
5:30pm-7pm
Keynote Conversation III: Re-Definitions

Sponsored in part by the University Research Foundation (URF) at Penn.

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