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Culture, Merchandise, or Just Light Entertainment?

New Architecture at the Millennium


Author(s): Bruce Thomas
Source: Journal of Architectural Education (1984-), Vol. 50, No. 4, (May, 1997), pp. 254-264
Published by: Blackwell Publishing on behalf of the Association of Collegiate Schools of
Architecture, Inc.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1425438
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orJustLightEntertainment?
Culture,Merchandise,
New Architecture
at the Millennium

BRUCETHOMAS,Lehigh University

Muchof the recent discussion about architecturaltheory concerns the socalled New Spirit in design, an approach that urges a redefinitionof architecture in ways "more appropriate"to our media-driven,commercially
dominated millennialculture. Manyof these ideas are wrapped around their
own newness. Yet if examined closely, the newest new is not withoutprecedent. More troubling is the contention that the qualityof empathy in architecture must be redefined. Empathyhas been essential to the shaping of the
built environment, a characteristic that most literally renders architecture a
humanist endeavor. Yet now we are being told that an appropriate empathy
for our time does not celebrate our place in the universe; rather, the human
condition is one of violation and abuse.
This essay questions the New Spirit'sclaim of newness and its interpretation of empathy. The appropriationof unprecedented newness is contradicted by even the most superficial examination of various avant-garde
movements that have paraded through the twentieth century. The essay further argues that a theory that finds the Enlightenmentdefinitionof empathy
to be a mask for human abuse and degradation is no more than "tabloidhumanism,"perhaps appropriateto our age, but nonetheless a perversion
when applied to the discipline of architecture.

The author Marge Piercy explains that she writes reviews


when she believesthat "somethingbeing admired is lessthan
"
admirable; perhaps meretricious,perhaps dangerous. This
essayis writtenfor the same reason.

COMPOSITIONAL SKILLAND FACILITYWITH VISUAL AESTHETICS MAKE

architecture a fine art. An understanding of materials and technology makes architecture a complex science. Good intentions and benevolent principles make building a responsible and ennobling
endeavor. Encompassing all of these skills and ideals, architecture,
as Ralph Erskine has defined it, is "that rich and all-embracing
weave of practical and spiritual satisfactions . . . this exceptional art

which both protects our bodies and expressesour dreams."'As such,


architecture is more than gallery art, no matter how stimulating and
captivating the aesthetic, and architectural theory is more than an
intellectual parlor game, no matter how clever and provocative the
premise. The essential nature and social responsibilities of an endeavor that has so proudly claimed the mantles of both art and science should not be cast aside in a cavalier manner-even if the
newest visual aesthetic is exciting, even if the latest intellectual pose
is appealing.

The most compelling evidence of the scope of architecture is


contained in the built work. However, the key to understanding
Journal of Architectural Education, pp. 254-264
? 1997 ACSA, Inc.

May1997JAE50/4

254

that work is also to be found in the intentions of the architect, what


is often categorized as "theory."The struggle to understand theory's
relationship to the creative process and to the built product lies in
the complexity of architecture itself: Theory is often appropriated
to bridge the sometimes conflicting requirements of art and science.
The increasing distance between art and science, which dates from
at least the fourteenth century, is responsible for misunderstanding
and misinterpretation within the discipline of architecture. Vincent
Scully contends that an indulgence in intellectual gymnastics is
partly responsible for that distancing, characterizing a certain confusion of art and science in architectural theory over the centuries
as "one of the silliest and most persistent beliefs of French criticism,
which was to pop up in various guises throughout history, culminating, if that is the word, in the peculiar twist of Deconstructivism
itself, wherein 'art' is in fact made by the critic, by 'science.'"2That
confusion is symptomatic of critics' and theorists' tendency to create a disjunction between design theory and what is actually built.
This separation is a fortuitous one for today's media-driven culture,
for it allows a choice to be made between architecture and merely
thinking about architecture.As is apparently being demonstrated by
the New Spirit, thinking is preferable because it can be produced
and consumed far quicker and easier than building itself. Provocative theory stretches the limits of a discipline-a healthy and necessary exercise-but with the power of today's media, with its
insatiable appetite for the next new thing, we should be wary of surrendering too easily the tangible nature of architecture. Now, as the
New Spirit begins to be built, we should ask whether it is a worthy
successor to previous theories of the New.
When Peter Eisenman boasts that he is able to make the average person physically ill through his new manipulation of space
and Lebbeus Woods hypothesizes an urban landscape in which
people are compelled to inhabit the bombed ruins of war-torn cities, the New Spirit in design should be questioned as to its intentions.3 What kind of built environment will be produced as the
New Spirit theory is misunderstood and misapplied by lesser talents, as has been the case with every other fashion in architecture?
As we approach the millennium, some of the discipline's most
persuasive figures seem to be asking us to reconsider architecture as
we have known it, and to prepare for revisions on an apocalyptic
scale. Eisenman explains that humanism, the centerpiece of western
culture since the Renaissance, is already dead and buried.4 Having
wearied of the postmodern trivialities he so happily helped peddle,
Charles Jencks has apparently left this mortal coil and taken architecture with him into the "Jumping Universe."5Woods urges us to
consider the attractions of an Orwellian world-we've been there for

some time anyway,he explains-in whichwaris peace,destruction


is creation,and we will live in bombed-outBosnianruins.6
This is a scaryprospect.To the fainthearted,architectural
schemes(andculturalideals)positedby Eisenman,Woods, Daniel
Libeskind,and any numberof those engagedin the so-calledNew
Spirit or New Freedom in design may suggest the words of
FriedrichNietzsche'smadman:"Whitherarewe moving?... Are
we not plungingcontinually?Backward,sideward,forward,in all
directions?Is there still any up or down?Are we not strayingas
Someskepticsof the New Spiritconthroughan infinitenothing?"7
tend that recentarchitectureand theoryrevealnothing so much as
narcissismand self-indulgencesubstitutedfor the superiorideals
and aspirationsprevalentearlierin the century.8This may be too
harsh.Jencks,of all people,warnsof "theharnessingof instrumental reasonnot to the projectof the Enlightenmentbut to the forces
of darkness."9
This is almostcertainlyoverlyalarmist,not to mention melodramatic,yet the mannerin which the New Spiritrepositions design and theoryfor a new millenniumbegs the question
of whethersome of the qualitiesthathavefor centuriesgivenbuilding "thebite and sweet gravityof thingsrealand beautiful"arebeIf this is so, it must also
ing overlookedor evenwillfullydistorted.10
be asked:To what ends?

An Avant-garde for the Media Age


Art, theexpression
ofsociety,manifests,in its highestsoaring,
the mostadvancedsocialtendencies:
it is theforerunnerand
the revealer.Therefore,
to knowwhetherart worthilyfulfills
itspropermissionas initiator,whethertheartistis trulyof the
onemustknowwhereHumanityisgoing,know
avant-garde,
whatthe destinyof the humanraceis.
-Gabriel-Desire Laverdant,De la mission
de l'artet du role des artistes(1845)
Despite the radicalnatureof what they espouse,Eisenman,Jencks,
Woods, and othersplacethemselvesin a secureposition.The intersectionof an artisticavant-gardeand a rarefiedintellectualization
of
the rational discipline of architectureis for some a comfortable
perch. In this regard,it is tempting to recall a pointed remark
penned by SomersetMaughamin 1919: "It is not difficult to be
unconventionalin the eyes of the worldwhen your unconventionality is but the conventionof your set. It affordsyou then an inordinate amount of self-esteem. You have the self-satisfactionof
couragewithout the inconvenienceof danger."'
255

An avant-gardethat adheresto the convention of its set is


hardlyan unusualphenomenon-one needsto look no furtherthan
the twentieth-centuryartindustryfor multipleexamples.However,
as is the casewith so many aspectsof our turn-of-the-millennium
world, it is worth consideringthe relationshipbetween the most
recent avant-gardeand today'shypermediacultureand askingto
what degreeand to what ends this affinityshapesarchitecture.
Eversince the moment at the beginningof this century-or
maybeit was in the previouscentury,or the one beforethat-when
the avant-gardeappropriatedkey aspectsof the intellectualbasisof
architecture,theoristshavefound it helpfulto sell certainadopted
principlesas gospeltruth.Likea silver-tonguedsnakeoil salesman,
the avant-gardeseduceswith a carefullycraftedconcoctionof intellect, personality,and, althoughthe open use of the termis avoided,
style. The objectis to bottle cultureitself and to labelit theory.
Whetherthisalchemyrepresents
an appropriately
complexand
inclusiveunderstanding
of architecture-andculture-or whetherit
is primarilythe resultof externaland transitoryinfluences,such as
intellectualfadsandaestheticfashions,shouldbe a subjectof debate.
Overthe pastfew decades,architectural
productionhasbecomeever
moreengulfedin a media-driven
andmarketing-oriented
world.This
shouldcome as no surprise,for architecture
has neverbeen removed
fromits contemporary
culture.Despitenumerousfacilecharacterizations thatpaintarchitecture
as a mirrorthatpassivelyreflectscertain
aspectsof society, it has never been merely a reflectivemedium.
Rather,architectureis an activeprincipalcomponentin the making
of culture-and a verytangibleand expensiveone at that.12
Today'smediaculturedependson the availabilityof an inexhaustiblesupplyof new images.Increasingly,evidencesuggeststhat
the imageis independentfrom,andmoreimportantthan,the reality
it supposedlyrepresents.For the architecturalavant-garde,the betrothedwearyfroma century-longengagementwith the architectural
object,it is a divorcemadein heaven.Forthosewho preferto believe
that architectureis more real than that, for those who agreewith
MichaelBenediktthat"inour media-saturated
timesit fallsto architectureto havethe directestheticexperienceof the realat the center
of its concerns,"it is confoundingto realizethat the disciplineitself
aids and abets its own submersionin this bravenew world.13In a
shrewdexaminationof the effectof theseforceson architecture,
written almosta decadeago,StephenKieranrecountsthe coercivenature
of marketingthat turns architectureinto a consumerproductand
makespracticeprimarilythe creationof designerlabels.Yet,he concludes,"Thesequandariesnotwithstanding,acceptance[of marketing- and media-driven architecture] is the only potentially
constructiveresponse."14
Butwith whatresults?
Thomas

The acceptancepostulatedby Kieranhas takena numberof


forms.The stage-setbuildingand fashion-of-the-week
costumesof
wereperhapsthe mostovertexamples,but in a numpostmodernism
berof moresignificantways,in reactionto the often misguidedand
arrogantheroismof the Modernmovement,discussionsof architecturehaveforsakenits raisond'etre,the building,the architectural
obcriticism
is
often
above
itself.
In
critical
Instead,
prized
building
ject.
discourse,a distancingfromrealbuildingis now often the norm;as
JohnWhitemancomments,"Thetwo, [critical]meaningand mateSadto say,the sameis trueof any
riality,areneverto be conjoined."'5
smartmarketingstrategyforan inferiorproduct.The realityof building is simplynot excitingenough;it cannotlive up to the hype of
much recenttheory.Writingof ZahaHadid'sfirstexecutedproject,
the Vitrafirestationof 1993, ThomasFisherobservedthatwhenher
paintingsand drawingsfor the "Peak"competitionin Hong Kong
appearedin 1984, they seemedon the cuttingedge of design.Yet,
later,with the realizationof an actualbuilding,Hadid'swork"seems
somehowold-fashioned.Bold iconoclasticform-making,in and of
itself, no longerseemsvery daring."'6In the architecturalprocess,
synthesissometimescomparespoorlyto imaginativehypothesis.
Often, the representationof architecturehas ascendedto the
positionof havingintrinsicvalueunrelatedto anyactualbuiltproduct. This is not without precedent.Marketingforceshave always
drivenarchitecture,being partof the fundamentalclient-architect
equation.Moreover,two centuriesago, Frenchvisionaryarchitectureraisedthe issueof the relationshipbetweendrawingand building: Etienne-LouisBoullee'smost significantwork was on paper
only;someof Claude-NicolasLedoux'smost provocativeforms,the
plan of the Oikema,for example-were availableonly to those few
able to possessan expensivefolio. Beginningin the late seventies,
architectslike Michael Gravesand StanleyTigermanand outlets
likethe MaxProtechGalleryin New YorkCity reestablished
a separate marketfor architecturaldrawings.Significantly,drawingwas
viewed not as a means of producingarchitecture,but ratheras a
medium for opposing the limitations inherent in the making of
buildings.Tigermanexplainedthat such drawingsdemonstrated
how "theverytraditionof synthesisis graduallyeroded,suggesting
the greaterpowerof the juxtapositionof thesisand antithesis."17
continues
Realityis a relativeterm.Now, as the "simulacrum"
to gain currencyin architectural
theoryand as the map of cultureis
beingrechartedin cyberspace,
tinkeringwith the architectural
design
processis morethanmerelya matterof exchangingjuxtapositionfor
synthesis.Humanismmay, as Eisenmanand othersso glibly contend, alreadybe gone, but its replacementis at besta highlyspeculative alternative.As the rawpowerof mediaplaysan everlargerrole
May 199/ JAE 50/4

256

in shaping the intellectual basis for much of the emerging


millennium'sculture,we runthe riskof buildinga new architecture
not on substantialfoundations,but accordingto a debasementof
humanistideals,what mightbe describedas "tabloidhumanism."'8
Since architectureis the most public of arts, the effect of
media-shapedtheoryon the productionof a sharedbuilt environment shouldbe a paramountconsideration.Why, forexample,does
so much of recent theory seem to be the product of an in-house
AcademyEditionsthink tank?Should antitrustlawsbe appliedto
intellectualdiscourse?
Alas,to examinethis relationshipis presumptuous, at the veryleastintellectualbad manners,some true believers scold. For example, Rosalind Krausscondemns criticism of
Eisenmanas "philistinesilliness,"arguingthatit shouldbe regarded
as "somekind of annoyingfly that haslandedon one'sshoulder."19
To those who would prefernot to be botheredby criticalanalysis
founded in less rarefieddefinitions of architectureand culture,
skepticalconsiderationof the New Spiritin designis not much fun
and dragsthe discourseinto openly addressingarchitectureas a
commodity(somethingbest kept in the closet)with all the associated notions of fashion,micro- and macroeconomics,culturalhegemony, political duplicity, and other messy things. Better,
accolytesof the New Spirit would paradoxicallycounsel, just to
stickto simple,axiomatictruths:"Architecture
is Art"or "Architecture is the spiritof the age made manifest"(and to the age its art,
and to art its freedom).Unfortunately,dependenceon simpleaxioms may obscuremoresubtle,but perhapsmore real,truths.
Of these"truths,"
orfundamental
principlesthathavelongbeen
heldascentralto architectural
productionanddiscourse,twostandout
for particularand criticalexamination-of themselvesand of recent
One issueis moresignificantto media'srelationto
reinterpretations.
architecture
andmostcertainlyto the neo-avant-garde's
productionof
contemporarytheory:that is, the issueof newness.The otherspeaks
moredirectlyof one of the characteristics
thathasforcenturiesshaped
in building.The firstis bearchitecture,
namely,thequalityofempathy
The secondis beingperverted.
ing seriouslymisconstrued.
New Again
Themillennium,comingso soon,so hardupon,is bad timing.In theyear999, in theyear1499, in theyear1899 (and
in all theyearsbetween:themillenniumis a permanentmillennium)-it didn'treallymatterwhatpeoplefelt or what
theyfeltlikesaying.Theendof theworldjustwasn'tcoming.
Nobodyhad the hardware.
-MartinAmis,London Fields(1990)

In magazines,in galleries,and now on the street,high-stylearchitectureis awashwith dazzlingmodels,drawings,andcomputer-generatedimages,some of which seem intentionallydesignedto defy
comprehensionand so plead to be recognizedas New. Each new
thing is accompaniedby legions of acolyteswho prefernot to be
troubledby the skeptic.Most of the authorsof the New claim that
the conditions of our age, and consequently the very nature of
today'sdesign theory,are unprecedented-that the New Spiritor
New Freedomis quintessentiallyNew. It is importantto establish
the validityof such a claim becausemuch recenttheoryis wrapped
aroundthe singulartruthof its own newness.If the corepremiseis
shaky,the possibilityexiststhat the latesttheoryis merefashionseductive,entertaining,stylish, but somethingless than a body of
essentialprincipleswith which to design.
One of the shared tenets of New Spirit or New Freedom
theoristsis that basicassumptionsaboutsociety,and consequently
also about architecture,need to be redefined.Rocksof stabilitysuch as the epistemologyof the Enlightenment,faith in socialsystems of order, the rationalessence of architectureas it has been
defined for centuries,architectureitself-are thus swept awayby
the chaotictidalwavethatis the latestmodernity.The transcendent
lesson of culturalmodernism,we aretold, is thatwe areno longer
masters of our own productions.20 We are faced with the
neoexistentialistrealizationthat eachof us is on his or her own and
no one gets out of herealive.All that is solid melts into air.21
The rationale for changing long-held assumptions about
Westernsocietyand aboutarchitectureas we haveknown it is that
traditionaldefinitions no longer are appropriatefor the unprecedentedspiritof our time. The age,we aretold, is relentlesslycommercial.Consequently,design,as an inherentlypublicartand thus
a creatureof popularculture,is above all else a commercialproduct. The commercialmilieu is by naturequixotic,less than stable.
Architectureas we haveknown it is, then, too permanent,too durablefor the culturein which it would exist. In fact, it is claimed,
the durableworldwe haveknown, one that has been the particular
domainof building,is itselfcoming to an end.
In the past, the coming of a millenniumhas produceddire
and frighteningpredictions.Similarly,today'scriticsand theorists
tell us to braceourselvesfor tomorrow.Recentupheavalsin theory
and design speakof a new intellectualismthat is just now flowering in unprecedentedforms.The new architectureis evidencethat
some arein touch-more so than everbefore,it is implied-with a
societyhurtlingtowarda completelynew world.
The new aestheticand the ideasthatunderpinits formsmake
an
up interestingclosedloop of logic: In an anarchicage like ours,
257

the appropriateformsand ideasarecharacteristically


chaotic;if anarchyresultsfrom this, it is evidencethat this is an age of chaos.
Thus, societaland aestheticdisorderareappropriateto the age and
therefore"good,"or at least "honest,"in the very limited way in
which suchjudgmentsarestill possible.Firmness,commodity,and
delightare,like Vitruviushimself,ancienthistory.
Just so there is no mistakeabout it, many of today's most
influentialcritics,theorists,and architectsexplainthat what concernsthem is of immensesignificance.The writtenwordsthat accompanythe newnesscount much less than do visualqualitiesbut
nonethelessare themselvesbreathlesswith pregnantimportance.
AndreasPapadakisclaimsthatwe arewitnessto "theconsciousrebirthof the artof architecture"
and that "anew way of designingis
emerging."22LebbeusWoods modestly assertsthat his work involves "the entire shape and substanceof human communaland
We are, it
privatelife [as it] is and alwayshas been determined."23
is argued,engagedin no less a taskthan throwingout centuriesof
Enlightenmentand humanistbaggage,a purgingof culturalnorms
thatwill, as PeterEisenmanexplains,displace"manawayfrom the
centerof his world."Accordingto Eisenman,"therole of art is to
alienateand dislocateman fromhis environmentso thathe is jolted
into seeing what it is again."24Daniel Libeskindexclaims, "The
period of enlightened human intellect with reality, that great
Socraticand pre-Socraticcontributionto seeingthe world, is coming to an end."25

Such provocative pronouncements echo those of earlier


avant-gardemovements;the dadaists,surrealists,and impressionists
in theirown time all soughtto see the worldanew.Today'stheory,
which containsinternalcloakedcontradictionsthat cleverlyquestion the very propositionbeing put forth-for example,the neoavant-garde'srepudiationof Modernistzeitgeistclaimsin favorof
a new, more appropriatespiritof the presentage-is nothing new.
In the first half of this century, the Soviet poet Vadim
Shershenevichdeclared,"Poetry'schief magnificentlaw is 'There
areno lawswhatever.'"26
(The statementis, of course,itself a law.)
Is Eisenman'scontentionthat humanismis on its way out itself an
argumentborn fromhumanistphilosophy?Is Libeskind'sobservation concerningthe end of Socraticwisdom to be derivedthrough
Socraticquestioningof the condition of knowledge?
Eventhe insistencethat the age is so new that any ties to precedent have been severedis itself not new. Such a claim was, of
course,the basisfor the tenetsof Modernism,the dominantarchitecturalphilosophyand aestheticof the firsttwo-thirdsof the twentieth century.Moreover,the underlyingmessianictone of today's
millennialtheoryhasits own, moredistantprecedentsfromthe end
Thomas

of the firstthousand-yearcycleof the westerncalendarand the doings of latermedievalreligiousrevolutionariesand mysticalanarchists.Ironically,the Judaicand Christiantraditionsof apocalypse
are part of the foundation of Western culture, the same societal
structurethat, we are told, must be significantlyreworkedto conformto the most recentapocalypticvision. Millenarianism,the belief that the thousand-yearintervalwould conclude in the Last
Judgment,explainedthat life would be utterlytransformedas history reachedits culmination.Salvationwould be obtainedby the
reshapingof a world dominatedby evil, a society completelycorruptedby tyrannicalpowerscapableof destroyinglife as it had been
known.27 If this sounds familiar, it is probably because the
visionof a societyin needof salvationis not dissimilar
millenarians'
to the depictionsof recenttheorists,suchas LebbeusWoods, of our
own age.However,salvationis apparentlyto be differentfromwhat
it was imaginedto be at the lastturnof a millennium.Woods'snotion of resurrectedperfection,shapedby a preferencefor a specific
not only in architecture
visualstyle(one popularized,appropriately,
but in the massmedia,namely,the postapocalypticMadMaxmovies), includesa new, better,dynamicform of human community
Much of the resignationto suparisingfromhis scary"free-zones."
posed destructivetendenciesof capitalismand cynical images of
commercefoundin today'sNew SpiritandNew Freedomin design
is the secularcounterpartto the MiddleAges'recognitionof Satan's
tyrannicalpowers.Ironically,millenariansthemselveswereoncesaid
to engagein "theheresyof the FreeSpirit."28
Evenas appliedto artandarchitecture,
the termsfreespiritand
newspiritpredateAcademyEditions.29
They havecome up now and
againsincethe MiddleAges,with theirmost insistentuse occurring
throughoutthis century.Ambitiousclaimsof significanceand validationby attachmentto scienceand cultureusuallyaccompanythe
invocation.The lastturnof a centuryspawnednumerousgroupsof
culturalreformers,from secessioniststo futurists,most of whom
claimedto recognizeand incorporatea trulynew humancondition.
In 1917, GuillaumeApollinaireexplainedin "l'Espritnouveau,"his
essayon cubism,"Thenew spiritstrugglesto open newviewson the
exteriorand interioruniversewhich shall not be inferiorto those
which scholarsof everycategoryare discoveringeach day . .. The
new spiritdistinguishesitselffromall the artisticand literarymovements which have preceded it."30Less than a decade later, Le
Corbusierusedthe termforhis Pavillionde L'EspritNouveauat the
1925 Expositiondes Arts Decoratifs.Meanwhile,Germany'smost
important architecturaltheoristswere busy formulatinga Neue
a new objectivity,thatwould lay the groundworkfor a
Sachlichkeit,
new freedomin design. Off in the metaphoricalmountains,Paul
May1997 JAE50/4

258

Scheerbart,BrunoTaut, and membersof the secretsociety Glass


thatwould"provide
Chainhypothesizeda fantasticglassarchitecture
us with a new culture."31
By the eighties,with Modernisman aging
dowager,most of the revolutionarynew spiritwas little more than
charmingnostalgicmemories.However,anotherNew Spiritarose
phoenixlikefrom its ashes.Ironically,the new New Spiritwas describedin termsof old new spirits:It had "thethrusting,dynamic
and ... Futurism'ssavagebeauty."It was
imageryof Constructivism
Dadaesque,it was surreal,saidthe acolytesof the New.32
Many of today'sthinkersand makersof the New sharewith
theirpredecessorsa myopicview of the world, an assumptionthat
what is happeningin their time is unlike anything that has ever
happenedto anyonebefore.Libeskindwrites,"Somethinghashappened culturally,acrossthe barriersof old that has fundamentally
alteredthe mood and modality of people's feelings, desires,and
This is excitingtalk, but it may be less
consequently,thoughts."33
than accurate.Today'stheory,like any theoryprimarilyshapedby
the avant-garde(ashasbeenthe casefor the lastone hundredyears),
speaksfirstand foremostonly to its own makers.It is impossiblefor
the avant-gardeto accommodatethe prevailinghuman condition,
to representany feelings,desires,and thoughtsotherthan those of
its own self-definednarrowsliverof society.In fact,an avant-garde
that gainstoo substantiala footing in the worldin which it existsis
self-negating.As Matei Calinescuexplains,"Ironically,[in the sixties] the avant-gardefound itself failingthrougha stupendous,involuntarysuccess.This situationpromptedsome artistsand critics
to questionnot only the historicalrole of the avant-gardebut the
adequacyof the conceptitself."34
The makersof much recenttheoryfall into a familiartrap,
believingthat they restatop the pinnacleof history,poisedas none
beforeto leap into the future.Such a view was the principalcause
of largeblind spots scatteredthroughoutthe often brillianthistoriesand theoriesof Giedion, Pevsner,and Le Corbusier,as well as
the work of lesserpurveyorsof the Modernistgospels.It is a belief
thatcanseduceotherwiserationalandinsightfulthinkersand builders into assuming that they are, in the words of the historian
with progressitself."35
HerbertButterfield,"co-operators
Being a partnerof progress,capturingthe essenceof an age
identified(or claimed)as fundamentallynew, particularlyone that
is alsothe culminationof history,createsa greatanddangerousfreedom. The designeris able-in fact, is required-to createcompletely new standardsby which to build and judge, values that
becauseof the natureof the avant-gardemust rejectprecedent.For
a media-drivenculturedependenton a supplyof new images,the
set of circumstancesis just right. Problematically,this often does

not squarewith the tangiblerealityof architecture.Time and again


buildingprovesto be dependenton continuityratherthan radical
a disciplinebasedon precechange.Architectureis self-referential,
dent. In reactionto nineteenth-century
revivalism,the lasthundred
of
Western
architectural
have
years
theory
largelybeen shapedby
to
create
attempts
unprecedentedbuildingforms,or at leastforms
to
"modern"
materialsand to a modernzeitgeist.Yet
appropriate
even the most canonicalof Modernists,such as Le Corbusier,Mies
van der Rohe, and Louis Kahn,admitteda debt to classicalprinciples. FrankLloyd Wright acknowledgedthe influence of traditional Japanesearchitectureeven as he proclaimed himself the
quintessentialmodernarchitect.
The problemsto be solved are often great, especiallywhen
architectureis expectedto drivea socialagenda.Pressureto adopt
a new systemof valuesoften leadsto foolish naiveteor arrogance.
Le Corbusierthus dismissedurbanism'ssinglemost importantelement, the street, because"ourheartsare alwaysoppressedby the
constrictionof its enclosingwalls,"and then rejectedit completely
because"when all is said and done we have to admit it disgusts
us."36Modernist avant-garde planners abstracted and systematized

the troublesomehuman componentout of urbantheory.Legions


of urban-renewalbureaucratswould follow suit. In Englandafter
WorldWarII, betweena blitzed-outurbanlandscapeand a socialist government,some AngryYoung Men (and Alison Smithson)
concocted the New Realismand extractedfrom it the transcendentlybrutalParkHill housingin Sheffield.Not to worry,the English enfantsterriblesexplained,they were merelygiving "formto
our generation'sidea of order."37More recently, Eisenman announcedthat, in contrastto the pastthreehundredyearsof American domestic architecture,when designing a house he refusesto
panderto the wishesof the client. Rather,he "basicallyattemptsto
destabilizethe notion of home."38
Other significanttendenciesseen beforein this centuryare
beingrepeated,not invented.The formsand designphilosophiesof
the New Spiritin architecturearehardlywithout precedent.Theo
van Doesburg'sopaque theoryof neoplasticismwould be right at
home with many of the nineties'dense pronouncements.Lebbeus
Woods and Antonio Sant'Eliawould find one another'surbanromantic drawing style familiar, and later Woods and Filippo
Tommaso Marinettimight well comparenotes on the cleansing
powerof heavyartillery.By now it is commonplaceto callattention
to the resemblancebetweenearlyModernism'sconstructivistphase
and recentworks. In the last decadeof the twentiethcentury,we
may not be atop the mountainof history,but we havebeen traveling to wherewe arefor some time now.
259

No matterto whatlengthsbuildingis intellectualized,architecturaldesignremainsprimarilya matterof aestheticsshapedby,


and shaping, three-dimensionalforms. Since aestheticsmight be
considereda matterof taste,a difficultconceptnot easilysupported
rationalizationsare
by academicargument,elaborate"theoretical"
constructedto defend the choice of style or fashion. Criticismor
evenskepticismis dismissedas partisanoppositionemanatingfrom
a committedantitheoreticallobby.39Dismissalof contrarycriticism
throughthe appropriationof "thespiritof the age"is hardlynew.
DavidWatkinexplainsin Architecture
andMoralitythatthe defense
of visualaestheticshas been commonplaceoverthe last two centuries. Watkin points out that A.W.N. Pugin, Viollet-le-Duc, and
Nikolaus Pevsner(threevery differentpersonalities,only two of
whom favoredsimilararchitectural
styles)eachjustifiedhis position
by claimingthathis aestheticpreferencewas the inevitableresponse
to the shapeof contemporarysociety. In part,theirswere philosoon personalprefphiesdesignedto compensatefor an overemphasis
erencesfor a particularstyleof architecture,one in which visual
appealwas primarybut wassuppressed,disguisedin the nineteenth
centurybehindveils of religionand nationalismand in the twentieth centuryby naive faith in the social collectiveand the promise
of technology.40In this light, the latest theory that demonstrates
tendenciesto misinterpretculture,misapplytechnology,or support
simplisticpoliticalagendaslooks all too familiar.

New Empathy
Physicalformspossessa characteronly becausewe ourselves
possessa body.... Wereadourown imageintoallphenomena. Weexpecteverything
topossesswhat we knowto be the
conditionsof ourown well-being.
-Heinrich Wolfflin,"Prolegomenato a
Psychologyof Architecture"(1886)
When the word empathywas coined, it was regardednot as a rational thoughtprocessbut ratheras a lessprecisefeelingor emotion.41
Subsequently,Theodor Lipps redefinedthe term as the objective
enjoymentof self, contendingthat beautywas a matterof encounteringthe self in an object,while uglinesswas the resultof feeling
the self repelled.42
In suchan explanation,theoriststacitlyacknowlfound in classicism,whereinhuedge the validityof characteristics
man traitsgive shape,scale,and meaningto a specificvocabularyof
architecture.Moreover,the empatheticcorrespondenceof a building element to the body-a column to a standingperson,for exThomas

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composition,
ample-is but a singleinstanceof a largerarchitectural
otherelementsof which also relateto the humanexistentialcondition. ChristianNorberg-Schulzexplainsthat each componentof a
building"formspartof a 'family'of characters,which are deliberatelyrelatedto humanqualities."Thus, "theoriginalforcesare...
'humanized,'and presentthemselvesas individualparticipantsin a
Such a directcorrespondence
comprehensive,meaningfulworld."43
is the mostessentialaspectof empathyas it relatesto the understanding of architecture.
Yet the directrepresentationof the humanform in building
is but one aspect of empathy in architecture.GeoffreyScott explained that our experienceof architectureis not merelya matter
of logicalcorrespondence.Rather,"itis experienced,consciously,as
a directand simpleintuition,which has its groundin that subconscious region where our physical memories are stored."Consequently, Scott contended,understandingarchitectureis primarily
a matterof a more subtle empathy:"We feel the value of certain
curvesand certainrelationsof pressureto resistanceby an unconscious (or usuallyunconscious)analogywith our own movements,
our own gestures,our own experiencesof weight."44
May1997 JAE50/4

260

Scott'sexplanationsuggestshow significantand complicated


a determinantof architectureis empathy.Yet for many of today's
critics, explanationsof makingand experiencingarchitecturelike
Scott's are apparentlyno longervalid. Eisenman'sdisciplesclaim
that his theoriesrevealthat empathy,as it is employedin classical
architecture,is no more than "a desirefor our own fallaciousand
self-alienatingself-image,"an architecturalprocessthat "deniesthe
sensitivityof the humansoul."45 In fact, it might be arguedthat in
our media-saturated
time we do not engagein directcommunication with our environmentanyway.We can neitherfeel nor recognizeourselvesin physicalform-unless thatformis simulatedfor us
andwe aretold how to relateto it (or, at best,givena menu of reactions from which to choose). Theoristslike Eisenmanand Woods
rejectpositiveinterpretationsof the empatheticarchitecturalexperience.As a consequence,the resultingarchitectureoften appears
designedto dominate,or even to humiliate,ratherthanto ennoble.
The conceptof humanformas the measureof thingshasbeen
humanistsrediscovered
repeatedoverandoversincefifteenth-century
Vitruvius.The most familiarvisualimageof this idea is Leonardo's
by circleandsquare:VitruvianMan,
depictionof mancircumscribed
the homoad circum.Leonardo'sVitruvianMan may be readas the
iconographicdepictionof humanistidealsof harmonybetweenthe
lawsof natureand the humancondition,as, for example,did Cesare
edition of Vitruviusin which he
Cesarianoin his sixteenth-century
describedmanin the circleas the measure"throughwhosegeometrical limbswe shalllearnhow to, as we say,commensurateeverything
The imagemayalsobe interpretedin a moreliteral
else on earth."46
loveaffairwith
manner.FourcenturiesafterLeonardo,LeCorbusier's
forms"includedoceanliners,"elementsboth vast
"newarchitectural
More recently,CharlesMoore
and intimatebut on man'sscale."47
laudedthe house, the most personalof buildingtypes, as "theone
pieceof the worldaroundus whichstill speaksdirectlyof our bodies
as the centerand the measureof thatworld."48
Today,however,just
as in literarytheorythe authoris removedfromthe text, in architecwith our
ture,in orderfor the New Spiritto achievecorrespondence
troublesomeage,man is to be removedfromthe centerof the circle.
Moreover,now at a distancefromthe center,manis depicted,not as
the proud protagonistclaiming a place in the universe,but as a
humbledand often batteredfigure.
In a curiouscontradiction,evenas theoryproposesto displace
the individualfrom the centerof the universe,recent intellectual
fashionhasrediscoveredthe importanceof thatsameindividual.Although the idea has deep roots in Nietzsche and subsequentexistentialphilosophers,today the intellectualfocus on the individual
emergesat a time when the twentiethcentury'sgreatpoliticalad-

-4

-2

600'

n77?30

2. Cedars-Sinai Comprehensive Cancer Clinic sculpture, Los Angeles. (By permission from
Morphosis, Architects.)

venture in collectivism has collapsed throughout the world. If the


spirit of the age is to be captured (and the New Spirit might uncharitably be characterizedas warmed-over zeitgeist theory), such an
event of global political significance as the failure of the communist
experiment is not to be ignored-nor is the opportunity to appropriate it to be missed. Thus the inhabitant of Lebbeus Woods's
Zagreb Free Zone occupies a solitary cell but is connected to the
world by the new omnipresent electronic media.
Alas, despite this late-twentieth-century reemergence of the
individual, the human condition is, apparently, hardly triumphant.
Instead, empathy is now recast as a recognition of assault, violence,
and abuse perpetrated by an emerging malevolent global culture.
The individual's most ardent champion, Ayn Rand, would recognize this, but she would be appalled at the latest response to the
presumed cultural condition: a masochistic celebration of the "violated individual" and the concomitant abdication of responsibility
for the shape of a larger society. To Lipps, Scott, and others concerned with the deep understanding of architecture, empathy was
important as an explanation for the affinity between people and the
buildings that shaped their world. Although the definition of empathy was not necessarily narrow, it was nonetheless most often cast

261

3. Lebbeus Woods, "Untitled,"from Anarchitecture:Architecture


Is a Political Act (1992). (By permission from Academy Editions/
St. Martin'sPress.)

as a positive architectural determinant. New spins now depict


empathetic correspondence in a negative light. Whereas "old empathy" was an ennobling characteristic, "new empathy" is a weary
recognition of abuse.
Aaron Betsky's description of a 1987 sculpture at CedarsSinai Comprehensive Cancer Center in Los Angeles illustrates the
new conception of empathy. Placed three floors underground, the
sculpture, as Betsky describes it, "lacksmotivation. It does not seem
to represent anything." He explains that the sculpture "reversesour
sense of proportion, gravity and coherence." Contradicting himself,
Betsky adds that it is, however, anthropomorphic: "Its legs, torso,
and head stand in for our body, revealing skeletal and planar elements which are the essence of the building housing our body....
The construction thus serves as a hybrid model for ourselves and
that which contains us-a map of ourselves and our environment
that suggests a way out of our body and the world of our creation."
It is, according to Betsky, an appropriate metaphor both for the
cancer clinic in which it stands and the age that has produced it:
The context "is a world inhabited by the terminally ill, people
whose insides are transformed by an uncontrollable and alien transmutation." The building that houses the sculpture, Betsky points

Thomas

out, is itself "not an affirming architecture."49Elsewhere in his appropriately titled ViolatedPerfection:Architectureand the Fragmentation ofthe Modern, Betsky explains that a new form of architecture
he calls "technomorphism" concerns "a strange hybrid of'building/
body/machines' . . . technomorphic tools [that] stand in for, consume, and deny both the body and the world."50Empathy, whose
significance in the identification and production of beauty was understood at the beginning of this century to entail the recognition
of the self in an object, is now at the end of the century a denial of
the body and the world-or at best a reappraisalresulting in a pathetic surrender of humanism. "This is the way the world ends /
Not with a bang but a whimper."51
Given the depiction of the human condition and the world in
much recent theory, denial of any correspondence to architecture
would indeed seem to be the best move. Woods explains that he
works in a world in which change is "violent and terrible, bringing
... the most dreadful suffering and loss ... [that] erode the ground
on which civilization and personal existence rest, leaving voids of reason." Furthermore, previous attempts to better this condition were
little more than shams:The Enlightenment idea of progressis "nothing more than a veil covering eyes that would otherwise look upon
their own madness." For Woods, "a theory that can never fail, and
at the same time can never succeed, . . . is the perfect theory of the
human condition today-a paradoxwhich is a prelude to an enigma.
Such a theory inevitably produces the twins: war and architecture."
The destructive tendencies of humanity and the creative impulse
thus unite in a new design method. Destruction is creation. War is
peace. Chillingly, Woods openly attributes his philosophy to
Doublethink, explaining that George Orwell's nightmarevision "was
nothing more nor less than a confirmation of the irreparabledamage done by modern thought to the idea of classical coherence."52
For another example of the "new empathy," consider a course
in architectural theory offered at the Architectural Association in
London by Mark Cousins. The prospectus for "Danger and Safety"
states that the course, which "give[s] the slip to attempts to organize aesthetics and ethics around the category of the subject, this
fading star of the Enlightenment," is "an attempt to link politics,
ethics and art through the axis of danger and safety." Cousins explains, "Recent art and cultural production present a fundamental
relation to danger-danger to the body, of the body ... a body in
danger, damaged, violated, invaded, eroded.... The trace of the
body is no longer idealized as the Human Form, but materialized
as visceral and fearful." In the course, "the malice of the virtues of
conscience and principle are rejected in favor of tolerance, negotiation and positions of weakness." (The "safety"in the course title is
May1997 JAE50/4

262

concerned with "a post-ethical politics." As Cousins notes,


"Daunted, unillusioned and sad, this emerging politics also stresses
the body, rather than the classical subject.")53
Numerous studies of the phenomenology of perception have
revealedfascinatinglinks between pain and imagination.54Moreover,
the human form in torment has been a staple of artistic representation, from the Laocoonto images of St. Sebastianto Picasso'sGuernica
to Chris Burden'sperformancepiece in which he is shot in the shoulder. For architecture, however, it is different. When pain and abuse
become the dominant characteristicsof empathy, we descend into an
overly emotional, malevolently mannered state, a condition that is far
from the highest expression of the art form, and we are left with the
antihero as measure of all things. Albert Camus's L 'Etranger,rather
than Eisenman's cipher, is the obvious model for this new Vitruvian
man-placed suitably outside the circle, of course.
As poststructuralism filtered into fashion in many branches
of the humanities, Michel Foucault cleverly put forth the premise
that the subjugated or marginalized are more able to observe the real
workings of a society than are either the mainstream or less alienated. Moreover, in Discipline and Punish, Foucault further defined
marginalizedman as the "body condemned," tracing a history of the
victimized individual back centuries to the scaffold, the wheel, and
the panopticon.55As mutual infatuation grew between architectural
theory and poststructuralist theory in other disciplines, the traditional understanding of empathy in architecture began to appear
hopelessly dated. An understanding of empathy as an essential characteristic of architecture escapes many from outside the discipline;
empathy thus becomes just another piece of Enlightenment/humanist baggage to be jettisoned. Jumping on the poststructuralist
bandwagon (itself now rather outdated), the purveyors of the architectural New follow suit.
The New Spirit presents the troubling possibility that, given
the media-directed nature of our times, half-baked proclamations
that render the human condition as inherently abused and violated
might be accepted without question. Any culture grows upward
from roots, but it is also formed top-down under the direction of
an intellectual and political elite. Choices made in the making of the
landscape are tangible and long lasting. If, as Woods contends,
Doublespeak is a confirmation of our condition, then the possibilities for serious mischief are boundless.
In most instances, the new empathy masqueradesas a concern
for the downtrodden: Now, finally, the disenfranchised will have
their say. Daniel Libeskind calls for a new landscape shaped "not for
the victors who have dominated architecturefor five thousand years,
but the vanquished-an architecturefor losers."56Such a philosophy

1985), in which Kostofexplains,"Everybuildingrepresentsa socialartifactof specific impulse,energy,and commitment.That is its meaning,and this meaningresides in its physicalform. Neither materialrealityalone nor generalbackgroundof
culturewill suffice to explainthe peculiarnatureof the building"(p. 7).
13. Benedikt,Foran Architecture
of Reality,p. 4.
14. StephenKieran,"TheArchitectureof Plenty:Theoryand Design in the
Review6 (1987): 111.
MarketingAge,"HarvardArchitecture
15. John Whiteman, "Criticism,Representationand Experiencein Contemporary Architecture: Architecture and Drawing in an Age of Criticism,"
HarvardArchitecture
Review6 (1987): 139.
16. ThomasFisher,"Editorial:
The Avant-Garde,Pastand Future,"ProgressiveArchitecture
74 (Aug. 1993): 7.
17. StanleyTigerman, Versus:An AmericanArchitect'sAlternatives(New
York:Rizzoli, 1982), p. 11.
18. I firstencounteredthis termin a reviewby David Holahanin the PhiladelphiaInquirer,Oct. 1, 1993. Holahandubbeda book that purportedto provethat
MarkTwainwasgay "tabloidhumanism."The expressionsuggestsa mutatedmeaning of humanism,one shapedby the sensibilitiesof makersof luridor sensationaltabloid headlinesratherthan by the thoughtfulconsiderationof the humancondition.
Architecture
19. See "Eisenman(and Company)Respond,"Progressive
76/
2 (Feb. 1995): 88-91.
20. JohnWhiteman,"TheParadoxof ClassicalRepresentation,"
in Jonathan
in Architecture:
EisenmanStudiosat the GSD:1983JovaMarvel,ed., Investigations
85 (Cambridge,MA: HarvardUniversityGraduateSchool of Design, 1986), p. 9.
Notes
21. This phraseis borrowedfrom the title of MarshallBerman'sAll ThatIs
1. Ralph Erskine,"DemocraticArchitecture-The Universaland Useful SolidMeltsintoAir: TheExperienceof Modernity(New York:Simon and Schuster
Art: Projectsand Reflections,"Thomas Cubitt Lecture,RoyalSocietyofArtsJour- 1982). Bermanborrowshis title from Marx'scontention that to be modern is to
be part of a universein which "allthat is solid melts into air."Bermanwrites of
nal 130 (1982): 643.
charactersas variedas Joseph Paxton, BaronHaussmann,RobertMoses, Goethe,
Architecture20/10
2. Vincent Scully, "Theoryand Delight," Progressive
and Baudelaire,all of whom "knowthe thrilland dreadof a world in which
Marx,
86.
(Oct. 1989):
3. See MarkAlden Branch,"Critique:Queasy in Columbus?"Progressive 'all that is solid melts into air"'(Penguinedition, 1988, p. 13).
22. AndreasPapadakisand KennethPowell, "Freedomand Function,"AD
Architecture(Feb. 1994) 78-81, for a discussionof Eisenman'sColumbus(Ohio)
62 (March/April1992): p. 7.
Convention Center. Also see LebbeusWoods, Warand Architecture(New York: Profile:FreeSpaceArchitecture
23. LebbeusWoods, "Heterarchyof Urban Form and Architecture,"AD
PrincetonArchitecturalPress, 1993).
62 (March/April1992): 37.
Profile:FreeSpaceArchitecture
4. See PeterEisenman,"TheEnd of the Classical,"Perspecta21 (1984).
24. Quoted in Andreas Papadakis,"On Theory and Architecture,"in
5. See CharlesJencks, TheArchitectureof theJumpingUniverse(London:
An IntellectualExtravaganza
(London:AcademyEditions
Theory+ Experimentation:
AcademyEditions, 1995).
Is a PoliticalAct (Lon- 1993), p. 8.
Architecture
6. See LebbeusWoods, Anarchitecture:
25. Daniel Libeskind,"Betweenthe Lines,"in AndreasPapadakis,Geoffrey
don: AcademyEditions 1992); and Woods, WarandArchitecture.
7. Quoted in MarkC. Taylor,"Descartes,Nietzscheand the Searchfor the Broadbent,and Maggie Toy, eds., Free Spirit in Architecture:OmnibusVolume
(London:AcademyEditions, 1992), p. 179.
Unsayable,"New YorkTimes,Feb. 1, 1987: sec. 7, p. 3.
26. AlexanderKaun,SovietPoetsand Poetry(Berkeley:Universityof Cali8. SeeJuhaniPallasmaa,"SixThemes for the Next Millennium,"ArchitecforniaPress, 1943), p. 69.
turalReview(July 1994): 74-79.
27. Norman Cohn, The Pursuit of the Millennium (New York: Oxford
The
9. CharlesJencks,"TheNew Moderns,"AD Profile:New Architecture:
UniversityPress,1961), p. 21.
New Modernsand the SuperModerns60/3-4 (1990): 15.
28. Ibid., p. 148.
10. The phrase"the bite and sweet gravityof things realand beautiful"is
29. See E.M. Farrelly,"'TheNew Spirit' (Post-modernismIs Dead),"Arfrom MichaelBenedikt'sForan Architecture
of Reality (New York:Lumen, 1987),
chitecturalReview180 (Aug. 1986): 6-12, for an earlydiscussionof a trend that
p. 22, which incorporatedSusanSontag'sterm "biteand sweet gravity."
11. Maugham'sremarkis made by the fictionalnarratorof TheMoonand would pick up speed.
30. Quoted in Peter Collins, ChangingIdeals in ModernArchitecture
Sixpence[1919] (New YorkModern Library,n.d.), p. 80. It is in the context of
praisingthe fierce and completelyindependentactions of Strickland,the novel's (Montreal:McGill-Queen'sUniversityPress, 1975), p. 276.
31. PaulScheerbart,Glasarchitektur
(Berlin:VerlagderSturm,1914), p. 25.
centralcharacter,a Paul Gauguincounterpart.
A StudentGuide(London:Acad32. GeoffreyBroadbent,Deconstruction:
12. This view is championedin the worksof Spiro Kostof, particularlyA
Editions,
1991).
emy
Architecture:
and
Rituals
York:
Oxford
Press,
(New
University
Historyof
Settings

of building is no more than a politically correct smoke screen. Perverting so essential an architecturalcharacteristicas empathy will not
usher in a new egalitarian world any more than did previous naive
Modernist political-architectural formulas. Theory that celebrates
the visceral and fearful, that finds malice in conscience and principle,
that activates an architecture for losers, is indeed a departure from
what we have known and hoped building to be.
It is a telling indication of the nature of much recent theory
that architects outside elite Western intellectual circles, those most
directly concerned with the true "marginalized"who are the Third
World, seem to have little time for nihilistic posturing. In many
cases, the intellectual attachment to the marginalized individual is
no more than an expedient measure that dovetails with today's fashion in academia and visual aesthetics. Within consumption-driven
Western society, claims that recent avant-garde architectural theory
embodies the essential societal characteristics of our age are at best
culturally naive or presumptuous, at worst self-delusion or deceit.

263

Thomas

33. Libeskind,"Betweenthe Lines,"p. 179.


34. Matei Calinescu,FiveFacesofModernity(Durham,NC: Duke University Press,1987), p. 121.
35. HerbertButterfield,The WhigInterpretation
of History [1913] (New
York:W.W. Norton, 1965), pp. 41-42.
36. Le Corbusier,"The Street,"in W. Boesigerand 0. Stonorov,eds., Le
Corbusier
et PierreJeanneret:
OeuvreComplete,Vol.1, 1910-1929 [1929] (Zurich:
Les Editionsd'Architecture,1964), p. 118.
37. Alison and Peter Smithson, "The Built World, Urban Re-identificaDesign(June 1955): 33.
tion,"Architectural
38. RobertA.M. Stern interviewwith Eisenman,May 9, 1985, cited in
Stern's Pride of Place (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1986), p. 87. Although one
might questionwhetherwillfuldenialof gratificationis an appropriatearchitectural
service,it must be admittedthat Eisenman'sclients come to him with their eyes
open and in most casesget exactlywhat they are looking for.
forone such indictment;
39. See Papadakis,"OnTheoryandArchitecture,"
and the previouslydiscussed"Eisenman(and Company)Respond."
40. See David Watkin,MoralityandArchitecture
(Oxford:OxfordUniversity Press).
41. The OxfordEnglishDictionarysaysthat Theodor Lippsused the term
"Einfuhlung"in1903, definingit as "thepowerof projectingone's personalityinto
(and so fully comprehending)the object of contemplation."The first Englishuse
of the term empathyis V. Lee, Diary, Feb. 20, 1904, cited in Lee and AnstrutherThompson, Beautyand Ugliness,1912, p. 337: "Passingon to the aestheticempathy (Einfuhlung),or more properlythe aestheticsympatheticfeeling of the act of
erectingand spreading."
42. Kent C. Bloomerand CharlesW. Moore, Body,Memory,andArchitecture(New Haven, CT: YaleUniversityPress,1977), p. 27.

May1997 JAE50/4

264

43. ChristianNorberg-Schulz,GeniusLoci: Towardsa Phenomenology


of
Architecture
(New York:Rizzoli, 1979), p. 74.
44. GeoffreyScott, TheArchitectureof Humanism[1914] (GardenCity,
NY: Doubleday, 1954), pp. 93, 185.
45. John Whiteman, "Some Paradoxesin the Refutation of Classicism:
Denial and Possibilityin Architecture"in JonathanJovaMarvel,ed., Investigations
in Architecture,
p. 12.
46. As quoted in Hanno-WalterKruft,A Historyof ArchitecturalTheory
(New York:PrincetonArchitecturalPress, 1994), p. 68.
47. Le Corbusier,Versunearchitecture
(Paris:Cres, 1924), p. 99.
48. Bloomerand Moore, Body,Memory,andArchitecture,
p. 5.
Architecture
and theFragmentation
49. AaronBetsky,ViolatedPerfection:
of
theModern(New York:Rizzoli, 1990), pp. 9-11.
50. Ibid., p. 183.
51. T.S. Eliot, "The Hollow Men," 1925.
52. SeeAndreasPapadakis,"LebbeusWoods,"in Theory+ Experimentation:
An IntellectualExtravaganza,
Also
pp. 392-409; andWoods, WarandArchitecture.
see Woods, "Heterarchyof UrbanFormand Architecture,"pp. 36-53.
53. ArchitecturalAssociationSchoolof ArchitectureProspectus,London,
1993-1994, pp. 114-15.
54. In particular,see Elaine Scarry, The Bodyin Pain: TheMaking and
Unmakingof the World(New York:Oxford UniversityPress,1985).
55. See Michel Foucault, Discipline and Punish (New York: Random
House, 1979). Originallypublishedas Surveilleretpunir(Paris:EditionsGallimard,
1975).
56. Quoted in CharlesJencks,"TheNew Moderns,"AD Profile:New Architecture:TheNew Modernsand TheSuperModerns,60/3-4 (1990): 15.