Essays, interviews, and projects explore an expanded vocabulary of spatial practice.
Architecture exists in the public sphere and is the product of collective work and knowledge. Yet the defining boundaries of the discipline are often contested. Architects can and often must embody a spectrum of characters in their practice: politician, artist, physicist, entrepreneur. Likewise, a building is the nexus of multifaceted economies, legislations, and information systems. Since “architecture” has become a metonym for increasingly distributed persons and practices, how—and for whom—do we establish its domain?
To trace the evolving meanings of the term “domain” is to trace the changing ways that space has been defined, accessed, and constructed: from domain as a territory of private ownership or legal control; to the egalitarian promise of public domain; to an Internet site situated within an infinitely dispersed global network. Each of these shifts poses dramatic changes to how we conceive of boundaries, physically and conceptually. But as we insist on staking boundaries, we are impelled to search for their limits—however remote or nebulous.
This issue of Perspecta—the oldest and most distinguished student-edited architectural journal in America—offers an initial expedition into the contested spaces of architecture's domains. Perspecta 44's multidisciplinary scope, with contributors ranging from legal scholars to software engineers, asserts a new set of coordinates for mapping the terms of architectural production. By embracing the inherent complexities of Domain, Perspecta 44 seeks to overcome the architect's conventional repertoire—Site, Program, and Client—and propose instead Field, Protocol, and User as an expanded vocabulary for spatial practice, not without boundaries but rather abiding by the shifting logics and contours of public space.
Contributors BêkaFilms, R. Howard Bloch, Craig Buckley, Mario Carpo, common room, Peggy Deamer, Neil Denari, Forum for Urban Design, Sophie Houdart, Sam Jacob, Office Kersten Geers David Van Severen, Bruno Latour, Lawrence Lessig, Richard Meier, Ralitza Petit, Nasser Rabbat, Casey Reas and Ben Fry et al. Michael Rock, C. Dana Tomlin, Stuart Wrede