K. Michael Hays

K. Michael Hays is Eliot Noyes Professor of Architectural Theory at Harvard's Graduate School of Design. In 2000 he was appointed the first Adjunct Curator at the Whitney Museum for American Art. He is the author, among other books, of Modern Architecture and the Posthumanist Subject (1995) and the editor of Architecture Theory since 1968 (2000), both published by the MIT Press.

  • Architecture's Desire

    Architecture's Desire

    Reading the Late Avant-Garde

    K. Michael Hays

    Theorizes an architectural ethos of extreme self-reflection and finality from a Lacanian perspective.

    While it is widely recognized that the advanced architecture of the 1970s left a legacy of experimentation and theoretical speculation as intense as any in architecture's history, there has been no general theory of that ethos. Now, in Architecture's Desire, K. Michael Hays writes an account of the “late avant-garde” as an architecture systematically twisting back on itself, pondering its own historical status, and deliberately exploring architecture's representational possibilities right up to their absolute limits. In close readings of the brooding, melancholy silence of Aldo Rossi, the radically reductive “decompositions” and archaeologies of Peter Eisenman, the carnivalesque excesses of John Hejduk, and the “cinegrammatic” delirium of Bernard Tschumi, Hays narrates the story of architecture confronting its own boundaries with objects of ever more reflexivity, difficulty, and intransigence.

    The late avant-garde is the last architecture with philosophical aspirations, an architecture that could think philosophical problems through architecture rather than merely illustrate them. It takes architecture as the object of its own reflection, which in turn produces an unrelenting desire. Using the tools of critical theory together with the structure of Lacan's triad imaginary-symbolic-real, Hays constructs a theory of architectural desire that is historically specific and yet sets the terms and the challenges of all subsequent architectural practice, including today's.

    • Paperback $24.95 £20.00
  • Architecture Theory since 1968

    Architecture Theory since 1968

    K. Michael Hays

    An anthology of the pivotal theoretical texts that have defined architecture culture in the late twentieth century.

    In the discussion of architecture, there is a prevailing sentiment that, since 1968, cultural production in its traditional sense can no longer be understood to rise spontaneously, as a matter of social course, but must now be constructed through ever more self-conscious theoretical procedures. The development of interpretive modes of various stripes—post-structuralist, Marxian, phenomenological, psychoanalytic, as well as others dissenting or eccentric—has given scholars a range of tools for rethinking architecture in relation to other fields and for reasserting architectures general importance in intellectual discourse.

    This anthology presents forty-seven of the primary texts of architecture theory, introducing each with an explication of the concepts and categories necessary for its understanding and evaluation. It also presents twelve documents of projects or events that had major theoretical repercussions for the period. Several of the essays appear here in English for the first time.

    Contributors Diana Agrest, Stanford Anderson, Archizoom, George Baird, Jennifer Bloomer, Massimo Cacciari, Jean-Louis Cohen, Beatriz Colomina, Alan Colquhoun, Maurice Culot, Jacques Derrida, Ignasi de Solá-Morales, Peter Eisenman, Robin Evans, Michel Foucault, Kenneth Frampton, Mario Gandelsonas, Frank Gehry, Jürgen Habermas, John Hejduk, Denis Hollier, Bernard Huet, Catherine Ingraham, Fredric Jameson, Charles A. Jencks, Jeffrey Kipnis, Fred Koetter, Rem Koolhaas, Leon Krier, Sanford Kwinter, Henri Lefebvre, Daniel Libeskind, Mary McLeod, Alberto Pérez-Gómez, José Quetglas, Aldo Rossi, Colin Rowe, Massimo Scolari, Denise Scott Brown, Robert Segrest, Jorge Silvetti, Robert Somol, Martin Steinmann, Robert A. M. Stern, James Stirling, Manfredo Tafuri, Georges Teyssot, Bernard Tschumi, Anthony Vidler, Paul Virilio, Mark Wigley

    • Hardcover $105.00 £86.00
    • Paperback $56.95 £46.00
  • Modernism and the Posthumanist Subject

    Modernism and the Posthumanist Subject

    The Architecture of Hannes Meyer and Ludwig Hilberseimer

    K. Michael Hays

    Drawing on both the work of modern theorists like Georg Lukács, Walter Benjamin, Theodor Adorno, and Siegfried Kracauer, and more recent poststructuralist thought, K. Michael Hays creates an entirely new method of reading architectural production.

    Drawing both on the work of modern theorists like Georg Lukács, Walter Benjamin, Theodor Adorno, and Siegfried Kracauer and on more recent poststructuralist thought, K. Michael Hays creates an entirely new method of reading architectural production. Challenging much of the traditional wisdom about modernism and the avant-garde, Hays argues that a rigorously articulated "posthumanist" position was actually developed in the modernist architecture of Hannes Meyer and Ludwig Hilberseimer. He reinterprets their buildings, projects, and writings as constructions of this new category of subjectivity.

    • Hardcover $10.75 £8.99
    • Paperback $40.00 £32.00

Contributor

  • Architectural Ethnography

    Architectural Ethnography

    Atelier Bow-Wow

    When Yoshi Tsukamoto and Momoyo Kaijima of the Tokyo-based firm Atelier Bow-Wow arrived at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design as guest professors, in the winter of 2016, they challenged students to deeply consider their surroundings and record their reactions as a large pencil drawing. In this “public drawing” time is suspended and expanded; futures, presents, and pasts converge; and the act of drawing becomes an instrument of dialogue and engagement.

    Tsukamoto and Kaijima later spoke about the project with K. Michael Hays, Eliot Noyes Professor of Architectural Theory at Harvard's Graduate School of Design, and reflected on representation, occupation, and the democracy of architecture. They unfolded their concept of an “ecology of livelihood,” wherein shadowless figures, objects, and spaces coexist with construction details. Explaining their belief in the “behavioral capacities” of humans, architecture, and nature, Tsukamoto and Kaijima revealed the generosity of spirit in their work, and the importance of pushing such capacities to their most yielding limits.

    The Incidents is a series of publications based on events that occured at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design between 1936 and tomorrow.Edited by Jennifer Sigler and Leah Whitman-Salkin

    Copublished with the Harvard University Graduate School of Design

    • Paperback $16.00