The authors of these eighteen essays have all been deeply influenced by the philosophy of architecture developed by Stanford Anderson, through his writings and through the teaching program of the Department of History, Theory and Criticism of Architecture, which he and Henry Millon founded at MIT over twenty years ago. This "school" of architectural thought views architecture as a world of inquiry and as a discipline anchored in the epistemological bases of contemporary philosophy, especially the philosophy of science. Clear thematic concerns bind the essays together. The essays of the first section, "American Debates," share a deep preoccupation with modernism, its national ideologies, and regional responses in the American context. The contributors to the second section, "European Responses," examine European responses to these American debates. In the third section, "Historiographic Constructs," contributors comment on the writing, interpretation, and uses of architectural history. Contributors to the fourth section, "Urbanisms," grapple with the knotty interdependence of politics and the built environment. In the last section, "Teaching Architecture," four distinguished educators consider the most difficult aspect of the discipline, its pedagogical mandate. Whether historians or architects (and several have trained in both areas), the essayists all share the belief that contemporary concerns about architecture affect the way history is constructed. Because they view architecture as a body of knowledge evolving over time, they have resisted the wholesale espousal or rejection of modernism that has often polarized the examination and practice of architecture in the second half of this century.
ContributorsLawrence Anderson, Hilary Ballon, Micha Bandini, Sibel Bozdogan, Maristella Casciato, Charles Correa, Gail Fenske, Diane Ghirardo, John Habraken, Mark Jarzombek, Royston Landau, Akos Moravanszky, Carlo Olmo, Nasser Rabbat, Mitchell Schwarzer, Joseph Siry, Nancy Stieber, Danilo Udovicki-Selb