Michael Speaks

  • Architecture as Metaphor

    Architecture as Metaphor

    Language, Number, Money

    Kojin Karatani and Michael Speaks

    In Architecture as Metaphor, Kojin Karatani detects a recurrent "will to architecture" that he argues is the foundation of all Western thinking, traversing architecture, philosophy, literature, linguistics, city planning, anthropology, political economics, psychoanalysis, and mathematics.

    Kojin Karatani, Japan's leading literary critic, is perhaps best known for his imaginative readings of Shakespeare, Soseki, Marx, Wittgenstein, and most recently Kant. His works, of which Origins of Modern Japanese Literature is the only one previously translated into English, are the generic equivalent to what in America is called "theory." Karatani's writings are important not only for the insights they offer on the various topics under discussion, but also as an example of a distinctly non-Western critical intervention. In Architecture as Metaphor, Karatani detects a recurrent "will to architecture" that he argues is the foundation of all Western thinking, traversing architecture, philosophy, literature, linguistics, city planning, anthropology, political economics, psychoanalysis, and mathematics. In the three parts of the book, he analyzes the complex bonds between construction and deconstruction, thereby pointing to an alternative model of "secular criticism," but in the domain of philosophy rather than literary or cultural criticism. As Karatani claims in his introduction, because the will to architecture is practically nonoexistent in Japan, he must first assume a dual role: one that affirms the architectonic (by scrutinizing the suppressed function of form) and one that pushes formalism to its collapse (by invoking Kurt Godel's incompleteness theorem). His subsequent discussions trace a path through the work of Christopher Alexander, Jane Jacobs, Gilles Deleuze, and others. Finally, amidst the drive that motivates all formalization, he confronts an unbridgeable gap, an uncontrollable event encountered in the exchange with the other; thus his speculation turns toward global capital movement. While in the present volume he mainly analyzes familiar Western texts, it is precisely for this reason that his voice discloses a distance that will add a new dimension to our English-language discourse.

    • Paperback $34.95 £28.00
  • Earth Moves

    Earth Moves

    The Furnishing of Territories

    Bernard Cache and Michael Speaks

    Earth Moves, Bernard Cache's first major work, conceptualizes a series of architectural images as vehicles for two important developments. First, he offers a new understanding of the architectural image itself. Following Gilles Deleuze and Henri Bergson, he develops an account of the image that is nonrepresentational and constructive—images as constituents of a primary, image world, of which subjectivity itself is a special kind of image. Second, Cache redefines architecture beyond building proper to include cinematic, pictoral, and other framings.Complementary to this classification, Cache offers what is to date the only Deleuzean architectural development of the "fold," a form and concept that has become important over the last few years. For Cache, as for Deleuze, what is significant about the fold is that it provides a way to rethink the relationship between interior and exterior, between past and present, and between architecture and the urban.

    • Paperback $24.95 £20.00

Contributor

  • Perspecta 38 "Architecture After All"

    Perspecta 38 "Architecture After All"

    The Yale Architectural Journal

    Marcus Carter, Christopher Marcinkowski, Forth Bagley, and Ceren Bingol

    The practice of architecture after the breakdown of consensus: designers, theoreticians, and scholars consider architecture's divergent ideological landscape in this issue of America's oldest and most distinguished student-edited architectural journal.

    The profession of architecture is increasingly characterized by divergent architectural ideas and divergent political, social, technological, and economic agendas. Much of current practice focuses on the process of architecture (its how) rather than its meaning, effect, or reason for being (its why). This issue of Perspecta—the oldest and most distinguished student-edited architectural journal—explores the practice of architecture after the breakdown of consensus. Designers, theoreticians, and scholars investigate an architectural landscape devoid of a dominant ideology or ethos. Their essays take specific points of departure—globalization, urbanism, pedagogy, irony, as well as form, theory, and ideology—to address broader questions about the social, economic, and political fallout from these modes of practice, considering whether the lack of an overriding ethos in architecture is liberating or limiting for the profession. And, after all, is it conceivable, or desirable, to return to an architecture derived from a single, dominant mode of operation?

    Contributors Authors: Roger Connah, Winka Dubbeldam, Dawn Finley + Mark Wamble, Christopher Hight + Chris Perry, Sam Jacob, Emmanuel Petit, Michael Speaks, Ashley Schafer, Noriyuki Tajima, Tom Wiscombe, Lebbeus Woods, Stanley TigermanRoundtable participants: Michael Speaks (moderator), Hernan Diaz Alonso, Winka Dubbeldam, Mark Goulthorpe, Gregg Pasquarelli, David Serero

    • Paperback $20.00 £15.99