Revisiting the encounters of the social concern with the utopian aspirations: is pragmatist imagination or utopian realism the way to follow?
- Conference Paper
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In contemporary state of architecture some historians and theorists of architecture refer to a necessity to return to utopian thought and practice. The aim is to address a series of questions and problematics that have emerged throughout history when utopian thought, as derived from literary and philosophical genres, has been spatialised by architects and urbanists. A great part of historians and theorists of architecture refer to a crisis of representation that entails the failure of buildings to carry dependable cultural meaning. ȉhe question of utopia has always been a tool for social criticism. In the mid-1970 some architects like Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown were actively rejecting modernist utopias. On the other hand, Fredric Jameson problematics focus on the reasons for which the utopian imagination is worth fighting for and dissociating from totalitarianism. Manfredo Tafuri in his book Progetto e Uttopia refers to the relation between semiology and formalism argumenting that the intention of revitalizing architecture by means of an exploration of its internal structures appears as a way to rediscover a possible avant-garde role for architecture. Through semiology architecture seeks its own meaning. Tafuri’s engagement with the present addresses contemporary architectural production in its relationship with modernism and capitalism. The intention is to describe the forms according to which the concept of ideology has affected the classifications in the contemporary ³historiography´ of architecture. The term ³historiography´ denotes the total stories written over a specific time period or on a specific thematic unity. A Pragmatist approach to architecture would entail a refocusing of intellectual energies onto the complex realities of the built environments. As far as the interchange between pragmatism and utopianism is concerned Reinhold Martin develops a theoretical discourse that aims to reconciliate pragmatic aspects and utopian aspirations and dissolve the borders between these two approaches. According to 5einhold 0artin the ³post-critical´ polemic is an effort to bury the utopian politics of the 1960s. Reinhold Martin arguments that utopia is a ghost that infuses everyday reality with other possible worlds and uses the term ³utopian realism´ in order to describe the effort which is intended to overcome the restrictions of the post-utopian pragmatism. Show more
Book titlecritic|all I International Conference on Architectural Design & Criticism. Actas Digitales, Digital Proceedings
Pages / Article No.
Subjectutopia; ideology; semiology; historiography; pragmatism
Organisational unit09643 - Avermaete, Tom / Avermaete, Tom
02655 - Netzwerk Stadt und Landschaft D-ARCH
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