For as long as there have been buildings, architecture has been a major subject of public discussion, considered and argued about not just by architects or residents, but also by critics, theoreticians, historians, and writers. This book offers an overview of these discussions in the Western world by means of four thematic trajectories, focused on housing, society, history, and art. Each of these four chronological paths starts in the nineteenth century, traverses the twentieth century, and ends as closely as possible to the contemporary moment. The stepping stones that Christophe Van Gerreway uses are historical documents—texts, books, essays, and articles—that are analyzed, interpreted, criticized, and compared. The aim of the book is to show that architecture remains a vital subject matter for anyone interested in our contemporary world and its recent history. Reading, inquiring, and thinking are essential for making substantiated choices, and, Van Gerreway shows, architecture can be a useful starting point.
About the Author
Christophe Van Gerrewey is assistant professor in architectural theory at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne. He is a member of the editorial teams of the art critic magazine De Witte Raaf and the architecture magazine OASE. He has compiled a collection of critical essays on the work of OMA/Rem Koolhaas entitled OMA/Rem Koolhaas: A Critical Reader from Delirious New York to S,M,L,XL and has published three novels and a collection of literary essays in Dutch.