Modern Architecture and the Lifeworld

Karla Cavarra Britton, Robert McCarter

This well-illustrated volume of essays by prominent historians, scholars, and practitioners in architecture today honors the vast and international scope of Kenneth Frampton’s seminal contributions to the field of contemporary architectural practice and its history.

The evolution of modern architecture has been inextricably entangled in issues of politics, nationalism, and the environment, creating a tension between local context and global development that is unresolved to this day. In this context, few writers have exerted as much influence on architectural theory and practice as Kenneth Frampton. In this illustrated volume, twenty-nine contributors from around the world amplify and pay tribute to his writing and thought. Intended for all those concerned with the built environment, this book offers further evidence of how this scholar, humanist, and teacher has shaped our understanding of the working reality of the architect. The premise of Modern Architecture and the Lifeworld is rooted in Frampton’s understanding of how architecture must engage with both cultural and constructional imperatives; and it addresses strategies for grappling with contemporary concerns such as regional identity amidst urban globalization, and tectonic culture and landform in the construction of place.

Supported by the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts.

Table of Contents

Introduction, Karla Cavarra Britton and Robert McCarter 

PART I: The Social, Cultural, and Ecological Nature of Architecture • Kenneth Frampton’s Idea of the “Critical”, Mary McLeod • World Architecture and Critical Practice, Wang Shu • Site-Specificity, Skilled Labor, and Culture: Architectural Principles in the Age of Climate Change, Wilfried Wang • That Pesky Paradisiacal Instinct …, Harry Francis Mallgrave • Paradoxes of Progress, Joan Ockman • Engaging the Lifeworld in Architectural Design: Phenomenology and Hermeneutics, Alberto Pérez-Gómez 

PART II: Histories and Pedagogies of Architecture • Kenneth Frampton’s Elusive Constructivism, Jean-Louis Cohen • Editing History: the Bauhaus at MoMA, 1938, Barry Bergdoll • Frampton and Japan, Ken Tadashi Oshima • Dialectics of Utopia/Utopian Dialectics, Anthony Vidler • Frampton: Apropos Housing and Cities, Richard Plunz • Proportion and Harmony: Mathematics and Music in Architecture, Juhani Pallasmaa • Mannerism Matters, Robert Maxwell • The Birth of Architecture from the Spirit of Conversation, Kurt W. Forster • On Robert Venturi’s Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture, Rafael Moneo • A Time of Heroics: Paul Rudolph and Yale, 1958–1965, Robert A.M. Stern with Leopoldo Villardi

PART III: Operational Criticism, Landform, and Tectonic Presence • On Kenneth Frampton, Steven Holl • An Englishman in New York, Wiel Arets • From the Field: Critical Regionalism and Tectonic Culture Applied, Brad Cloepfil • Architectural Osmosis, Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara • Public Natures: A Roundtable Discussion, Kenneth Frampton, Marion Weiss, Michael A. Manfredi with Justin Fowler • Architecture and Nature: A Recurring State of Mind, Emilio Ambasz • Value and the Metaphor of Phenomenology in the “Visual Schemes” of Kenneth Frampton, Ashley Simone • From the Archives of Kenneth Frampton, Brigitte Shim and Howard Sutcliffe • Biography of Kenneth Frampton • Biographies of Contributors • Index


Karla Cavarra Britton

Edited By

Karla Cavarra Britton is Professor of Art History at Dine College on the Navajo Nation, and has written extensively about modern and contemporary sacred architecture.

Robert McCarter

Edited By

Robert McCarter is an architect, author of twenty-two books, and the Ruth and Norman Moore Professor of Architecture at Washington University, St. Louis.