The Ethical Function of Architecture
By (author) Karsten Harries
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Ethical Function of Architecture by Karsten Harries
Book DescriptionCan architecture help us find our place and way in today's complex world? Can it return individuals to a whole, to a world, to a community? Developing Giedion's claim that contemporary architecture's main task is to interpret a way of life valid for our time, philosopher Karsten Harries answers that architecture should serve a common ethos. But if architecture is to meet that task, it first has to free itself from the dominant formalist approach, and get beyond the notion that its purpose is to produce endless variations of the decorated shed. In a series of cogent and balanced arguments, Harries questions the premises on which architects and theorists have long relied -- premises which have contributed to architecture's current identity crisis and marginalization. He first criticizes the aesthetic approach, focusing on the problems of decoration and ornament. He then turns to the language of architecture. If the main task of architecture is indeed interpretation, in just what sense can it be said to speak, and what should it be speaking about? Expanding upon suggestions made by Martin Heidegger, Harries also considers the relationship of building to the idea and meaning of dwelling. Architecture, Harries observes, has a responsibility to community; but its ethical function is inevitably also political. He concludes by examining these seemingly paradoxical functions.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780262581714
(254mm x 178mm x 20mm)
Imprint: MIT Press
Publisher: MIT Press Ltd
Publish Date: 2-Sep-1998
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Karsten Harries
Infinity and Perspective, Paperback (October 2002)» View all books by Karsten Harries
A philosophical exploration of the origin and limits of the modern world.
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Author Biography - Karsten Harries
Karsten Harries is Professor of Philosophy at Yale University.
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