Reading Kenneth Frampton

Reading Kenneth Frampton

A Commentary on 'Modern Architecture', 1980

By Gevork Hartoonian

This book focuses on the first edition of Kenneth Frampton’s Modern Architecture: A Critical History, published in 1980. It searches for clues and positions that will provide the reader with an unprecedented insight into the significance of Frampton’s historiography of modern architecture. 

PDF, 250 Pages

ISBN:9781839983504

April 2022

£25.00, $40.00

EPUB, 250 Pages

ISBN:9781839983511

April 2022

£25.00, $40.00

  • About This Book
  • Reviews
  • Author Information
  • Series
  • Table of Contents
  • Links
  • Podcasts

About This Book

This book focuses on the first edition of Kenneth Frampton’s Modern Architecture: A Critical History, published in 1980. It searches for clues and positions that will provide the reader with an unprecedented insight into the significance of Frampton’s historiography of modern architecture. It explores selected themes in line with Frampton’s many-faceted contribution, certain aspects of which can be noted between the lines of his ongoing criticism of the present-day architecture, which inevitably lead us to a critical understanding of the past, the modernity of architecture’s contemporaneity. The compiled chapters attempt to open a window onto the constellation of themes that allowed Frampton to hold on to his anteroom view of history even amidst the flow of time and flood of temporalities spanning 1980–2020. In addition to looking at the quotations Frampton has chosen for the opening of each chapter of A Critical History, the book also offers a retrospective reading of the three photographic images dividing the first edition of the book into three main parts. This book does not attempt to discover what Frampton was thinking when writing A Critical History. Nor does it contextualize Frampton’s book historically, though historicity remains integral to a critical rewriting of history. Rather, it has approached A Critical History as an artifact, unlocking its tropes to elucidate how Frampton's critical presentation of the history of modern movement architecture and the book’s classificatory mode (periodization?) contribute to our understanding of the contemporaneity of architecture today. 

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Author Information

Gevork Hartoonian is a professor of the history of architecture at the University of Canberra, Australia. 

Series

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Table of Contents

Introduction, Chapter 1: The Violence of Quotation; Chapter 2: A Trilogy; Chapter 3: The Vicissitudes of a Critical History; Chapter 4: In Defence of Architecture; Chapter 5: The Agency of Critical; Chapter 6: Aalto Contra Mies: A Conundrum?; Chapter 7: From Critical to Resistance; Postscript.

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