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Architectural theory

Architectural theory is the act of thinking, discussing, and writing about architecture. Architectural theory is taught in all architecture schools and is practiced by the worlds leading architects. Some forms that architecture theory takes are the lecture or dialogue, the treatise or book, and the paper project or competition entry. Architectural theory is often didactic, and theorists tend to stay close to or work from within schools. It has existed in some form since antiquity, and as publishing became more common, architectural theory gained an increased richness. Books, magazines, and journals published an unprecedented number of works by architects and critics in the 20th century. As a result, styles and movements formed and dissolved much more quickly than the relatively enduring modes in earlier history. It is to be expected that the use of the internet will further the discourse on architecture in the 21st century.


Critical spatial practice

The term critical spatial practice ’ refers to forms of practice between art and architecture. Jane Rendell introduced the term in 2003. Rendell later consolidated and developed the term as one that defined practices located at a three-way intersection: between theory and practice, public and private, and art and architecture. For Rendell, critical spatial practice is informed by Michel de Certeau’s The Practice of Everyday Life, and Henri Lefebvre’s The Production of Space, as well as the critical theory of the Frankfurt School, but her definition aims to transpose the key qualities of critical theory – self-reflection and social transformation – into practice. In Rendell’s work, critical spatial practices are those that question and transform the social conditions of the sites into which they intervene, as well as test the boundaries and procedures of their own disciplines. Other theorists and practitioners have since worked with the term, evolving it in different directions. For example, there was the reading group and blog spot initiated by Nicholas Brown in the early 2000s, which came out of discussions around Brown’s own artistic walking practice. In 2011, Nikolaus Hirsch and Markus Miessen started a book series with Sternberg Press called Critical Spatial Practice, which focused on architectural discourse and practice. In the first publication, they asked, "What is Critical Spatial Practice?" In 2016, Hirsch and Miessen set up a website site called to archive their work in this area since 2011. The MaHKUscript, Journal of Fine Art Research published a special issue on critical spatial practice in 2016, where many of the contributors enact critical spatial practices concerned with political and ecological issues. In 2019, Rendell established the website to formalise the term, archiving projects located between art and architecture, "that both critiques the sites into which they intervened as well as the disciplinary procedures through which they operated."



306090 was an independent architecture journal and book series produced from 2002 to 2013 by nonprofit arts stewardship 306090, Inc., and distributed by Princeton Architectural Press. 306090 published nine multi-authored thematic journal volumes, six thematic books, and one special issue that served as the official catalog for the United States Pavilion at the 2010 Venice Biennale of Architecture. Contributors to each of the thematic issues ranged in experience, from students to professionals distinguished in their fields. The series brought together diverse writings and projects to explore" contemporary issues in architecture from every angle,” many issues containing work spanning the arts and sciences. Contributors include: Jesse Reiser, Kengo Kuma, Lisa Sigal, James Buckhouse, Heather Roberge, Lori Brown, Hal Foster, Rafael Cardenas, Beatriz Colomina, Galia Solomonoff, Cecil Balmond, Gregg Pasquarelli, Hilary Sample, Craig Dworkin, Kent Bloomer, Els Verbakel, James Wines, Alessandra Ponte, and Olafur Eliasson. 306090 books were designed by David Reinfurt of O-R-G, and, from 2007 to 2013 by Luke Bulman of Thumb. As an organization, 306090 curated and organized lectures, round-table discussions, and exhibits at venues including The Architectural League of New York and Storefront for Art and Architecture. In 2010, 306090 was co-commissioner, with the High Museum of Art, of the American Pavilion at the Venice Biennale of Architecture.


Agile Architecture

Agile architecture means how enterprise / system / software architects apply architectural practice in agile software development. A number of commentators have identified a tension between traditional software architecture and agile methods along the axis of adaptation versus anticipation. Waterman, Nobel and Allan 2015 explored the tensions between spending too little time designing an up-front architecture, increasing risk, and spending too much time, negatively impacting of the delivery of value to the customer. They identify six forces that can affect agile architecture: Requirements instability, technical risk, early value, team culture, customer agility and experience. These forces may be addressed by six strategies: Respond to change, address risk, emergent architecture, big design up front and use frameworks and template architectures. Several attempts have been made to specify what makes up an agile approach to architecture. According to the SAFe framework, the principles of agile architecture are: They build it, they test it design for testability The bigger the system, the longer the runway architectural runway There is no monopoly on innovation teams, hackathons - Facebooks Like button was conceived as part of a hackathon Implement architectural flow architectural epics and the portfolio kanban - the portfolio Kanban goes through funnel, review, analysis, portfolio backlog and implementing When in doubt, code or model it out Design emerges. Architecture is a collaboration. intentional architecture Build the simplest architecture that can possibly work established design principles At the Enterprise Architecture level, Scott Ambler 2016 proposes the following principles Active stakeholder participation Capture details with working code Lean guidance and rules, not bureaucratic procedures Enterprise architects are active participants on development teams Have a dedicated team of experienced enterprise architects Enablement over inspection exemplars Communication over perfection Evolutionary collaboration over blueprinting High level models the more complex, the more abstract



ArchiLab is an annual architectural exposition and conference held in Orleans in France. So far, there have been ArchiLab projects every year from 1999 to 2008.


Architectural determinism

Architectural determinism is a theory employed in urbanism, sociology and environmental psychology which claims the built environment is the chief or even sole determinant of social behaviour. A. S. Baum defines the notion thus "In its most extreme form, this position argues that the environment causes certain behaviours, denying any interaction between environment and behaviour. Architectural determinism poses the idea that people can adapt to any arrangement of space and that behaviour in a given environment is caused entirely by the characteristics of the environment." The origins of the concept may be traced in Jeremy Benthams Panopticon and in the Enlightenment bienfaisance as expressed in the institutional reform of prisons and hospitals. However the notion only gained generally currency and universal applicability with the rise of Behaviourism, Functionalism and the utopian social programme of the Modernist architectural movement. The term was first coined by Maurice Broady in his 1966 paper Social theory in Architectural Design which also roundly criticised the authoritarian nature of this belief. Few architects have espoused the view that design can control behaviour but it has long been an assumption amongsts urbanists and architects that architecture can limit and channel behaviour in a predictable manner. This weaker, positivist view was articulated by Adolf Behne when he asserted "you can kill a man with a building just as easily as with an axe." The determinist belief was a contributory factor in the numerous slum clearances of the post War industrialised world see Herbert J. Gans. Despite being a widely held, if not always articulated, theory the premise was not sustained by social research, for example the "Hawthorne experiments" by Mayo at Harvard found no direct correlation between work environment and output. The determinist hypothesis as an explanation of social conduct is now most often referred to in the literature as discredited, yet is still to be found as an argument for urban renewal.

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