Anti-Architecture and Deconstruction - Intercollegiate Studies Institute

Anti-Architecture and Deconstruction

Third Edition

Written by Nikos A. Salingaros


“The Emperor Has No Clothes” is an old adage, but, in the sad case of Deconstructivism, it is absolutely appropriate, as Deconstructivism is really nothing more than Modernism in a new guise.

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“The Emperor Has No Clothes” is an old adage, but, in the sad case of Deconstructivism, it is absolutely appropriate, as Deconstructivism is really nothing more than Modernism in a new guise. Modernists, notably the Bauhäusler, aimed for the clean slate, jettisoning everything that went before. Yet, at times, they claimed links with antecedents to give a spurious historical ancestry to their aims and creations. These questionable links and precedents are now being claimed for the works of Deconstructivists by sympathetic architects and their supporters. The second edition of this book is the beginning of a long-overdue counterattack.

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“Less than twenty pages of text is enough to deprive Deconstruction of the complex scientific arguments that offer its exponents scientific authority and social approval. It is astonishing that while architecture abandons the principles that made civilizations reach the highest building achievements, at the same time scientific knowledge that results from a drastically improved understanding of Nature rediscovers the quality of those traditional principles. Whereas the most celebrated architects abuse the latest technological gadgets in order to produce caricatures of science, mathematicians such as Nikos Salingaros and Christopher Alexander use science to reveal the ability of traditional architectural principles to innovate by creating humane urban environments. The clarity of vision that characterizes books such as Anti-Architecture and Deconstruction shows that such a future may not be so far away after all.”—N. Karydis, architect and author, London and Athens”Salingaros focuses on the question of why, even in societies that often embrace the silly and the stupid, the public still mostly prefers traditional architechture.”—David Brussat, The Providence Journal”In his forward to this book, James Stevens Curl writes: ‘This book

should be required reading in every institution concerned with the

teaching of architecture, planning, and all other aspects of the built

environment’. I will extend that recommendation to every institution of

higher learning concerned with effective education in all subject

matters, because this book is also about the world we live in. Though

it is focused on the practice of Deconstructivist architecture, in fact

this book is also, by inference and extension, a description of the end

of urbanism when living, work, social life, and a sense of community

connected to a place were displaced by national corporations, the

separation of work from residence, the growth of suburban sprawl

enabled by the car, shopping centers, and grid-locked roads. [It] is

the clearest description of the state of architecture and the

destructiveness of the Decon movement. We ourselves, and our

understanding of basic human needs for peace and comfort, have been

stolen by a non-culture.”—Konrad Perlman, Planner, Washington, DC”Deconstruction is an architectural style that in recent years has

gained ever-increasing influence among architects and educators, as

well as decision and policy makers and developers of prestige projects.

… Characterized by lack of human-scale details, jagged and

convoluted figures, disjointed masses and planes, glittering glass and

polished metal surfaces, these buildings stem primarily from a branch

of philosophy whose main representative was the late French philosopher

Jacques Derrida. Step by step, the reader is taken through Derrida’s

description of deconstruction as a virus intended to attack and destroy

structures, a definition and purpose shared by his architect disciples.”—Isaac A. Meir, Architect, Planner, and Archaeologist, Midreshet

Ben-Gurion, Israel”Anti-Architecture and Deconstruction should ruffle

lots of feathers in the building and design world. But I suspect it’ll

also fascinate many who aren’t generally architecture and urbanism fanatics… This is a stunning and deep book, as

interesting for its analyses of psychology and politics as it is for

its discussions of architecture. It’s guaranteed to get the brain

buzzing; what a treat too that it’s a real reading pleasure, written in

a voice that’s both urbane and forceful.”—Michael Blowhard, Author and Filmmaker”Undoubtedly, this manuscript is a voice of logic and reason against

anti-architecture norms, and the destructive attitudes of their

followers. I would add my voice to other reviewers of this manuscript:

that it must be a mandatory reading in schools of architecture

worldwide.”—Ashraf Salama, Architect and Educator, Doha, Qatar

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