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Architecture or Techno-Utopia: Politics after Modernism Hardcover – November 30, 2007

ISBN-13: 978-0262195621 ISBN-10: 0262195623 Edition: First Edition

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Editorial Reviews


"Instead of a conventional account of the post-modern turn in American architecture, Felicity Scott provides an original reading that reveals the complexity of a transition by no means reducible to the return of historicism and an obsession with semiotics. In her account, technological ideals play an essential role, along with renewed attempts to change society. Elaborating on these attempts that tried to avoid the pitfall of modernist utopia, Scott engages in a thought-provoking reflection on the possible reinvention of a true political stance for contemporary architectural production. Her fine piece of scholarship is also a convincing plea for a more politically-conscious architecture."
Antoine Picon, Professor of the History of Architecture and Technology, Harvard University Graduate School of Design

"'Architecture or Revolution,' Le Corbusier warned at the end of Vers une Architecture, threatening political upheaval if modernist design was not supported. For Felicity Scott the alternative posed by radical designers 50 years later, at the close of the modernist period, was also bold: 'Architecture or Techno-Utopia.' Yet, unlike Le Corbusier and company, the protagonists of her brilliant book—from celebrated groups like Archigram and Superstudio to lesser-known collectives such as Ant Farm and Drop City—resisted the disciplinary demands of Architecture, insisting instead on the visionary possibilities of Techno-Utopia. Scott does not naively reclaim these experimental proposals for our different present; rather, she 'traces these alternatives' in ways that 'question the disassociation of architecture from both its historical and political context as well as from its dreams of a better world to come.' At a time when many prominent architects are given over to formal navel-gazing or corporate branding or both, her call to revivify the critically utopian dimension of design is very bracing."
Hal Foster, Townsend Martin '17 Professor of Art & Archaeology, Princeton University

"Brushing aside tired clichés on Modernism's crisis in the third quarter of the 20th century, Scott draws the compelling picture of a subversive laboratory without walls. In a network of American museum galleries, university yards, and open fields, curators, grass-root movements, neo-utopian groups, and Marxian theorists conspired to expose architecture's submission to the capitalist order. Architecture or Techno-Utopia—an echo of Le Corbusier's dilemma Architecture or Revolution—skillfully scans these theaters, in which the search for a politically engaged architecture led to new forms and to the return of critical thinking in design."
Jean-Louis Cohen, Sheldon H. Solow Professor in the History of Architecture, New York University

"Felicity Scott's Architecture or Techno-Utopia: Politics after Modernism brilliantly slices through the commonplaces of modern and postmodern architectural history in order to explore the key passageway to the present provided by a cluster of radical practices from the late 1960s and early 1970s. The protagonists of her story extend beyond the usual cast of characters. They include curators (Drexler, Ambasz), critics (Schapiro, Tafuri), technovisionaries (Fuller), and anti-architects and anti-architectures of various stripes (from Superstudio and Archizoom to Drop City and Ant Farm), all committed to establishing new critical, ethical, and political grounds for contemporary architectural practice. In Architecture or Techno-Utopia, these endeavors are reconstructed in order to pose the urgent question of the social, cultural, and environmental responsibilities of architecture today."
Jeffrey T. Schnapp, Director, Stanford Humanities Lab

About the Author

Felicity D. Scott is Assistant Professor of Architecture in the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation at Columbia University and a founding editor of Grey Room.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: The MIT Press; First Edition edition (November 30, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0262195623
  • ISBN-13: 978-0262195621
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,431,039 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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