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The Future of Post-Human Architecture : A Preface to a New Theory of Form and Function

by Peter Baofu

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Is architecture really so simple that, as Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe made a name of himself by his famous functionalist dictum, “less is more”? (WK 2011) This functionalist dictum can be contrasted with an opposing ideal of architecture like the one proposed by Robert Venturi, in that “less is a bore.” (WK 2011) Contrary to these opposing ideals (and other views as will be discussed in the book), architecture (in relation to form and function) is neither possible nor desirable to the extent that the respective ideologues (on different sides) would like us to believe. Of course, the challenge to these opposing ideas in architecture does not suggest that architecture has little use, or that those fields of study (related to architecture) like urban planning, landscape gardening, industrial design, visual arts, hermeneutics, computation, construction, and so on should be rejected too. Needless to say, neither of these extreme views is reasonable. Rather, this book provides an alternative (better) way to understand the future of architecture, especially in the dialectic context of form and function — while learning from different approaches in the literature but without favoring any one of them (nor integrating them, since they are not necessarily compatible with each other). Differently put, this book offers a new theory (that is, the transcendent theory of architecture) to go beyond the existing approaches in a novel way. If successful, this seminal project is to fundamentally change the way that we think about architecture, from the combined perspectives of the mind, nature, society, and culture, with enormous implications for the human future and what I originally called its “post-human” fate. In this book: Introduction — The Legacy of Architecture Form and its Twin Faces Function and its Double Sword Conclusion — The Future of Architecture Beyond Form and Function Contents: Part One: Introduction • Chapter One. Introduction—The Legacy of Architecture • Two Opposing Ideals of Architecture • Form and Function in Architecture • Different Sub-Fields of Architecture • The Theoretical Debate • The Transcendent Theory of Architecture • Theory and Meta-Theory • The Logic of Existential Dialectics • Sophisticated Methodological Holism • Chapter Outline • Some Clarifications Part Two: Form • Chapter Two. Form and its Twin Faces • The Use of Form • Form and the Mind • Form and Nature • Form and Society • Form and Culture • The Misuse of Form Part Three: Function • Chapter Three. Function and its Double Sword • The Affirmation of Function • Function and the Mind • Function and Nature • Function and Society • Function and Culture • The Negation of Function Part Four: Conclusion • Chapter Four. Conclusion—The Future of Architecture • Beyond Form and Function • 1st Thesis: The Formalness-Informalness Principle • 2nd Thesis: The Absoluteness-Relativeness Principle • 3rd Thesis: The Partiality-Totality Principle • 4th Thesis: The Predictability-Unpredictability Principle • 5th Thesis: The Explicability-Inexplicability Principle • 6th Thesis: The Fiction-Reality Principle • 7th Thesis: The Finiteness-Transfiniteness Principle • 8th Thesis: The Preciseness-Vagueness Principle • 9th Thesis: The Simpleness-Complicatedness Principle • 10th Thesis: The Openness-Hiddenness Principle • 11th Thesis: The Denseness-Emptiness Principle • 12th Thesis: The Change-Constancy Principle • 13th Thesis: The Order-Chaos Principle • 14th Thesis: The Slowness-Quickness Principle • 15th Thesis: The Expansion-Contraction Principle • 16th Thesis: The Theory-Praxis Principle • 17th Thesis: The Convention-Novelty Principle • 18th Thesis: The Evolution-Transformation Principle • 19th Thesis: The Symmetry-Asymmetry Principle • 20th Thesis: The Sofness-Hardness Principle • 21st Thesis: The Seriousness-Playfulness Principle • 22nd Thesis: The Regression-Progression Principle • 23rd Thesis: The Sameness-Difference Principle • 24th Thesis: The Stability-Reaction Principle • 25th Thesis: The Post-Human Transcendence • Towards the Post-Human Transcendence Bibliography • Index ISBN - 9788130921723

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