Conceptual Architecture Symposium – Part 4 – Cedric Price

Lecture date: 1975-01-18


Day 2 AM – Cedric Price

Bob Maxwell starts the second day of the symposium making a summary of the previous day mentioning the points raised by the previous lecturers: Will Alsop, Charles Jencks, Peter Cook and Peter Eisenman.

Cedric Price begins discussing several definitions of concept, starting from that given by Charles Jencks –to become pregnant with­­– which he claims to by his favourite. Duchamp’s definition: the machine for making art and Oxford Dictionary’s definition: general notion, are also quite relevant. He claims: “I cannot think of non-conceptual architecture”. He mentions Zeno’s arrow paradox and relates it to the house, which he sees as an intermittently used commodity, having a certain life or speed or relation to any piece of land. When you want to look for change, you look for change in the meaning of language, not for change in language. Not for new words, but for change in old words. Price agrees with Colin Rowe and his assertion that life can never become a game. He find rules rather boring, unless everyone has the same pack of cards and the same set of rules and everyone can call for a new pack at any time. For him, the reason for architecture is to encourage people’s appetites to behave mentally and physically in ways they had previously thought impossible. Questions follow.

Symposium over two days speakers include; Will Alsop, Peter Eisenman, Charles Jencks, Peter Cook, Cedric Price, Bernard Tschumi, David Stezaker, Colin Rowe, Dalibor Vesely, Jo Rykwert, Rosalee Goldberg. Chairman Bob Maxwell.


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