Peter Eisenman: Projects & practice (March 5, 2012)

Peter Eisenman makes a distinction between architectural practice, where the world defines what the architect is, and an architectural project, where the architect defines what the world is. An architectural project is an attitude toward building, and needs to be realized in an actual building. Architectural history is mostly concerned with architectural projects. Eisenman proposes to illustrate his practice/project distinction with two of his own current works. He discusses a 75-unit condominium in Milan, currently under construction, as an illustration of architectural practice. In contrast to the Milan condominiums, Eisenman describes the complex of cultural facilities outside Santiago de Compostela as very much an architectural project. Eisenman concludes with remarks on the current state of architecture for students. He warns students against the idea that architecture solves problems; he proposes that, on the contrary, its purpose is to create problems. He encourages students to think through the project of architecture, in the continuity of the discipline.

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