Lecture date: 2012-10-16
Leon Battista Alberti’s De re aedificatoria
AA PhD Open Seminar Series
Ethos is a Greek word that can be roughly translated as ‘character’. Ethos addresses the ethical principles and guiding beliefs of a given society. It is possible to argue that every architectural theory – implicitly or explicitly – addresses the ethos of the historical time in which it is written in the form of architectural principles. Even if, traditionally, architectural theory mainly addresses practical issues – such as problems of construction, design, and ornament – it nevertheless casts a light on the peculiar subjectivity of the period in which is formulated.
This seminar argues that although theories of architecture address how to design and build as well as govern a city, all theories of architecture can be considered political theories, since their precepts address the way space is materially organised and constructed. Treatises and texts on architecture from Vitruvius to Alberti, Vignola to Perrault, and Durand to Venturi will be introduced throughout the course. The seminar aims to investigate how the considered texts can be used as projects for the city.
Pier Vittorio Aureli is an architect and educator. His research and projects focuses on the relationship between architectural form, political theory and urban history. Aureli teaches at the Architectural Association in London, and he is Davenport Visiting Professor at the School of Architecture at Yale University. He is the author of many essays and of The Possibility of an Absolute Architecture (2011), The Project of Autonomy: Politics and Architecture Within and Against Architecture (2008). Aureli is co-founder of Dogma, an architectural studio based in Brussels that focuses on the project of the city.