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The SAGE Handbook of Architectural Theory

The SAGE Handbook of Architectural Theory

Edited by:

February 2012 | 776 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
The SAGE Handbook of Architectural Theory documents and builds upon some of the most innovative developments in architectural theory over the last two decades. Bringing into dialogue a range of geographically, institutionally and historically competing positions, the book examines and explores parallel debates in related fields. The book is divided into eight sections:

  • Power/Difference/Embodiment
  • Aesthetics/Pleasure/Excess
  • Nation/Spectacle/Modernity
  • History/Memory/Tradition
  • Design/Practice/Production
  • Technology/Science/Virtuality
  • Nature/Landscape/Sustainability
  • City/Metropolis/Territory

Creating openings for future lines of inquiry and establishing the basis for new directions for education, research and practice, the book organizes itself around specific case studies to provide a critical, interpretive and speculative enquiry into the relevant debates in architectural theory.  A methodical, authoritative and comprehensive addition to the literature, the Handbook is suitable for academics, researchers and practitioners in architecture, urban geography, cultural studies, sociology and geography.

C. Greig Crysler, Stephen Cairns and Hilde Heynen
Introduction - 1: Architectural Theory in an Expanded Field
C Greig Crysler, Stephen Cairns, Hilde Heynen
Introduction - 2: Reading the Handbook
Hilde Heynen and Gwendolyn Wright
Introduction: Shifting Paradigms and Concerns
Ole W Fischer
Architecture, Capitalism and Criticality
Jyoti Hosagrahar
Interrogating Difference: Post-Colonial Perspectives in Architecture and Urbanism
Jane Rendell
Tendencies and Trajectories: Feminist Approaches in Architecture
Section 1 Bibliography
Ines Weizman
John Macarthur and Naomi Stead
Introduction: Architecture and Aesthetics
Jorge Otero-Pailos
Architectural Phenomenology and the Rise of the Postmodern
Sandra Kaji-O'Grady
Formalism and Forms of Practice
Bart Verschaffel
Art in (and of) Architecture: Autonomy and Medium
Section 2 Bibliography
Ana Miljacki
AbdouMaliq Simone
Introduction: Enacting Modernity
Abidin Kusno
Rethinking the Nation
Duanfang Lu
Entangled Modernities in Architecture
Shiloh Krupar and Stefan Al
Notes on the Society of the Brand
Section 3 Bibliography
Fernando Diez
C Greig Crysler
Introduction: Time's Arrows: Spaces of the Past
Mrinalini Rajagopalan
Preservation and Modernity: Competing Perspectives, Contested Histories and the Question of Authenticity
M Christine Boyer
Collective Memory Under Siege: The Case of 'Heritage Terrorism'
Robert Brown and Daniel Maudlin
Concepts of Vernacular Architecture
Section 4 Bibliography
Paul Walker
Dana Cuff
Introduction: Architecture's Double-Bind
Paolo Tombesi
Prometheus Unchained: The Multiple Itineraries of Contemporary Professional Freedom
Christopher Hight
Manners of Working: Fabricating Representation in Digital Based Design
David Salomon
Plural Profession, Discrepant Practices
Section 5 Bibliography
Stephen Cairns
Arie Graafland and Heidi Sohn
Introduction: Technology, Science and Virtuality
N. Katherine Hayles and Todd Gannon
Virtual Architecture, Actual Media
Antoine Picon
Technology, Virtuality, Materiality
Jonathan Hale
Architecture, Technology and the Body: From the Pre-Human to the Post-Human
Section 6 Bibliography
Delia Duong Ba Wendel
Simon Guy
Introduction: Whither 'Earthly' Architectures: Constructing Sustainability
Richard Ingersoll
The Ecology Question and Architecture
Peter Droege
Beyond Sustainability: Architecture in the Renewable City
Jiat-Hwee Chang
Tropical Variants of Sustainable Architecture: A Post-Colonial Perspective
Section 7 Bibliography
Kelly Shannon
Brian McGrath and Grahame Shane
Introduction: Metropolis, Megalopolis and Meta-City
Paola Viganò
The Contemporary European Urban Project: Archipelago City, Diffuse City and Reverse City.
Vyjayanthi Rao
Slum as Theory: Mega-Cities and Urban Models
Deborah Natsios
Common Lines of Flight towards the Open City
Section 8 Bibliography
Iain Low

I have been impressed by the quality of this handbook. Rather than simply edit and repackage familiar (but rightly famous) critical essays from leaders in the field, this book looks freshly at the field(s), and has commissioned intelligent and well-written chapters that cut the jargon and elucidate the various topics in a straightforward but serious manner.

The book arrived on my desk just as I was landed the task of running an M-Arch module in Architecture Culture, and I have no hesitation in recommending it as the set text. Indeed, I find a good number of the chapters (I've not read them all yet) complement well the lectures I have planned. Its price is reasonable given its encyclopaedic scope, and its production values are high. I particularly welcome the double-column layout - much easier to read!

Gerald Adler
University of Kent

The core of architectural theory for the past several decades has looked to architecture's autonomous structures and formal procedures as its primary material for analysis. Now in this collection, architectural theory expands outward to interact with adjacent discourses such as sustainability, conservation, spatial practices, virtual technologies, and more. We have in The SAGE Handbook of Architectural Theory an example of the extreme generosity of architectural theory. It is a volume that designers and scholars of many stripes will welcome.

K. Michael Hays
Eliot Noyes Professor of Architectural Theory, Harvard University

Architectural theory interweaves interdisciplinary understandings with different practices, intentions and ways of knowing. This handbook provides a lucid and comprehensive introduction to this challenging and shifting terrain, and will be of great interest to students, academics and practitioners alike.

Professor Iain Borden
UCL Bartlett School of Architecture

Offers an intense scholarly experience in its comprehensiveness, its variety of voices and its formal organization... the editors took a risk, experimented and have delivered a much-needed resource that upends the status-quo.

Architectural Histories (journal of the European Architectural History Network)

Theory is dead, long live theory! Discussing an era some call post-critique and others the end of theory, the debate over  architectural critique and theory is more alive than ever. The SAGE Handbook of Architectural Theory draws an essential map for anyone who wants to participate in this debate... Although the critique of architecture has lost power with the advance of capitalism, exercises like this revive the value of theory, even in the intellectual context of contemporary pragmatism. The pedagogical value and the exemplary quality of this collaborative editorial process make the book a highly recommended reading.

David H. Falagán

This book is much more than a Handbook of Architectural Theory. It is a handbook of architecture, taking us through the most fundamental and creative thinking in structure, plan and form. It is at the same time a handbook of architectural history; of urbanism; of explorations into site, global city and mega-city; and of the topology and topography of space. None of the existing readers on architecture, urbanism or space have the breadth, the pedagogic value and amalgamation of creative thinking as this SAGE Handbook. A must as a reference resource.

Scott Lash
Director, Centre for Cultural Studies, Goldsmiths, London

This is an excellent handbook on architectural theory covering a wide range of interesting topics. It provides students and academics with breadth and depth in critical theoretical areas that support architectural design, research and pedagogy. It is an excellent resource.

Professor Karim Hadjri
School of Architecture, Sheffield University
April 11, 2021

The textbook "The SAGE Handbook of Architectural Theory" represents an excellent general approach to contemporary architecture theory. Some of the essays in the book are fundamental in understanding the current and future architecture, and therefore cannot be missing from an in-depth reading list.
M. Christine Boyer's text on "heritage terrorism" is probably among the best texts written on the theme of memory, and in general Section 4 is accurate, precise and indispensable as regards my form of teaching.
At the same time the part on sustainability places an important emphasis on the complexities related to the scale of problems, and the text by Simon Guy underlines all the main problems and the most disruptive solutions.
Section 8 offers some interesting but not yet coherently-defined ideas in terms of representing a theory of urbanization, the archipelago city and the slum as a theory are fascinating and certainly useful concepts for students, although some levels of complexity may be difficult in the case of undergraduate students .
Finally, I underline an error on pages 630 and 631, the images seem to refer to maps of the Province of Lecce, in southern Italy, rather than Rio de Janeiro or Cayenne.
Hope my comments will be useful.

Dr Marco Spada
School of Arts and Humanities, University of Suffolk
February 23, 2020

The book is very useful for the Landscape Architecture course and especially for the modules Theory and Criticism of Landscape Architecture, Urban Landscape Approaches and Sustainable Urban Environments. All sections of the book have articles related to the modules mentioned above and the overall course. I will add this course into the recommended reading materials for the specific modules as well as the overall course.
The book is well organized into sections and chapters and is easy for readers to address topics of interest.

Mr Nicodemos Loizou
School of Planning and Architecture, University of The West of England
October 15, 2015

This book provides valuable theory-practice link to architecture students who are mostly involved in solely practice and studio works. I found chapters on formalism and aesthetics particularly relevant in this manner.

Urban Studies , Doğuş University
October 23, 2015

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