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A Reference Manifesto: Proposing a field of knowledge in Architecturecalled Spatial Morphology
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Architecture, Urban Design. (Spatial analysis and Design (SAD))
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The alarmists spreading the threat of the Millenium bug have finally been the ones proven right. More than a decade into the new Millenium we find ourselves in an age of crises dificult to even conceive ten years ago. Tremendous human inflicted disturbances of the biosphere are now accepted as facts and will force us to adapt to continuously changing conditions of existence. Economic crises of a magnitude considered to belong to the past suddenly question the very fundaments of our economic systems and social upheavals in places we thought the most unlikely are currently balancing a thin line between hope and despair.

         We might ponder to what degree such an age of crises presents threats or opportunities but what is a fact is that since the beginning of these crises heads have been turning in the direction of the field of knowledge represented by schools of architecture. The future development of our physical infrastructure, not least in the form of cities and buildings, is expected to play a fundamental role in the tipping of these crises in the right direction. But just as the times we are living in has caught society in general by surprise, this newborn interest in architecture, landscape architecture, urban design and urban planning has caught these fields by a similar surprise, facing them with knowledge challenges they simply were not prepared for.

         It is argued here that these challenges calls for nothing less than a knowledge revolution of the field and presents its different practices with the long over due impetus to take the critical step from experience based crafts to theory based professions, which in extension also implies a need for architecture as a field of knowledge to finally transform itself into a fully developed academic field. Theory has always been inherent to architecture, it can even be argued that theory is what makes architecture different from building in general, but as long as this remains theory of a tacit rather than discursive kind, which still is the rule in the field, it will never be able to face up to the challenges advancing in its direction. What has happened is simply that the field no longer can be solely occupied by its inner circle - it has become the concern of society in general.

Keyword [en]
Architectural research, Urban design research, Architectural form, Urban form, Spatial morphology
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-53462OAI: diva2:470105

QC 20130422

Available from: 2013-04-22 Created: 2011-12-28 Last updated: 2013-04-22Bibliographically approved

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Marcus (2011) A reference manifesto(139 kB)67 downloads
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