Representation as quotation: the verbal and visual languages of Kenneth Frampton in Architectural Design, 1962-1964

Sally Farrah

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference paperConference paper

Abstract

Kenneth Frampton migrated from London to the United States in 1965, and by the early-1980s his condemnation of American Populist architecture would reach its apogee as ‘the reduction of architecture to pure scenography’. This notion of scenography remained a central category within Frampton’s critical regionalist position of 1983, and tectonic position of 1990, and this investigation explores its full meaning. Within this paper, representations are considered quotations, and defined as the ideological sites of articulation and mediation between architectural practice and theory. Proceeding from this definition, Frampton’s criticism of architecture as ‘pure visuality’, or architecture as pure representation, opens up a retrospective critique of his own use of representation to further clarify his position on the relation between practice and theory. These sites occur in the form of writing, building, model, and drawing, and I examine these in Frampton’s formative critical language during his time as Technical Editor of Architectural Design (1962-1964), and as a part-time practising architect at Douglas Stephen and Partners (1960-1965). First, I reveal Frampton’s initial exposure to scenography in 1960s London, demonstrating that, within this cultural context his AD represented a counter-position to the picturesque tendencies of Townscape evidenced in Architectural Review. Secondly, I examine project critiques by Frampton, demonstrating the similarity between his theoretical language and his editorial representations through the sites of photography and model. Finally, I conduct a reading of Frampton’s constructed drawings for AD covers which reject the theoretical and visual language of the picturesque and the scenographic. These case studies illuminate general trends in Frampton’s AD, and reveal that Frampton’s editorship displays the first verbal and visual quotations of his later tectonic ideology, and that his aim to represent a critical history of modern architecture, as epitomised in Modern Architecture: A Critical History (1980), can be evidenced in his earliest written and visual output.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationQUOTATION: What does history have in store for architecture today?
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the 34th Annual Conference of the Society of Architectural Historians, Australia and New Zealand
EditorsGevork Hartoonian, John Ting
Place of PublicationCanberra
PublisherSAHANZ
Pages143-154
Volume34
ISBN (Print)9780646981659
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Event34th Annual Conference of the Society of Architectural Historians Australia and New Zealand - Australian Academy of Science, The Shine Dome, Canberra, Australia
Duration: 5 Jul 20188 Jul 2018
http://www.canberra.edu.au/about-uc/faculties/arts-design/newsandevents/upcoming-fad-conferences/sahanz-2017

Conference

Conference34th Annual Conference of the Society of Architectural Historians Australia and New Zealand
CountryAustralia
CityCanberra
Period5/07/188/07/18
Internet address

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