How can architecture today be simultaneously relevant to its urban context and at the very forefront of design? For a decade or so, iconic architecture has been fuelled by the market economy and consumers' insatiable appetite for the novel and the different. The relentless speed and scale of urbanisation, with its ruptured, decentralised and fast-changing context, though, demands a rethink of the role of the designer and the function of architecture. This title of 2 confronts and questions the profession's and academia's current inability to confidently and comprehensively describe, conceptualise, theorise and ultimately project new ideas for architecture in relation to the city. In so doing, it provides a potent alternative for projective cities: Typological Urbanism. This pursues and develops the strategies of typological reasoning in order to re-engage architecture with the city in both a critical and speculative manner. Architecture and urbanism are no longer seen as separate domains, or subservient to each other, but as synthesising disciplines and processes that allow an integrating and controlling effect on both the city and its built environment.
From the Back Cover
About the Author
Christopher CM Lee and Sam Jacoby
Christopher CM Lee and Sam Jacoby are the co-directors of the new postgraduate Projective Cities Programme at the Architectural Association (AA) School of Architecture in London(projectivecities.aaschool.ac.uk), which is dedicated to a research- and design-based analysis of the emergent and contemporary city. They have taught together at the AA since 2002 and their investigation of the city, undertaken in Diploma Unit 6 from 2004 to 2009, has been published in Typological Formations: Renewable Building Types and the City (AA Publications, 2007). The work has also been widely exhibited, including at the 10th Architecture Biennale in Venice (2006) and as a solo exhibition at the UTS Gallery in Sydney (2009).
Christopher CM Lee is the co-founder and principal of Serie Architects. He graduated with an AA Diploma (Hons), has previously taught Histories and Theories Studies at the AA (2009-10) and was Unit Master of Intermediate Unit 2 from 2002 to 2004- and Diploma Unit 6 from 2004 to 2009. He is pursuing his doctoral research at the Berlage Institute in Rotterdam on the topic of the dominant type and the city.
The relationship between architecture and the city is a problem that has informed Sam Jacoby's teaching in collaboration with Christopher Lee and his professional work. Jacoby is also the co-director of the Spring Semester Programme at the AA where he also previously taught History and Theories Studies. He was also a studio leader in the BArch programme at the University of Nottingham. He is currently completing a doctoral degree at the Technical University of Berlin on the topic of ‘Type and the Syntax of the City'.
In this issue of 2 on Typological Urbanism, Lee and Jacoby recognise the city as a contemporary field, an area of study, and a design and research agenda, bringing together the work and research of contemporary professionals and academics that speculates on the potential of architectural experimentation and the meaningful production of new ideas for the city.
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