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Gottfried Semper and the Problem of Historicism

  • Date Published: January 2004
  • availability: Unavailable - out of print
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521821636

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About the Authors
  • Using key texts by the German architect and theorist Gottfried Semper, Mari Hvattum offers a reinterpretation of historicism, viewed as a philosophical outlook as well as an architectural problem. Hvattum focuses on Semper's two major concerns: an understanding of the ontological significance of art and architecture, and their rendering as objects of scientific investigation and prediction. She uses Semper's thought as a means to address the inherent problems of historicist thought and its continued influence on modern architectural discourse.

    • Original reinterpretation of one of the most influential architectural theorists in the modern period
    • A broad and contextual exploration involving the history of science and philosophy
    • More than an intellectual biography, addresses problems of historicist thought and its influence on modern architectural discourse
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'It is a compelling thesis, well argues, and … very well written.' Architects Journal

    'It is sophisticated, succinct, and crisply written. A splendid achievement.' Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians

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    Product details

    • Date Published: January 2004
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521821636
    • length: 288 pages
    • dimensions: 254 x 184 x 23 mm
    • weight: 0.817kg
    • contains: 50 b/w illus.
    • availability: Unavailable - out of print
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Towards a Poetics of Architecture:
    1. The cult of origins
    2. The doctrine of imitation
    3. Semper and the poetic of architecture
    Part II. Practical Aesthetics:
    4. Semper and practical aesthetics
    5. The comparative method
    6. Towards a method of inventing
    Part III. The Aporias of Historicism:
    7. Semper and the 'Style of Our Time'
    8. History and historicism
    9. Between poetics and practical aesthetics.

  • Author

    Mari Hvattum, Universitetet i Oslo

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