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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1959.13/35697
- Dialectics of the crit: from an oracular to a diatectical framework
Ostwald, Michael J.
- The University of Newcastle. Faculty of Engineering & Built Environment, School of Architecture and Built Environment
- Throughout the last two decades the role of the architectural ‘crit’ as an educational tool has increasingly come under scrutiny. In such research, the crit has been portrayed as a forum for critical debate, dialectics or enculturation as much, if not more so, than as a site of design development and formative assessment. The present paper is focussed on the rhetoric, or language and associated logic structure, that underpins presentations of design in academia. The paper considers the relationship between two forms of presentation - the oracular and the dialectic - as they are employed in philosophical and architectural discourse. While architects’ rhetoric can reflect individualistic and inconsistent theories, one aspect of their work is relatively universal and consistent. Buildings are designed in consultation. In design studios and crits, client meetings, public consultation forums, appeals tribunals, design review forums and over coffee fundamental planning and massing strategies are resolved during the course of verbal discussions. The act of talking about buildings may seem unremarkable, until, that is, we recognize design talk as a kind of philosophical inquiry, otherwise known as dialectic. Devised in ancient Greece as a rational alternative to oracular pronouncements, shown in action through Plato’s middle and late dialogues, and since employed by philosophers including Hegel, Kant and Marx, dialectic is an established method of inquiry, particularly with regards to the kinds of ethical questions that building projects can pose. This thread of inquiry is developed in the paper with a particular focus on the presentation of design in an academic environment.
- AASA 2005: Third International Conference of the Association of Architecture Schools of Australasia. Drawing Together: Convergent Practices in Architectural Education: Refereed Proceedings (Brisbane, Qld. 28-30 September, 2005)
- University of Queensland / Queensland University of Technology / AASA
- Resource Type
- conference paper
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