chapter  6
15 Pages

On autonomy

WithGevork Hartoonian

To work towards a historical understanding of the rapport between disciplinarity and autonomy, the first part of this chapter addresses the developmental process of courtyard typology, the genesis of which can be traced in vernacular built-form. It presents the idea of semi-autonomy as a case to solidify an in-between state overarching the ongoing rapport between disciplinarity, autonomy, and the spectacle permeating contemporary culture at large. The chapter discusses the importance of tectonics for a critical practice that is centred on the notion of semi-autonomy. The concept of autonomy demonstrates that the very internality of text, drawing and program paradoxically foreshadows the many facets of architecture's relation to its context. Second, contemporary theorization of architectural practice demands readdressing the historian's definition of the scope of the architectural discipline. The last is important when attention is given to the contemporary neo-avant-garde architects' advocacy for autonomous and self-referential architecture.