chapter  5
10 Pages

Repositioning. Before theory

In the final section of his well-known essay ‘Practice vs. Project’, Stan Allen writes about

errant trajectories in contemporary architecture. He draws a parallel to De Certeau’s

walker in the city to describe the ways in which there will always be free movement and

tactical improvisations against the structure imposed by the city.1 His point is that control

exercised by any regime can never be total. Resistance will always find other ways

around or through constraints imposed from the outside. There will always exist fissures

and cracks in existing frameworks that enable tactical reworkings – in the context of this

paper, new trajectories for contemporary architecture that do not abide by dominant

paradigms from the discipline of architecture and broader cultural contexts. With the

concept of the errant trajectory in mind, and with a desire to define an alternative

construction of architectural theory, this paper calls attention to four legible, perhaps

errant, trajectories in experimental architecture being developed in the United States.