chapter  1
11 Pages

Toward a Purposeful Disequilibrium

ByJaimini Mehta

Architecture, an inherently public art, found itself relegated to the private realm when its object was reduced to the level of a commodity of consumption, whose durability is linked to the transience of test. Examining the current crisis and its polemics, the chapter observes that the present fissures in the ideological system of architecture may be the result of a built-in contradiction, the beginning of which can be traced to mid-nineteenth century. Architecture thus got placed on a far lower level in the "hierarchy of organizations" and became analogous to "clockwork". While for the conservatives life represents the prevalent and established values, for the radicals life itself is a "conscious negation of the established way of life, with all its institutions, with its entire material and intellectual culture and its entire immoral morality". This is increasingly being expressed by violating the supposed integrity, primacy and assumed inapproachability of the architectural object.