Pragmatism and Modern Architecture


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About the Book

Architecture is not origami. A drawing cannot be folded in a clever way to make a real building. A picture of a building is no more architecture than a drawing of a sculpture is the sculpture. To exist, the building must be built. A building is the outcome of an idea. Pragmatism is the philosophy that connects an idea with its result. It measures the success of the idea by its its function, its appearance and its contribution to the environment in which it exists. This work examines the relationship between the methods of modern architecture and the philosophy of pragmatism. It discusses how modern architecture and pragmatism developed during the nineteenth century and offers examples of pragmatism within the work and writings of predominant practitioners and theorists of modern architecture.

About the Author(s)

William G. Ramroth, Jr., is a practicing architect with over 30 years of experience in architectural design and construction. He is a member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and has been a guest lecturer at the University of Oregon. He lives in Millbrae, California.

Bibliographic Details

William G. Ramroth, Jr.
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 207
Bibliographic Info: 43 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2006
pISBN: 978-0-7864-2538-9
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface      1
Introduction      3

1. A Clean Slate      7
2. A Whirlwind Tour of Traditional Architecture      14
3. A Brief History of Common Sense      37
4. Pragmatism in a Nutshell      52
5. Pragmatism and the Design Process      66
6. Early Theorists of Modern Architecture      83
7. The Pragmatism of the Chicago School      98
8. The Columbian Exhibition of 1893      116
9. Pragmatism and Building Codes      129
10. Frank Lloyd Wright and Le Corbusier      142
11. The Bauhaus School and the International Style      156
12. Postmodernism and the Art of Remaking      167

Conclusion      186
Chapter Notes      189
Bibliography      193
Index      197