Practice: Architecture - Currently no debate

Need definition

Related Practice(s):
Branding - Interaction design - urban design

Related Terms:
Implicit Architecture


implied, rather than expressly stated: implicit agreement.

-Adaptative architectures e.g. British Museum / Norman Foster.

-Has no entities of agency and action. eg The Blur building / Diller & Scofidio


To grasp what is exactly at stake in current debates, we believe the notion of agency is paramount. In discussions about the architect’s societal position - as autonomous creator, self-interested professional, victim to market forces, resistive agent, ’enabler,’ or ’urban catalyst‘- as much as about the role of the user - as empowered citizen, producer of urban space, ’self-organizing‘ entity or ’everyday bricoleur‘ - the notion of agency is often as fundamental as it is taken for granted. At the same time, recent preoccupations with the material and performative dimension of architecture have led to new ways of understanding agency in architecture.

from this link (accessed 23.11.08)


FOOTPRINT Delt School of Design Journal

Issue # 4 | Spring 2009 | Agency in Architecture: Reframing Criticality in Theory and Practice

Whether critiquing the architect’s societal position and the role of the user, conceptualising the performative dimension of the architectural object, or considering the effects of theory for architecture at large, current debates in architecture intersect in the notion of agency. As fundamental as it is often taken for granted, this notion forms the keystone of this issue, inviting contributors to rethink architecture’s specificity, its performance, and its social and political relevance. Agency in architecture inevitably entails questioning the relation between theory and practice, and what it might mean to be critical - both inside and outside architecture - today. The main proposal is to rethink contemporary criticality in architecture, by explicating the notion of agency in three major directions: first, ‘the agency of what?’ or the question of multiplicity and relationality; second, ‘how does it work?’, a question referring to location, mode and vehicle; and third, ‘to what effect?’, bringing up the notion of intentionality.

accessed 08.11.09 by Tricia

narrative architecture

definition pending debate

cultural context

the surrounding social, cultural and semiotic environment within which a building is understood and visually interpreted.






Notes towards a definition: Goethe was a smart guy but he said at least one very silly thing: “Architecture is frozen music”.  Music is about movement (change) in time; if you freeze it you kill it. So. Rhythm is an articulation of time. Architecture is an articulation of space, so rhythm in architecture must be about a relationship between space and time, and how that becomes articulate. In order for space to be articulated in relation to time there must be movement (change). Since the thing that is most obviously moving in architecture is you, then the rhythm must be connected to something that you are doing. So I propose that it is the person who principally articulates the rhythm of the architecture, by moving over it with the eye or through it with the body. Of course this is a dance between the architect’s intention and the person’s perception.

Stuart Jones