|Médium:||article de revue|
|Publié dans:||arq: Architectural Research Quarterly, 1995, n. 1, v. 1|
This paper investigates Gottfried Semper's use of comparative science as a basis for a theory of architecture. It traces Semper's reliance on the works of Jean-Nicholas-Louis Durand and the zoologist Georges Cuvier. Following Michel Foucault's argument that the emergence of comparative science entails a decisive transition in modern thought, the paper explores the origins and implications of Semper's comparative theory of architecture. Through this focus, the paper attempts to identify and explore an essential tension inherent in Semper's work between, on the one hand, his sensitive recognition of the symbolic significance of architecture, and on the other, the proto-positivism implied in his ‘science of invention’. This dilemma still conditions our contemporary architectural culture, making the study of Semper's complex and conflicting ideas more relevant than ever.
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