THE BIG RETHINK: INTEGRAL THEORY

From a series on re-evaluating the role of architecture in society  – an in-depth discussion of how Integral Theory might help position the design disciplines in a more sustainable framework – well worth reading Peter Buchanan’s essays on AR,

In the third installment of the AR’s campaign, Peter Buchanan introduces Integral theory, which establishes a new framework for the design of 21st-century buildings and cities

The first two essays in this series merely set the scene, making the case for, rather than initiating The Big Rethink: Towards a Complete Architecture. This now begins in earnest. The second essay discussed some ways in which modernism, including modern architecture, is endemically unsustainable, and some of the most potent forces bringing epochal change. It listed particularly those that might bring enticing benefits as opposed to those, in the first essay, that threaten to bring calamities. It concluded by speculating that several epochs, coexisting simultaneously over different time spans, are now ending, so highlighting just how pivotal are our times.

Here we concentrate on understanding the modern era, its origins some four to five centuries ago, and why it is now waning; the implications of that alone are vast enough. We also look at the transitions from pre-modern to modern and then to postmodern and what they meant for architecture. From these foundations we can start considering the architecture of the future, that of the epoch succeeding the transitional phase of current postmodernism − what, in the table closing last month’s essay, Charlene Spretnak calls Deconstructionist Postmodernism as opposed to the Ecological Postmodernism of the emergent era.

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