Thesis defence J.A. Mejia Hernandez: transactions

16 October 2018 15:00 - Location: Aula, TU Delft - By: webredactie

Transactions; or Architecture as a System of Research Programs. Promotor: T.L.P. Avermaete (BK).

This study of the historiography of architecture and the built environment develops the thesis that well-known modernist histories of architecture, such as those written by Reyner Banham, remain unable to appraise the many nuances and complexities that characterize modern architecture. It is argued here that, among other reasons, they are unable to do so because they follow a fundamentally hermeneutic trajectory, on the one hand, and because they are strongly reliant on elements of historicism, as defined by Karl Popper, on the other.

In order to confront the inabilities that stem from these two causes, the study reflects on Karl Popper’s investigations on knowledge, science, and society; and more specifically, revises the architectural historian Stanford Anderson’s attempts to use the work of Popper and Imre Lakatos (one of Popper's critics and collaborators) for the appraisal of architecture.

Key among this work is Imre Lakatos’s formulation of a methodology of scientific research programs, of which Anderson tried to produce a qualified version for the appraisal of architectural design. This study evaluates that qualified version, paying special attention to the examples utilized to present it at work.

Subsequently, a tripartite counter-example is advanced as a development of the examples used by Anderson to present his qualified version at work. Together, the study of Anderson’s approach to the work of Popper and Lakatos, and the description of three architectures understood as parts of an architectural research program, confront the hermeneutic trajectory and the elements of historicism identified in modernist architectural historiography, and provide new elements for the appraisal of modern architecture.

More information?

For access to theses by the PhD students you can have a look in TU Delft Repository, the digital storage of publications of TU Delft. Theses will be available within a few weeks after the actual thesis defence.