Theory’s Curriculum Edited by Joseph Bedford

Professor Dr. Joseph Bedford in the School of Architecture + Design has edited a new book, titled Theory’s Curriculum. The book is the third in the series of publications from AE Press. It includes has essays by architects, architectural theorists, architectural historians, and critics such as Jeremy Lecomte, Ginger Nolan, Joseph Godlewski, Jake Matatyaou, Gabriel Fuentes, Elisa Dainese, Matthew Allen and Antonio Furgiuele, as well as an essay by Professor Bedford, titled “Schooling Theory”

Professor Bedford explains the idea behind the book as follows:

“Architectural theory went through an academic renaissance in the 1970s and 1980s, with scholars forging new links with groundbreaking theoretical movements of the time, from feminism and postcolonialism to semiotics, phenomenology, and deconstructivism. During these years, theory became one of the most central ingredients of architecture as a synthetic disciplinary manifestation connecting history, criticism, and practice. Yet architectural theory has become stagnant and disoriented in recent decades. It has been caught in the institutional inertia of pedagogical reproduction, hand tied by the neoliberalization of intellectual labor, and overwhelmed by the disorientations of media-technical change and its impact upon the attention economy. In an age of global integration and world culture, theory’s debt to a Western tradition of philosophical, historical, and critical reason has been brought into question.

Theory’s Curriculum catalyzes an emerging discourse upon the fate and future of architectural theory in our time. It gathers philosophical reflections, historical diagnoses, and polemical arguments from a younger generation of teachers, writers, academics, historians, and theorists who are each charged with teaching architectural theory to new generations of students in the classroom. Together they reassess the standard ways in which architectural theory has been taught, either through a history of theoretical concerns, a tabulation of theoretical frameworks, or a roster of authors. They address themselves to the conditions that frame theoretical labors; and reflect on who constructs architecture’s theoretical canon, who speaks as a theorist, who theory speaks about, who theory addresses, and about what, why, how, and for what purpose.”

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