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Far From Equilibrium

Sanford Kwinter ponders the complex encounters between technology, culture, and architecture. Critical essays offer an extended meditation on infrastructure, war, computation, mechanical and material intelligence, and other multivariate facets of modernity. Far-reaching in scope, Far from Equilibrium amounts to a performance in writing of what Kwinter describes as radical anamnesis: the imagination's escape from the sterile logic of what is. Compiling over a decade of architectural and critical writings, many published here for the first time, Far From Equilibrium is essential reading for anyone interested in the state of architecture and criticism today. A primer for (re)thinking design in the 21st century.

Paperback: 196 pages

Publisher: Actar (February 1, 2008)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 8496540642

ISBN-13: 978-8496540644

Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6.4 x 1.1 inches

Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)

Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

Best Sellers Rank: #1,380,519 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #193 in Books > Computers & Technology > Hardware & DIY > Microprocessors & System Design > Computer Design #919 in Books > Arts & Photography > Architecture > Criticism #2117 in Books > Arts & Photography > Architecture > Drafting & Presentation

With a refreshing sense of urgency and vigor, Kwinter launches a series of polemical expositions against the cold and sterilizing tenets of a dehumanized establishment. With a radical subversiveness befitting the guerilla orators of some underground movement, the book decries a slew of outdated practices and fallacious world-views from neoconservative fundamentalism to empty formalism. It resituates technology and design within the cultural economy of the human life-world, favoring the infinite, indeterminate potential of computational open systems over the mechanistic and rationalized landscapes of deterministic despotism. As well as espousing democracy and human meaning, Kwinter clamors for a return to the emergent, material logics of reality, positing architecture as the investigative research of true formal processes. He expounds on philosophy, advanced mathematics, history, and contemporary culture, condemning mainstream myopia while seeking overlooked, eccentric heroes. Neither the old guard nor the latest fads of our overly self-glorifying profession can hide from Kwinter's critiques. A thorough reading of these serious, almost cynical, partially disillusioning topics, however, does not lack an optimism and sense of humor as the charm and delight of encountering such a vast academic wit (that at times teeters on arrogance) gives way to calls for bright potentials in historical transformation. As a collection of essays and lectures, the work sometimes lacks the depth and rigor needed to completely derail its opposition on a basis beyond the author's eloquent and mesmerizing, yet still opinionated proclamations. But the eye-opening text proves a must read for any student, practitioner, academic, or lover of intellectual ponderings who seeks an examination of architecture, technology, and society's current course.

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