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Celebrating the Marvellous: Surrealism in Architecture

Neil Spiller

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John Wiley & Sons Inc
23 March 2018
Art & design styles: Surrealism & Dada; Architectural structure & design
We are entering a new era of architecture that is technologically enhanced, virtual and synthetic. Contemporary architects operate in a creative environment that is both real and digital; mixed, augmented and hybridised. This world consists of ecstasies, fears, fetishisms and phantoms, processes and spatiality that can best be described as Surrealist. Though too long dormant, Surrealism has been a significant cultural force in modern architecture. Founded by poet Andre Breton in Paris in 1924 as an artistic, intellectual and literary movement, architects such as Le Corbusier, Diller + Scofidio, Bernard Tschumi and John Hejduk realised its evocative powers to propel them to 'starchitect' status. Rem Koolhaas most famously illustrated Delirious New York (1978) with Madelon Vriesendorp's compelling Surrealist images.

Architects are now reviving the power of Surrealism to inspire and explore the ramifications of advanced technology. Architects' studios in practices and schools are becoming places where nothing is forbidden. Architectural languages and theories are 'mashed' together, approaches are permissively appropriated, and styles are not mutually exclusive. Projects are polemic, postmodern and surreally media savvy. Today's architects must compose space that operates across the spatial spectrum. Surrealism, with its multiple readings of the city, its collage semiotics, its extruded forms and artificial landscapes, is an ideal source for contemporary architectural inspiration.

Contributors include: Bryan Cantley, Nic Clear, James Eagle, Natalie Gall, Mark Morris, Dagmar Motycka Weston, Alberto Perez-Gomez, Shaun Murray, Anthony Vidler, and Elizabeth Anne Williams.

Featured architects: Nigel Coates, Hernan Diaz Alonso, Perry Kulper, and Mark West.
Guest editor:   Neil Spiller
Imprint:   John Wiley & Sons Inc
Country of Publication:   United States
Dimensions:   Height: 283mm,  Width: 209mm,  Spine: 11mm
Weight:   602g
ISBN:   9781119254416
ISBN 10:   1119254418
Series:   Architectural Design
Pages:   136
Publication Date:   23 March 2018
Audience:   Professional and scholarly ,  Undergraduate
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Neil Spiller is Hawksmoor Chair of Architecture and Landscape and Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor of the University of Greenwich, London, prior to this he was Dean of the School of Architecture, Design and Construction and Professor of Architecture and Digital Theory. Before this he was Vice-Dean and Graduate Director of Design at the Bartlett School of Architecture (UCL). Neil has guest-edited 7 titles of AD including the highly successful Architects in Cyberspace I and II (1995, 1998), Protocell Architecture (2011) and Drawing Architecture (2013). He is a member of the AD Editorial Board. He has also published books with Thames and Hudson, as author of Visionary Architecture-Blueprints of the Modern Imagination (2006), Digital Architecture Now (2008) and as co-editor of Educating Architects (2014).

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