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Kracauer’s Architecture – The Ornamental Nature of the New Capitalist Order (CCSA TOPICS)

Kracauer’s Architecture – The Ornamental Nature of the New Capitalist Order (CCSA TOPICS)

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Siegfried Kracauer's writings constitute a widely explored domain within sociology and media studies. What is less widely acknowledged is that Kracauer held a degree in architecture, practiced during World War I, and completed his Ph.D. with a thesis in 1915 on the topic of architectural history. Post-war, Kracauer authored numerous critiques, with a particular emphasis on the architectural trends of the era. These critiques reveal an engagement with architectural phenomena, spanning reflections on personal experiences to a broader exploration of the subjectivity of the contemporary architect and more universally applicable social phenomena.

In essence, this essay contends that the absence of ornamentation in modern architecture can be interpreted as an ornamental representation of the new social order within capitalism.

The series "Architectures of Ordering" (AO) is published in English within the CCSA Topics, a publication series of the Center for Critical Studies in Architecture, a collaboration between Goethe University Frankfurt am Main (Art History Institute), Technical University Darmstadt (Department of Architecture), and the German Architecture Museum. The volumes of the AO series are released in print and, with a time delay, as an open-access publication.

"Architectures of Ordering" is an interdisciplinary research project at Goethe University Frankfurt and Technical University Darmstadt, planned for four years (2020-2023), with the Max Planck Institute for Legal History and Legal Theory and the German Architecture Museum as non-university partners. The focus comprises 26 members and is dedicated to examining architecture as a cultural technique, which manifests itself aesthetically, materially, spatially, discursively, and epistemologically.

132 pages, Softcover 12 color images
10,5 x 15 cm
ISBN 978-3-944425-21-4

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