Venice 2018 – Upon recommendation of Yvonne Farrell and Shelly McNamara, curators of the 16th International Architecture Exhibition, Kenneth Frampton won the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement. We collected interviews with British architect, historian, critic and educator who calls for a more human-based architecture freed from plutocratic instincts.
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“Kenneth Frampton stands out as the voice of truth in the promotion of key values of architecture and its role in society.” Explained the curators. “His roots in architectural practice makes his writing “more sympathetic and more critical” of the industry he writes about”, said Farrell and McNamara.
What is architecture? In an interview with Archidaily Frampton says that we should distinguish between architecture and building. There are big political, social and cultural issues that architecture cannot solve by itself. I can simply “guarantee the public realm the political, cultural and social importance by creating the space of public appearance.”
His seminal books include Towards a Critical Regionalism, which was a leader in the influencing of architects to re-value context, place and culture. His Studies on Tectonic Culture was a key work in highlighting the connection between the language of construction and language of architecture. In A Genealogy of Modern Architecture: Comparative Critical Analysis of Built Form, he captures with incisive clarity the inner workings of projects, de-coding them to make them legible for us all.
What about architecture and consumerism? “Skyscapers are not architecture, they are just money and statiscs.” Said Frampton in an interview with El Pais. “This Dubai phenomena is happening everywhere. There’s too much people with too much money who don’t know what to do with it.”
Photos by Andrea Avezzù – Courtesy of La Biennale di Venezia.