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 Andr 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.
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