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:: Volume 1, Issue 3 (8-2012) ::
کیمیای هنر 2012, 1(3): 25-34 Back to browse issues page
The Ethical Visuality in Contemporary Architecture: the Questioning of a Tradition
Seyyed Hosein (Iraj) Mo’eini *
Abstract:   (10381 Views)
Problems of an ethical approach to the visual in architectural design are not unknown, and unsurprisingly so in a discipline and a cultural tradition so strongly associated with the visual. Generally speaking, one can trace two lines of inquiry in this regard: a) What is right to be represented in design? Is it eternal values, progress, divinity, sovereignty, democracy and participation, truthfulness, or is it the abandonment of representation altogether? b) In a discipline so much involved by its nature with the non-visual, is it right for the visual to be the main thrust for architectural design? This paper argues that whilst these two lines of inquiry are well extended into our times, ours is an age best identified with growing divergences within each one of, as well as between, them. Simply put, whilst the ever-accelerating production power of our image-making machines makes the visual increasingly non-representational, political and corporate powers still demand architecture to represent their status. In other words, today’s emerging socio-political issues, as well as environmental and humanitarian crises, add more weight to the argument against the primacy of the visual: a case otherwise made by, among others, an urge for more haptic design approaches, along with one for the primacy of the everyday over the visual in architecture. Representation and the celebrating of change or continuity have long been modern times’ means of investing the ethical in the visual. This paper argues that although the necessity of visual ingenuity might be taken for granted in contemporary context, one finds it ever more of a challenge to have an ethical stance through representing or celebrating either side of this pair alone. The question of our time, therefore, is rather that of whether the emancipation of the visual from reprerepresentation and construction constraints will win its ethical legitimacy back or not.
Keywords: Contemporary architecture, ethical, visuality
Full-Text [PDF 607 kb]   (3153 Downloads)    
Type of Study: Research | Subject: Special
Received: 2012/12/10 | Accepted: 2013/04/23
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Mo’eini S H (. The Ethical Visuality in Contemporary Architecture: the Questioning of a Tradition. کیمیای هنر. 2012; 1 (3) :25-34
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