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A Model of Architectural 'Avant-Garde' Agency: Intra-active Crisis Narration



Crisis: Late Middle English denoting the turning point of a disease; medical Latin from Greek krisis ‘decision’, from krinein ‘decide’; the general sense ‘decisive point’ dates from the early 17th century - Oxford Dictionary........ This paper proposes and discusses an architectural ‘avant-garde’ agency model causing, deriving from, thus entangled with enacted crisis narrations, narratives that cut apart pastfuture towards imaginary prospects within/from the architectural discipline. The first section concentrates in the architectural ‘avant-garde’ agency idea through a selected matrix of classic (English written and translated) Western European architectural histories and theories, and specifically Italian ones of the nineteen-sixties and seventies (Benevolo 1960/1971; Branzi 1972/2013; Tafuri 1968/1980, 1969/1998, 1973/1976, 1976/1979). It elaborates their pastfuture crisis driven ontology and their political source of reflections, objectives and character, that stands separate to language-formal driven ones as well as to the architectural ‘avant-garde’ empty signifier of the slipshod framework in which the term appears in architectural literature. The second section elaborates a deriving from the above architectural ‘avant-garde’ agency model as intra-active crisis narration. Through Barad's axes of diffraction and spacetimemattering, it aims at creating a genealogical and a navigational tool of insights to the architectural ‘avant-garde’, the politically driven one, within the Italian context of the period, offering insight about the way in which such agency offers a generalizing model for the architectural ‘avant-garde’. The paper aims within its limited space at an outline of an architectural ‘avant-garde’ intra-active agency that is based and enabled by a selected terminological historiography of architectural ‘avant-gardes,’ and is supported by the agential model.
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