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Are Typologies Needed? Article Critique Example

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Article Critique

The question of whether typologies are necessary for architecture, according to Moneo, is based on the tension between the consideration of the architectural work as either a singularity or in terms its belonging to a world. For the author, such a singularity means that “the work of architecture has to be considered in its own right, as an entity in itself… it is unrepeatable, a single phenomenon.” (23) On the other hand, the belonging to the world of a piece of architecture means that it is “bounded by the world that surrounds it, as well as by its history.” (43) Architecture occurs within “a chain of related events in which it is possible to find a common formal structure.” (43) Hence, by arguing for the relevance of typology to architecture, one is essentially claiming that architecture bears a relation to the world within which it occurs and the history that produced it.

In this regard, the importance of typology to architecture means that architecture emerges in response to a certain situation. It can be the result of a historical, practical necessity, or the relation to other aesthetic forms. Accordingly, by emphasizing typology we understand that architecture does not appear as some miraculous event unconnected to our lives, but is rather one of the areas in which our lives themselves unfold. Typology is the recognition of architecture belonging to our world, and also our belonging to architecture, insofar as the latter also constitutes our world.

Typology thus becomes necessary to architecture because it aids us in understanding how we form our world itself. Hence, architecture is not only a response to a certain historical or social situation, but also helps inform and create historical and social situations. By rejecting typology, we reject the very possibility of thinking about architecture as a transformative power in the world. In contrast, acknowledging types of architecture is to acknowledge the effect and pertinence of architecture itself.

Works Cited

Moneo, Rafael. “Typology.” Opposition 13, Summer, 1978.

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