Architecture and Ugliness: Anti-Aesthetics and the Ugly in Postmodern ArchitectureWouter Van Acker
Whatever 'ugliness' is, it remains a problematic category in architectural aesthetics - alternately vilified and appropriated, either to shock or to invert conventions of architecture. This book presents eighteen new essays which rethink ugliness in architecture - from brutalism to eclectic postmodern architectural productions - and together offer a diverse reappraisal of the history and theory of postmodern architecture and design. The essays address both broad theoretical questions on ugliness and postmodern aesthetics, as well as more specific analyses of significant architectural examples dating from the last decades of the twentieth century, addressing the relation between the aesthetic register of ugliness and aesthetic concepts such as brutalism, kitsch, the formless, ad hoc-ism, the monstrous, or the grotesque. Architecture and Ugliness not only documents the history of a postmodern anti-aesthetic through a diverse set of case studies, it also sheds valuable light on an aesthetic problem which has been largely overlooked in architectural discourse. It is essential reading for all students and scholars with an interest in postmodern architectural history, architectural theory and aesthetics.