There is widespread disagreement about what quality in architecture is, and how it can be measures and achieved.
Formerly grounded in values of craftsmanship – in the skilled making of things – ‘quality’ is now associated with the management of administrative or technical processes. Whereas its appreciation was once based in the exercise of individual judgement and taste, increasingly it is founded on supposedly objective systems of evaluation.
Practitioners of design are under pressure to quantify quality, but it is questionable whether it is possible or even desirable to do so. This important and highly topical issue lies at the heart of this edited volume which grew out of the ‘Quality’ conference held at the Welsh School of Architecture in July 2007. The book considers how, in architectural and cultural practices, ‘quality’ is defined, evaluated, managed, and constructed. It is organised around issues of appreciation, production, belief and measure. Quality out of Controlincludes contributions from some of today’s leading architectural commentators including Catherine Belsey, Adam Caruso, David Leatherbarrow, Sunand Prasad, Marc Treib and Richard Weston.
The book’s contents are as follows:
Allison Dutoit, Juliet Odgers and Adam Sharr
Part One: Appreciation
- Landscapes of Experience
- Even Pavements in Verona are Marble: John Ruskin, Adrian Stokes and the Stones of Verona
Part Two: Production
- Designing in Quality
Juliet Odgers and Flora Samuel
- Assessing Design Quality in Architectural Education
- Leslie Martin and the Science of Architectural Form
- Ugly Little Angels Revisited
- Passion and Control: Lewerentz and a Mortar Joint
Part Three: Belief
- Necessary Qualifications: Design Before, During, and After Construction
- Simplicity and Belief
- Stirling’s Worth: The Quality of the Florey Building
Part Four: Measure
- Water and the Historicity of Perception: The New Royal Baths at Bath.
- The Qualia of Architectural Experience: On Sullivan, Szarowski, Autobiographies and Ideas
- The Architect’s Signature as a Sign of Quality
- Quality beyond Measure: Architecture in the Lacanian Account of Culture