This book has been primarily concerned to give an historical account of the Ruskinian tradition; that is, to explain why these thinkers thought about architecture as they did. In the course of doing so, we have seen that this entire tradition stood rather closer to both German Romanticism and philosophical idealism, and rather further from both historical materialism and the orthodox socialist movement, than has generally been thought. In conclusion I want to move away from. a primarily historical to a primarily critical concern, and ask how we should evaluate the legacy of the Ruskinian tradition today. The question to be answered is this: has this tradition, stemming as it did from Romantic ideas of nearly two hundred years ago, anything valid or useful to offer us as we approach the end of the twentieth century?
KeywordsHistorical Materialism Building Site Reproductive Work Building Trade Philosophical Idealism
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Notes and References
- M. Swenarton, ‘Post-Modern Quartet’, Building Design (26 May 1985) pp. 24–31. The founding text of the New Right in architecture is D. Watkin, Morality and Architecture. The Development of a Theme in Architectural History and Theory from the Gothic Revival to the Modern Movement (Oxford, 1977).Google Scholar
- 2.The sexual fantasies about manual workers of Carpenter and Ashbee were the most extreme instance of this. See E. Carpenter (ed. D. Fernbach and N. Greig), Selected Writings. Volume I. Sex (1984);Google Scholar
- A. Crawford, C. R. Ashbee. Architect, Designer and Romantic Socialist (1985).Google Scholar
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- 6.W. Morris, ‘The Prospects of Architecture in Civilization’ (1881), in Morris Works 22, p. 144;Google Scholar
- J. Ruskin, The Stones of Venice II (1855) in Ruskin Works 10, p. 196.Google Scholar
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- 8.A. Loos, ‘The Poor Little Rich Man’ (1900), in A. Loos, Spoken into the Void. Collected Essays1897–1900 (Cambridge, Mass., 1982) pp. 125–7. For a discussion of Loos and Ruskin, see E. Timms, ‘Facade and Function: the alliance between Karl Kraus and Adolf Loos’, 9H 6 (1983) pp. 9–14.Google Scholar