Paolo Soleri and the aesthetics of irreversibility

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4 Scopus citations


This essay examines the designs and writings of the architect Paolo Soleri in the context of technologically oriented post-war architectural discourse. It seeks to demonstrate that not only was Soleri aware of the ideas gleaned by his contemporaries from the fields of cybernetics, systems theory and ecology, but that he had assimilated them to his own philosophy about the built environment as an evolutionary mechanism. Within that framework, aesthetics and the material nature of form became central to his thinking, but also became the aspects of his work that marginalised him vis a vis the architectural vanguard of the 1960s and 1970s. But the systems within which Soleri inscribed architectural form were very much in line with the new models of science and aesthetics being elaborated in the decades following the Second World War, and can be understood as part of a lineage of alternative materialist thought, including the work of Henri Bergson, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Ilya Prigogine and Gilles Deleuze.1 Form follows function is a planetary lie. Paolo Soleri.2

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)781-808
Number of pages28
JournalJournal of Architecture
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Architecture
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts


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