THE ARCHITECTURAL CAPRICCIO: MEMORY, FANTASY AND INVENTION by Lucien Steil
Bringing together leading writers and practicing architects including Jean Dethier, David Mayernik, Robert Stern, Robert Adam, David Watkin and Leon Krier, this volume provides a kaleidoscopic, multilayered exploration of the Architectural Cappriccio. It not only explains the phenomena within a historical context, but moreover, demonstrates its contemporary validity and appropriateness as a holistic design methodology, an inspiring pictorial strategy, an efficient rendering technique and an optimal didactic tool. The book shows and comments on a wide range of historic masterworks and highlights contemporary artists and architects excelling in a modern updated, refreshed and original tradition of the Capriccio. The capacity of the Capriccio to create an imaginary, imagined or "analogue" reality by combining and relocating existing or invented buildings and places in uniquely suggestive drawings and paintings offers unprecedented insights in the "Architectural Mind". Unlike what the word Capriccio might suggest, it is not "capricious" but indeed follows complex rules of realism and figuration, as well as coherent narratives and semantics. It is a playful reflection of the dialectics of the real and the ideal. The Capriccio does not challenge the mechanism of reality, but questions the mechanic and linear reading of the real, of life and of art and offers a large palette of threads, figures, tones and nuances to illustrate and contribute creatively to the complexity of a sustainable built and living architectural environment.
Eamonn Canniffe leads the Architecture Research Centre and the MA in Architecture + Urbanism at the Manchester School of Architecture. He was educated in Architecture at Cambridge and Harvard Universities. In 1996 he held a Rome Scholarship in the Fine Arts at the British School at Rome. Between 1986 and 1998 he taught at the University of Manchester School of Architecture, and between 1998 and 2006 at the University of Sheffield School of Architecture. He is the author of Urban Ethic: Design in the Contemporary City (Routledge 2006) (Chinese edition 城市伦理--当代城市设计 2013) and The Politics of the Piazza: the history and meaning of the Italian square (Ashgate 2008). He is co-author (with Tom Jefferies) of Manchester Architecture Guide (1999) and (with Peter Blundell Jones) of Modern Architecture through Case Studies 1945-1990 (Architectural Press 2007), (Chinese edition 现代建筑的演变 1945--1990年 2009) (Spanish edition Modelos de la Arquitectura Moderna -Volumen II 1945-1990 2013). For a number of years he has served as Architecture Series Editor for Ashgate Publishing.