On ‘Normative’ Architecture. Notes on the Domination of the Technical-rational Mode of Thinking on Mainstream Architectural Production: A Historical Highlight
The term ‘mainstream’ or ‘normative’ practice is often used to describe the model of architectural practice that
is often generic in its architectural ambition and tends to appeal to the economic rules of the market. This model of practice follows what can be called a 'technical-rational ideology' that prioritizes discourses of efficiency, audit, and profitable and timely delivery. This paper will highlight some moments in the history of architectural production that paved the way for the domination of the technical-rational ideology on contemporary architectural production, coming across ideas from Jean-Nicolas-Louis Durand and Leslie Martin, and Design Methods that were influential in shaping mainstream architectural practice. The paper concludes with speculations on the future trajectory of the architectural profession in the light of the current prevalence of this ideology.
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