AD and Post-Modern architecture: a critical history
AD April 1977
Post-Modernism is currently only just appearing over the historical horizon as a valid period of critical re-evaluation. This research looks at Post-Modern architecture through the lens of Architectural Design (AD) magazine during the editorship of Andreas Papadakis (1977 - 1992). It was AD that first published Jencks' ideas on Post-Modern architecture in 1977, the same year that Papadakis' Academy Editions published the architectural bestseller, The Language of Post-Modern Architecture (after the Architectural Press had turned it down). This in turn influenced Paolo Portoghesi's curation at the first Venice Biennale in 1980 with the theme of 'the presence of the past'. The subsequent decade witnessed Academy hosting exhibitions and symposia that promoted Post-Modern eclecticism and were subsequently published as issues of AD. These symposia culminated in the introduction of Deconstruction to architectural discourse in the late 1980s. The research therefore combines a critical re-evaluation of Post-Modern architecture with a critical history of AD magazine itself during these crucial years.
The underlying belief which motivates this research is that architectural magazines are highly influential in the field of architecture, in terms of architectural education, practice, the profession itself, the construction and transmission of its knowledge, and the writing of its history. They are simultaneously reflective and directive of architectural discourse. Yet histories of art and architecture magazines in the Anglo-Saxon world are only just beginning to appear and as such, there is still very little research on either their mediating influence on architecture, or on them as destinations of design in their own right. This is the first in-depth research on the magazine Architectural Design and its influence on architectural discourse and follows on directly from my Ph.D. research on the magazine during the Monica Pidgeon's tenure as editor (1946 - 1975).
Steve Parnell qualified as an architect in 2006 and is a graduate of Sheffield University where he is currently completing a Ph.D. entitled, The role of the architectural magazine in the writing of architectural history: Architectural Design, 1954-1972. His architectural practice is concerned more with the construction of architectural criticism than with that of buildings and as such, he regularly contributes articles to architectural magazines such as the Architects' Journal (where he is a former columnist and contributing editor), the Architectural Review, Architecture Today, Building Design, icon, and Mark.
Steve Parnell, August 2011