Peter Eisenman, visiting professor, School of Architecture (with Elisa Iturbe)
(Princeton University Press)
Conceptions of modernity in architecture are often expressed in the idea of the zeitgeist, or “spirit of the age,” an attitude toward architectural form that is embedded in a belief in progressive time. In “Lateness” Eisenman — with co-author Elisa Iturbe, the Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture at the Cooper Union — proposes a different perspective on form and time in architecture, one that circumvents the temporal constraints on style that require it to be “of the times”: lateness. He focuses on three 20th-century architects who exhibited the qualities of lateness in their designs: Adolf Loos, Aldo Rossi, and John Hejduk. Eisenman shows how the architecture of these canonical figures was temporally out of sync with conventions and expectations, and how lateness can serve as a form of release from the restraints of the moment. Bringing together architecture, music, and philosophy, and drawing on examples from the Renaissance and Baroque periods, “Lateness” examines how those in the field of architecture today can use the concept of lateness to break free of stylistic limitations, expand architecture’s critical capacity, and provide a new mode of analysis.