Ural State University of Architecture and Art

ISSN 1990-4126



PhD (Architecture), Associate Professor,
Head of Chair of Architectural Design and Urban Planning,
Voronezh State University of Architecture and Civil Engineering

Russia, Voronezh, e-mail: pekad@rambler.ru


Kapustin Pyotr V.

Architecton: Proceedings of Higher Education №3 (59) September, 2017

The article considers the origin of the category "function" in architecture and design in the context of political developments since the modern age. The author argues that the transition from crafts prototypes to typological systems of the design professions is associated with the politicization of the domain of the conceptual and its surrounding with the supervising care of the authorities.

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Kapustin P.V. FUNCTION AND POWER: FORMATION OF FUNCTIONALISM IN THE POLITICAL SPHERE [Online] //Architecton: Proceedings of Higher Education. – 2017. – №3(59). – URL: http://archvuz.ru/en/2017_3/2 

Kapustin Pyotr V.

Architecton: Proceedings of Higher Education №1 (37) March, 2012

Any visualisation of a utopia leads into a different logic of narration, drawing one into another reality which is not free from concreteness and details. Often "visual utopias" reproduce directly some known symbolism, imagery, motives and the "atmosphere" of utopian texts. This should, perhaps, explain the prevalence of the motive of ruins, pastorals, isolated spaces and insular communities, and the dramatic character of images of nature, open distant perspectives and other similar recognizable features of the "utopian" in paintings and architectural drawings up until the mid-19th century. The shift of emphasis from literary text to visual form, which is especially obvious in architectural drawings and presentation "pictures", follows the same pathway of analogies, allegories and metaphors. The "utopian” becomes the contents of architectural form and its invariable connotation, which is virtually always present, often latently, becoming conspicuous and central only in architectural visionarism.

The absolute propensity of the profession to graphic, formal responses and the immaturity of techniques for capturing the contents of the new and its axiological, ontological and existential conceptualization led to a continually increasing shift towards the pole of form. The shift was happening faster, the less traditional were becoming the architectural forms, the broader was getting their alphabet and less strict the rules of form production. The form, overloaded with all of its explicit and implicit meanings, which were growing harder to keep up and recover and increasingly less interesting for the user, increasingly often a mass user, eventually just "collapsed" under the weight of its obligations and sins.

Architecture became a principal, if not the only, channel by which entities would come into the world in which they were not rooted and did not have the right to exist. Growth in technological power and the rate of material implementation of ideas proved to be catastrophically higher than the rate of development of design thinking techniques and abilities to comprehend the contents of the created. The domination of "empty", "silent" or “off-topic” architectural forms which is characteristic of modernism has not been overcome even today. Architecture has lost control over the sphere of meanings, including its own ones. Socio-cultural meanings ceased to be the contents of the tradition and have failed to become the contents of a fully fledged design process – a historical challenge requiring departure from prototypal reproduction of activity and traditional translation of meanings has never seen a proper response from the profession.

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Kapustin P.V. UTOPIA IN THE EVOLUTION OF ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN. Part III. Depicting Utopia [Online] //Architecton: Proceedings of Higher Education. – 2012. – №1(37). – URL: http://archvuz.ru/en/2012_1/1 

Kapustin Pyotr V.

Architecton: Proceedings of Higher Education №1 (37) March, 2012

It has been for several centuries now that the utopian tradition and architectural discourse have been shaping - through interaction, collisions and flexions – a multi-faceted "folded" reality, which cannot but be taken for architectural design proper or, at least, for what it has emerged from as an independent organized entity.

However, whereas utopianism has now become deeply rooted in professional architectural thinking and has had diverse effects on the development of design methods (including those relating to the experience of overcoming utopianism), Utopia still is on the agenda of architectural design and its capabilities have not been fully utilised.

The ambiguity of this situation appears even more complex considering the fact that today utopia in architectural (and product and, partly, town-planning) design is considered to be nearly as much as the only foundation of the entire construction of design thought! The only alternative – rational design methods actively promoted during Functionalism and, especially, in the context of the design methods approach – has not come round as something fully fledged and equal to architectural experience (in contrast to, for example, engineering design, in which these methods have taken root).

The theory and early methodology of architectural design aspired to get rid of and overcome utopian intentions extensively maintained in design activity rather than studying and purposefully utilizing them in conformity with their nature. Moreover, they tended to be ignored whilst boosting the aspects of design that seemed to stand against utopias, i.e. rationalistic, quantitative, analytical, scientific and other ways and means. Given its long experience in dealing with utopianism, the design culture of the last half a century has overlooked the instrumental capabilities of utopia as a style of thinking. It is characteristic of rationalistic design methodology that is unable to capture the most important hidden thing in design thinking - that it leaves a gaping void amidst answers given by it to issues of theoretical reconstruction of creative design processes. This may be viewed as a lesson to be drawn with regard to important areas of research into architectural design thinking and, probably, this is where we can see new horizons for progress in architecture.

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Kapustin P.V. UTOPIA IN THE EVOLUTION OF ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN. Part IV. Folds of Utopism [Online] //Architecton: Proceedings of Higher Education. – 2012. – №1(37). – URL: http://archvuz.ru/en/2012_1/2 

Kapustin Pyotr V.

Architecton: Proceedings of Higher Education №4 (36) December, 2011

Disappointment in the Ideal is one of the eternal plots in human history. The belief in ideals is waning, and the dismantling of the ideal has begun. In architectural consciousness, such events are associated with the Late Renaissance, an epoch of the hardest and most dramatic reconsideration of idealistic views of the world, society, and the individual.

The Utopian style of thinking is gaining its full power. Of all the variety of issues relating to utopia, the article reviews only its associations with the ideal and its own capabilities to organize the space of the imagined as well as methods of promoting the conception that has arisen in this space, i.e. the projectable qualities.

The space of thought of what is possible or what is due organised by means of utopian texts or views is markedly different from the linear space in which to give life to the ideal. The novel thing that the emerging design thought acquires here is a game with delayed realisation enabling one to devise a series of intermediate, transitional, alternative and other ploys located somewhere between reality and utopia.

Technically, with regard to the formation of design thinking proper, utopia made a major step forward in the Late Renaissance and during the New Age. But that step was made a long way away from architecture and other "product oriented" practices. It was made in the domain of reflections about the best possible social and political system, i.e. in the area of critical socio-political thinking that successfully progressed on into the sphere of "pure" philosophical thinking.

As for leading personalities in terms of contribution to the emergence of architectural thinking, they are not the ones who could be traced to this or that extent to utopian objectivisation. Utopia is present in New Age architecture as a certain artistic technique and, sometimes, a plot rather than the fairly refined and sophisticated way of thinking about the possible, the desirable or the due that utopia came to be at that time in socio-political thought and philosophy.

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Kapustin P.V. UTOPIA IN THE EVOLUTION OF ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN. "THE CRISIS OF THE IDEAL". Part I [Online] //Architecton: Proceedings of Higher Education. – 2011. – №4(36). – URL: http://archvuz.ru/en/2011_4/1 

Kapustin Pyotr V.

Architecton: Proceedings of Higher Education №4 (36) December, 2011

Whereas the first way out of "the crisis of the Ideal" was Utopia, the second one was demonstrated by architectural activity. The way chosen by the emerging architectural profession was represented by boosted pictorialism and nearly illusive design graphics.

That move directly catered for the attitude that drawings should be representative, clear and understandable for the object-oriented professional consciousness of the New Age. It is close to the passion for visual illusions of depth and spatiality in architecture and monumental art since the Baroque; it opened a way to a genre architectural creativity that was popular during the New Age– to architectural fantasies and related visionarism.

The destiny of the ideal, thus, proved to be in the hands of an architect/artist whose genius re-creates the ideal by means of its image, creating it as a monad by exposing the essence and pruning the superfluous, that is in the same way as the scientist creates his scientific subjects on the basis of idealisations of empirically observable bodies and phenomena.

During the New Age, the architectural profession was not absorbed in the development of sophisticated thinking techniques and new, more refined and more realistic technologies of objectivization than the first attempts at creative objectivization of the Ideal. Rather, it was improving the means of representation, enhancing graphic skills and gradually getting involved in scientific modelling. However, this profession managed to present those means of representation to history as means of design thinking, that is as ones from the development and cultivation of which it had consciously distanced itself away from.

It took a long time to spot the substitution: it did not stand a chance of being noticed against the background of advances in science and technology and significant contributions of architecture and civil engineering into it, high and seemingly natural pictorialism of the architecture itself, establishment of conventional norms of project presentation and chronic inattention to such things in art and architecture criticism. And, the last but not the least, the essential means of organizing the thinking and corresponding norms of reflection were nevertheless provided to the profession – imputed by the natural science methodology.

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Kapustin P.V. UTOPIA IN THE EVOLUTION OF ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN. "THE LURES OF PAINTING". Part II [Online] //Architecton: Proceedings of Higher Education. – 2011. – №4(36). – URL: http://archvuz.ru/en/2011_4/2 

Kapustin Pyotr V.

Architecton: Proceedings of Higher Education №4 (20) December, 2007

Сегодня пресловутая "леонидовщина" может, видимо, символизировать самый дух проектного творчества – состояние первичной неоформленности, онтологической открытости, поиска, отсутствие готовых ответов, требуют большего освоения, чем самые насущные потребности. Контур профессии разомкнут, вопрос о профессионализме открыт, нормы и правила отсутствуют или подвергаются сомнению. Архитектура создаёт новый мир и, следовательно, берёт на себя и риск ошибок, и заботу о чувственном, экзистенциальном обживании создаваемых миров.

Возрождение архаического мировосприятия и форсированный рост коллективного бессознательного в советском социуме в 30-х годах возвращает архитекторов к работе по прототипическим моделям деятельности. Реальность уже одна, проектное освоение иных миров становится ненужно…

В статье ставится вопрос: что же случилось с "Проектом Модерна", как его ныне называют философы, в эти тревожные годы? И, в частности, чем же так мешал Иван Леонидов с его альтернативными проектами мироустройства?

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Капустин П.В. ТЕЗИС О "ЛЕОНИДОВЩИНЕ" И ПРОБЛЕМА РЕАЛЬНОСТИ В АРХИТЕКТУРЕ И ПРОЕКТИРОВАНИИ (Часть I)[Электронный ресурс] /П.В. Капустин //Архитектон: известия вузов. – 2007. – №4(20). – URL: http://archvuz.ru/en/2007_4/8 


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Капустин П.В. ТЕЗИС О "ЛЕОНИДОВЩИНЕ" И ПРОБЛЕМА РЕАЛЬНОСТИ В АРХИТЕКТУРЕ И ПРОЕКТИРОВАНИИ (Часть II) [Электронный ресурс] /П.В. Капустин //Архитектон: известия вузов. – 2007. – №4(20). – URL: http://archvuz.ru/en/2007_4/9 

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