Screening Architecture: Architecture, Media, and Conflict since the 1990s

Publication Type:
Issue Date:
Full metadata record
Architecture has recently begun to critically investigate its relationship to digital media. To date, this discussion has primarily focused on the algorithmic encoding of architectural form. However, the interface through which ‘the digital’ manifests and is engaged with – the screen – has received little attention. The thesis argues that by focusing on the screen, specifically cathode-ray tube (CRT) technology that underpinned both TV and computer screens during the 1990s, a different history of ‘the digital’ in architecture emerges. This history engages with how the screen organises relationships between aesthetic practices and geopolitical concerns. To establish this alternative account, the thesis assembles diverse material around the question of the screen – ranging from architectural theory, pedagogy, and practice to media theory and cultural events driven by conflict – to thread a discourse between architecture, media, and conflict. The coalescence of “live” images of Baghdad unfolding on CRT screens during CNN’s coverage of the Gulf War in 1991, along with the resurgence of postmodern media theory exploring the screen’s reconfiguration of time and space, intersected with the arrival of CRT screens in Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture’s (GSAPP) Paperless Studios in 1994, constructing a context in which the screen’s material presence, spatial characteristics, and mediating effects became of architectural concern. These concerns were heightened in the 2000s with the rise of urban conflicts and advancements in screen technologies, leading to a deeper engagement between architecture, media, and conflict. By tracing this constellation of screen-based theory, pedagogy, and practice from the 1990s onwards, the thesis re-situates architectural production and representation at the confluence of media and conflict through the screen. More importantly, it presents ways in which architecture can critically engage with the geopolitical and aesthetic concerns raised by a culture increasingly driven by conflict and its mediation.
Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: