Critical Regionalism and “Place”

(Welcome!  This is the 6th post in the “Crafting Places” series, which began on October 4, 2010, with a “Preface”, accessible on-line at  All published posts in the series can be accessed through the “Urban Design” sub-page “Crafting Places” of this “RenaissanceRules” site.)

Antecedents and Contemporary Studies

D.    Frampton’s “Critical Regionalism”

Kenneth Frampton’s 1988 essay, “Towards a Critical Regionalism: Six Points for an Architecture of Resistance” (published in The Anti-Aesthetic:Essays on Postmodern Culture, edited by Hal Foster, Bay Press, Port Townsend, 1983), speaks not only to the design of a building within a specific physical and cultural context, but strongly to the uniqueness of each place.

Fealty to BRAND, NOT to PLACE (c)2004 Randy D. Bosch

Fealty to BRAND, NOT to PLACE (c)2004 Randy D. Bosch

Frampton’s “Critical Regionalism” is not vernacular design quotation run amok!  It is also not an excuse to impose Modern, Post-Modern or any other selected “style” or movement onto a place under the guise of universalism or egalitarianism in design.  Two ditches on either side of the road leading to “Creating Places”. 

Let Frampton speak for himself:

“The fundamental strategy of Critical Regionalism is to mediate the impact of universal civilization with elements derived indirectly from the peculiarities of a given place.  It is clear from the above that Critical Regionalism depends upon maintaining a high level of critical self-consciousness.  It may find its governing inspiration in such things as the range and quality of the local light, or in the tectonic derived from a peculiar structural mode, or in the topography of a given site.”

The entire article is very worthwhile, and is freely available on the University of Colorado at Boulder website, at , …

For your critical reading enjoyment!


About randysrules

From a professional background in architecture, community and regional planning, urban design, leadership, and fine arts, this blog provides insights on ethics, leadership, architecture/planning/urban design, Venice, and whatever intrigues me at the time. Enjoy!
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