First House: Myth, Paradigm And The Task Of Architecture

R.D. Dripps

In the first century B.C., Vitruvius Pollio narrated a myth of the origins of dwelling. In a forest clearing, previously isolated and savage people gathered about the embers of a dying fire; from this gathering emerged political institutions, human language, and the construction of permanent shelters. R. D. Dripps finds in this story the foundation of an extensive theory of architecture still able to offer guideposts for architecture practice. Against any tendency toward theoretical disengagement or self-referentiality, Dripps argues that architecture must continue to address important political, cultural, and social issues. Ultimately, the role of architecture is to provide the structures that enable us to interpret the world and make it habitable. Throughout, Dripp's intensive meditations on Vitruvius are supplemented by extensive notes that establish points of contact with a wide array of modern writers on myth, language, political theory, and the arts.

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