Architecture The Draped Neobaroque

AKSOB 903, Beirut campus

The Department of Architecture and Interior Design is hosting a lecture titled “The Draped Neobaroque, or is it Possible not to Love Frank Gehry?” presented by Nadir Lahiji.

Lahiji is adjunct professor in architecture at the University of Canberra. His publications include: “Can Architecture Be An Emancipatory Project?” (2015), “The Missed Encounter of Radical Philosophy with Architecture” (2014), “Architecture Against the Post-Political” (2014), and “The Political Unconscious of Architecture” (2011). His forthcoming book is entitled “Adventures with the Theory of the Baroque and French Philosophy” (2016).

The return of the Baroque in contemporary theory is apparent in the way various academic disciplines are attempting to re-engage with it at a philosophical level. Contemporary architecture, in particular, is notable for an almost obsessive concern with the Baroque and for importing many related concepts from French philosophy into its discourse. Lahiji makes a categorical distinction between the historical seventeenth century Baroque and the category of the Neobaroque in contemporary culture, which some critics equate with the term postmodernism. While both, as he argues, are grounded in the ‘culture industry’, then and now, his sharpest criticism is directed at the neobaroque and its manifestations in architecture today. He analyzes the work of the architect Frank Gehry as the representative case of neobaroque tendency in contemporary architecture.