Marginal Theory

Restoring Poiēsis in Architecture


Simina Anamaria Purcaru


  • theōria
  • marginal theory
  • Filarete
  • Christopher Alexander
  • poetics
  • poiēsis

The paper attempts to explore the margins in architecture in terms of theory, not as a theorization of the concept, but as an approach to a marginal theory - marginal, because, although meaningful to architecture in our times, it is still away from the mainstream: the poetics of architecture. There’s no lyric utopianism in it; as a matter of fact, it calls upon the Greek poiēsis _as creative process. In this key, the text follows possible contemporary echoes in a critical inquiry of two peculiar architectural writings, arising from different times – the Renaissance and the present – but having a common feature – reinforcing the value of “making”: Filarete’s _Trattato di Architettura (around 1464) and Christopher Alexander’s Battle for the Life and Beauty of the Earth (2012). Both writings – “construction diaries” of an ideal citadel and a college campus – address poiēsismimesis _and _praxis, as creative process, creative interpretation and practical life in the attempt of building living environments. Restoring _poiēsis _in architecture lies within the act of creation itself, questioning the idea of wholeness and the condition of the architect in relation to partners, beneficiaries and towards profession itself.