In the discussion of architecture, the prevailing sentiment of the past three decades has been that cultural production can no longer be understood to arise spontaneously, as a matter of social course, but is constructed through ever more self-conscious theoretical procedures. The development of interpretive modes of various stripes—poststructuralist, Marxian, phenomenological, psychoanalytic, as well as others dissenting or eccentric—has given scholars a range of tools for rethinking architecture in relation to other fields and for reasserting architecture's general importance in intellectual discourse.
This long-awaited anthology is in some sense a sequel to Joan Ockman's Architecture Culture 1943-1968, A Documentary Anthology (1993). It presents forty-seven of the primary texts of contemporary architecture theory, introducing each by detailing the concepts and categories necessary for its understanding and evaluation. It also presents twelve documents of projects or events that had major theoretical repercussions for the period. Several of the essays appear here in English for the first time.