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Less is Enough – On Architecture and Asceticism

Pier Vittorio Aureli

Caryatide / Les Presses du Réel

Publication date : 2022/09/01
French version
Weight 57 g / Dimensions 11 x 21 cm / 64 pages
ISBN 9782378963354

“Less is more”, goes the modernist saying. But is it really? At a time when we are constantly exhorted to do “more with less”, can we still romanticize the claims of minimalism? Aureli’s message is as topical as ever, now that almost ten years have passed since it was first published: it offers a critical look at architectural practice and the fundamental questions of the discipline, both in the past and for our future, skilfully unmasking the hypocrisy of latent capitalism that aestheticizes asceticism, while continuing to look with hope at the possibility of retaining the idea of “less” as a starting point.

He is therefore a witness to a time when the theoretical and critical framework of architecture is in need of profound reconfiguration.
Pier Vittorio Aureli is an architect and teacher. He teaches at the Architectural Association, where he is director of studies in the doctoral program and lecturer in the history and theory program. He is The William B. and Shepherd Davenport Visiting Professor at the Yale School of Architecture. He has taught at the Berlage Institute in Rotterdam, the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne and Columbia University in New York.

Aureli is the author of several books, including The Project of Autonomy: Politics and Architecture Within and Against Capitalism (2008), The Possibility of an Absolute Architecture (2011), and Ritual and Walls: The Architecture of Sacred Space (2016, with Maria Shéhérazade Giudici), The Room of One’s Own (2017, with Dogma) and Loveless: Minimum Dwelling and its Discontents (2019, with Dogma).

With Martino Tattara, he is the co-founder of Dogma, an architectural practice based in Brussels. Since its inception, Dogma has developed a specific interest in large-scale interventions and urban research. Dogma works on a research-through-design trajectory that focuses on domestic space and its potential for transformation. As well as being an architect and educator, Aureli is also a painter. The first solo exhibition of his paintings took place at Betts Project gallery in London in 2018.

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