Penn State

Ute Poerschke - Associate Professor of Architecture, Penn State University Park

Book Title: Style in the Technical and Tectonic Arts; or, Practical Aesthetics

Author: Gottfried Semper

Book Description:

Gottfried Semper's "Der Stil" (Style) is the most influential book of the nineteenth century in architecture. It took many months of my dissertation time to work through the two massive German volumes, and when I moved to Penn State, I learned about the superb translation by Harry Francis Mallgrave. Gottfried Semper's architecture is a product of his time but his writings are timeless. His ideas about architecture reflecting and elevating its context - culture, history, site, materiality, and purposes - are valid to the present day for students and professionals of architecture. His search for the right profession when he was a young man, living through his exile in Paris and London after standing up for his beliefs in the German revolution of 1848, and his final successes in Switzerland give you a lot to think beyond architecture.

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