The State of Architecture at the Beginning of the 21st Century

In March 2003, Bernard Tschumi convened forty of the world's leading architectural designers and theorists -- Elizabeth Diller, Peter Eisenman, Zaha Hadid, Steven Holl, Rem Koolhaas, Greg Lynn, Winy Maas, Thom Mayne, Ben van Berkel, Mark Wigley, Alejandro Zaera-Polo, and many others -- for a conference at Columbia University. The exceptional array was asked to predict the conversations and directions of architectural practice in the 21st century. Speakers addressed the categories of current architectural discourse -- form, aesthetics, material, detail, politics -- and questioned their future validity. Other topics included architects' obsession with the detail, the possibility of practicing a politics of material, the definition of an avant-garde urbanism, the importance of form beyond its aesthetic value, and whether architecture can directly influence the social world. The State of Architecture brings together manifestos, musings, and meditations to capture the key polemics raised by this extraordinary convocation of thinkers.