Candide —
Journal for Architectural Knowledge

Candide No. 4 — 07/2011 — Essay

Irénée Scalbert
The Architect as Bricoleur.

Facing up to the existential confusion in architecture, Irénée Scalbert revisits the notion of the architect-bricoleur. In the 1970s, inspired by Claude Lévi-Strauss, critics including Charles Jencks and Colin Rowe imagined the architect sifting through the debris of culture. In our own time, buoyed by the rise of ecology, the architect is more Robinson Crusoe than scholar, salvaging what he can from the shipwreck of culture and making the most of nature. He works as if for himself and with the means that are at hand. The architect-bricoleur, Scalbert argues, shall be neither modern, working for the amelioration of the greater number, nor postmodern, seeking to create a sensation. He shall be, after Bruno Latour, premodern, making the best of both new and old techniques and embracing circumstance and accident in his craft.


Candide No. 4, 07/2011