This article investigates architecture's ‘expanded field’ – its turn towards culture during the 1980s when the profession expanded its interest to the softer practices of architectural culture. It looks in particular at the emerging enterprises of exhibitions, competitions and awards, publications, and symposia and lectures in the ‘long 1980s’, taken as the Academy years of AD magazine from 1977 – 1992.
This period of AD is synonymous with architectural Post-Modernism, as Academy published much of Charles Jencks’ work on Post-Modernism, including six of the seven ever-larger editions of The Language of Post-Modern Architecture.
However, by analysing the content and context of AD magazine and the wider context of architectural institutions during these years, this article argues that the Post-Modernisation of architecture should be understood not only as a mere style, but equally as the emphasis on a growing architectural culture, discourse, and the ‘ideal’, and the retreat from building and the ‘real’. In other words, this period witnessed the establishment of architectural culture as a new type of practice, and furthermore, AD was instrumental in this cultural turn.
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