Definitions

FICTION ARCHITECTURE

‘Fiction architecture’  in the sense that I am proposing  may be defined as the expression of ideas through the medium of building, using strategies such as imitation, pretence, trickery and playful deception.

This differs from the main body of architecture, ‘non-fiction architecture’, which may be defined as the expression of ideas through the medium of building, using a direct, clear, honest and didactic approach.

Fiction architecture is not to be confused with architecture fiction writing (also called architectural fiction writing), where a novel or other piece of fiction writing  is organised around a plot or theme relating to architecture, or is an exploration of architectural themes. See works by Barry Maitland and Bruce Sterling.

Also, it should not be confused with imaginary or unbuilt architecture, or architectural drawings of a speculative kind.

Further, it should not be confused with non-fiction architecture which has been inspired by comic book depictions of future worlds, such as the influence of Dan Dare comics on British High Tech architecture (if indeed such influence actually exists). Nor should it be confused with ‘futuristic’ architecture deriving from earlier predictive work, such as the drawings of Archigram.

And again, for those who read architectural theory, it is not to be confused with Peter Eisenman’s idea that Modernism itself was a fiction. In my view Modernist architecture was generally didactic (instructive),  and was therefore a non-fiction expression. Like Marxist theory, Modernist theory may look naive and wrong in parts, but that does not turn it retrospectively into fiction. Documentary films may contain errors in fact or wrong beliefs, but that does not alter them from non-fiction to fiction. 

GENRES OF FICTION ARCHITECTURE

Fiction architecture may be subdivided into ‘popular fiction architecture’ such as houses built in the shape of castles, and the more intellectual and explorative ‘new fiction architecture’ which tends to be an open-ended exploration of fictive themes by an architect with a developed skill in design. (Here I have borrowed the word ‘new’ from ‘new music’, a term used by contemporary composers working within the discourse of classical music to describe contemporary compositions.)

Further genres include ‘science fiction architecture’, ‘historical fiction architecture’ and ‘fantasy fiction architecture’.

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About Fiction Architecture
I am an architect born in 1953 and practising in Melbourne as a partner in Simon and Freda Thornton Architects. I established this blog to develop a theoretical basis for a type of architecture which I call 'fiction architecture', based on imitation, pretence, trickery and playful deception, as an alternative to most 'non-fiction' architecture which may be categorized as clear, honest, sincere and didactic.

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