TPOD – The Fifth Typology: On Architecture and Type

Rafael Moneo once said that to talk about type in architecture is to talk about the essence of architecture. Indeed, when conceiving a building is almost impossible to not start from an existing type, no matter how strange or peculiar this building may look like.

A type is not a model or an image to be copy, but the deep structure of how things are put together. Although typology is a recent concept, to think and build architecture typologically goes back to immemorial times. And yet in the neoliberal economy, when uniqueness, newness and competition are considered indispensable values for architecture, the concept of type which understand uniqueness not per se, but as the product of sameness is considered anachronistic. The book revisits the concept of typology by critically reading its previous definitions and by offering a new interpretation of this rather elusive concept. This research was developed as a Doctoral seminar and a Symposium in Spring 2023 and will result in a publication in 2024. The main thesis that both the seminar and the symposium discussed was that typology should be reconsidered as one of the most productive ways to teach, study, criticize and above all politicize architecture. Rather than considering type as the stronghold of the discipline of architecture, the book offers answers on how this concept could offer a precise understanding of the politics that produce architecture through architecture itself. Contributions reconsidered typology with concrete case studies such as the feminist critique of type, the idea of copy in medieval architecture, the rise of ‘non-typological’ architecture in Japan, typology as the ‘common ground’ between architecture and the city.