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Transgression: Towards an expanded field of architecture

Rice, Louis; Littlefield, David


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Louis Rice
Associate Professor in Architecture


The potency of the word “transgress” is hardly reflected in its Latin etymology – to go or walk across. The language is benign, but symbolically loaded: to violate, to infringe, to go beyond the boundaries. To transgress is to break, violate, infringe, or exceed the bounds of: laws, commands, moral principles or other established standard of behaviour. Writers as far back as Horace Walpole and Edgar Allan Poe established links between (aberrant) architectural space and psychological conditions, and twentieth-century thinkers from Georges Bataille to Michel Foucault and Henri Lefebvre have lent theoretical weight to the idea of architecture as the expression of social norms, codes and hierarchies. As Lefebvre states ‘space is a social product’1; so to challenge, or go beyond, architectural codes, expectations and values is to challenge society itself. Based on material from the 10th International Conference of the AHRA, this volume presents contributions from academics, practicing architects and artists/activists from around the world to provide perspectives on emerging and transgressive architecture. Divided into four key themes – boundaries, violations, place and art practice - it explores global processes, transformative praxis and emerging trends in architectural production, examining alternative and radical ways of practicing architecture and reimagining the profession.


Rice, L., & Littlefield, D. (2014). Transgression: Towards an expanded field of architecture. Oxford: Taylor & Francis

Book Type Authored Book
Acceptance Date May 1, 2014
Publication Date Oct 1, 2014
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 10
Series Title Critiques
ISBN 9781138818910
Keywords transgression, architecture, practice, discipline
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Additional Information : This book was co-edited by Louis Rice and David Littlefield, subsequent to the conference Transgression, run on behalf of the AHRA November 2013.