Can architecture be barbaric?

Science and Engineering Ethics 15 (2):233-258 (2009)
The title of this article is adapted from Theodor W. Adorno’s famous dictum: ‘To write poetry after Auschwitz is barbaric.’ After the catastrophic earthquake in Kocaeli, Turkey on the 17th of August 1999, in which more than 40,000 people died or were lost, Necdet Teymur, who was then the dean of the Faculty of Architecture of the Middle East Technical University, referred to Adorno in one of his ‘earthquake poems’ and asked: ‘Is architecture possible after 17th of August?’ The main objective of this article is to interpret Teymur’s question in respect of its connection to Adorno’s philosophy with a view to make a contribution to the politics and ethics of architecture in Turkey. Teymur’s question helps in providing a new interpretation of a critical approach to architecture and architectural technology through Adorno’s philosophy. The paper also presents a discussion of Adorno`s dictum, which serves for a better understanding of its universality/particularity.
Keywords Ethics of architecture  Politics of architecture  Aesthetics  Adorno
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    Martin Jay (1984). Adorno. Harvard University Press.
    Emmanuel Levinas (1981). Otherwise Than Being: Or, Beyond Essence. Distributors for the U.S. And Canada, Kluwer Boston.

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