Despite the term’s bad reputation in architecture, formalism, at least in its specific conception, refers to a respectable “body of thought” that has also been influential on architecture. The referred “body of thought” can be coined as “Epistemological” Formalism that is tied to two related but distinct formalist traditions: German Formalism that was flourished about the late 19th century and Russian Formalism persisted between 1915 and 1930. The present study reviews some of the essential ideas of so-called “Epistemological” Formalism in their roots in German Formalism, and Russian Formalism, and searches for and follows the traces of these ideas in architecture, aiming to shed light onto formalism’s influence, and the nature of that influence on architecture.
Keywords: Formalist epistemology, (architectural) formalism, Russian Formalism, German Formalist Tradition
Download Full Text (PDF)