Adhocism: The Case for Improvisation
Date: Thursday 24 October 2013
Venue: Lecture Hall
Adhocism is both a philosophy and a practice of improvisation in design – a bricolage of existing resources. As such it is a hybrid or mongrel affair, the essence of creativity, at the moment of eureka before the stylists and branders erase the evidence and produce the ‘seamless product’ – the aesthetic desire of digital design. Instead, adhocism presents complexity and the time city, the memory of the past just as it is being transformed into the future, a palimpsest of pluralism and cultural DNA.
Charles Jencks coined the adhoc conjunction in 1968 and co-authored, with Nathan Silver, the 1972 book Adhocism, which has now been updated and revised by MIT Press, with a new foreword and afterword by the authors. Jencks, who taught at the AA from 1965–95, is the author of several books on contemporary and postmodern architecture as well as landform design, some of which is collected in The Universe in the Landscape, 2011.
Image: Charles Jencks, The Garden of Cosmic Speculation, Dumfries, Scotland, 1989
All lectures are open to members of the public, staff and students unless otherwise stated.