Critical Essay by Knoblauch Published in The Avery Review - April 2017 Issue
The Environment Bubble, photomontage drawing by François Dallegret for Reyner Banham’s “A Home Is Not a House,” 1965. © Collection FRAC Centre, Orléans. Photographed by François Lauginie.
Assistant professor Joy Knoblauch’s essay “Toward a Critical Ergonomics: Beatriz Colomina and Mark Wigley’s Are We Human?” is published in Issue 23 (April, 2017) of The Avery Review: Critical Essays on Architecture.
In her essay, Knoblauch critically examines curators Beatriz Colomina and Mark Wigley’s companion book volume to their 2016 Istanbul Design Biennial, titled Are We Human?: Notes on an Archaeology of Design. Through analysis of the history of design, ergonomics, social science, and medical science, Knoblauch questions the purpose of design and its relationship with humans.
Knoblauch starts by stating that “Buckminster Fuller’s ambition to reform the environment instead of the man contains a fundamentally false assumption about the interrelationship of humans and their environment. Fuller wanted to use design to allow for human freedom, avoiding social engineering by creating spaces that serve an occupant’s natural needs. But how could these humans remain unaltered at the center of a new architecture? Even an environment as deliberately innocuous as Reyner Banham’s 1965 “Home Is Not a House” would affect the naked Banham clones within.”
For the full article: http://averyreview.com/issues/23/toward-a-critical-ergonomics