Time for Architecture: On Modernity, Memory and Time in Architecture and Urban Design

Time for Architecture: On Modernity, Memory and Time in Architecture and Urban Design

Written by Professor Robert Adam
Published by Cambridge Scholars Publishing
Publication date 16th March 2020

Available now from Cambridge Scholars Publishing – Discount code TIME20

Using time as a unifying theme, Robert Adam critically analyses many of the key concepts in modern architecture and urban design such as modernity, innovation, timelessness and sustainability. Drawing on the statements of contemporary architects and with reference to a wide range of sources from history, philosophy, sociology and anthropology, as well as a studies in diverse subjects such as science fiction, colonialism and archaeology, he puts a new perspective on much of the thinking behind contemporary design.  In addition, Adam develops original and practical theories on the meanings of modernity, the variable ageing of the environment, the central role of longevity in sustainability, the significance of authenticity in conservation, and the relationship between collective memory and tradition.

Click here to read the Foreword
Click here to read the Contents


Witold Rybczynski, Professor Emeritus of Urbanism at the University of Pennsylvania.
“The constant presence of time is a thread that unifies all things and all actions,” writes Robert Adam. Buildings last a long time — which distinguishes them in our throwaway society — and architecture is at the heart of this wide-ranging study of time, memory, tradition, and much else besides. Both modernists and traditionalists will benefit from this thoughtful and engaging book.” Author of How Architecture Works: A Humanist’s Toolkit (2013), former architecture critic for Slate.

Ellis Woodman, Director of the Architecture Foundation
“This is a book about the ways in which our shared situation in time informs how buildings and people relate to each other. It is a fundamental yet under-explored topic which Robert Adam navigates with authority, drawing not only on his profound knowledge of the history of architecture but on sources from the fields of philosophy and physics. While the author is renowned as an architect working in the classical tradition, his lucidly stated argument transcends questions of style, illuminating the ways in which all architecture operates on the human consciousness.”

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