In The Function of Form, internationally acclaimed architect, Farshid Moussavi, provides a provocative critique of the historically opposing relationship between function and form to reveal the contradiction at the heart of modernism. We need to move away from the definition of function as utility, she argues, to align it with how function is defined in mathematics, biology or music. Form, on the other hand, should be considered not only in the way buildings are produced, but also how they perform sensorially. Function and form, considered together in architecture, stand in opposition to the dualism which defined our approach to the built environment throughout the twentieth century. This book provides a thought-provoking account of the challenges facing the 21st century built environment, and an enlivened awareness of the wider possibilities of architectural form.
Farshid Moussavi is an architect and co-founder of Foreign Office Architects. Renowned as one of the world's most innovative architectural practices, FOA integrates architecture, urban design and landscape architecture in a wide range of international projects, including the Yokohama International Port Terminal in Japan and the John Lewis Department Store and Cineplex in Leicester, England. FOA's current architectural projects include the Museum of Contemporary Art, Cleveland in the United States. A prominent academic and architectural theorist, Moussavi has been a Professor in Practice in the Department of Architecture, Harvard University Graduate School of Design since 2005. She directed the research for her influential first book, The Function of Ornament, and her new book, The Function of Form, at Harvard. Moussavi is continuing this work as director of Function-Lab, a research laboratory she has founded to explore the changing relationship of architecture and material culture.