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Adventures at the Edge of Hyper-Reality

Part 2 Dissertation 2003
David Lomax
University of Liverpool Liverpool UK
Adventures at the Edge of Hyper-reality is an account of the place of architecture within the new context of the media and consumer driven world. It begins to look at how architecture must redefine its role in order to remain relevant within this context. A particular aim of the dissertation is to read Jean Baudrillards theories on an advanced capitalist/consumerist economy from an architects point of view to glean appropriate tactics for this redefinition.

Thus the dissertation first considers the architectural relevance of Baudrillards writings, most particularly 'The System Of Objects', before moving onto current architectural production, both in terms of buildings and publication. There is also a certain amount of anecdotal evidence of the 'new context'.

The examiner noted that the essay did not 'come to pat conclusions'. This was very much the intention, as 'Adventures' is intended mostly as an observation and critique, not a prescription or manifesto.

David Lomax

Adventures at the Edge of Hyper Reality provides a challenging and provocative re-reading of Jean Baudrillard’s System of Objects in the context of the production of contemporary architecture.

The dissertation investigates Baudrillard’s theory of the marginal object and establishes its relevance for both the production of buildings and paper architecture.

The work of media stars Rem Koolhaas and Herzog & De Meuron is assessed with reference to Baudrillard’s ideas. This illustrates the experiences of and the methods used by architects operating in an image and consumer driven society.

The dissertation reveals a number of mechanisms that are, it is proposed, of great importance for architects to understand in order to be able to produce meaningful work at the beginning of the 21st Century.

This is a mature and thoughtful piece of writing, which makes good use of its sources and references within a well-controlled structure to build a lively and convincing argument.

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