Architecture from Below: An Anthology

By Sérgio Ferro

For the French-Brazilian architect, theorist and painter Sérgio Ferro, looking at architecture from below means putting the building site and building workers at the centre of architectural enquiry. Ferro strives for an approach ‘that enables one to see both head and feet at the same time – the magnanimous ideal and the muck down below’. The process of building rarely features in architectural history and theory. Ferro argues that this persistent dismissal of building labour is no mere oversight, but instead a structural necessity of capitalist development which serves to deny labour as the source of value, to make capital’s command appear mandatory, and to maintain the profession’s capacity to act ‘on’ and ‘over’ the building site. Written 1967–2019, these ten essays introduce Sérgio Ferro’s vital thinking by confronting architecture with critical theories ranging from Marx to contemporary authors, disclosing how capitalist relations of production have transformed architecture and its relations to artistic practices such as painting and sculpture.

London, 2024, 17 x 23 cm, 320pp. illustrated, Hardback.

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