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The right to architecture : Geert Bekaert (1928-2016), a critic from Belgium

(2020) JOURNAL OF ARCHITECTURE. 25(4). p.444-471
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Abstract
Geert Bekaert, who died in 2016 at the age of eighty-eight, published more than 1200 essays, reviews, newspaper articles, editorials, opinion pieces, anthologies, monographs, and television scripts. This article presents the production and method of this architectural writer from Belgium to an international audience. It offers a chronological overview of the choices Bekaert made as a critic. Rather than once and for all judging his as of yet unexamined contribution to architectural discourse, the aim of this text is to hermeneutically summarise his theoretical and historical position towards more canonical developments, and to highlight it as a possible subject for further critical research. Bekaert, as a professor and public intellectual who wrote in Dutch, constantly combined theory, criticism, and history. He belongs to a generation of twentieth-century generalists who were active before the fragmentation of architectural discourse. Instead of serving as an 'operative critic' by advocating one style, Bekaert challenged doxas, among others, by defending the work of specific architects against pessimist or naive critics. He reacted against what was going on architecturally, discriminated between what he considered to be commendable or reprehensible positions, and connected oeuvres or buildings with contemporary theoretical problems, such as religion, housing, society, history, city, and culture. Virtually unknown in the English-speaking world, his writings can be interpreted as an idiosyncratic anthology of postwar western architecture culture. But they also serve as a defence of the public and intellectual conversation about the possibilities of architecture within modern society.

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MLA
Van Gerrewey, Christophe. “The Right to Architecture : Geert Bekaert (1928-2016), a Critic from Belgium.” JOURNAL OF ARCHITECTURE, vol. 25, no. 4, 2020, pp. 444–71, doi:10.1080/13602365.2020.1767175.
APA
Van Gerrewey, C. (2020). The right to architecture : Geert Bekaert (1928-2016), a critic from Belgium. JOURNAL OF ARCHITECTURE, 25(4), 444–471. https://doi.org/10.1080/13602365.2020.1767175
Chicago author-date
Van Gerrewey, Christophe. 2020. “The Right to Architecture : Geert Bekaert (1928-2016), a Critic from Belgium.” JOURNAL OF ARCHITECTURE 25 (4): 444–71. https://doi.org/10.1080/13602365.2020.1767175.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Van Gerrewey, Christophe. 2020. “The Right to Architecture : Geert Bekaert (1928-2016), a Critic from Belgium.” JOURNAL OF ARCHITECTURE 25 (4): 444–471. doi:10.1080/13602365.2020.1767175.
Vancouver
1.
Van Gerrewey C. The right to architecture : Geert Bekaert (1928-2016), a critic from Belgium. JOURNAL OF ARCHITECTURE. 2020;25(4):444–71.
IEEE
[1]
C. Van Gerrewey, “The right to architecture : Geert Bekaert (1928-2016), a critic from Belgium,” JOURNAL OF ARCHITECTURE, vol. 25, no. 4, pp. 444–471, 2020.
@article{8670499,
  abstract     = {{Geert Bekaert, who died in 2016 at the age of eighty-eight, published more than 1200 essays, reviews, newspaper articles, editorials, opinion pieces, anthologies, monographs, and television scripts. This article presents the production and method of this architectural writer from Belgium to an international audience. It offers a chronological overview of the choices Bekaert made as a critic. Rather than once and for all judging his as of yet unexamined contribution to architectural discourse, the aim of this text is to hermeneutically summarise his theoretical and historical position towards more canonical developments, and to highlight it as a possible subject for further critical research. Bekaert, as a professor and public intellectual who wrote in Dutch, constantly combined theory, criticism, and history. He belongs to a generation of twentieth-century generalists who were active before the fragmentation of architectural discourse. Instead of serving as an 'operative critic' by advocating one style, Bekaert challenged doxas, among others, by defending the work of specific architects against pessimist or naive critics. He reacted against what was going on architecturally, discriminated between what he considered to be commendable or reprehensible positions, and connected oeuvres or buildings with contemporary theoretical problems, such as religion, housing, society, history, city, and culture. Virtually unknown in the English-speaking world, his writings can be interpreted as an idiosyncratic anthology of postwar western architecture culture. But they also serve as a defence of the public and intellectual conversation about the possibilities of architecture within modern society.}},
  author       = {{Van Gerrewey, Christophe}},
  issn         = {{1360-2365}},
  journal      = {{JOURNAL OF ARCHITECTURE}},
  language     = {{eng}},
  number       = {{4}},
  pages        = {{444--471}},
  title        = {{The right to architecture : Geert Bekaert (1928-2016), a critic from Belgium}},
  url          = {{http://doi.org/10.1080/13602365.2020.1767175}},
  volume       = {{25}},
  year         = {{2020}},
}

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