M. Fil Hearn

Fil Hearn is Professor of History of Art and Architecture and Director of Architectural Studies at the University of Pittsburgh.

  • Ideas That Shaped Buildings

    Ideas That Shaped Buildings

    M. Fil Hearn

    Identifying the operative ideas in architectural theory from ancient Rome to the present and codifying them into coherent theoretical systems; for students, practitioners, and the general reader.

    In Ideas That Shaped Buildings, Fil Hearn identifies and codifies into theoretical systems the operative tenets of architectural theory from ancient Rome to the present. With this strikingly original synthesis of architectural history and theory, he constructs an intellectual armature on which virtually any architectural concept, past or present, can be positioned. Dealing mainly with the treatises that have been highly influential historically, he organizes their concepts thematically and analyzes their development through time. Straightforward and concise, Ideas That Shaped Buildings is readily accessible to architecture students, practicing architects, and the general public—indeed anyone interested in understanding the design rationale of buildings. Its overarching message is that, far from being constricting, proper knowledge and application of architectural theory is enabling and inspiring, and makes creative freedom possible by providing the conceptual awareness needed to devise a design.

    After an introductory history of the development of architectural theory, the text is divided into four parts. The first deals with issues relevant to all theories of architecture. The second, treating theory from antiquity to 1800, focuses on the prescriptive conventions inherent in the classical tradition. The third, treating theory after 1800, focuses on the inspirational principles prompted by rationalist perceptions of the Gothic tradition. The fourth, treating theory since 1965, deals with rationales beyond rationalism and the influence of computers on design method and design formulation. The concepts discussed are illustrated with theoretical drawings and images of actual buildings.

    • Paperback $19.95
  • The Architectural Theory of Viollet-le-Duc

    The Architectural Theory of Viollet-le-Duc

    Readings and Commentary

    M. Fil Hearn and Eugène-Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc

    Among architects and preservationists, the writings of Viollet-le-Duc (1814-1879) have long been considered major resources. They inspired a generation of American architects, including Frank Furness, John Wellborn Root, Louis Sullivan, and Frank Lloyd Wright. In 1894, the critic Montgomery Schuyler observed that Viollet-le-Duc's books "have had the strongest influence on this generation of readers." But for the past century, all but one of his works have been out of print in English. These readings carefully selected from the entire range of Viollet-le-Duc's work make available the historical insights and practical principles of one of the most imaginative, and inspiring architectural theorists of the modern era. M.F. Hearn has culled from Viollet-le-Duc's books on architecture the passages in which his major ideas about the theory of architecture are most cogently expressed.Hearn has arranged and interplated the readings in a sequence of topics covering Viollet-le-Duc's views on the architecture of the past, his convictions about the education of architects, his philosophy of method, principles of design, and his guidelines for restoration. The selections are introduced by a biographical essay connected by interpretive commentaries, and followed by a biographical note.

    • Hardcover $32.00
    • Paperback $40.00