Abstract Title

Comparison of Theoretical Ideas between Richard Neutra and Immanuel Kant

Abstract

While the philosophy of Immanuel Kant is not usually analyzed in conjunction with the theory of architecture, there is a strong possibility Richard Neutra was consciously aware of Kant’s philosophy and might have utilized Kant’s ideas in his architectural design. This thesis reveals that the ideas of Richard Neutra can be considered practical applications of Kantian ideas.

The application and understanding of philosophy in the context of architecture is very fascinating. By analyzing Richard Neutra in the context of Immanuel Kant, this opens up an instance of what true architectural philosophy could look like.

This thesis examines primary sources by Immanuel Kant and Richard Neutra. Secondary sources from authors such as David Leatherbarrow, Dietrich Neumann, and Tomas Hines are taken into consideration when interpreting historical events, built projects, and various theoretical ideas by Neutra. Other writings about Immanuel Kant and architecture are briefly mentioned as well. Looking at these secondary sources affirm the relevance and originality of this topic. In addition sources, primary and secondary, concerning Neutra’s connections with other figures such as Adolf Loos are taken into consideration to look for alternative ways in which Neutra could have been exposed to Kant.

In this thesis a historical connection between Neutra and Kant is established and an even stronger connection between their ideas is explored. The thesis systematically covers the main topics of sensation, perception, and judgment revealing many intricate ways in which Neutra agrees with and uses Kantian ideas.

Modified Abstract

This thesis looks for connections between the architect Richard Neutra and the philosopher Immanuel Kant. Historical connections are first explored, as laid out by architectural historians as well as in admissions in Neutra's autobiography, Life and Shape. The architectural theory of Neutra is then compared in detail against the philosophy of Kant. Finally third party historical figures are taken into consideration in the context of Neutra’s life and the possibility of secondary Kantian influence.

The comparison of ideas is broken into three sections beginning with sensation, followed by perception, and concluded with judgment. This thesis reveals a rich unexplored potential source of influence for Richard Neutra and finds instances in which Neutra not only states Kantian ideas, but actually uses these principles in design.

Research Category

Architecture

Primary Author's Major

Architecture

Mentor #1 Information

Dr. Brett Tippey

Presentation Format

Oral

Start Date

March 2016

Research Area

Architectural History and Criticism | Comparative Philosophy

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Mar 15th, 1:00 PM

Comparison of Theoretical Ideas between Richard Neutra and Immanuel Kant

While the philosophy of Immanuel Kant is not usually analyzed in conjunction with the theory of architecture, there is a strong possibility Richard Neutra was consciously aware of Kant’s philosophy and might have utilized Kant’s ideas in his architectural design. This thesis reveals that the ideas of Richard Neutra can be considered practical applications of Kantian ideas.

The application and understanding of philosophy in the context of architecture is very fascinating. By analyzing Richard Neutra in the context of Immanuel Kant, this opens up an instance of what true architectural philosophy could look like.

This thesis examines primary sources by Immanuel Kant and Richard Neutra. Secondary sources from authors such as David Leatherbarrow, Dietrich Neumann, and Tomas Hines are taken into consideration when interpreting historical events, built projects, and various theoretical ideas by Neutra. Other writings about Immanuel Kant and architecture are briefly mentioned as well. Looking at these secondary sources affirm the relevance and originality of this topic. In addition sources, primary and secondary, concerning Neutra’s connections with other figures such as Adolf Loos are taken into consideration to look for alternative ways in which Neutra could have been exposed to Kant.

In this thesis a historical connection between Neutra and Kant is established and an even stronger connection between their ideas is explored. The thesis systematically covers the main topics of sensation, perception, and judgment revealing many intricate ways in which Neutra agrees with and uses Kantian ideas.