‘Typology and Design Methods’ (1967), perhaps Colquhoun’s most famous text, is a meandering text, argues Dutch architect Michiel Riedijk in his contribution. Colquhoun is looking for the link between form and meaning in architecture, a theme that remains unaddressed today. This is precisely why Riedijk considers the text still relevant today. Riedijk reads the text against the background of the debate waged several years after the publication of ‘Typology and Design Methods’, in which two extremes were championed. On the one hand architecture was understood as a linguistic system, whereby perception was kept out of the picture, while on the other hand meaning was separated from form by linking it purely to decoration. German architect O.M. Ungers adopted an intermediate position, arguing that the link between form and meaning in architecture is layered and ambiguous. In the process, Riedijk argues, Ungers managed to circumvent the cultural dilemmas Colquhoun outlined in his text.
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