Nick Backer Arch 511 February 24, 2019 Power/Difference/Embodiment FischerFischer’s chapter embodies an analysis of architectural criticality through the lens of Rem Koolhaas and his theories on the practicality and ability to be critical in architecture. Fischer accomplishes this by analyzing differences in critical theory through historical contexts, divulging different theories of criticality such as Adorno’s Aesthetic Theory with a slant towards architectural theory in a capitalist system and through Marxist interpretation, and taking a look at the role of critical thought in criticism in which he argues we must move past and evolve our current methods of critical thought to be more constructive. This chapter made me think about criticality and while it does bring up some good points, I can’t help but feel that he is trying to pigeonhole criticism into various types and for specific purposes, a very bottom-up approach to being critical. Even the end of the chapter gives a recipe for “new critiques” that shun aesthetics and politics, however, what if the goal of the architecture is wholly political or based on looks? This whole theory could be made much more simple by stating that an architectural work should be critiqued against the goals and judgment criteria that were used to create the work. RendellJane Rendell provides an overview of debate around feminism and architecture from the 1970’s to the 1990’s. She explains central concerns raised by the question of gender in architecture through architectural texts that both align with feminist theory and those that are not clearly motivated by feminist issues. Rendell breaks the article into two parts: Tendencies, where she outlines how the emphasis in the past in regards to engagement with gender difference has changed in response to feminism, and Trajectories, where she discusses the current architectural environment in relation to current theorists interested in feminism and gender. This article led me down a rabbit hole concerning Derrida and his deconstructionist theory being mobilized by the feminist critique. I had never heard of Derrida before and the views he expresses about deconstructivism are very metaphysical and existential. His argument against structuralism in deconstructionism and that there are no actual meanings to words (works) themselves, only signs that point to other signs in relation to one another proposes an interesting aspect of design that can be translated from his literary theory to architectural theory. WeizmanWeizman takes an aim at dissident practices from the end of the Cold War to evaluate possibilities of contemporary architecture with an overview and evaluation in dissident architecture throughout history. The question of dissent in architecture must be raised against a completely different social, cultural, and political climate from the Cold War era and Weizman concludes by encouraging a mobilization of dissent in architecture to go beyond the current limits of its critical stand. One of the most ironic things in this article is the passage in which Weizman states that in the 2000’s the Russian government hired the best of Western Architects to help rebuild its image but lamented it “turbo capitalism” as being too vulgar to offer anything new. This pushed the local architects to step back and embrace the classical traditions pitched against ‘Anglo-Saxon capitalism’. The very people Russia brought in to transform the country did indeed succeed, just not in the way they hoped.