Transversing Formalisms

  • Stavros Kousoulas Delft University of Technology
  • Jorge Mejía Hernández Delft University of Technology


In the editorial introduction of this issue of Footprint, the question of architectural form is approached from a population of minor perspectives. Inspired by Bateson’s metalogues, the authors wish to bring forward multiple questions on architectural form instead of a single generalizing one: from ‘what is form’ to ‘how, when, where and why is form’. In this respect, they examine the ways for a possible reconciliation between the genetic and the generic, between the discursive outlines of various formalisms, opting for an approach that is both syncretic and transversal. Committed to architectural form, they conclude by claiming that it stands for much more than simply a concept. Form, in its ambiguity and heterogeneity, stands for a shared problem, one that brings together disciplines, schools of thought and variant methodological practices, turning therefore the discursive constraints of the past in productive chances for the future.


Gregory Bateson, Steps to an Ecology of Mind, (Chicago: University of Chicago, 2000)

Adrian Forty, Words and Buildings: A Vocabulary of Modern Architecture, (New York: Thames and Hudson, 2000)

Hélène Frichot. “Daddy, Why Do Things Have Outlines? Constructing the Architectural Body.”in Arakawa & Gins, A Special Issue of Inflexions, n. 6., ed. J. Keane & T. Glazebrook, (January 2013)

Mario Gandelsonas, “Neo-Functionalism” in Oppositions, vol. 5, Summer 1976, (Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press, 1976)

K. Michael Hays (ed.), Oppositions Reader, (New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 1998)

Deborah Hauptmann and Andrej Radman, “Asignifying Semiotics as Proto-Theory of Singularity: Drawing is Not Writing and Architecture does Not Speak” in Asignifying Semiotics: or How to Paint Pink on Pink”, Footprint Delft Architecture Theory Journal, issue 14, vol. 8, n. 1, (Delft: Techne Press, 2014)

Sanford Kwinter, “Who’s Afraid of Formalism?” in Form Work: Colin Rowe, ed. C. Davidson, (New York: Anyone Corporation, 1994)

Carlos Marti Aris, Las Variaciones de la Identidad, (Barcelona: Ediciones del Serbal, 1993)

W.J. T. Mitchell, “The Commitment to Form; or, Still Crazy after All These Years” in PMLA, vol. 118, n. 2, (New York: MLA, March 2003)

Author Biographies

Stavros Kousoulas, Delft University of Technology

Drs. ir. Stavros Kousoulas studied Architecture at the National Technical University of Athens and at TU Delft. Since 2012, as a researcher and lecturer, he is involved in several academic activities at the Theory Section of the Faculty of Architecture of TU Delft. Currently, he is a PhD candidate at IUAV Venice participating in the Villard d’ Honnecourt International Research Doctorate. He has published and lectured in Europe and abroad. He is a member of the editorial board of Footprint since 2014.

Jorge Mejía Hernández, Delft University of Technology

Ir. Jorge Mejia Hernandez studied Architecture at the Universidad del Valle, in Cali (Colombia), and obtained graduate Masters’ degrees in the History and Theory of Architecture, and in Architecture, from the Universidad Nacional de Colombia. He has coordinated, designed, and built public buildings in Colombia, and has lectured and published books and articles in several countries. Since 2010 he has been researching and teaching under the Chairs of Public Buildings and Methods and Analysis at TU Delft; where he is currently a PhD candidate working on the topic of architectural methodology.

How to Cite
KOUSOULAS, Stavros; MEJÍA HERNÁNDEZ, Jorge. Transversing Formalisms. FOOTPRINT, [S.l.], p. 1-6, apr. 2018. ISSN 1875-1490. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 17 july 2018. doi: