Kari Juhani Jormakka (Helsinki, 21 January 1959 – 13 January 2013, Vienna) was a Finnish architect, historian, critic and pedagogue. He initially studied philosophy at the University of Helsinki before switching to studying architecture at Helsinki University of Technology, graduating in 1985. He completed a PhD in architecture theory, with a thesis titled "Constructing Architecture", at Tampere University of Technology in 1992. His main theoretical position is characterized by studies in the ontology of architecture, defining the constructed nature of buildings as works of interpretation. As such a work may then be significantly determined by the period when it was created, a position that Jormakka critiqued through theories of Zeitgeist primarily associated with Friedrich Hegel and, in regard to modernist works, Arthur C. Danto. In "Eyes that do not see" (2011), the last published work during his lifetime, Jormakka applied these ideas to the theory of Functionalism best associated with the thinking of architect Le Corbusier and his fellow functionalists. At the time of his death Jormakka was Professor of Architecture Theory at Vienna University of Technology, Vienna, Austria. Previously he taught at the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, University of Illinois at Chicago, and Ohio State University, and was a visiting professor at Harvard University.
Select list of publications
- Eyes that do not see. Perspectives on Functionalist Architectural Theory, Averso, Bauhaus Universität Weimar, Weimar, 2011.
- Building-Designing-Thinking, Aalto Foundation, Helsinki, 2008.
- Design Methods, Birkhauser, 2007.
- Architekturtheorie und Dergleichen, Edition Selene, Vienna, 2007.
- The Art of the City, Datutop 27, Tampere University of Technology, Tampere, 2006.
- Kunst Des Stadtebaus: Neue Perspektiven Auf Camillo Sitte, Bohlau, 2005.
- Geschichte der Architekturtheorie, Edition Selene, Vienna, 2003.
- Flying Dutchmen: Motion in Architecture, Birkhauser, 2002.
- Architektur Und Geschlecht, Edition Selene, 2002.
- The Use and Abuse of Paper: Essays on Alvar Aalto, Datutop 20, 1999.
- On Architectural Representations, Datutop 18, 1996
- Constructing Architecture: Notes on Theory and Criticism in Architecture and the Arts, Datutop 15, Tampere University of Technology, Tampere, 1991
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