Originally developed in linguistics, the structuralist approach has been introduced as a scientific method in anthropology and other human sciences since the 1950s.
In the 1960s and 1970s the double category of primary and secondary structure (langue and parole), essential to structuralism, in which the primary structure's system of rules determines how the secondary elements are placed in relation to one another, also advanced to a leading Ideology in the field of architecture and urban planning.
From its development in the Netherlands and within the Team 10 circle of architects, structuralism in architecture quickly spread world-wide.
Since the 1990s we have been witnessing a revival of structuralist tendencies in architecture.
Whereas the structuralism of the 1970s encountered limits in complexity that were insurmountable at the time, today there is much to suggest that the return to structural thinking is causally connected to information technology, which has opened up new possibilities for dealing with complexity.
In the field of digital architecture there is talk of neo-Structuralism.
The question arises as to whether primary and secondary structures of the 1960s should be understood today as being in a state of complex interactions with one another that could be described through algorithms.
The current interest in design methods based on rules makes the structuralist approach one of the most productive and comprehensive methods for the organisation, design, and production of the built environment.
At the same time, it provides the systemic and meta-theoretical background for all disciplines involved in the production of space.
This book is a collection of 47 articles by renowned authors including, among others, Roland Barthes, Koos Bosma, Joerg Gleiter, Herman Hertzberger, Arnulf Luchinger, Winy Maas, Sylvain Malfroy, Hasim Sarkis, Fabian Scheurer, and Georges Teyssot.
Through well-founded theoretical contributions, the book provides the first comprehensive representation of historical and contemporary digital structural thinking in architecture and urban planning.