Following Utzon's Footsteps in Hawai‘i: From the Shores of Oahu to the Bagsværd Church in Denmark

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Jørn Utzon (1918-2008) is internationally recognised as one of the most original, innovative and socially concerned of modern architects, perhaps the last great exponent of the humanistic Nordic tradition within modern architecture. Utzon was also an exemplar of an architect that never subscribed to, or indeed was ascribed, a particular theoretical position. Rather, he drew from a diverse range of influences, largely predicated upon personal experience, that informed his design methodology and by implication, his production. This is not a unique approach, many architects of significance have adopted a similar methodological position; Tadao Ando, Peter Zumthor and Louis Kahn are further examples. This makes the interrogation of these architects problematic, if driven by the tradition of theoretical analysis, predicated upon singular and distinct theoretical positions. This Paper argues that the adoption of Critical Non-Theory methodology, drawing upon paradigmatic frameworks of interrogation, facilitates the examination of design methods and production of architects such as Utzon, who subscribed to a wider range of influences than extant frames of theory capture. Drawn from the inclusive principles of Integral Theory developed by Ken Wilber and others, Critical Non-Theory facilitates the definition of particular influence and ethos and this Paper will focus upon Utzon’s paradigm as an exemplar of the utility of such a method of examination. The Paper will in addition posit the potential of Critical Non-Theory to interrogate methodology and praxis across cognate disciplines within the realm of cultural production.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Fourth International Utzon symposium: What would Utzon do now?
Place of PublicationAustralia
PublisherUniversity of Technology, Sydney (UTS)
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes
Event Fourth International Utzon Symposium: What Would Utzon do now? - Sydney Opera House, Sydney, Australia
Duration: 7 Mar 20149 Mar 2014 (Fourth international Utzon symposium)


Conference Fourth International Utzon Symposium
Internet address


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