Commentary and Reflection on Contemporary Graphic Architecture through Kant's Aesthetic Critique Theory

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Yuanben Gao


Since the beginning of the 21st century, a wave of innovative graphic architecture has emerged. However, these architectural works seem to have failed to inherit the profound aesthetics and sense of beauty associated with classical graphic architecture from history. Instead, they often exhibit superficial and exaggerated qualities, sparking widespread debate and criticism. This paper aims to integrate Immanuel Kant's aesthetic critique perspective, as presented in his work "Critique of Judgment," into the discourse on contemporary graphic architecture. By incorporating Kant's analyses and arguments regarding "agreeable," "beauty," and the "sublime" into discussions of contemporary architectural aesthetics, we seek to analyze and compare the similarities and differences between these new graphic architectural works and their classical predecessors. Ultimately, we arrive at the conclusion that these contemporary graphic architectural works, which often appear superficial and clichéd, are not deserving of admiration. At the same time, we propose recommendations for the design of future graphic architecture based on these insights.

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