Technological Innovation in Architecture: The Role of the Aberrant Practitioner

Mclean, W. 2018. Technological Innovation in Architecture: The Role of the Aberrant Practitioner. PhD thesis University of Westminster Architecture

TitleTechnological Innovation in Architecture: The Role of the Aberrant Practitioner
TypePhD thesis
AuthorsMclean, W.

Technological innovation in architecture can often be attributed to the work or works of individual designers and their unique (tacit) working method. Through an analysis of my published work (articles, essays, edited, coauthored and authored books), I will present how the aberrant creative process which the economist Joseph Schumpeter described as the ‘innovating entrepreneur’ can enlarge the palette of technological possibilities for the architect and define a unique role within the construction industry. The published works survey and explore atypical and innovative technologies and working practices in relation to architecture. The ‘McLean’s Nuggets’ column presented a series of short articles, factual and outliers (provocations in some instances) and established an expansive view of the variety and potential of technology and its application in architecture as a socially beneficial design tool. The essays, papers and books develop these themes in more detail in specific regards to five practitioners of architecture, engineering and art. The thesis has been developed through a literature review and additional interviews with featured professionals to help establish a socio-technicalhistorical
context for the published works. The critical research commentary will draw together key themes of the work including innovative construction technologies and the relative acceptance and uptake of these technologies and how the architect designer through innovative or ‘aberrant’ modes of practice can better embrace these innovations in a sociotechnical understanding of architecture. This thesis features the work of five protagonists each working within the field of architecture and each of whom has innovated as much through their working method as through the work itself.


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