Function follows image: a revisionist account of functionalist architecture in light of recent history
The earliest known photograph, taken by Joseph Nicéphore Niépce around 1826, depicts a view from the window of the photographer's estate. Since then, photography's relationship to architecture has remained more-or-less the same. Recently, though, images have become more than documentation. In the work of certain architects, photographs substitute for drawing and other processes in the production of a building. But is this shift from after-the-fact representation to working medium really so new? A look back at functionalism in the first half of the last century suggests an alternative history for images and photography within architecture.
Sarah Blankenbaker is a clinical assistant professor of architecture at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). Her current research examines historical, visual, and disciplinary connections between photography and architecture. While at UIC, Sarah was the 2015-16 Douglas A. Garofalo fellow. Prior to joining the faculty, she worked for Terreform in New York and Zago Architecture in Los Angeles. She holds a M.Arch from the Southern California Institute of Architecture and a BA in mathematics and visual art from the University of Chicago.