Grey Room

Anthony Vidler and the Occasional Writing of Architectural Theory

Lucia Allais

Anthony Vidler, first page of typescript of “The Third Typology,” 1977. Courtesy of Emily Apter.


In an interview from 2012, excerpted in this issue of Grey Room, Vidler reveals with unusual candor that his approach was occasional, even “accidental.” Reading this interview through a media-theoretical lens, we can see Vidler describing architecture’s moment of critical theory as defined by orality. What he narrates is not the content but the event of interpretation: for instance, the pub joke, and the lecture, through which British modernism was declared “not beautiful but brutal.” This interview lets us in on how late-twentieth-century discursive circles reproduced architecture differently than their predecessors.