Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Wicked IntelligenceVisual Art and the Science of Experiment in Restoration London$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Matthew C. Hunter

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780226017297

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226017327.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 17 September 2021

The Architecture of Science and the Science of Architecture

The Architecture of Science and the Science of Architecture

(p.188) Chapter Six The Architecture of Science and the Science of Architecture
Wicked Intelligence

Matthew C. Hunter

University of Chicago Press

This chapter explores how thinking about the “archietonical” powers necessary to experimental-philosophical cognition evolved in and as London’s built environment. I position the plans of Wren, Hooke, John Evelyn and others for rebuilding the City after the Great Fire of 1666 within a broader conversation about the capital’s peculiar intelligence—a discourse significantly contested by enterprising property developers like Dr. Nicholas Barbon. As I argue, Barbon looked upon London’s post-Fire built environment not as a boon to “wit”, but as a speculative market, a breeding ground for consumer desire. These conflicts between mind and heart, between civic governance and emergent consumer culture fell directly upon Surveyor General Christopher Wren who was charged with enforcing property laws and building codes. I argue that in the 1670s Wren came to understand architecture as a socially-distributed, vertically-integrated project commanded by a polymathic intelligence—an enterprise for counteracting social problems generated by excessive consumption. As the innovative fabrication and collaboratively-built form of St. Paul’s cathedral enable us to see that model put into practice, I suggest that they also reveal instructive clefts between Wren and Hooke whose conception of philosophical architecture remained in dynamic evolution as the walls of the cathedral rose.

Keywords:   Robert Hooke, Christopher Wren, Nicholas Barbon, architecture, studio practice, London, urban space, St. Paul's cathedral, archietonical power, wicked intelligence

Chicago Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.