The Societal Function of Architecture

Patrik Schumacher

The Design disciplines (including architecture) together constitute one of the great function systems of contemporary world society: the function system of Architecture/​Design.

Design is a self-referentially closed system of communications that co-evolves in mutual irritation and adaptation with the other great function systems like science, art, the mass media, the economy, politics, the legal system, the health system, and the education system. The concept of a functionally differentiated society poses the question of architecture/design’s societal function. The answer to this questions determines the definition of architecture’s core competency. On this basis a systematic appreciation and critique of architecture’s prevalent discursive structures, preoccupations and methods becomes possible.