The essays collected in Michela Rosso's edited volume Laughing at Architecture chart diverse historical trajectories of architectural satire and humor from 1750 to the present. In this field, there is no dearth of material, even if the nexus between the built environment and the rhetorical strategies of the comic remains largely unexplored. Mobilizing an impressive array of instances of visual and verbal invention, these essays show how the architectonic and the humorous intersect in unexpected and often explosive ways, exposing ideological fault lines and critical subtexts that are not always obvious at first glance.

Drawing on recent historiographical developments that have moved the focus of scholarly attention away from buildings, their architects, and their clients and toward a general public of readers, Rosso adopts an approach that produces new insights into shifting patterns of reception and changing ideological pressures. In conditioning the collective perception of architecture, both methods can help...

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