The idea of orthodoxy is something of a perennial struggle in architecture. Coming from the Greek orthos meaning right or true, and doxa meaning belief or opinion, it has long been used in reference to conformance to religious creeds. A slightly expanded definition: of, pertaining to, or conforming to the approved form of any doctrine, philosophy, ideology, etc.[1] In the history of the modern movement and indeed going back further, there is a propensity to frame debate on architecture in terms of right belief, if one reads the various manifestos and statements.

From the outset architecture is a philosophical endeavor side-by-side with material concerns, thus the way we perceive and conceive of architecture is always the subject of appraisal and revision. The effect of solidifying ideas into an orthodox canon serves as a means to transmit and teach these ideas in a 'correct' form, but also serves to cut off further inquiry and frames other views as false. The debate over Modernism illustrates the pitfalls of orthodoxy, not only in Modernism itself but also in the new schools of thought that crystallized into new orthodoxies.

I think there is enough to chew here for an additional post... In the meantime, I'm sure I am missing some further details and hope to find them in the comments. Rule number one, if there is a book or article out there with relevance to the topic, I'd love to hear about it!

1. "orthodox." Dictionary.com Unabridged. Random House, Inc. 20 Oct. 2011. <Dictionary.com http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/orthodox>.

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