Fair Use: An Architectural Timeline

Fair Use 2.0
Institute for Contemporary Art, Maine College of Art
Portland, Maine

Fair Use: An Architectural Timeline

Fair Use is a timeline of historical instances, characters, trajectories, theories, and court cases that together begin to describe the realm of appropriation in architecture. It was compiled during the graduate research workshop at MIT, Appropriation: The Work of Architecture in the Age of Copyright, instructed by Ana Miljački and Sarah Hirschman.

Fair Use is a loophole in copyright law that safeguards culture from the monopoly of use. Fair Use makes parts of this exhibit possible, by literally authorizing the use of some of its material for scholarship, but Fair Use is also the polemic of this exhibit. Appropriation is as much part of the architectural unconscious as the expectation of novelty, therefore at the very core of architecture’s disciplinarity. Architecture advances via comment, criticism, parody, innovation, all squarely defined as Fair Uses.

Fair Use Moves are this exhibit’s particular offering, registering some of the contemporary architectural ideas in circulation. Identified through repetition and variation in at least three contemporary projects each, the Moves are abstractions made possible by Fair Use, now copyrightable, but given back to you for Fair Use.