1699 Castle Howard (Vitruvius Britannicus)
1762 Does Piranesi's Frontispiece of Il Campo Marzio reenact Campbell's rendition of Castle Howard?
1930s-54 Stalinist Architecture
...I now see the rendering of Castle Howard in Vitruvius Britannicus as (what I believe to be) the true inspiration of Piranesi's architectural design sense especially as represented in his Il Campo Marzio (of which the Ichnographia is just a part). A comparison of the aerial view of Castle Howard (and of Blenheim) in Vitruvius Britannicus (1715-1725) with the aerial views within Il Campo Marzio (1762) are very similar, both in viewpoint and in the 'style' of architecture portrayed. I have yet to see any direct reference that Piranesi ever saw Vitruvius Britannicus, but Piranesi's close personal relationship with Robert Adam in Rome very much puts it (Piranesi's seeing the Vitruvius Britannicus) well within the realm of possibility. Plus, the Ichnographia is dedicated to Adam, which may well indicate a dedication to the "imagination" of British architecture overall. (I think I already related this overall idea at archinect and subsequently at quondam, but I want to thank you personally for setting my mind on this path to begin with.)
Part II - Doing What I Said I Would Do...
"I haven't really seen any design that would be an effective "critique" or a real agent of opposition against the prevailing power structures and a convincing piece of architecture at the same time."
I think that's because the "convincing piece of architecture" is indeed virtual. It is there, and it's not exactly ignored as much as it's mostly unacknowledged.
Yes the tree that falls in the forest does make a noise, and those that heard the noise usually pretend they didn't. And then there are those that heard the noise, would deny hearing the noise, but go on to try and make a better noise--a.k.a. the proverbial "anything you can do I can do better" pathology.
"Oh for God's sake, would you please quit with the reenactionary architecturism innuendos!!!"
"...but i was very happy she let me use very expensive wooden louvers all over the place." Is that like a synopsis of going to architecture school in the Land of Capitalist Pathology?
Ever notice how much Stalinist Architecture reenacts Piranesi's architecture within the four aerial perspective views within Il Campo Marzio dell'Antica Roma?
"And then there's the architect as designer, director and curator of a virtual museum of architecture."
"Is that like a theoretically pragmatic project or pragmatically theoretical project?"
"Ah, that all depends on which way the wind is blowing metaphorically and from where the water is trying to get in metaphysically."