From Architectural History

Abstract: I started out as an architectural designer and came later to architectural history. From there I moved into teaching art and writing art criticism. More recently I have returned to architecture, and to history, but my journey through art changed me and the way I write architectural history. This paper tracks the transformation in my own architectural history writing as a microcosm of a larger shift, a change in the role of critical theory in practicing architectural history. My paper locates architectural history in an interdisciplinary context, between history, theory and practice, and argues that architectural history can no longer only be understood as a form of research that locates the researcher as a disinterested observer. Rather, drawing on the work of post-structuralist feminist theory, I demonstrate how architectural history is a spatialised practice, a mode of writing, which constructs, and is constructed by, the changing position of the author. This is not so much a paper then, as an outline of an approach, my changing approach to the practice of architectural history.

Publication Details: ‘From Architectural History to Spatial Writing’, in Elvan Altan Ergut, Dana Arnold, Belgin Turan Ozkaya, (eds.), Rethinking Architectural Historiography, (London: Routledge, forthcoming 2006).

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