Undoing Architecture

‘Undoing Architecture’ is a complete reworking of a text I first wrote in 1998 on how architecture can be made by those other than architects. I re-wrote this essay for a conference organised by Doina Petrescu in Paris in June 1999 entitled ‘Feminine Practices of Space’. This is a key essay for me in number of ways. It is the first piece of writing where I draw directly upon my own experience of space and lay this down next to academic theory and more rational considerations of architecture. My recent rewriting of this essay develops a changing narrative relationship between three voices. First is the voice of conventional architectural theory with its rules and hierarchies. Second is the voice of French feminist theory that posits critical thinking as creative practice – that ideas have their own aesthetic and spatial language. Third is a personal account of a house once lived in, whose occupants undid architecture through their unruly inhabitation of domestic space.

This is a new version of an essay first published as ‘Doing it, (Un)Doing it, (Over)Doing it Yourself: Rhetorics of Architectural Abuse’, Jonathan Hill (ed.), Occupying Architecture, (London: Routledge, 1998) and republished as ‘(Un)doing it Yourself: Rhetorics of Architectural Abuse’, Journal of Architecture, (Spring, 1999).

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Other Chapters
A life of its own
A Way with Words: Feminists Writing Architectural Design Research
Activating Home and Work
An Embellishment – Purdah
Architectural History in Critical Practice
Configuring Critique
Constellation, Insertion, Act? approaching Frontier – The Line of Style through critical spatial practice
Constellations (or the reassertion of time into critical spatial practice)
Critical Spatial Practices – A Feminist Sketch of some Modes and what Matters
Curating, Editing, Writing – Critical Spatial Practice
Cut on the Bias: Relating Art and Architecture through Interdisciplinarity and Transdisciplinarity
During Breakfast
Feminist Architectural Figurations
Figures of Speech: before and after Writing
Foreword: Critical Spatial Practice: Introductions and Adjustments and Postscript: From Critical to Ethical Spatial Practice
From Architectural History
From Austin Texas…
Fuggles Writes (An Autumn Draft)
How to take place (but only for so long)
May Mo(u)rn – A Site-Writing
Seven Studies for ‘A Holding’, 23 March–31 May 2020
Silver: A Courtroom Drama
Space, Place, Site – Critical Spatial Practice
Spatial Imagination
Surface Encounters: On being Centred, Decentred and Recentred by the works of Do-Ho Suh
Tendencies and Trajectories – Feminist Approaches in Architecture
The Architecture of Psychoanalysis – Constructions and Associations
The Place of Prepositions
The Research of Place/The Place of Research
The Setting and the Social Condensor – Transitional Spaces of Architecture and Psychoanalysis
The Siting of Writing and the Writing of Sites
The Transitional Space of Interdisciplinarity
The Transitional Space of the Social Condensor
Thresholds, Passages, Surfaces
To and Fro/Tours and Detours: Writing between Sites and non-Sites
Trafalgar Square – Détournements (A Site-Writing)
Traveling the Distance
Undoing Architecture
When site-writing becomes site-reading or how space matters through time
Where the thinking stops…
Working (Through) the Field
Writing in the place of speaking
X Marks the Spot that Will Have Been
You tell me