New Book: Architecture and Space Re-imagined

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Newly published in the Routledge Research in Place, Space and Politics – Architecture and Space Re-imagined: Learning from the difference, multiplicity, and otherness of development practice, Richard Brewer.

“As with so many facets of contemporary western life, architecture and space are often experienced and understood as a commodity or product. The premise of this book is to offer alternatives to the practices and values of such westernised space and Architecture (with a capital A), by exploring the participatory and grass-roots practices used in alternative development models in the Global South. This process re-contextualises the spaces, values, and relationships produced by such alternative methods of development and social agency. It asks whether such spatial practices provide concrete realisations of some key concepts of Western spatial theory, questioning whether we might challenge the space and architectures of capitalist development by learning from the places and practices of others.

Exploring these themes offers a critical examination of alternative development practices methods in the Global South, re-contextualising them as architectural engagements with socio-political space. The comparison of such interdisciplinary contexts and discourses reveals the political, social, and economic resonances inherent between these previously unconnected spatial protagonists. The interdependence of spatial issues of choice, value, and identity are revealed through a comparative study of the discourses of Henri Lefebvre, John Turner, Doreen Massey, and Nabeel Hamdi. These key protagonists offer a critical framework of discourses from which further connections to socio-spatial discourses and concepts are made, including post-marxist theory, orientalism, post-structural pluralism, development anthropology, post-colonial theory, hybridity, difference and subalterneity.

By looking to the spaces and practices of alternative development in the Global South this book offers a critical reflection upon the working practices of Westernised architecture and other spatial and political practices. In exploring the methodologies, implications and values of such participatory development practices this book ultimately seeks to articulate the positive potential and political of learning from the difference, multiplicity, and otherness of development practice in order to re-imagine architecture and space.”

Environmental & Architectural Phenomenology

I’m sure some people out there will already know of this – EAP, or the Environmental and Architectural Phenomenology Newsletter, edited by David Seamon. This is what it’s about: 

“Published three times a year, EAP is a forum and clearing house for research and design that incorporate a qualitative approach to environmental and architectural experience.

One key concern of EAP is design, education, and policy supporting and enhancing natural and built environments that are beautiful, alive, and humane. Realizing that a clear conceptual stance is integral to informed research and design, the editors emphasize phenomenological approaches but also cover other styles of qualitative research.”

New Book: ATLAS: Geography, Architecture and Change in an Interdependent World

A new book, an edited collected, has just been published by Black Dog Publishing – ATLAS: Geography, Architecture and Change in an Interdependent World. It’s edited by Renata Tyszczuk at Sheffield and three of my OU colleagues, Melissa Butcher, Nigel Clark and Joe Smith. This is part of a long-standing and on-going set of collaborations between OU Geography, Architecture at Sheffield, and the New Economics Foundation, as well as others. There is an associated web-site which archives further materials from these projects, and there is a launch event in London on March 13th, New Maps for an Island Planet.

The book is, apart from anything else, very lovely to look at (I have the least visually imaginative essay, all text, no pictures). Here’s the blurb:

Atlas: Geography, Architecture and Change in an Interdependent World helps readers find their way through the practical and ethical challenges presented by globalisation and global environmental change. Atlas: Geography, Architecture and Change in an Interdependent World combines recent thinking on human geography and architecture on global environmental change issues, setting out to develop a reinterpretation of cartography and a reframing of sustainability. The aim is to find a “re-drawing of the earth” and the “making of new maps”. With a focus on the growth and remaking of cities it offers an innovative mix of essays and shorter texts, original artworks and distinctive re-mappings. The Atlas arises out of a unique collaboration between scholars and practitioners from architecture and human geography.