The Reproduction of Architecture: A Cognitive Map to Traverse the Discipline

PhD Thesis

De Lima Amaral, C. 2017. The Reproduction of Architecture: A Cognitive Map to Traverse the Discipline. PhD Thesis University of East London ACE
AuthorsDe Lima Amaral, C.
TypePhD Thesis

This thesis aims to develop a cognitive map of architectural reproduction to better understand it as both a medium for and the end result of disciplinary practices. To this end, the production of architectural space is understood as a form of mediation in which social relations are reproduced. This analysis is undertaken in an original manner – departing from live experiments in design workshops; using tools of Marxist cultural theory, the sociology of art, and accounts of the production of subjectivity; and focusing on the contradiction between
‘discipline’ and ‘dialectic’. The aim is to investigate possible routes for counter-hegemonic architectural practices that confront ideology and engage in politics. This cognitive map thus aims to clarify – in order to question – the traditional myths of the field and the notion of the individual architectural genius as an independent agent. To call these myths into question, we present an alternative to the narrative of the individual architect as the engine of architectural history – namely, transindividuality – and conceptualise architecture as the production of ‘things’ – understanding such objects as reifications of social relations. Restoring architecture’s dialectical relationship with the social mode of spatial production, the idea of a ‘reproduction of architecture’ reveals its triple meaning: society reproduces the discipline; the discipline reproduces society; and architecture reproduces itself by reproducing subjectivities. For this reason, architecture will be investigated in terms of its processes of estrangement and the resulting reproduction. Estrangement will be investigated in terms of its deadlocks, its discipline, and its conception of the subject. Reproduction will be investigated in terms of its reification (production of things), its fetish (the technique of hiding artifices), and its phantasies (narratives that justify desire). The result is a cognitive map that is conceived as a tool for traversing the myths that reproduce architecture – in the sense that it provides aesthetic perceptions of these phenomena and enables self-reflexivity for collective subjects.

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Deposited09 Jan 2018
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