Architectural Enthusiasm at my house

And as if I didn’t have enough data to last me a good few years, I’m working on a great project with Hannah Neate and Ruth Craggs on architectural enthusiasm. We started work about 7 months ago and we are currently progressing towards our first publication. We have regular Skype meetings, but the opportunity arose last week to meet in person for a two day – write-a-thon. Our work has always set out to combine interests in enthusiasm (as an emotional affiliation to a particular interest, cause, activity) and geographies of architecture (see here work by Jacobs and Merriman, Lees and Baxter). However, working with The Twentieth Century Society and their volunteer walking tour guides, it soon became clear we have stumbled upon a culture of urban exploration which has much in common with the much discussed ‘urban exploration’ – in particular I draw your attention to the recent coverage of the explorer who climbed The Shard: http://www.placehacking.co.uk/2012/04/07/climbing-shard-glass/

There has been plenty of lively discussion within the pages of geography journals and blogs around the notion of ‘urban exploration’ and so it is with this in mind that the three of us set about scoping out our first paper. What we are keen to develop are the ‘modest registers’ of exploration advocated by Luke Bennett (see his blog here http://lukebennett13.wordpress.com/2012/02/22/defensive-enthusiasm-anoraks-bunkers-and-the-erotics-of-knowledge/) and the exhilaration and excitement expressed by Bradley Garrett (see also http://www.placehacking.co.uk). It is perhaps through this notion of ‘architectural enthusiasm’ and its links to emotion that we might begin to do this. As Yi-Fu Tuan has stated: “Without architecture, feelings about space must remain diffuse and fleeting. … Architecture continues to exert a direct impact on the senses and feeling” (1977). It is in this spirit that we hope to tease out some of those complex emotional entanglements with buildings in order to reveal the wider registers and cultures of urban exploration. For example, my uncle-in-law spends many happy days exploring the hidden aspects of London’s history, but whether he would climb The Shard, well, I think I’ll have to ask him…

Okay, it wasn’t all writing – we made time for a delicious Thai dinner and a glass of wine.

4 thoughts on “Architectural Enthusiasm at my house

  1. Pingback: Brutal Behaviour | Conserving the Twentieth Century

  2. Pingback: Recommendations for RGS_IBG #acwri 2012, Day THREE « The Culture of Enthusiasm

  3. Pingback: Architectural Enthusiasm: researching, writing and event planning in relation to 20th century architecture | The Culture of Enthusiasm

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