Redefining Architectural Scholarship through Visual Methodologies

Architectural humanities research has been undergoing a shift away from purely academic scholarship to incorporating artistic and practice-based work.  Following on from a tradition of practice-based research in fine arts, this shift is represented in the recent flurry of architectural publications and conferences that support not only text-centred expositions but also visually motivated and evidenced architectural research. Engaging creatively with modes and techniques of visual media – photography, filmmaking, drawing, diagramming, digital manipulation etc. – can allow engagement with wider audiences and diverse methodologies through inter-, transdisciplnary, multi-sensorial practices.

If much architectural knowledge resides in the projections and representations of the disciplinary practice of architecture (Evans, 1997), visually stimulated and practiced architectural scholarship has the capacity to re-orient, incorporate and invert
translations to and from ‘building’ to ‘drawing’, and therefore create new forms of knowledge. But what does it mean to work across or at the intersection of established humanities scholarship and creative practice through visual methodologies? What are the newly emerging visual artistic methods and practices of architectural translation that inform academic architectural scholarship? How does a prioritisation of the architect’s critical gaze or hand differ from the ethnographer’s or artist’s in creating new knowledge in architecture?

This session solicits original and rigorous work that probes the use and complexities of the visual as research material, process and output in architecture, and as part of a broader reflexive practice. Papers from scholars and practitioners might engage with emerging hybrid audio/visual practices, visual ethnography, visual technique, the visual essay, the visual over time, visualisation as artefact, and the dependency and interdependency of the visual with other methods.  Please email 300 word maximum abstracts including 3 images maximum – taken from photographs, films, storyboards etc. – to both session chairs. Include in your abstract links to any videos or films that you intend to screen with your presentation.

Session chairs: Dr Igea Troiani, Oxford Brookes University; itroiani[at]brookes.ac.uk ; and Suzanne Ewing, University of Edinburgh; suzanne.ewing[at]ed.ac.uk

Call for Papers