Archiving and the Quest for Architectural Legacy
Expertise: Cultures and Technologies of Knowledge
Published by: Cornell University Press
252 pages, 152.00 x 229.00 mm, 20 b&w halftones
- ISBN: 9781501752155
- Published: November 2020
What constitutes an archive in architecture? What forms does it take? What epistemology does it perform? What kind of craft is archiving? Crafting History provides answers and offers insights on the ontological granularity of the archive and its relationship with architecture as a complex enterprise that starts and ends much beyond the act of building or the life of a creator.
In this book we learn how objects are processed and catalogued, how a classification scheme is produced, how models and drawings are preserved, and how born-digital material battles time and technology obsolescence. We follow the work of conservators, librarians, cataloguers, digital archivists, museum technicians, curators, and architects, and we capture archiving in its mundane and practical course.
Based on ethnographic observation at the Canadian Centre for Architecture and interviews with a range of practitioners, including Álvaro Siza and Peter Eisenman, Albena Yaneva traces archiving through the daily work and care of all its participants, scrutinizing their variable ontology, scale, and politics. Yaneva addresses the strategies practicing architects employ to envisage an archive-based future and tells a story about how architectural collections are crafted so as to form the epistemological basis of architectural history.
Introduction: The Secret Life of Architectural Objects
1. Archive Fevers
2. Architecture and the "Fever" of Archiving
3. A Morning in the Vaults
4. Opening the Crates
5. Politics of Care
6. The Plot of Archiving
7. The Life of an Old Floppy Disk
Conclusion: Collections as Sites of Epistemological Reshuffle
"It is a book you want to hold in your hands and keep in your collection after reading."~Arkitekturkultur
"Overall, this is a rich and detailed study which is clearly of value to students of architecture, architectural history, anthropology and archival science. There is also something here for the museum scholar: the book points to the epistemic nature of collecting and, through its granular study of the processes that act upon and form these collections, reveals the interventions and mediations of individuals in the shaping of knowledge. For those working in and researching all types of collecting and memory institutions there is much here that can inform and provide new insights into how such work forms the basis of learning, scholarship and research."~Museum and Society
"Crafting History is a meticulous and captivating study that makes a substantial methodological contribution and will resonate with students and scholars of architectural history and theory, institutions, the anthropology of knowledge, museum studies and related fields. Few scholars have studied with such proximity the tacit, practical systems of "minor" actors in architectural institutions."~Architectural Theory Review