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Architectural History, journal of the Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain (SAHGB), just published a special collection on ‘Architecture and Bureaucracy’.

Guest editors are Ricardo Costa Agarez (Iscte – University Institute of Lisbon), Fredie Floré (KU Leuven) and Rika Devos (Université Libre de Bruxelles).

With contributions of Jens Van de Maele, Christopher Metz, Bilge İmamoğlu, Davide Spina, Stephanie Herold, and Erik Sigge.




Abstract: “Architecture and bureaucracy: indissociable and irreconcilable? The two spheres are often seen in opposition — the latter curtailing the former’s creative power — yet might they not also overlap, partake and occasionally coincide in their processes? Dismissing the role of bureaucracy in architecture as extraneous or detrimental seems to hinder our capacity, as thinkers and producers of architecture, to work through this relationship and explore ways of dealing with a pervasive tool of contemporary societal organisation; whereas understanding the fraught relationship might help us bridge the gap that, in many contexts, separates architecture and the communities it exists to serve. This special collection explores how architecture and bureaucracy have negotiated their stances in the twentieth century. In particular, it aims to shed light on instances where knowledge of architecture was an element in, and a product of, the machinery of bureaucracy.”