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Albena Yaneva - Crafting History

Archiving and the Quest for Architectural Legacy

Albena Yaneva - Crafting History: Archiving and the Quest for Architectural Legacy
Crafting History: Archiving and the Quest for Architectural Legacy was released in 2020

The Architecture Research Seminar has the pleasure of hosting a presentation by professor Albena Yaneva on her 2020 book Crafting History: Archiving and the Quest for Architectural Legacy.

Time: Fri 2022-10-21 13.15 - 15.30

Location: KTH School of Architecture, 1th-floor room A108

Video link:

Language: English

Participating: Albena Yaneva

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Architecture Research Seminar Fall 2022
21 October 13:15-15:30
KTH School of Architecture

If you intend to attend the seminar, please send an e-mail to Ingrid Gallagher,

Abstract: What constitutes an archive in architecture? What epistemology does it perform? What kind of craft is archiving and how does it relate to design? The lecture addresses these questions and offers insights to the ontological granularity of architectural archiving based on ethnographic observation of the Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA) in Montreal, a leading archival institution, and interviews with a range of practitioners around the world and archivists working at Foundations and collecting institutions. Drawing on an Actor-Network Theory approach, I follow archiving in its mundane, down-to-earth and practical course. Every move of archiving is captured in its situated context of practice and connected to a specific archival way of knowing. Unravelling the multiple epistemic dimensions of archiving allows us to question some well-established myths of creativity and authorship in architecture. They all collapse spectacularly. From the incidental accounts of archives as sources, I shift the attention to archives as practice, from archive qua noun to archiving qua verb, from collections as sites of enduring historical evidence to collections as sites of epistemological reshuffle.

Short bio: Albena Yaneva is Professor of Architectural Theory and director of the Manchester Architecture Research Group (MARG) at the Manchester Urban Institute. She has been Visiting Professor at Princeton School of Architecture (2013), Parsons, New School (2015) and Politecnico di Turino (2018). She held the prestigious Lise Meitner Visiting Chair in Architecture at the University of Lund, Sweden (2017-2019). Her research is intrinsically transdisciplinary and crosses the boundaries of science studies, cognitive anthropology, architectural theory and political philosophy. She is the author of several books including Made by the OMA: An Ethnography of Design (010 Publishers 2009), Mapping Controversies in Architecture (Routledge 2012), Crafting History: Archiving and the Quest for Architectural Legacy (Cornell University Press 2020), The New Architecture of Science: Learning from Graphene (World Scientific Publishing 2020), co-authored with Nobel Laureate in Physics Sir Kostya S. Novoselov, Latour for Architects (Routledge 2022) and Architecture After Covid (Bloomsbury 2023). Yaneva is the recipient of the RIBA President’s award for outstanding university-based research.