Exploring architectural knowledge by making and reconstructing historical artefacts
Book chapter, 2016
The Stockholm exhibition 1930 has an aura of something mythical, iconic to many people, not only architects. Part of the mythical character has to do with the fact that it soon after its appearance in the summer months of 1930 was taken down and disappeared, and there are now very few actual physical traces on the site to see and visit. The project behind this book is interesting in relation to this, but also from several other perspectives, and this text brings forward three aspects of interest.
First, and perhaps most obviously, the work in this book tries to in a new way reconstruct the material architecture that is since long gone, to give more insight and knowledge about the exhibition and its architecture. Another interesting aspect is the method used: to in architectural research use the making of models and architects’ design tools to get and communicate this specific knowledge. One of the interesting things with this project is that it does so in the realm of architectural history, both in educational situations together with students and as a method for research in the history of architecture. This leads to a third interesting aspect, namely a specific view on and role of architectural history.
These three aspects can be seen as important characteristics of the education and research in architecture at Chalmers since long time. Chalmers Architecture has a tradition of a strong interest for and engagement in the everyday life, of the close interaction and exchange with practice and especially its material aspects leading to what we often discuss as the “material culture” of architecture, and of a view on history as an essential part of how to understand contemporary practice and to be able to create architecture for today and the future. Architectural history is central in how we transfer architectural knowledge, and is part of the basic research in architecture of high relevance for architectural practice.
This introduction to the book dwells on the two last aspects; on the specific method of making models, and on the view on history.