Architecture in Effect vol #1(2) Rethinking the Social in Architecture: Making Effects - Editors’ Introduction
Book chapter, 2019
Architecture in Effect is a substantial collection of essays emerging from the Swedish research environment of the same name. While it takes its point of departure from within the specific context that is Sweden, it includes contributions from authors based in the Nordic context, in the United Kingdom, Europe and the United States. A central premise of the collected research is that the built environment and societal norms are co-constitutive and that architecture as a discipline and as a professional practice plays a fundamental role in this relationship. Contemporary political and environmental conditions place specific demands on society and on the everyday life of individuals. There persists, as such, an obligation for actors within the discipline of architecture to contribute to a rethinking of the situated knowledges within architecture by engaging in trans-, cross-, and inter-disciplinary studies. Architectural researchers have the capacity to guide and criticize thinking on architecture and its vital material relations amidst existing and emerging societies.
The socially oriented perspective of Volume #1, Rethinking the Social, is complemented by discussions of architectural and transdisciplinary theories and methodologies in Volume #2, After Effects. Together these twin volumes reflect on topics such as the utopian idea of a welfare state, the role of intersubjective and non-human points of view, and the impact of historical and current images on the making of realities – and how such themes are intertwined with the development of architecture. The collected essays draw on historical and contemporary architectural situations, as seen from socially oriented perspectives and through the use of innovative methodologies and theories. A special feature included in the collection is a heteroglossary, a lexicon that defines productive concepts for architectural research that the contributing authors activate across the two volumes. Professor Dana Cuff, UCLA, USA, has provided a perceptive foreword for the double book project. The task of these books is to present a wide range of research topics that combine historical, material, and critical research approaches that respond to our current crises and challenges. Ultimately, this enables new modes of knowledge production within architecture to be advanced in its relation to societal transformation.