December 3, 2021

Architecture and its Stories

Story-telling is central to architecture. Whether as academic discipline, as popular discourse or as built form, it has a capacity both to absorb and to transmit stories.  Architecture orients us in the world: its elements of walls and ground, of rooflines and footprints frame and structure every episode of our lives. It is a storybook of past and of present, of public and of private, of facts and of feelings. Building on Donna J. Haraway’s tongue-twisting proposition, we consider architecture as the matter and the means of our storyful world: as the ‘knots’ and the ‘ties’ that knot and tie.

‘Architecture and its Stories’ will celebrate and interrogate architecture’s many, multi-faceted narratives. The conference is prompted by the re-emergence of narrative as a subject and method of interest across many fields. In architecture, there has been a renewed interest in narrative as design method, in narrative as a means of expanding and enriching histories, drawing in marginal and excluded voices and experiences, and there has been an increasing recognition of the need for the urgent, overarching narratives of social and climate justice to direct the discipline’s endeavours. At the same time, the humanities have expanded their remit to include consideration of climate and environment. Stories, it seems, can help us to make sense of the environments we have already created and to imagine the ones we need to create in the future. ‘It matters what stories make worlds, what worlds make stories.’

‘Architecture and its Stories’ is a collaboration between UCD Architecture and MoLI, the Museum of Literature of Ireland, based in Newman House on St. Stephens Green in the centre of Dublin. This collaboration will be reflected in a number of specific events and presentations which draw literature and architecture into dialogue with each other such as our in-person plenary afternoon session on ‘Architecture and Poetry’.

The conference is an initiative of the All-Ireland Architecture Research Group (AIARG). It will take place in Newman House, with a combination of in-person and online content. Those wishing to contribute should send proposals of no more than 300 words to architectureanditsstories@gmail.com by 3rd December 2021. Please indicate with your proposal whether you would prefer to attend in-person or present remotely – this will assist us in organising sessions.

More information can be found here.

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