Elements of Architecture: Assembling archaeology, atmosphere and the performance of building spaces, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Elements of Architecture

Assembling archaeology, atmosphere and the performance of building spaces, 1st Edition

Edited by Mikkel Bille, Tim Flohr Sorensen


444 pages

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Hardback: 9781138775411
pub: 2016-03-01
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Elements of Architecture explores new ways of engaging architecture in archaeology. It conceives of architecture both as the physical evidence of past societies and as existing beyond the physical environment, considering how people in the past have not just dwelled in buildings but have existed within them. The book engages with the meeting point between these two perspectives. For although archaeologists must deal with the presence and absence of physicality as a discipline, which studies humans through things, to understand humans they must also address the performances, as well as temporal and affective impacts, of these material remains. The contributions in this volume investigate the way time, performance and movement, both physically and emotionally, are central aspects of understanding architectural assemblages. It is a book about the constellations of people, places and things that emerge and dissolve as affective, mobile, performative and temporal engagements.

This volume juxtaposes archaeological research with perspectives from anthropology, architecture, cultural geography and philosophy in order to explore the kaleidoscopic intersections of elements coming together in architecture. Documenting the ephemeral, relational, and emotional meeting points with a category of material objects that have defined much research into what it means to be human, Elements of Architecture elucidates and expands upon a crucial body of evidence which allows us to explore the lives and interactions of past societies.


"[…]the concepts worked with here are crucial to emerging ideas about atmosphere, the senses, movement, and assemblage in archaeology. If you are looking for new ways to think about the discipline and how we come to know things, this pretty, curious, and deliberately vague volume will be useful."

Dr. Corin C.O. Pursell, Gardener

Table of Contents

Into the Fog of Architecture

Mikkel Bille & Tim Flohr Sørensen

On Behalf of Form: The view from archaeology and architecture

Graham Harman

Part I: Form and Temporality

On Shaping Buildings

Mikkel Bille & Tim Flohr Sørensen

Immanent Architecture

Lesley K. McFadyen

Big Affects: Size, Sex and Stalinist ‘Architectural Power’ in Post-Socialist Warsaw

Michal Murawski

Architecture in Ruins: Palladio, Piranesi and Kahn

Jonathan Hill

Building Lives

Gavin Lucas

Archaeologies of an Informal City: Temporal dimensions of contemporary Andean urbanism

Alison Kohn & Shannon Lee Dawdy

Brussels’ Conflicting Constructs

Mark Minkjan & Ingel Vaikla

Part II: Atmospheres

A Sense of Place

Mikkel Bille & Tim Flohr Sørensen

Lighting up the Atmosphere

Tim Ingold

Traffic Architecture – Hidden affections

Jürgen Hasse

Affective Architecture in Ardnamurchan: Assemblages at three scales

Oliver J. T. Harris

A Sense of Architecture in the Past: Exploring the sensory experience of architecture in archaeology

Serena Love

Part III: Performance and process

Architecture in Motion

Mikkel Bille & Tim Flohr Sørensen

Politics of Architectural Imaging: Four ways of assembling a city

Albena Yaneva

Homeless, Home-Making, and Archaeology: ‘To be at home wherever I find myself’

Larry J. Zimmerman

Into Architecture: House-building and acentered personhood in Maputo, Mozambique

Morten Nielsen

Sedimentation and Sentiment: Destabilizing architecture at the post-industrial Mexican periphery

Jason Ramsey

Performance Architecture: Absence, place and action

Nick Kaye

Reframing the Ziggurat: Looking at (and from) ancient Mesopotamian temple towers

Augusta McMahon

Part IV: Disintegration and unfinishedness

Architecture Becoming New Spaces

Mikkel Bille & Tim Flohr Sørensen

Incipient Ruination: Materiality, destructive agencies and repair

Tim Edensor

For Love of Ruins

Þóra Pétursdóttir

Unfinishing Buildings

Michael A. Ulfstjerne

The Disconnected Experience of Some Designed Places

Jørgen Ole Bærenholdt

Failure? An archaeology of the architecture of nuclear waste containment

Rosemary Joyce


About the Editors

Mikkel Bille is Associate Professor at the Department of Environmental, Social and Spatial Change, Roskilde University, where his research centers on the role of things and technologies from the recent past in contemporary society.

Tim Flohr Sørensen is Assistant Professor at the Department of Archaeology, University of Copenhagen, where his research is focused on archaeological theory and themes in prehistoric and contemporary archaeology.

About the Series

Archaeological Orientations

An interdisciplinary series that engages our on-going, yet ever-changing, fascination with the archaeological, Archaeological Orientations investigates the myriad ways material pasts are entangled with communities, animals, ecologies and technologies, past, present or future. From urgent contemporary concerns, including politics, violence, sustainability, ecology, and technology, to long-standing topics of interest, including time, space, materiality, memory and agency, Archaeological Orientations promotes bold thinking and the taking of risks in pressing trans-disciplinary matters of concern.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Archaeology