Industries of Architecture: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Industries of Architecture

1st Edition

Edited by Katie Lloyd Thomas, Tilo Amhoff, Nick Beech


346 pages

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At a time when the technologies and techniques of producing the built environment are undergoing significant change, this book makes central architecture’s relationship to industry. Contributors turn to historical and theoretical questions, as well as to key contemporary developments, taking a humanities approach to the Industries of Architecture that will be of interest to practitioners and industry professionals, as much as to academic researchers, teachers and students. How has modern architecture responded to mass production? How do we understand the necessarily social nature of production in the architectural office and on the building site? And how is architecture entwined within wider fields of production and reproduction—finance capital, the spaces of regulation, and management techniques? What are the particular effects of techniques and technologies (and above all their inter-relations) on those who labour in architecture, the buildings they produce, and the discursive frameworks we mobilise to understand them?


'Industries of Architecture invites us to rethink what constitutes the ‘work’ of architecture – in the past, the present, and in the future. In a reversal of the usual emphasis in the humanities on design as the exclusive field of architects’ creative endeavours, Industries of Architecture offers an alternative view – one in which architects’ engagement with labour, with legal systems, with manufacturing practices, and with business organisation are no longer treated as contingent, but as central to what architects do.' - Adrian Forty, Professor Emeritus of Architectural History, Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL

'Industries of Architecture offers intriguing new evidence of the breadth and depth of architecture’s cultural diffusion. Its exploration of myriad aspects of architectural production supplies valuable historical documentation and useful theoretical strategies to shift the focus of architectural history away from the singular presence of architectural objects and toward the conditions and connections that make those objects possible.' - Aggregate Architectural History Collaborative

Table of Contents

1. Industries of Architecture Tilo Amhoff, Nick Beech and Katie Lloyd Thomas Part 1: Architecture and the Representation of Industry 2. Allan Sekula’s Architectures of Industry and Industries of Architecture Gail Day 3. Walter Gropius’ Silos and Reyner Banham’s Grain Elevators as Art-objects Catalina Mejía Moreno Part 2: Architecture Responds to Industry 4. The Collaborations of Jean Prouvé and Marcel Lods: An open or closed case? Kevin Donovan 5. The Production of the Commons: Mies van der Rohe and the art of industrial standardisation Mhairi McVicar 6. Modular Men: Architects, labour and standardisation in mid-twentieth century Britain Christine Wall 7. Post 1965 Italy: The ‘Metaprogetto sì e no’ Alicia Imperiale Part 3: The Construction Site 8.Introduction to Sérgio Ferro Felipe Contier 9. Dessin/Chantier: An Introduction Sérgio Ferro 10. Architecture as Ensemble: A matter of method João Marcos Almeida de Lopes 11. Factory Processes and Relations in Indian Temple Production Megha Chand Inglis 12. Construction Sites of Utopia Silke Kapp Part 4: The Work of Architects 13. Architectural Work :: Immaterial Labour Peggy Deamer 14. Form as/and Utopia of Collective Labour: Typification and collaboration in East German industrialised construction Torsten Lange 15. Tools for Conviviality: Architects and the limits of flexibility for housing design in New Belgrade Tijana Stevanović 16. Counting Women in Architecture Karen Burns and Justine Clark Part 5: Economy 17. Building Design: A component of the building labour process Jörn Janssen 18. The Place of Architecture in the New Economy Andrew Rabeneck 19. Financial Formations Matthew Soules Part 6: Law and Regulation 20. French Architects’ Use of the Law Robert Carvais 21. The Architectural Discourse of Building Bureaucracy: Architects’ project statements in Portugal in the 1950s Ricardo Agarez 22. Regulatory Spaces, Physical and Metaphorical: On the legal and spatial occupation of fire-safety legislation Liam Ross 23. Common Projects and Privatized Potential: Projection and representation in the Rotterdam Kunsthal Stefan White Part 7: Technologies of Management 24. The Electrification of the Factory, or the Flexible Layout of Work(s) Tilo Amhoff 25. An ‘Architecture of Bureaucracy’: Technocratic planning of government architecture in Belgium in the 1930s Jens van de Maele 26. Laboratory Architecture and the Deep Membrane of Science Sandra Kaji-O’Grady and Chris L. Smith 27. Performativity and Paranoia (Or how to do the ‘Internet of Things’ with words) Claudia Dutson Part 8: Contemporary Questions 28.On Site Nick Beech, Linda Clarke, Christine Wall with Ian Fitzgerald 29.BIM: The Pain and the Gain John Gelder 30.The Sustainable Retrofit Challenge: What does it mean for architecture? Sofie Pelsmakers and David Kroll 31.Risk and Reflexivity: Architecture and the industries of risk-distributionLiam Ross 32. Unapproved Document Part O: Designing for ageing Sarah Wigglesworth

About the Editors

Tilo Amhoff is Senior Lecturer in Architectural Humanities at the University of Brighton and a PhD candidate at the Bartlett School of Architecture (UCL). His research investigates the plan as specific medium and cultural technique that established a particular way of administrating and governing various entities; such as the factory, the city, and the economy in late 19th and early 20th century Germany. He is founder member of Netzwerk Architekturwissenschaft. (

Nick Beech is Lecturer in London’s History at Queen Mary, University of London. His research concerns the transformation of the construction industry and architectural professions during and immediately following the Second World War. Nick also researchers European ‘New Left’ arguments of the mid-twentieth century relating to ‘culture’, the ‘everyday’ and state formation. He currently holds (2014–1016) an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fellowship with the Canadian Centre for Architecture.

Katie Lloyd Thomas is a Senior Lecturer in Architecture at Newcastle University where she co-directs ARC, the Architecture Research Collaborative, and is an editor of the international journal arq. Her research is concerned with materiality in architecture and with feminist practice and theory. She is co-founder of the feminist collective taking place and edited Material Matters (Routledge, 2007). Her monograph Preliminary Operations: Material theory and the architectural specification is in preparation.

About the Series


Critical Studies in Architectural Humanities
Critiques is the book series of the AHRA – Architectural Humanities Research Association. Originally established in 2003 AHRA supports and disseminates interdisciplinary scholarship in all areas under the broad heading of architectural humanities, including architectural history, theory, culture, design and urbanism.

This original series of edited books contains selections of essays developed from the best papers presented at the annual AHRA International Conferences. Each year the event has a particular thematic focus while sharing an emphasis on new and emerging areas of critical research. Recent interdisciplinary areas addressed include urban studies, spatial politics, anthropology, exhibitions and representation.

To find out more about AHRA activities including the themes to be addressed in forthcoming conferences please follow the link below:

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
ARCHITECTURE / Professional Practice