Latour for Architects  book cover
1st Edition

Latour for Architects

ISBN 9780367348632
Published March 31, 2022 by Routledge
154 Pages 18 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Bruno Latour is one of the leading figures in Social Sciences today, but his contributions are also widely recognised in the arts. His theories ‘flourished’ in the 1980s in the aftermath of the structuralism wave and generated new concepts and methodologies for the understanding of the social. In the past decade, Latour and his Actor-Network Theory (ANT) have gained popularity among researchers in the field of architecture.

Latour for Architects is the first introduction to the key concepts and ideas of Bruno Latour that are relevant to architects. First, the book discusses critically how specific methods and insights from his philosophy can inspire new thinking in architecture and design pedagogy. Second, it explores examples from architectural practice and urban design, and reviews recent attempts to extend the methods of ANT into the fields of architectural and urban studies. Third, the book advocates an ANT-inspired approach to architecture, and examines how its methodological insights can trace new research avenues in the field, reflecting meticulously on its epistemological offerings.

Drawing on many lively examples from the world of architectural practice, the book makes a compelling argument about the agency of architectural design and the role architects can play in re-ordering the world we live in. Following Latour’s philosophy offers a new way to handle all the objects of human and nonhuman collective life, to re-examine the role of matter in design practice, and to redefine the forms of social, political and ethical associations that bind us together in cities.

Table of Contents

Series Editor’s Preface

Illustration Credits


  1. Introduction: ‘In this World’
  2. Rethinking the Modern Constitution
  3. Are We Modern?

    The Promises of Symmetrical Anthropology

    Non-modern Architects

  4. Science in the Making
  5. Matters of Facts as End Product

    Hot and Cold Science

    Discoveries: The Diffusion and the Translation Models

    Speaking Scientifically, Speaking Legally

    Mapping Controversies

  6. How Technology Shapes Everyday Life
  7. A Socio-Technical Approach to Mundane Artefacts

    Projects and Failure

  8. Actor-Network Theory
  9. Society or the Making of the Social

    An ANT Approach to Architecture

  10. Space and Spacing
  11. Process and the Construction of Space


  12. Invisible Cities
  13. Paris for Millions





    How to Study Invisible Cities? 

  14. The Parliament of Things
  15. Object-Oriented Politics

    Cosmos and Cosmopolitics

    Cosmopolitical Design

  16. A Gaia Who Cares

The Intrusion of Gaia

Architectural Contributions to Gaia-graphy


Further Reading



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Albena Yaneva is Professor of Architectural Theory at the University of Manchester, UK. She is the author of several books, including Crafting History: Archiving and the Quest for Architectural Legacy (2020) and The New Architecture of Science: Learning from Graphene (2020), co-authored with Sir Kostya S. Novoselov. Her work has been translated into nine languages. Yaneva is the recipient of the RIBA President’s award for outstanding research.


"At a moment when more and more designers conceive of form as interplay rather than shape and outline, Latour for Architects further extends research and practice beyond the limits of the profession and into new disciplinary coalitions that are increasingly giving authority to spatial variables."

Keller Easterling, Enid Storm Dwyer Professor of Architecture, Yale University, School of Architecture, USA