1st Edition

Metaphorical Practices in Architecture Metaphors as Method and Subject in the Production of Architecture

Edited By Sarah Borree, Stephanie Knuth, Moritz Röger Copyright 2023
    248 Pages 20 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Metaphors are diversly and intricately embedded in architectural practice and discourse. Precisely for this reason, this volume argues and sets out to explore, how they can be engaged to critically interrogate architecture’s social, cultural and political dimensions – past and present – and to productively challenge and intervene with established perspectives, debates and practices.

    Mapping out not just potentials but also addressing the challenges, limitations and dangers inherent in using metaphors in architectural research and practice, the volume prominently illustrates the ambiguity and contradictoriness inherent in both metaphors and the process of engaging and exploiting them. Covering a broad range of historical and geographical cases and concerns, the contributions illustrate effectively that metaphors can expand or narrow our engagement with architecture, and consolidate or legitimise but also destabilise and challenge established social, cultural, disciplinary and political structures, concepts and categories.

    With its aim to explore metaphors as both subject and method to critically challenge and expand established practices, perspectives and standards in architectural research and practice, the volume will be of interest for scholars working across the architectural humanities, including architectural history, theory, culture, design and urbanism, as well as for researchers concerned with architecture and the city from fields such as cultural, visual and area studies as well as art history.

    List of Contributors


    Introduction: Metaphors as Target and Tool in Architectural Research and Practice

    Sarah Borree and Stephanie Knuth



    Recovering Metaphorical Histories

    Sarah Borree and Stephanie Knuth

    1. Landscape as Metaphor for Post-War Office, Work and Research Architecture from the 1950s to 1970s

    Christian Vöhringer

    2. Mechanical vs Biological Metaphors and the Greek Notion of the Organic City in the Discourse of CIAM IV

    Lina Dima

    3. The Analogy of Means: The Ontological Function of Architectural Metaphor

    Peng Xue

    4. The Ghost Towns of Burma: Student Activism and the Politics of Memory under Military Rule

    J. Hoay-Fern Ooi




    The Material Production of Metaphors

    Sarah Borree and Stephanie Knuth

    5. Concrete Abstractions: Architectural Metaphors in the Design Practice of Warsaw’s Socialist Realism (1949-1952)

    Konrad Matyjaszek

    6. Analogy versus Metaphor: Aldo van Eyck’s Poetic Images In-Between Fields

    Alejandro Campos Uribe and Paula Lacomba Montes

    7. Planning with Ecology: The PEP Group and Biosocial Design in Post-War Britain

    Juliana Kei

    8. Yorùbá Metaphor: From Mythoi to Contemporary Public Realm Urbanism

    Mokọládé Johnson and Ọlátúnjí Adéjùmọ̀



    Framing Narratives through Metaphor

    Sarah Borree and Stephanie Knuth

    9. Disturbing Scenes: Architecture as Metaphor in Women’s Stories

    Nadia Boudidah Falfoul

    10. The Star System: Denise Scott Brown’s Feminist Analysis of the Sociology of Architecture and Its Repercussions

    Inés Toscano

    11. Inmundo: Architectural Metaphors from the Edge of the World

    Ingrid Quintana-Guerrero

    12. A Clean Slate: Metaphors and the Smart City in India

    Devika Prakash


    Postscript: The Work of Metaphors

    Olga Touloumi



    Sarah Borree is a postdoctoral fellow at the interdisciplinary LOEWE research cluster Architectures of Order at Goethe-University Frankfurt/M. Her research explores the cultures and infrastructures of the production of architecture with a particular interest in photography and publications. She holds a PhD in Cultural Studies from the University of Edinburgh and a postgraduate degree in architecture from Bauhaus-Universität Weimar.

    Stephanie Knuth is a doctoral researcher at the LOEWE research cluster Architectures
    of Order at the Technical University of Darmstadt. She holds an M.A. in Sociology and a postgraduate certificate in Women’s and Gender Studies. Her research interests include the sociology of knowledge and technology, as well as feminist criticism of science and epistemology.

    Moritz Röger is an art historian focusing on the history and theory of architecture in the 19th and 20th century. He holds an M.A. in art history from Goethe-University Frankfurt/M, co-curated an exhibition at the Deutsches Architekturmuseum (DAM) and was part of the LOEWE research cluster Architectures of Order. He currently works at the Heritage Conservation Office, Hessen.