On Surface and Place : Between Architecture, Textiles and Photography book cover
1st Edition

On Surface and Place
Between Architecture, Textiles and Photography

ISBN 9780367502164
Published March 23, 2020 by Routledge
190 Pages 1 Color & 22 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

On Surface and Place is a rich and poetic exploration of surfaces which foregrounds their significance in our understanding and experience of place. Adopting weaving as its overarching metaphor, it departs from Gottfried Semper’s discussion of correspondences between architecture and textiles, and emerges from the reading of photographs, a swatch of Harris Tweed and curtain wall façade juxtaposed. In juxtaposing the fabric of the city with the weave of Harris Tweed the book charts an original course across a range of connected ideas and questions, combining many different themes, writers and disciplines. It presents integrated and innovative rethinkings on a number of fundamental relationships, including correlations between body and building, word and image, and between the rural and the metropolitan, and the hand-crafted and the mass-reproduced. In doing so, it seeks to foreground the very interrelationship of surface and place, as it makes a claim for the relational nature of the world in which we live.

Table of Contents

1. On | Opening  2. Appearing | Weaving  3. Wall | Face  4. Image | Word  5. Surface | Pattern  6. Place | Dressing  7. Ritual | Repetition  8. Text | Memory  9. On | Closing  Index

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Peta Carlin is an artist and an essayist. She holds a PhD, along with a Bachelor degree in architecture, and an Honours and a Masters degree in fine art imaging. She is currently a Lecturer at the Department of Architecture, Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, Suzhou, P.R. China.


"On Surface and Place invents a compositional theory of matter and idea. The ontology of weaving meets architectural surface as an opening for thought and practice. Peta Carlin skillfully and beautifully creates a cartography in which social, material, aesthetic and political registers touch."

Kathleen C. Stewart, Professor of Anthropology, University of Texas at Austin, USA


"Between her photographs of Melbourne’s curtain wall facades and memories of travels to the Outer Hebrides, Carlin weaves lines of thought from art, architecture, literature, and philosophy, into a poetic, thought-provoking topography."

Jeff Malpas, Distinguished Professor, University of Tasmania, Australia.