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

On Surface and Place

Between Architecture, Textiles and Photography, 1st Edition

By Peta Carlin


174 pages | 1 Color Illus. | 22 B/W Illus.

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Paperback: 9780367502164
pub: 2020-04-01
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Hardback: 9781472477644
pub: 2018-03-27
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315598840
pub: 2018-03-21
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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.


"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.

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

About the Author

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.

About the Series

Ashgate Studies in Architecture

Ashgate Studies in Architecture
The discipline of Architecture is undergoing subtle transformation as design awareness permeates our visually dominated culture. Technological change, the search for sustainability and debates around the value of place and meaning of the architectural gesture are aspects which will affect the cities we inhabit. This series seeks to address such topics, both theoretically and in practice, through the publication of high quality original research, written and visual. Topics to be covered include the following: Architectural history and theory and their relationship to the development of the discipline, building conservation, heritage and creative adaptation. The formal and aesthetic values of architectural design, the diversity of its expression of identity, and its representation in other media. The impact of technological innovation on the materialisation of architecture and the questions surrounding environmental sustainability, experimentation and visionary design The social and psychological context of architectural production, its relationship to occupants, clients and to other creative and professional disciplines, and the political situation in which it is commissioned. Proposals will be welcomed which explore or connect aspects of these themes. Subjects which deal with individual architects, with specific buildings or building types, and the critical interpretation of historical and contemporary architecture from a theoretical or philosophical perspective are particularly encouraged. Architecture's embodiment of technical, social, and aesthetic aspects will also be emphasised.

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