“One Complex Situation: Histories of Observation in Architecture” is a one-day symposium that will examine how the values and practices of observation have shaped architectural research, design, history and pedagogy. Architectural thinkers have long used the language of observation to distinguish their work from other modes of experience, but scholars have only recently dedicated themselves to historicizing the contingent nature of this choice. The symposium assembles six scholars presenting case studies from Europe, America, Africa and East Asia that situate architectural knowledge-making within specific epistemological conjunctures. At a time when the so-called boundaries of architectural research are in question and the nature of truth both in the discipline and outside of it are changing, the day’s events show that observation and what is observed form one “complex situation” that cannot be taken for granted.
PhD Candidate, Princeton University School of Architecture
Zeynep Çelik Alexander
University of Toronto
Barnard College/Columbia University