Ruined bodies and aging buildings: architecture, oblivion, decay
Laura Major (University of Edinburgh)
Alberto Goyena (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro / University of Aberdeen)
Norman Prell (University of Aberdeen)
Appleton Tower, Lecture Theatre 2
Start time:
20 June, 2014 at 9:00
Session slots:

Short abstract:

This panel links current debates around materials and their properties with studies of the ruin, decay or restoration of buildings and bodies, in order to critically consider enduring Enlightenment notions of time, change and duration.

Long abstract:

In architecture, the Enlightenment brought not only a particular style, but a great redefinition of ideas around building, 'un-building', and inhabiting. Together with a belief in reason as a means to ensure human progress, the political climate of the 18th Century entailed a profound questioning of established public architecture, including houses, markets, roads and monuments. This came about as a result of, and in tangent to, changing understandings of the 'material world' and human bodies. Numerous demolitions took place as a new order of things was forged, through which to live and age as well as remember and forget. This panel seeks to examine the continuing impact of those changes, as they move through a contemporary world, particularly as the preservation and conservation of material remains of the past has gained increasing salience, and as the scholarly study of these politically contingent processes, (heritage studies, for instance) have burgeoned. Situating these connected processes within current debates around materials and their properties, we particularly welcome papers which focus on buildings and bodies in a condition of ruin, decay or restoration, as well as contributions which look more broadly at the relations between architecture and the human or non-human body-mind, in order to critically consider enduring Enlightenment notions of time, change and duration which continue to be taken for granted.