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Historiographies of Technology and Architecture

July 4 to July 7, 2018

The 35th SAHANZ Conference, 4-7 July 2018 in Wellington, New Zealand.

Contemporary descriptions of the future of architecture and architectural practice continue to proclaim the benefits of technology: a built environment that is automated and intelligent; building construction via robotic fabrication processes; form and space-making utilizing virtual reality. In what ways do our current obsessions echo, extend or overturn the profession’s historic preoccupation with technology?

The privileging of technology within architecture had its most obvious manifestation in the modernist period, when architects borrowed knowledge, practices and imagery from other technical fields. But the projection of architecture as technology has been ever present and has its own deep history.

The Greek root “tekhn?” – meaning “art” or “craft” – reminds us that conceiving and making are inextricably linked. This dependency suggests that “tekhn?” lies at the core of architectural practice: the task of creating architecture has always been subject to modes of representation and analysis that can be thought of as “technical”. Equally, the discipline of architecture is responsive to changes in manufacturing, engineering and the other applied sciences. Frequently, this reflexiveness is mediated by the social changes that are wrought by these new technologies.

Image reference: Demonstration house, Karori, Wellington (detail). New Zealand Free Lance:  Photographic prints and negatives. Ref: PAColl-0785-1-175-01. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand.


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  • Akhgar, Peyman, The Ecole des Beaux-Arts and the Advent of Modern Architecture in Interwar Iran LINK
  • Amirjani, Rahmatollah, Architectonics in Pre- and Post-revolutionary Iran LINK
  • Bennett, Alysia; Davidge, Tania; Edwards, Charity, #ParlourInstaGuest: A Space to Speak? LINK
  • Cox, Elizabeth, “Their Presence Could Work a Revolution”: Women Architects and Homes in New Zealand in the 1900s-1930s LINK
  • Curry, James; Fung, Stanislaus, Rudolph Schindler’s Church School Lecture on ‘Form Creation’ (1916): A Preliminary Reading LINK
  • Daunt, Lisa Marie, Modernist Concrete LINK
  • de Kruiff, Alison; Marcello, Flavia ; Paay, Jeni; Champion, Erik; Burry, Jane , Learning from Lost Architecture: Immersive Experience and Cultural Experience as a New Historiography LINK
  • de Sylva, Shenuka ; Vale, Brenda; Holden, Gordon, The Rise and Fall of the Bungalow LINK
  • Esteban-Maluenda, Ana , Tradition vs. Technology: Periodicals as a driving force for the architectural debate: the Spanish gaze over the Pacific LINK
  • Fajl, Marcus , The Visible Invisible: X-Rays and Claude Bragdon’s Fourth Dimension LINK
  • Farrah, Sally, The Technology of Axonometry in 1960s Britain: Kenneth Frampton and Peter Eisenman LINK
  • Gatley, Julia; Hochstein, Gina , Like Gordon Wilson, Minus the Heritage Protection: Auckland’s Upper Greys Avenue Flats, 1954-1959 LINK
  • Gjerde, Morten; Petrović, Emina Kristina ; MacGregor, Casimir , Potential for Interdisciplinary Collaboration Between Architecture and Social Science in Post War Urban Redevelopment LINK
  • Goad, Philip ; Lewi, Hannah ; Murray, Andrew , Overdue for Change: Australian university libraries after World War II LINK
  • Hogben, Paul , “An index of real effect”: Early Photographic Reproductions in Australia’s Building Press LINK
  • Humphris, Adrian ; Mew, Geoff , Big Data and Architectural History LINK
  • Jasper, Michael , Sight and Sensation: Observations on I.M. Pei’s Approach to Composition LINK
  • Jones, Lloyd, Engrained Modernity: Robin Gibson’s Pinkenba Grain Elevator LINK
  • Kidd, Akari Nakai ; Rodeš, Sanja , Historiographies of Image-Technologies in Architecture at the Turn of the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries LINK
  • Li, Mengbi, Technology, Craft Culture and Sustainability: The Case of Pre-modern Chinese Architecture LINK
  • M. de Jong, Ursula, William Wardell (1823-1899): Architect and Engineer ‘Convent and School, Kew’, 1889 LINK
  • Ma, Pengfei, Building Construction and Meaning: The Origin and the Occupation of Chinese Tingtang LINK
  • Madanovic, Milica , Concrete Complexities: Reinforced Concrete in the Architecture of Auckland’s Town Hall, Chief Post Office and Ferry Building LINK
  • Matthewson, Gill, Tools, which tools?: The changings of architects LINK
  • Miller-Yeaman, Renee , From Emergency Reception Centres to Housing Experiments: Migrant Accommodation and The Commonwealth Department of Public Works LINK
  • Mota, Luciana ; Rose, Elizabeth Aitken ; Gatley, Julia , The Problem of Air New Zealand House in 1960s Auckland LINK
  • Murray, Andrew , Concrete: A Western Australian tradition LINK
  • Musgrave, Elizabeth , Knowledge Transfer in the Nineteenth Century: The Short History of béton aggloméré in Queensland LINK
  • Navarro, Louie T. ; Bruyns, Gerhard , On why we should consider that the interior perspective render is art, after all: a review of literature concerning the development of perspective representations of interior spaces from the Italian Renaissance to the digital age LINK
  • Preston, Jennifer , Edward Bell and the Technology of Sydney’s Third Water Supply Scheme LINK
  • Ritani, Matt Joseph Taylor , The Stone Sarjeant Architecture, Materiality and Colonisation in Pukenamu Queens Park Whanganui LINK
  • Sarvimäki, Marja , American Modernist Tectonics vs Australian Gold Coast Topos LINK
  • Southcombe, Mark, Rangahaua: Architecture and Cultural Interface LINK
  • Tippey, Brett , Eduardo Torroja, Concrete and Spain’s Indigenous Structural Types LINK
  • Tobey, Aaron, Media(ted) Practice: The Globalization of Architecture through Standards, Softwares, and Spatial Imaginations. LINK
  • Vale, Brenda ; Skinner, Robin , R.G.S. Beatson: from student work to Auckland houses LINK
  • Walker, Paul, Intelsat: Satellites, Science and Science Fiction LINK