Aggregate Architectural History Collaborative

Napoléon was the first conqueror to “legalize” looting by forcing the vanquished to sign contracts surrendering historic art objects. The recent selling off and dispersal of the collection of Iraq Museum, was presented as the simple work of market forces, but it continues and extends Napoleonic forms of looting.
On the ledger and the herbarium: the settling of financial and botanical accounts.
Inspired by the scholars, activists, and everyday citizens who spoke out, marched, and protested against police killings of African-Americans, we present this collection of short essays that put Black lives at the center of our thinking about architecture and its history.
What is the impact of demolition on those who witness it not through the media but in situ? Does living through the destruction of one’s built environment produce a kind of post traumatic stress disorder? Do buildings deserve the same protections as people? How might we develop strategies to prevent further damage and to treat already-damaged people and buildings?
The destruction of cultural heritage does not just take place in architectural landscapes, but within the culture of the museum. Middle Eastern museums built by foreign experts under colonial rule are also sites of demolition, aesthetically and ideologically confirming their exhibitors’ Weltanschauung worldview.
How does change happen? Who authors design? How does architecture participate in modernization? How does architecture govern? Governing by design, this book suggests, is not simply a matter of monu­mental symbolism and space, state power and authority, imposed control and surveillance. This book instead sets architecture in relation to mundane mat­ters: food, bodies, housing, markets, cities, and culture. How do we regulate basic aspects of our lives through design, such as the consumption of food and shelter? How do we manage the risks of modernization to our bodies and environments? How is culture produced by politics, planning, and architecture? How ...
After being destroyed, many monuments and artifacts take on another life through representations. Disappearance no longer proves synonymous with forgetting or loss, but rather forms the condition of possibility for a specific mode of image production.
Real estate history often centers on not just facts and figures but also personalities and professional networks filled with self-made characters that seem to come from fables. But what happens when real estate history’s narrative threads are pulled loose from the warp and weft of the mythologies of the cultivated professional personality? By exploring how the technical operations of financial markets function in an environment colored by personalities and social practices, we can see architecture from a perspective that accounts for the fictions of finance. This article will use three narratives about real estate developers to explain how these stories ...
The two essays of Mammoths, Inc. look into the workings of public debt: a ghostly, spectral technology foundational to the liberal state and modern capitalism alike. These two essays are part of a three-volume study, titled Ancestralities, on the relationship between architecture, public debt, and sovereignty in the last four centuries.
Marshall McLuhan’s appearance within architecture’s vanguard institutions in the mid-1960s might be seen, in retrospect, as a mere inevitability; he did seem to be everywhere after the 1964 publication of Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man. But his participation at venues like Constantinos A. Doxiadis’s Delos cruises or the Graham Foundation, and his publication in Perspecta 11, for instance, mark a very particular juncture in the disciplinary development of architecture in the postwar period. For some historians, his arrival at this moment was a sign of the beginning of the end for a particular modernist conception of architecture and its ...
Cultural heritage debates are often as much about the present as they are about the past. The long history of attempts to alter, reform, and recreate Cordoba’s Mezquita-Catedral can help us understand Spain’s changing attitudes – neutralization, celebration, modification and rejection – toward its Islamic present and pasts.
We cannot meaningfully criticize the destruction of cultural heritage in the Middle East if we do not question the apparatuses, institutions, and mindsets that lead to terror and destruction in the first place. Just as state apparatuses can make the deaths of enemies ungrievable, cultural and educational institutions can make demolished buildings into something un-memorable.

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