What sort of tacit, embodied and social knowledge can we find in an archive? How can we activate that knowledge? What even constitutes an archive in architecture? And is there a craft to archiving itself? Join us as we discuss these questions and more with Albena Yaneva, who will present research on the tacit knowledge of archiving from her recent book Crafting History: Archiving and the Quest for Architectural Legacy.
Yaneva explores the everyday practices of archiving, drawing on ethnographic observation of the Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA) in Montreal, a leading archival institution, and interviews with practitioners around the world, including Álvaro Siza and Peter Eisenman. Her work considers the objectives and agency of those involved – from conservators and librarians to curators and architects – and how the archives and collections they craft can influence architectural history and epistemology itself.
This lecture and discussion forms part of the public programme of Re-enacting Tacit Knowledge: 20th Century Architectural Summer Schools. This summer school – investigating, activating and re-enacting the archives of summer schools – is a collaboration between the Jaap Bakema Study Centre and the research network TACK / Communities of Tacit Knowledge: Architecture and its Ways of Knowing. With Yaneva, we will open a conversation on the potentials – and limitations – of what we can learn from the archives of these international and intergenerational experiments in architectural education.
Albena Yaneva is Professor of Architectural Theory at the University of Manchester. Her research is intrinsically transdisciplinary and spans the boundaries of science studies, cognitive anthropology, architectural theory and political philosophy. She has been a visiting professor at Princeton School of Architecture and Parsons School of Design. In 2017, she was awarded the Lise Meitner Visiting Chair in Architecture at Lund University, Sweden. After studying for a PhD in sociology and anthropology from Ecole nationale supérieure des mines de Paris (2001) with Bruno Latour, Yaneva worked at Harvard University, the Max-Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin and the Austrian Academy of Science in Vienna. She is the author of several books, including Crafting History: Archiving and the Quest for Architectural Legacy (Cornell University Press, 2020), which explores the daily practices of archiving. Unravelling the multiple epistemic dimensions of archiving, the book tells a powerful story about how collections form the basis of architectural history.
TACK / Communities of Tacit Knowledge: Architecture and its Ways of Knowing aims to better understand tacit knowledge in architecture: the embodied, social and often-unconscious ways of knowing that architects draw on when designing buildings and cities. TACK is an Innovative Training Network as part of the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions within the European Horizon 2020 Framework Programme. It is composed of ten European academic institutions, nine architectural firms, and three leading cultural institutions for architecture, including Het Nieuwe Instituut. These partners jointly offer an innovative PhD training programme in the field of tacit knowledge in architecture, resulting in ten parallel PhD projects.