Based on long-term research on architectural and urban configurations, this blog is about cities and architecture seen as con-figurations. Con-figuration means the relative disposition of parts or elements of a thing in a particular form, figure or combination. As a composite term, con-figuration expresses both the figure and the relations between things coming together to form the figure. It joins (and separates) the rules of arrangement and the arrangement itself, concept and vision, generation and analysis, form and meaning through a single notch, hinge, slash, score, cut or comma.
Figuration is relevant to architecture and the city in many ways, from the conceptual messages they stand for to the illustration of designs through models, drawings and story boards. One aspect of figuration refers to what artefacts speak of, and is relevant to representation. It concerns the semantic function of buildings, cities and places and the contribution they make to the expression of social, political or philosophical messages. Yet, architecture and spatial arrangements also speak with through the ordering of space and spatial relationships (con-figuration). In certain cases the ways in which they speak with invites the generation of new meanings, training our imagination.
The Con-figurations blog records research and criticism on architecture, buildings, cities, in built, drawn or analytical form (through digital and analogue data) including their associated descriptions (verbal or visual). It starts from the premise that architecture and cities consist of built and unbuilt artefacts, outcomes of individual creativity and collective social outcomes, spaces, forms, drawings, concepts, ideas and language including the people and social groups that are involved in their production.
In addition to this blog I am the author of of two books, Architecture and Narrative by Routledge (2009) (link) and The Venice Variations by UCL Press (2018) (link); and editor of a third book Architecture and its Production Sites (forthcoming, Routledge).