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A 'building event' of fear: thinking through the geography of architecture

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This paper examines an incidence of fear that a resident experienced in a council tower block in inner London. Thinking through this 'building event', the paper returns to earlier work that called for a move towards 'a critical geography of architecture' and draws on the work in so-called new geographies of architecture over the past decade. A series of arguments related to the human experience of buildings is made. Latourian actor network theory-type approaches in architectural geography are criticised for having little to say about emotion. An argument is made that the work on affect in geography needs to develop a more complex sense of human subjectivity and to take the force of the material more seriously. More generally new critical geographies of architecture are urged to attend to the theoretical, conceptual and methodological intricacies of affect/emotion, materiality, immateriality and human subjectivity.

Keywords: actor network theory; affect; building event; emotion; fear; geography of architecture; high rise/tower block

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Geography, King's College London, London, UK

Publication date: March 1, 2011

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