AUTHOR: Sascha Roesler
CONTEXT: “Theory’s History, 196X-199X. Challenges in the Historiography of Architectural Knowledge", Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Science and the Arts, Brussels (Belgium), from 8 till 10 February 2017
From the beginning, architectural theory has shown difficulties to deal with the sphere of knowledge that is occupied, both in method and content, by so-called architectural anthropology. In my view, the emergence of architectural anthropology itself can be understood as an outcome of a conceptual omission in architectural theory — the central thesis of this paper. To support this thesis, I will, in a first step, recall the historiographical self-understanding of architectural theory; in a second step, I will sketch the early field of architectural anthropological research in order to name forms of differentiation of this field, as well as their disintegration into an increasingly institutionalized architectural theory. Finally, I will explain what can be described as the real achievement of architectural anthropology: Beyond its occupation with the material culture of architecture, it is a field-research practice through which empirical methods have entered into architectural research.