We have recently finished work on our first formal project output. This is a journal article entitled ‘Architectural enthusiasm: visiting buildings with The Twentieth Century Society’ which is due to appear in Environment and Planning D: Society and Space towards the end of the year. In the meantime here is the abstract:
In this article, we put forward the concept of architectural enthusiasm – a collective passion and shared emotional affiliation for buildings and architecture. Through this concept and empirical material based on participation in the architectural tours of The Twentieth Century Society (a UK-based architectural conservation group), we contribute to recent work on the built environment and geographies of architecture in three ways: first, we reinforce the importance of emotion to people’s engagements with buildings, emphasizing the shared and practiced nature of these engagements; second, we highlight the role of architectural enthusiasts as agents with the potential to shape and transform the built environment; and third, we make connections between (seemingly) disparate engagements with buildings through a continuum of practice incorporating urban exploration, local history, architectural practice and training, and mass architectural tourism. Unveiling these continuities has important implications for future research into the built environment, highlighting the need to take emotion seriously in all sorts of professional as well as enthusiastic encounters with buildings, and unsettling the categories of amateur and expert within architectural practices.
Thanks to The Twentieth Century Society, their employees, volunteers and members for their help, time and support with this research. We are currently working on another research paper and are pulling together details for our Cultures of Architectural Enthusiasm Conference which will take place in June. So watch this space for the programme and registration details.