How is Architecture Political: A Relational Perspective


Tuesday 18th June 2019 | 6pm

TU Berlin Building of Architecture | Halle 4


„Albena Yaneva is Professor of Architectural Theory at the University of Manchester. She has been 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 a PhD in Sociology and Anthropology from Ecole Nationale Supérieure des mines de Paris (2001) with Professor Bruno Latour, Yaneva has worked at Harvard University, the Max-Planck Institite for the History of Science in Berlin and the Austrian Academy of Science in Vienna. Her research is intrinsically transdisciplinary and spans the boundaries of science studies, cognitive anthropology, architectural theory and political philosophy.

Her work has been translated in German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Thai and Japanese.

Her book The Making of a Building (Oxford: Peter Lang, 2009) provides a unique anthropological account of architecture in the making, whereas Made by the OMA: An Ethnography of Design (Rotterdam: 010 Publishers, 2009) draws on an original approach of ethnography of design and was defined by the critics as “revolutionary in analyzing the day-to-day practice of designers”. For her innovative use of ethnography in the architectural discourses Yaneva was awarded the RIBA President’s Award for Outstanding University-located Research (2010).

Her book Mapping Controversies in Architecture (Farnham: Ashgate, 2012) brought the newest developments in social sciences into architectural theory. It introduced Mapping Controversies as a research and teaching methodology for following design debates.

A recent volume in collaboration with Alejandro Zaera-Polo What is Cosmopolitical Design? (Ashgate, 2015) questioned the role of architectural design at the time of the Anthropocene and provided many examples of cosmopolitically correct design.

Her more recent monograph is Five Ways to Make Architecture Political. An Introduction to the Politics of Design Practice (Bloomsbury, 2017).Taking inspiration from object-oriented political thought, this book engages in an informed enquiry into the different ways architectural design can be political and contributes to a better understanding of the political outreach of the engagement of designers with their publics. […]

Yaneva is the recipient of academic grants of the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts in Chicago (2003), the British Academy (2008) and the EU (2008-2010). She has presented more than 100 international invited lectures and keynotes, including in Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the USA. She is a member of the Peer Review College of the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the Economy and Society Research Council in the UK and serves as a reviewer for the National Science Foundations of USA, Switzerland, Austria, Irland and the Netherlands.“

The Keynote is a cooperation between CUD, LIA and the CRC « Re-Figuration of Spaces »