Research Project
Speaking of Buildings: Oral History in Architectural Research

Research Project
Janina Gosseye, Naomi Stead, Deborah van der Plaat

Architectural scholars have tended to use texts, drawings and photographs to craft narratives about the histories and production of buildings. Oral testimony has rarely been taken as seriously as these other modes of evidence, and when it is, it is architects who are given the soapbox to discuss buildings. But there are others who can speak of architecture – and tell their own stories of what it is like to build, clean, work, experience and live within buildings. This research project examines how these other voices might be heard, theorising the radical potential of a research method that in architecture, as elsewhere, has sometimes been cast as subjective, inexpert, partial and unreliable. It calls for a renewed form of listening, in and through architecture – one that embraces the multivalent, the subjective and the ineffable.

This research project received funding from the Graham Foundation.


Dr. Ir. Janina Gosseye