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An Anthropology of Architecture Paperback – 26 Sep 2013

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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Berg Publishers (26 Sept. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1845207831
  • ISBN-13: 978-1845207830
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 1.1 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 315,249 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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More About the Author

Victor is Reader in Material Culture within the Material Culture Group in the Department of Anthropology at University College London (UCL) and works on architecture, domesticity, the archaeology of the recent past, critical understandings of materiality and new technologies and the anthropology of sustainability and design. He also teaches on the UCL Urban Studies MSc and supervises on the Mphil/PhD programme at the Bartlett School of Architecture and the Slade School of Fine Art. He serves on the Board of the Victoria and Albert/Royal College of Art MA History of Design Programme and the Steering Committee of the Victoria and Albert Museum Research Institute (VARI). He has conducted fieldwork in Russia, Britain and Kazakhstan. His latest book An Archaeology of the Immaterial (Routledge 2014) examines questions surrounding immateriality particularly the significance of material cultures that paradoxically attempt to deny their own physicality. In addition, his An Anthropology of Architecture (Bloomsbury 2013) examines the materiality of built forms from an anthropological perspective. At present he is starting new research in new materials and new technologies examining the rise of rapid manufacturing or 3-D printing. This research was part of a co-organised ESRC funded intiative entitled New Materials, New Technologies with Susanne Kuechler and Graeme Were in UCL Anthropology and Materials Sciences at Kings College London. This work is part of a wider collaboration with the Royal College of Art and the Victoria and Albert Museum on the interdisciplinary study of Materials. In addition he has just completed work as a member of the interdisciplinary Templeton Scholars Group on the origins of domesticity at the Neolithic site of Çatal Höyük in Turkey where he is examining long term culture change and processes of material iteration and innovation as they relate to the domestic sphere. Currently, Victor is Co-Investigator of the Adaptable Suburbs Project funded by the EPSRC with Laura Vaughan (Bartlett) and Muki Haklay (Geomatic Engineering). This is an interdisciplinary project investigating the sustainability of economic and social life in the London surburbs in the present and over time.

Victor's previous books include An Archaeology of Socialism (Berg 1999) - an ethno-historical study of a constructivist housing block in Moscow, Archaeologies of the Contemporary Past (Routledge 2001) with Gavin Lucas an examination of the critical issues which arise when the archaeological method is applied to the study of contemporary material culture, and Interpreting Archaeology(Routledge 1995) co-edited with Ian Hodder et. al.. He has also edited The Material Culture Reader (Berg 2002), the five volume Material Culture: Critical Concepts in the Social Sciences for the Major Works Series, Routledge Publishers (2004) and with C. Alexander and C. Humphrey, Urban life in Post Soviet Asia (Routledge 2007). Victor has been managing editor of the Journal of Material Culture, and is founding and managing editor of Home Cultures with Bloomsbury Publishing - an interdisciplinary journal for the critical study of the domestic sphere. Submissions are being actively sought and any inquiries can be directed to He sits on the editorial boards of The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, Home Cultures, the Journal of Material Culture and the Journal of Contemporary Archaeology.

Reviews of his published works have appeared in: British Archaeological Magazine, New Scientist, Cambridge Archaeological Journal, The Russian Review, Journal of Design History, Slavonica, Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain, American Ethnologist, The Australian Journal of Anthropology, Journal of Contemporary History, Kultura i Istoria, Journal of European Area Studies, Archaeology.About.Com, Slavonic and East European Review, Slavic Review, American Anthropologist, Archaeological Journal, Journal of Anthropological Research, Journal of Consumer Culture, The Asia Pacific Journal of Archaeology, Journal of Educational Media, Reviews in Anthropology, American Anthropologist, Journal of Design History.

Product Description


With this excellent book, Victor Buchli reminds us of the multitude of ways in which architecture becomes meaningful to us, whoever we are and wherever we live. Informative, insightful and engaging, it should be essential reading for all those interested in the anthropological study of architecture. Marcel Vellinga, Reader in Anthropology of Architecture, Oxford Brookes University, UK This book presents a long overdue and much needed synthesis of anthropological approaches to the study of architecture. Professor Buchli situates a wide variety of ethnographic case studies in historically and philosophically grounded theoretical frameworks with which he provocatively challenges anthropologists to reconsider the materiality of the built environment. Denise Lawrence-Zuniga, Professor, Department of Architecture, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, California, USA ...Buchli's study is a very useful summary of the history and current status of the anthropology of architecture, achieved at a high level of philosophical analysis. Most importantly, it accomplishes its goal of attesting "to the novel material forms and registers by which architecture makes people" (p. 186). From now on, anthropologists must include the agentive objects of houses and other physical forms and possessions in their studies of culture. -- Jack David Eller Anthropology Review Database In this volume, an impressive breadth of anthropological studies of architecture - modern, pre-modern, vernacular and rarefied - are drawn together to offer a surprisingly diverse range of approaches to this cross-cutting issue ... The originality of the book comes in its extremely comprehensive and adept gathering of anthropological sources from widely-flung corners - traditional tribal anthropology, studies of Soviet Russian housing, interpretations of modern property markets, hospitals, ruins and so on - constantly reassessing the overarching issues of change, process, occupation, adaptation and all the soft material flows imbricated in the daily lives of buildings. -- John Bingham-Hall, The Bartlett School of Graduate Studies, UCL The Journal of Space Syntax Victor Buchli's interesting new book is ... a highly ambitious work, the first direct attempt to provide such a detailed anthropology of architecture as a subject. [...] An excellent piece of analysis. -- Luke McDonagh, University of Cardiff, UK LSE Review of Books Architecture is far more than the materials and designs used in construction for, as anthropologist Buchli (Univ. College London) states in his first sentence, "buildings make people." Ethnographic glimpses range from Mongolian yurts to the "sick building syndrome" of certain London high-rises. Buchli's volume is "an anthropology," and deliberately idiosyncratic. His prose is not easily followed, and allusions may elude those lacking knowledge of the literatures to which he turns; still, intellectual rewards abound in Buchli's pages. Summing Up: Recommended. Graduate students, faculty. -- A. F. Roberts, University of California, Los Angeles CHOICE

About the Author

Victor Buchli is Reader in Material Culture at the Department of Anthropology, University College London, UK, and Editor of Home Cultures.

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