Speaking of Buildings: Oral History in Architectural Research

Naomi Stead, Janina Gosseye, Deborah van der Plaat


By and large, architectural historians use texts, drawings, and photographs to craft their narratives. Oral testimony from those who actually occupy or construct buildings is rarely taken as seriously. Speaking of Buildings offers a rebuttal, theorizing the radical potential of a methodology that has historically been cast as unreliable. Essays by an international group of scholars look at varied topics, from the role of gossip in undermining masculine narratives in architecture to workers’ accounts of building with cement in midcentury London to a sound art piece created by oral testimonies from Los Angeles public housing residents. In sum, the authors call for a renewed form of listening to enrich our understanding of what buildings are, what they do, and what they mean to people.

Creator Bio

Naomi Stead is a professor and head of the Department of Architecture at Monash University and adjunct professor in architecture at the University of Queensland.
Janina Gosseye is a senior assistant at ETH Zurich and an honorary senior fellow at the University of Queensland.
Deborah van der Plaat is a senior research fellow at the University of Queensland.

Price £35.00
Format Paperback / softback
Publication Date 15 October 2019
Pages 320
Height 229mm
Width 152mm
Rights Europe, Africa
ISBN-13 9781616897543