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Swati Chattopadhyay Writes on Architectural History and Spatial Imagination in AHA's Perspectives on History

by Swati Chattopadhyay | Mar 25, 2014
Historical events do not occur in a spatial vacuum; they take place in buildings and landscapes, and are in turn shaped by these environments. Understanding of all history, therefore, necessitates engagement with the history of architecture: the study of buildings, cities, and landscapes, from the smallest to the grandest, as the material documents of history.

Architectural history has continually expanded its boundaries since its founding in the 19th century as a stakeholder in the architect’s aesthetic judgment, and now includes a larger set of questions in the humanities and interpretive sciences. As a result, architectural history in the 21st century is media and methods rich. It has scoped out theoretical and methodological alliances from far afield for a challenging, robust and radical understanding of the production of the built environment. Recent issues of the Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians provide a glimpse of the range of topics and approaches that are defining the field, from the digital modeling of ancient cities and the effect of architectural drawings on the understanding of property markets, to agribusiness and war landscapes.

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