Building Memory. Architecture, Networks and Users

Guggenheim, Michael. 2009. Building Memory. Architecture, Networks and Users. Memory Studies, 2(1), pp. 39-53. [Article]

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Abstract or Description

Why are buildings such disputed objects with regard to time and memory, and what makes them peculiar? With the help of actor-network theory and the theory of functional differentiation, I show how objects in general relate to time and how objects can stabilize memories. I demonstrate the different ways in which networks place objects in time and how they are isolated and multiplied to relate to functional systems. I then argue that buildings cannot be controlled by functional systems because they cannot be isolated. This is so because they are singulars, occupy a stable location and are used by multiple users at the same time. For this reason I call them mutable immobiles. As mutable immobiles, buildings develop very complex relationships to times. They are changed and even converted to other building types, which cuts them off from their networks even though they still occupy the same location.

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actor-network theory; buildings; memory; time

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January 2009Published

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Date Deposited:

19 Nov 2012 10:36

Last Modified:

07 Jul 2017 09:18

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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