Colonization is defined as: the action of appropriating a place or domain for one’s own use; the action or process of settling among and establishing control over the indigenous people of an area. Ensuing realities are complex, contested and in perpetual transformation. In this label, the word situations is added to the word colonial in an attempt to acknowledge that the post-colonial, even the decolonized, bear the traces of the colonial, in their challenge to, replacement of, and sometimes reframed re-embodiment of previously hegemonic histories and structures of interpretation.
The Royal Institution of British Architects
If producing a building can be split into a chronological sequence of types of work and action, then the term construction defines the stage when it starts to be built. The architects and other members of the design team often work both at the building site and in the office. The Royal Institution of British Architects has defined this sequence in a document titled The RIBA Plan of Work (2020), which describes stage 5 as Manufacturing and Construction. Two more stages follow this – 6. Handover and Close Out; 7. In Use.
This important word is laden with implications, since it is often associated with the cult of domesticity developed in the U.S. and Britain during the nineteenth century that embodies a still widely-influential value system built around ideas of femininity, a woman’s role in the home, and the relationship between work and family that this sets up. When conventional boundaries of what and who constitutes a family are questioned, so too is this fixed definition of domesticity. Within writings about architecture, this extends to the physical and spatial qualities of the domestic interior, and their socio-political meanings as they change over time and geography.
The earliest existing architectural drawing was made more that 4,000 years ago – an engraving of the plan of a shrine into the hard stone of a figurative sculpture. Since then, drawing has been a principal mechanism through which thinking, and the communication of these thoughts, about architecture is carried out. There is a huge diversity of approaches to architectural drawing, from the scribbles of initial sketches, collaboratively produced construction details, instructive diagrams to polished presentation drawings made for seduction. Citations collected under this term – drawing – are somehow connected to the processes and outcomes of architectural drawing, in its many manifestations.
In this context, the term environmentalism overlaps with sustainability, with a focus on the natural environment as a system. At its simplest, to sustain means to be able to be maintained or defended, and as such requires a system within which there is something to be upheld, or sustained at a certain rate or level. With the particular economic and political meaning that this word is freighted with, the reality of any system that constitutes its context is always in flux, always in question, because it reflects the ideological position of the individual or group using it. Most often, the term is used to define the actions or attitudes necessary to maintain aspects of the world as they exist in the early twenty-first century – that the global temperature and sea levels do not rise, that capitalism can continue as the dominant economic system; but this is often given a progressive intention in advocating a change in the system and how it works globally, with an intention towards equality – providing a consistent water and food supply for all the world’s population, for example, equal access to clean energy and economic security.
The central tenet of this powerful word is a belief in the social, economic, and political equality of women, and it is in this general sense that it has been applied as a thematic term in this annotated bibliography. While this is a clear statement, many complexities are embodied with the ambiguity of its terms, as well as the history of its struggle. As a descriptive term, it has been broken down into various categories which vary with the ideological, geographical and social status of the categoriser. For example, feminism is sometimes assigned chronological waves or stages: from the 1830s into the twentieth century – women’s fight for suffrage, equal contract and property rights; between 1960 and 1990 – a widening of the fight to embrace the workplace, domesticity, sexuality and reproductive rights; between 1990 and 2010 – the development of micropolitical groups concerned with specific issues; and the current wave of feminism that draws power from the me-too movement, and recognises the fluidity of biological womanhood.
This word overlaps with other themes in this glossary – with domesticity and the sourcing, storing and preparation of food, or sustainability in a wider political and economic sense that embraces the perceived responsibilities of individuals and communities alike to produce and consume food in response to global issues of climate change, biopolitics and economic disparity, for example. As such, the definition extends out from its descriptive relationship to the objects of consumption into spatial realms of all scales.
Writing for children is also writing for adults, and not just those who are imminent, although it is a useful place for embedding ethical frameworks for future life and creative work, and for framing desires and aspirations. This term encompasses writing by women to be read to and by children, but also to send messages to each other, and as such can be a feminist form of writing of a type taken to powerful heights by writers like Angela Carter, Jean Auel, Ursula Le Guin and Frances Hodgson Burnett.
Gender is a social construct whose traditional binary construct – male/female – is challenged by the concept of gender fluidity, which refers to change over time in a person’s gender expression or gender identity, or both. Another direction in which the question of gender as a social construct is extended is into the realm of interchangeability with other species.
World Health Organisation
Gender refers to the characteristics of women, men, girls and boys that are socially constructed. This includes norms, behaviours and roles associated with being a woman, man, girl or boy, as well as relationships with each other. As a social construct, gender varies from society to society and can change over time. Gender is hierarchical and produces inequalities that intersect with other social and economic inequalities. Gender-based discrimination intersects with other factors of discrimination, such as ethnicity, socioeconomic status, disability, age, geographic location, gender identity and sexual orientation, among others. This is referred to as intersectionality. Gender interacts with but is different from sex, which refers to the different biological and physiological characteristics of females, males and intersex persons, such as chromosomes, hormones and reproductive organs. Gender and sex are related to but different from gender identity. Gender identity refers to a person’s deeply felt, internal and individual experience of gender, which may or may not correspond to the person’s physiology or designated sex at birth.
I. To begin with, the regime of sex, gender and sexual difference you consider universal and almost metaphysical, on which rests all psychoanalytical theory, is not an empirical reality, nor a determining symbolic order of the unconscious. It is no more than an epistemology of the living, an anatomical mapping, a political economy of the body and a collective administration of reproductive energies. A historic system of knowledge and representation constructed in accordance with a racial taxonomy during a period of European mercantile and colonial expansion that crystallized in the second half of the nineteenth century. Far from being a representation of reality, this epistemology is in fact a performative engine that produces and legitimizes a specific political and economic order: the heterocolonial patriarchy.
From: Can The Monster Speak? A Report to an Academy of Psychoanalysts (Fitzcaraldo Editions, 2021): 45
An architectural monograph usually describes the work of an individual architect or designer, sometimes that of a partnership or collective, which is often interpreted through the life experiences – also recounted – of the subject. Sometimes the subject is a single building or project. Usually written by one author, a monograph presents a single point of view on the subject, often with scholarly credentials through which it assumes authority. The monograph is a familiar tool for defining the importance of the individual creative figure and establishing a place for them within the canon. Until recently, the lives and works of women architects and designers have not often been the subjects of monographs, but important work in redefining the canon of architectural history has led to a series of books addressing this discrepancy.
Searching for writing by women about architecture in the long period preceding the twentieth century reveals few texts in the conventional sense; that is, familiar within the form of canonical histories, theories and critiques of buildings, ideas and architects’ lives. When this is the case, a more lateral approach to the definition of architectural writing is required, and one of the fields where women, intrepid women, were writing about architecture was in their travel writing, where they recounted their experiences and impressions of exotic worlds near and far, and the buildings they found there, for their counterparts who stayed at home.