Introduction: We Construct Collective Life by Constructing Our Environment

Lorens Holm*, Cameron McEwan

*Corresponding author for this work

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Architecture and Collective Life is a special double issue for the journal Architecture and Culture, and trace of the Architectural Humanities Research Association conference at University of Dundee (November 2019). The journal issue organizes a “grammar of collective life” under the categories: individuals, communities, cities, collectives. We reposition the individual and collective relationship away from the private/public categories as a different section through life to open ethical and political discourse to architecture, and architecture’s role in constructing our environment—built, digital, imagined, natural. We emphasize critical thought as collective action as a necessary step towards a critical architectural theory for the Anthropocene. Architecture and Collective Life is committed to the proposition that we use architecture to construct collective life. We included articles on ethics and community activism, which treat practical questions regarding the relation of the one to the many; psychoanalysis and Lacan’s field of the Other; cities and housing, which constitutes the material form of collective life; and digital crowds and computational space, the new individuals and collectives emerging from digital platforms, the human-digital hybrid. Recurring, are references to Hannah Arendt, Judith Butler, Michel Foucault, Jacques Lacan, Henri Lefebvre, Aldo Rossi, Bernard Stiegler, ... .

Issue contributors: Lorens Holm, Cameron McEwan, Penelope Haralambidou, Jane Rendell, Angie Voela, Guanghui Ding, Tal Bar, Mhairi McVicar, Yael Padan, John Hendrix, Andrew Stoane, Camillo Boano, Francesco Proto, Andrea Migotto, Frederick Chaffee Biehle, DavidCapener, Hazem Ziada, Don Kunze, Paul Guzzardo, Gustavo Cardon and Rodrigo Martın Iglesias.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)529-548
Number of pages20
JournalArchitecture and Culture
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2020
Externally publishedYes


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