Representing and collecting architecture: the problem of the exhibition

Lead Research Organisation: Kingston University
Department Name: Sch of Design


Architectural exhibitions are in a paradoxical position: more and more galleries and museums are interested in staging them to deal with public interest, and their perceived cultural importance. Historians recognise their significance in the development of architectural practice. Yet the both curators and practitioners question the philosophical approach. Unlike an art exhibitions, which shows primary objects, an architectural exhibition, so it is said, can represent a surrogate for an authentic, primary experience. These three workshops are a chance to interrogate the intellectual and historical basis of the architectural exhibition. A related problem is that of the architectural archive. Professional archives are growing in size, and are proving increasingly difficult for UK institutions to accommodate: a fact reflected in the sale to overseas institutions of the archives of both James Stirling and Cedric Price two of the key figures of British architecture. The workshops are a chance to identify the key relationships between archives, institutions and exhibitions and to identify priorities in dealing with them in a UK context and to initiate future research projects.


10 25 50