The international conference „Architecture_Metaphor“ took place online from November 5th-7th, 2020 in conjunction with this year’s annual theme.
We commonly and ubiquitously use architectural metaphors in both everyday speech as well as various professional contexts. Yet we rarely, if at all, register this connection when we talk, for example, about software architects, thought constructs, pillars of society, the architecture of the brain or the façade a person puts up. At the same time, metaphors also feature prominently in the fields of architecture and urbanism, where they are being used for the development of design concepts and provide useful means to communicate, discuss and evaluate design features. Examples range from crystalline buildings to the fabric of a city, but also include Le Corbusier’s infamous description of houses as ‘machines for living in.’
Architecture_Metaphor aims to investigate the relationship between architecture and metaphors from two angles. On the one hand, we want to examine the relevance of metaphors in and for knowledge production within the fields of architecture and urbanism and how they affect both design practices as well as theoretical discourses. Yet, we are equally interested in the capacity of metaphors as productive mediators in processes of knowledge transfer between the fields of architecture and everyday knowledges and between architectural and other professional discourses, and an exploration of the metaphor’s potential as a lens that allows us to zoom in and examine the involvement of architecture as a cultural practice in processes of social ordering.