On 9H: The relationship between institutions and discursive formations

Research output: Contribution to conference (non-published works)Paper


In light of shifting disciplinary structures, critical examination of the relationship between school-affiliated institutional magazines (or 'institutional artefacts'), and their representation of extraneous, third-party architectural production is of increasing importance to scholarship. This conference, entitled 'The Site of Discourse', focuses squarely on this relationship between the constructive, corporeal practising of architecture and its symbolic, incorporeal representation in the architectural magazine. The rise in production of institutional artefacts coincided with the onset of postmodernism in an attempt to reclaim pedagogy as the medium for architectural and urbanist experimentation. In the 1980s, which I define as a second-generation of post-modern architectural discourse, practitioners and theorists in London embarked on an empiricist mission in the revision and publication of Eurocentric theory from the Enlightenment to post-modernism. From this critical paradigm, this essay takes as its case study the UCL-produced architectural journal 9H, and considers it against a number of empirical concepts. Informed by Foucauldian concepts of 'institution' and 'discursive formation', this paper coins and puts to work the term 'institutional artefact' to answer the following complex questions at the interface of the theoretical and the material: Does 9H display a singular discourse or a discourse of debate? Is 9H serving the pedagogical aims of the institution or rather cultivating an external audience? In so exploring, this paper hopes to achieve two things: first, to demonstrate that the British empiricist mission of the 1980s represents an aim to create a cultural language for architecture in the face of commercial and pedagogical pressures; and second, to reveal the methodological implications of institutional discursive formations versus the presence of individual figures that arise from the study of an institutional artefact as a site of discourse.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages9
Publication statusUnpublished - 28 Sept 2015
Externally publishedYes
EventInternational Conference The Site of Discourse : Thinking Architecture Through Publication 2015 - Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal
Duration: 28 Sept 201530 Sept 2015


ConferenceInternational Conference The Site of Discourse
Internet address


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