Peripheries – The Urban Peripheries in the Era of the Anthropocene 

Cooperative Research Project 2023-2026
Cameron McEwan (Northumbria University Newcastle) & Andreas Lechner (TU Graz)

In The Archiecture of the City Aldo Rossi argued that the city is the site of collective memory. For Rossi, historical artefacts, typologies, and urban structure embodied an “urban imaginary.” He was writing at a time of urban transition and generally, but not exclusively, focused on the historical centre.

Today, notions of “centre” and “city” as identifiable entity have given way to more dynamic and heterogeneous processes of urbanisation and an extending urban periphery. Yet it is possible to argue that peripheries also have a collective memory, a history, and a typological structure. With Georges Perec in mind, the periphery may be the banal, the common, the habitual, and therefore somehow central to collective life – a place of peripheral monuments that embody a peripheral imaginary.

What are the typologies and structures that situate the peripheral imaginary. If Rossi was interested in defining categories that helped understand the city [artefact, locus, type, monument, permanence, collective memory, city as historical text], what are the interpretive categories needed to understand the periphery? Beyond Rossi, who might be the principal critical reference points? What are the modes of representation that articulate the peripheral imaginary? How can the peripheral imaginary be drawn out?


May 11 HS L – Alte Technik, Lessingstraße 25/I

Cameron McEwan (UK) lectures at TU Graz:
Peripheries: The Urban Periphery in the Era of the Anthropocene
Cameron McEwan is associate professor of architecture at Northumbria University, UK. Cameron is an architectural theorist, educator, and director of the AE Foundation. Cameron’s research focuses on the relationship between architectural typology, representation, and subjectivity to engage critical approaches to the urban/Anthropocene question. His work appears in journals and venues, including: Archnet-IJAR, Architecture and Culture, arq, Drawing On, GAM, JAE, Lo Squaderno, MONU, the Venice International Architecture Biennale and elsewhere. Cameron’s editorial projects include Accounts (Pelinu, 2019); Architecture and Collective Life (Architecture and Culture, 2020); and Care and Critical Action (Lo Squaderno, 2023). Cameron’s book Analogical City was published with Punctum in 2024.

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