Mainardi / Everyday Practice as Paradigm to Study Architectural Contemporary Codes

Everyday Practice as Paradigm to Study Architectural Contemporary Codes

Author: Claudia Mainardi, Politecnico di Milano

Supervisor: Gennaro Postiglione, Prof., Politecnico di Milano; Gaia Caramellino, Prof., Politecnico di Milano; Christoph Grafe, Prof., Bergische Universität Wuppertal

Research stage: Intermediate/final doctoral stage

Category: Artefact

DDR Statement

Given the present history 1 object of study, the research proposes an empirical approach that does not aim to achieve a definitive response. On the contrary it has the intention to disentangle processes while being formed, thus requiring an experimental approach that accepts mistakes and approximations –aware of the possibility of failure,– and adopting reflection as an opportunity to step back from specific expectations and requirements, through a high degree of open-endedness 2.

The presented paper in particular moves in the lines of micro-history 3, thinking through cases 4, researching on the architecture of recent past, and uses an ethnographic approach searching on the everyday and its object 5 as a way to disentangle the more implicit and embedded knowledge of an architectural practice. More in general, in fact, the research argues that each office has its own accumulated knowledge made up of recurring references, idiosyncrasies, characteristic lexicon, particular aesthetic, etc. In other words, each office harbours a series of more or less conscious –and/or more or less stated– aspects that define its character and subsequently inform the way it operates (from research to project execution). In this perspective, the close observations –thanks to the direct sources these allow– aim to experimentally reveal an internal and hidden knowledge.

  1. Robert, François (ed.) (1993): Ecrire l’Histoire du Temps Présent. Paris: CNRS.
  2. Buchert,Margitta (2014): Reflexive Design: Design and Research in Architecture. Berlin: Jovis.
  3. Levi, Giovanni Levi (2001): On Microhistory. University Park: The Pennsylvania State University Press, pp. 97–119.
  4. Passeron, Jan Claude/ Revel, Jaque (2005): Penser Par Cas. Paris: Ehess.
  5. De Certau, Michel (1980): The Practice of Everyday Life. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press