The Architecture of the Not-quite-well-tempered Environment

Zhao, Jing (2015) The Architecture of the Not-quite-well-tempered Environment. In: 2n conference of the construction history society.

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The Architecture of the Not-quite-well-tempered Environment
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Item Type:Conference or Workshop contribution (Presentation)
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Abstract

The project for the new Houses of Parliament in London was commissioned at the beginning of the 19th century, when the boom in science allowed new technologies and associated social groups to be involved in many established industries, forcing a paradigm shift in the construction industry. The mechanical engineer as a new professional field had just emerged from various backgrounds and started to define its position in architectural collaborations. This change in turn created a type of cooperative social network that was different from the tradition where the project was predominantly run by architects. The reaction, collaboration, conflict and compromise these groups made during construction stages affected the final result to a great extent. Previous research has addressed the problem of communication between these two parties [ ], but focused more on the personalities of the individuals (the architect Sir Charles Barry and the mechanical engineer Dr. Reid (Fig.1)) rather than on the organizational level. This research will firstly try to depict the new Houses of Parliament construction process as it happened in the 1830s, in order to address the organizational issues involved and their possible implication for the modern architectural collaboration. Secondly, it will apply the SCOT (Social Construction of Technology) approach in setting up a controllable boundary to thoroughly study all the relevant social groups in order to explain their intertwined relationship in the construction industry in the Victorian era. The findings give a new angle to analyse innovative technology and new social groups in construction projects, indicating that similar to today’s architecture industry, problems occur not only when the social groups conflict with each other, but also when this conflict has been dealt with inappropriately.

Keywords:Reid, Houses of Parliament, Social Construction of Technology, mechanical service
Subjects:K Architecture, Building and Planning > K100 Architecture
Divisions:College of Arts > School of Architecture & Design > School of Architecture & Design (Architecture)
ID Code:32478
Deposited On:20 Oct 2018 21:33

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