Industries of Architecture

Tilo Amhoff, Nicholas Beech, Katie Lloyd Thomas

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceeding with ISSN or ISBNChapter


We understand the industries of architecture as specific, yet polyvalent, historically contingent, ambivalent and emphasise this through pluralisation. First, ‘industry’ to us is never just a matter of technology, but always also a matter of social organisation and social relations. Second, we cannot assume that ‘industry’ identifies any one particular form of technical and social organisation and that the formations vary according to specific contexts, and hence ‘industry’ is always already localised. Third, ‘industry’ is understood as dynamic. What constitutes ‘industry’ has undergone enormous change. In our own context we might characterise this as transition from a factory mode of production (identified by the entrepreneurial, laissez faire model of the nineteenth century) to a state mode of production (supported by state institutional bureaucratic and technocratic planning), and now to a corporate mode of production (global, de-centralised and responsive to financial capital requirements), when ‘industry’ is no longer concentrated in specific building typologies or modes of production, but has to be considered as more spatially dispersed across institutions and techniques. Fourth, we aim to bring issues from ‘professional practice’, ‘project management’, or the ‘merely technical’ realms, where debates are usually more to do with pragmatics and efficiency, into the architectural humanities—to history and theory, and to design—where they may be more critically engaged. We argue that the theoretical tools—the basic concepts, categories and procedures of knowledge formation—that are deployed in this chapter and elsewhere are not just productive of our subject, but are produced by that subject.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIndustries of Architecture
EditorsKatie Lloyd Thomas, Tilo Amhoff, N. Beech
Place of PublicationAbingdon
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9781138946828
Publication statusPublished - 19 Nov 2015


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