Printing the Past. Architecture, Print Culture, and Uses of the Past in Modern Europe (PriArc) is an international, multidisciplinary research project funded by the EU’s HERA program (Humanities in the European Research Area). The project examines the relationship between architecture, print culture, and uses of the past in modern Europe and beyond. Looking primarily at architectural debate from the 18th to early 20th century, we study the ways in which new notions of the past were negotiated and constructed through architecture. This negotiation took place not only in stone but on paper, not least in the illustrated press emerging from the 1830s onwards, spreading architectural texts and images to new audiences in Europe, European colonies, and USA.
Studying architectural debate in the public and professional press, including newspapers, trade journals, museum catalogues and popular magazines, PriArc queries the ways architecture was used to construct, promote and interrogate narratives of historical continuity, patrimony and progress. By means of hitherto neglected historical material, PriArc studies the preconditions of architectural culture in the contemporary world; an urgent task at a time when Europe’s built environment is being rapidly reconfigured, both as a physical structure and a mediated environment.
Based at the Oslo School of Architecture and Design (AHO), this multidisciplinary humanities project involves researchers from Leiden University, Ghent University, and University College London, as well as designers and curators from Victoria & Albert Museum/Royal Institute of British Architects, London; Musée d’Orsay, Paris; Museum of Cultural History, University of Oslo; and the digital media lab Factum Arte, Madrid/Bologna.