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Emotional capital and other ontologies of the architect
Journal Contribution - e-publication
This article presents a narrative of placemaking and architecture that posits the emotional as a foundational framework for spatial production. Written from within an African episteme, it tells the story of Nubian displacement villages in Egypt and their environments through the lens of oral testimonies about three Nubian women who are members of my family, and who partook in the process of rebuilding their settlement villages between the 1960s and 1980s. What does it mean to build beyond common Western understandings, especially in the context of Nubian society where there is societal appreciation of emotional contributions to spatial production? And how does this affect common, and gendered, notions of the figure of the architect? The conceptual framework of this paper registers the emotional as a potent factor in placemaking by engaging recent feminist scholarship which has reconceptualised Pierre Bourdieu's notion of capitals to include 'emotional capital'. It uncovers 'invisible' - or rather actively invisibilised - actors in placemaking, and, by doing so, credits another kind of placemaker, thus expanding our understanding of the architect. This leads to an 'other' ontology of placemaking and placemakers - one that expands the possibilities of attribution, involvement, and performance in contemporary practice, and recognises the emotional labourer as an architect.
Journal: Architectural histories
Keywords:A1 Journal article