Following Norberg-Schulz [Book]

Following Norberg-Schulz: An Architectural History through the Essay Film (Bloomsbury Visual Culture, 2022) by Anna Ulrikke Andersen.

This book examines the ‘window’ in the life and work of the seminal architectural thinker Christian Norberg-Schulz (1926 – 2000). It draws new attention to his architectural designs and re-examines his acclaimed theoretical work on the phenomenology of architecture and place within the context of a biography of his life, linking him with other historical figures such as Helen Keller and Rainer Maria Rilke, and framing him within the modernist tradition of the latter.

Taking a novel, experimental approach, the book also explores the potential of the essay-film as an innovative new approach to producing architectural history. Bridging archival research and artistic exploration, its ten chapters, written by an architectural historian who is also a film-maker, are each accompanied by a short documentary film, hosted online and linked from within the chapter, which use the medium of film to creatively explore and delve deeper into little-known aspects of Norberg-Schulz’s theory of genius loci and the phenomenology of architecture. The book questions what it means to ‘follow’ those who came before, exploring the positionality of the architectural historian/filmmaker.

Offering an insightful account of the life, work, and theory of a key thinker, Following Norberg-Schulz is also essential reading for those interested in practice-led research methodologies, particularly in the practice of film-making and the essay film, providing a highly innovative example of scholarly research which bridges the text-film gap.

The book was celebrated with two book launch events. The first took place 15 March 2022 at The Bartlett School of Architecture, with Lilian Chee (the National University of Singapore) and Claire Thomsen (UCL Scandinavian Studies) chaired by Jane Rendell (The Bartlett).

Book Launch Following Norberg-Schulz 15 March 2022 at The Bartlett School of Architecture, with Lilian Chee (the National University of Singapore) and Claire Thomsen (UCL Scandinavian Studies) chaired by Jane Rendell (The Bartlett).

The second launch event took place at ROM for kunst og arkitektur in Oslo 30 March 2022, with Ingrid Halland (University of Bergen). Photos by Håkon Borg/MAGPIE

With the support of the Norwegian Arts Council.