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The Architect as Editor

Part 2 Dissertation 2006
Aaron Peters
Queensland University of Technology Brisbane Australia
An interventionist design methodology considered through the review of suburban Brisbane backyard extensions This thesis explores an interventionist approach to the design of the built environment: the architect as editor. The study asserts that the communicative capacity of the built environment can be likened to a written text; a built manuscript. The composition, interpretation, and navigation of the built manuscript by humans as authors, readers, and protagonists, are discussed as a precursor to the introduction of the architect as editor. Strategic architectural intervention within the built environment is likened to an editorial revision of the built manuscript with the potential to rewrite text and influence spatial narratives. These theoretical notions are subsequently refined and tested through the analysis of two suburban Brisbane backyard extension projects. These case studies are used to provide a working example of the practical application of an editorial methodology.
Aaron Peters


A carefully crafted argument ­– through literary analogy – for rethinking the role of architects in the built environment. Rather than architects being sole ‘creators’ of their works, we're invited to think of them as ‘editors’ of others’ works. Showing surprising humility from a young architectural scholar, this argument is substantiated with equally surprising maturity, through in-depth literature review and original case study work. It has also been pleasing to witness the development of the author's own ‘editorial traits’; in particular, his commitment to achieving clarity in narrative voice and refinement for the finished manuscript.

2006
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