chapter
Introduction: Biographies and space
ByDANA ARNOLD, JOANNA SOFAER
Pages 5

Biography and biographical methods of historical investigation have received much attention in recent years. And there is no doubt that biography is an essential part of human memory. We think about ourselves in terms of what we have done – our identity is constructed around our past. Are then history and biography linked or just two parallel strands? In architecture there are biographical traces in its spaces, taxonomies and histories: biography is then an essential narrative tool. This volume focuses on the relationship between biography and space and how specific subjects are used as a means of explaining sets of social, cultural and spatial relationships. Biographical methods can bring out the authentic voice of subjects, revealing personal meanings and strategies in space as well as providing a means to analyse relations between the personal and the social. It is the intention here to explore these divergent conventions in order to examine the cultural formations behind them. This volume comprises essays by internationally recognized scholars that consider issues of gender, childhood, sexuality and race in respect of actual (architectural) and imagined (pictorial) space. These chapters combine to highlight an increasing fluidity and interaction between theory, methods and history in the analysis and understanding of the relationship between biographies and space.