Metaphors are diversly and intricately embedded in architectural practice and discourse. Precisely for this reason, this volume argues and sets out to explore, how they can be engaged to critically interrogate architecture’s social, cultural and political dimensions – past and present – and to productively challenge and intervene with established perspectives, debates and practices.

Mapping out not just potentials but also addressing the challenges, limitations and dangers inherent in using metaphors in architectural research and practice, the volume prominently illustrates the ambiguity and contradictoriness inherent in both metaphors and the process of engaging and exploiting them. Covering a broad range of historical and geographical cases and concerns, the contributions illustrate effectively that metaphors can expand or narrow our engagement with architecture, and consolidate or legitimise but also destabilise and challenge established social, cultural, disciplinary and political structures, concepts and categories.

With its aim to explore metaphors as both subject and method to critically challenge and expand established practices, perspectives and standards in architectural research and practice, the volume will be of interest for scholars working across the architectural humanities, including architectural history, theory, culture, design and urbanism, as well as for researchers concerned with architecture and the city from fields such as cultural, visual and area studies as well as art history.

chapter |12 pages


Metaphors as Target and Tool in Architectural Research and Practice

part Section 1|68 pages

Recovering Metaphorical Histories

chapter 3|15 pages

The Analogy of Means

The Ontological Function of Architectural Metaphor

chapter 4|17 pages

The Ghost Towns of Burma

Student Activism and the Politics of Memory under Military Rule

part Section 2|75 pages

The Material Production of Metaphors

chapter 5|18 pages

Concrete Abstractions

Architectural Metaphors in the Design Practice of Warsaw's Socialist Realism (1949–1952)

chapter 6|17 pages

Analogy versus Metaphor

Aldo van Eyck's Poetic Images In-Between Fields

chapter 7|17 pages

Planning with Ecology

The PEP Group and Biosocial Design in Post-War Britain

chapter 8|19 pages

Yorùbá Metaphor

From Mythoi to Contemporary Public Realm Urbanism

part Section 3|68 pages

Framing Narratives through Metaphor

chapter 9|16 pages

Disturbing Scenes

Architecture as Metaphor in Women's Stories

chapter 10|15 pages

The Star System

Denise Scott Brown's Feminist Analysis of the Sociology of Architecture and Its Repercussions

chapter 11|17 pages


Architectural Metaphors from the Edge of the World

chapter 12|16 pages

A Clean Slate

Metaphors and the Smart City in India