Leeds Beckett University
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Architecture Knowledge Work: A User's Manual

posted on 2023-07-11, 09:35 authored by Giorgio PonzoGiorgio Ponzo
Architecture Knowledge Work: A User’s Manual aims to formulate a theory for the production of architectural discourses recognising the centrality of personal — autobiographical — experience in contemporary modes of knowledge production. The thesis is a collection of stories that reveal how: the production of knowledge came to be recognised as a form of labour, i.e.’ knowledge work’, that engages the worker at an existential level (chapter one); how the form of knowledge delivered by autobiographical writing unveils distinct qualities of knowledge work contingent to the personal (chapter two); how autobiography (the story of one’s life) and work (the production of knowledge) come to coincide in a practice of architecture that becomes autotheoretical (chapter three); and how such processes can be demonstrated through my own attempts at autotheoretical architectural work by bridging personal and professional experiences (chapter four). The thesis is a collection of thoughts that, with different degrees of depth, focus and awareness, speak about the relationship between knowledge, work, architecture and life, proposing research and critical reflection processes that embrace, rather than exclude, the context of life as the inconsistent series of small and big events that characterise our daily endeavours and that, over time, shape our identity, in an indistinguishable tie between what we do and what we are. The thesis attempts to tell a possible story about the need to root architectural knowledge and design in more explicitly personal processes of reflection, arguing that the attention to the personal and to personal knowledge, is not a fashionable, passing phenomenon, but indicates a paradigm shift propelled by the desire to overcome the increasing detachment and discontentment that culminated at the end of the nineteenth century, between knowledge and personal life.


Qualification name

  • PhD


Bernath, Doreen ; Hafeda, Mohamad ; Stoppani, Teresa

Awarding Institution

Leeds Beckett University

Completion Date


Qualification level

  • Doctoral


  • eng


Leeds Beckett University

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