In 2012, with his publication Why Photography Matters as Art as Never Before, art critic Michael Fried identified a disciplinary shift in photography in the 1970’s according to which he assigned photography a new role in interdisciplinary practices such as architecture. For example, the seminal Dusseldorf School of Photography, a group of photographers who led this photographic emancipation identified photographic subjects that were to resonate with investigations concerning the architectural discourse. This understanding of the photographic image as an object, a medium, a methodology and an art form brings new light into the architectural investigations that applied photography as a tool of documentation and dissemination.
My research looks into the intersection of photography and architecture reviewing key architectural moments in which photography played a significant role in the development of these ideas and juxtaposes them to the analogous photographic approaches. It looks into seminal architectural ideas such as typological taxonomies, and the definition of the vernacular, as well as more abstract concepts such as the representation of the social aspect of space, the ambiguity in representing the real and the fictional, and the architectural potential of abstract conceptual representations.
Eleni Han is a PhD researcher at the Royal College of Art’s School of Architecture, focusing on the relationship between architecture, urbanism and photography. Eleni trained as an architect and engineer at the University of Thessaly in Greece and holds a second master’s degree in Architectural Design from the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Design. She is an architect and educator in London with a particular interest in curating and exhibition design. Together with Guillermo Ruiz she is leading the research project Architectures of the New Curatorial, creating a network of researchers and curators around the world and investigating the possibilities of interdisciplinary research.