EAHN 2017

The European Architectural History Network (EAHN) is pleased to announce the EAHN’s fifth thematic conference The Tools of the Architect, to be held at Delft University of Technology and Het Nieuwe Instituut HNI (Delft and Rotterdam, The Netherlands) on 22 – 24 November 2017.

Architects have for their activities of drawing, writing and building always depended upon the potential of particular tools –ranging from practical instruments such as straight edges, French curves, compasses, rulers and pencils to conceptual tools such as working drawings, collages, photographic surveys, infographics, diagrams, casts and mass models.

As technologies advanced the toolbox of architects has changed and expanded. Today architects have an extraordinary array of sophisticated tools at their disposal but also rely on many of same tools as their 18th and 19th century peers. Working drawings, pencils and tracing paper continue to appear in the designer’s studio while their role and potential is being redefined.

Time and time again, architects have engaged with new tools. The quest to find the most appropriate and adequate tools to articulate, test and communicate design ideas has never ended, and in this pursuit architects have appropriated tools from other disciplines, such as art, historiography, sociology, philosophy, computer sciences and engineering. Out of this perspective the tools of the architect have become a field of intense exploration of the encounter of architecture with other disciplinary perspectives.

The ability to write on architectural topics is also crucial for collecting new tools for architectural analysis. When writing, an aspiring architect gathers information, processes it to indicate the core subject and leave aside the unnecessary information, and finally, provides their own reasoning on the topic. Writing skills are also a must for successful architectural projects completion since every project contains not only a drawing but also a detailed specification. Below, we collected the most effective tips on writing an essay on architecture and questions to ask when writing a research paper on the matter. 

Narrow your subject down

The majority of people think that architecture deals solely with building construction and landscape design. However, that is the wrong perception of the discipline and profession. Architecture has something to do with any object that fills the space and can be used for some needs of an individual. 

Hence, before starting to write an architecture paper, a student should understand what interests them the most, and what kind of construction fits certain subject requirements. Find your niche to focus on before you start researching the topic, so that you could make your essay precise and to the point. 

Don’t be afraid to start writing

The next thing that you have to overcome is the fear of the blank paper (say, the blank screen of your laptop). You may feel like you cannot get your thoughts in order at all and need some kick to start writing. Frankly speaking, you do not need any sign that the perfect time for writing has come. All you need is to start. 

Open the document file of your architect paper and start taking notes. It can be single sentences or word combinations that associate with your essay topic. Do not try to order them at this stage: your task is to write out the first thing that comes into your mind when you think about your assignment topic. Save these notes since you will need them later. 

Do your research

Now it’s time to find references and sources that will be the base of your future reasoning. How to select the most relevant material for your architect tools essay? You need to identify the historical period, architectural style, and direction first. Then, go on to studying the influencers of your topic and their approaches to the subject. Ask yourself a few questions to narrow your research down: 

  • What years reveal the accomplishments related to my topic the best?
  • Who are the key researchers of my topic?
  • Are there any blank spots in the topic that I am working on?

The answers to these questions will help you find the most interesting aspects of your architecture essay topic and develop it in your own unique way. 

Plan your writing: creating structure and getting started

When all writing materials are gathered and you have taken some notes from the sources, you have to start structuring your architect essay. Every architecture paper consists of three main parts: an introduction, the body paragraphs, and a conclusion. 

The introductory part aims at helping the audience get acquainted with your topic and get an idea of what your reasoning will be about. Adding any detailed facts and figures is not required here, only a few facts or data that will work as attention-grabbers. Jokes and witty quotes are not worth mentioning as well since your architect paper is not a piece for the Creative Writing class. Remember to be precise and clear at the beginning of your essay and logically lead your opening lines to your thesis statement. 

Body paragraphs should contain all your arguments presented one-by-one with sufficient and pertinent pieces of evidence. Do not rush to write this part of your architecture paper: it is the largest one and requires all your patience.

Finally, the conclusion should wrap up everything you stated in the essay body and restate your introduction. If your thesis statement contained a question, do not forget to answer it here. Keep in mind that the conclusion is your last attempt to persuade your audience of the importance of your topic and the relevance of your findings. 

Formulate a strong thesis

After you structured your writing and outlined your main points for each architect’s essay part, you should proceed to shape your thoughts for a thesis statement. It is one of the toughest parts of the writing process, so if you feel unable to concentrate and formulate your thesis, feel free to ask for college essay writing help. Contact professional tutors at the essay writing service and they will provide you with the necessary assistance, inspiration, and tips on how to create a perfect thesis. 

Write it 

Now you have everything needed for writing an essay on architecture tools and equipment, so what are you waiting for? Gather your notes, and get started. It’s not obligatory to write an entire essay at once unless your deadline is in a few hours. Plan your time and type a few paragraphs per day so you will not feel the pressure of the lengthy assignment on your shoulders. 

Revise your paper

The last stage of the paper preparation that you should not omit is self-editing. Although you might not like this activity, it offers a lot of benefits: your text will become more polished, well-organized, and unique. You as an architect writer will become sound more professional and persuasive. Finally, your instructor will notice your effort and evaluate it high. 

Final thoughts 

As you can see, writing on architecture is not easy, but you can master it if you strive for it. With our tips, you will notice that creating a top architecture essay is not a talent but a skill that everyone can develop over time.

Inventions and innovations of tools throughout history have not only provided better answers to questions of analyzing and representing the built environment, but they have also pointed to new ways of conceiving and intervening. Ellipsographs made it possible to precisely draw an elliptical space in the 19th century and computer-aided drafting software has allowed for a new conception and construction of complex geometries in the 20th and 21st century. New tools have continuously affected the imagination, character and qualities of architectural projects.

This conference wants to focus on the changing practical and conceptual tools of the architect and their effect on the logos and praxis of architecture. The conference will be structured along three thematic lines:

  • The Instruments of the Architect  (i.e. the apparata and equipment of the architect)
  • The Tools of Analysis (i.e. the devices to study architecture and the built environment in general)
  • The Tools of Intervention (i.e. the devices to intervene in the built environment)

Conference Chairs:

Tom Avermaete, Delft University of Technology
Merlijn Hurx, Utrecht University

Organising Committee: 

Carola Hein, Delft University of Technology
Marie-Terese van Thoor, Delft University of Technology
Koen Ottenheym, Utrecht University
Petra Brouwer, University of Amsterdam
Dirk van den Heuvel, Jaap Bakema Study Centre/ Het Nieuwe Instituut

Location & Dates: 

TU Delft and HNI, Rotterdam, 22 – 24 November 2017


Keynote speakers:

Mari Lending (professor of architectural theory and history, Oslo School of Architecture and Design/ OCCAS: the Oslo Center for Critical Architectural Studies)
Michiel Riedijk (professor at Chair of Public Building, Delft University of Technology/ Neutelings Riedijk Architects, Rotterdam)
Anthony Gerbino (Senior Lecturer, Art History, University of Manchester)

Scientific Committee:

Tom Avermaete, Delft University of Technology
Merlijn Hurx, Utrecht University
Alona Nitzan-Shiftan, Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa
Maristella Casciatio, Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles
Anthony Gerbino, University of Manchester
Sebastian Fitzner, Freie Universität Berlin
Wolfgang Lefevre, Max Planck Institute, Berlin