The Secret Lives of Buildings: an exercise in building stories
Mansfield Charles, and Seligman, Simon Narrative and the Built Heritage – papers in tourism research
VDM Verlag, Saarbrucken 2011
'The Secret Lives of Buildings' (SLB) originated as a keynote speech at Narrating the Built Heritage, a conference in tourism theory at Plymouth University in 2011. It has since been included in a reader that has developed from the conference. SLB reflects a reflection on the principles and the practices I have developed as a practicing writer in 'The Secret Lives of Buildings', but it also represents a branching out into another discipline for here the audience addressed is not designers or architects, but practitioners and theorists of the quite different field of tourism.
SLB is innovative in two respects. Firstly, the paper explains how, as a practicing write, I attempt to build narrative structures using strategies I have learned as an architect rather than a writer, creating a sort of ‘spatial writing’ that builds upon the place writing of academics like Jane Rendell (Bartlett). Secondly, I present these strategies to the curators of historic houses from Lanhydrock to Chatsworth, who are the real practitioners in the art of telling stories about buildings.
SLB was, in the first place, invited, and then edited by an academic panel for publication.
SLB has led to a variety of other similar reflections. I have since presented an extension of this exercise at ‘Spatial Perspectives’ at English department of the University of Oxford 2012 (due for publication 2013), and as a keynote speech at Interiors Futures, the conference organised by Interior Educators UK at Northumbria University in 2011 (since published).
|Title of host publication||Mansfield Charles, and Seligman, Simon Narrative and the Built Heritage – papers in tourism research|
|Publisher||VDM Verlag: Saarbrücken|
|Number of pages||12|
|Publication status||Published - Mar 2011|