Architecture in Everyday Life




For most architects, architecture is not only art, craft, passion and engagement; it is their ‘bread-and-butter’, too, and has been so since long. Architecture, consciously or unconsciously, is also the ‘bread-and-butter’ of communities across the world: successfully or unsuccessfully it is part of the daily lives of ordinary women and men. Yet practitioners, theoreticians and historians of architecture often disregard the more quotidian side of the discipline, a neglect that is inversely proportional to its importance in the production of the built environment. John Summerson’s writings – particularly his wartime ‘Bread & Butter and Architecture’ essay, a call to arms for effective salaried architects – are the motto and the guiding thread for our exploration of the position of everyday practices in twentieth-century architecture. In this introduction we look at the ‘bread-and-butter’ side of the architecture profession and at how it has modulated throughout time, highlighting the ways in which the exceptional set of articles that make up this issue of Footprint substantially extend the scope and reach of our ‘bread-and-butter’ activities.

Author Biographies

Ricardo Agarez, Ghent University

Ricardo Agarez is an architect and architectural historian (PhD 2013, RIBA President’s Award for Research) specialised in the history and theory of nineteenth- and twentieth-century architecture, having written on national and regional identities, dissemination phenomena, housing and public architecture and the architectural culture in bureaucracy. The Giles Worsley Fellow of the British School at Rome in 2014-2015, he is currently FWO Pegasus Marie Curie Fellow at Ghent University. His book Algarve Building: Modernism, Regionalism and Architecture in the South of Portugal, 1925-1965, stemming from his PhD research at The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL, will be published in 2016.

Nelson Mota, Delft University of Technology

Nelson Mota is Assistant Professor at TU Delft and guest scholar at The Berlage. He was the recipient of the Fernando Távora Prize in 2006 and authored the book A Arquitectura do Quotidiano (2010) runner-up in the Iberian FAD Prize 2011. In 2014 he received his PhD from TU Delft with the dissertation 'An Archaeology of the Ordinary'. His current research interest focuses on the relation between vernacular social and spatial practices and the architecture of dwelling.


Avermaete, Tom. 'From Knoxville to Bidonville: ATBAT and the Architecture of the French Welfare State.' In Architecture and the Welfare State, edited by Mark Swenarton, Tom Avermaete and Dirk van den Heuvel, 218-35. London and New York: Routledge, 2015.

Awan, Nishat, Tatjana Schneider, and Jeremy Till. Spatial Agency: Other Ways of Doing Architecture. Routledge Chapman & Hall, 2011.

Bacon, Mardges. ‘Le Corbusier and Postwar America: The TVA and Béton Brut’. Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 74, no. 1 (2015): 13–40.

Dannatt, Trevor, and John Summerson, intr. Modern Architecture in Britain. Selected Examples of Recent Buildings with an Introduction by John Summerson. London: Batsford, 1959.

Goad, Philip. 'Genius and Bureaucracy: Hitchcock, Summerson and Post-War Modern Architecture.' In Summerson and Hitchcock: Centenary Essays on Architectural Historiography, edited by Frank Salmon, 281-311. New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 2006.

Hatch, C. Richard. ‘Introduction’. In The Scope of Social Architecture, edited by C. Richard Hatch, 3–10. Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1984.

Hitchcock, Henry-Russell. 'The Architecture of Bureaucracy and the Architecture of Genius.' The Architectural Review (1947): 3-6.

Jackson, Neil. 'John Summerson and the View from the Outside.' In Summerson and Hitchcock: Centenary Essays on Architectural Historiography, edited by Frank Salmon, 263-80. New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 2006.

Saint, Andrew. The Image of the Architect. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1983.

Schneider, Tatjana, and Jeremy Till. ‘Beyond Discourse: Notes on Spatial Agency’. Footprint 2, no. 4 (Spring 2009): 97–111.

Summerson, John. 'Bread & Butter and Architecture.' Horizon. A Review of Literature and Art VI, no. 34 (1942): 233-43.

Thomson, Alistair. 'Memory and Remembering in Oral History.' In The Oxford Handbook of Oral History, edited by Donald A. Ritchie, 77-95. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011.