Reading(s) and Writing(s): Unfolding Processes of Transversal Writing

  • Catharina Gabrielsson KTH Royal Institute of Technology
  • Hélène Frichot KTH Royal Institute of Technology
  • Klaske Havik TU Delft, Architecture and the Built Environment
  • Marko Jobst


This issue of Writingplace Journal, Reading(s) and Writing(s), focuses on the complex process of writing itself, and in particular on the question of reading and responding to texts. By presenting not only resulting texts, but discreet readings of works in process integrated with the discussions that unfold, the issue reveals complex modes of writing that move between the scholarly and the fictional. It draws attention to the questions of authorial voice, the voice of the reader, and the voice of the possible protagonists of the text, even if this as an object, space or indeed, place. If the authors could be said to engage in various acts of ‘writing place’, as per this journal’s general thematic focus, what kinds of places do they bring into existence? Furthermore, which modes of writing are deemed most appropriate in order to create both evocative and critical accounts of places?

Driven by a concern to reinvigorate space-related research through the means of writing, the texts in this issue have evolved through the collaborations of a group of affiliated thinkers and practitioners, within a series of reading and writing workshops in the context of the project Transversal Writing.2 Challenging the means and formats of conventional academic writing, this project sets out to transgress the hierarchies between academic and non-academic knowledge, theory and practice, discipline and profession. Contesting the reification of architecture that maintains that the building is a discrete object – whose values are materialized through real estate, limits defined by property borders and agency reduced to profit-making – what we call ‘transversal writing’ traces the lines of connection between architectural conceptions and their effects, between decisions and materializations, forms and affordances. The project acknowledges how architecture is shaped by words, imagery and ideas long before it is transformed into bricks and mortar. Recognizing architecture as a product of the collective imaginary – an act of human creation – is to identify the potentiality in how words, images and physical entities have a capacity to proliferate, spread and generate unforeseeable effects, far beyond the intentions of the architect.


Jennifer Bloomer, Architecture and the Text: The (S)crypts of Joyce and Piranesi (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1993), 146.

Michel Foucault, ‘What Is an Author?’, in: Donald F. Bouchard (ed.), Language, Counter-Memory, Practice: Selected Essays and Interviews by Michel Foucault (New York: Cornell University Press, 1977), 113-138.

Author Biographies

Catharina Gabrielsson, KTH Royal Institute of Technology

Catharina Gabrielsson is docent in architecture and associate professor in urban theory at the School of Architecture KTH, Stockholm. Her research centres on the relationship between architecture and the city, critically questioning and contextualizing modes of spatial production by juxtaposing aesthetics, politics and economics. Methods include fieldwork operations, archival studies and discourse analysis fused together through an engagement with text and creative writing. Articles and chapters have appeared in Architectural Theory Review, field, Deleuze and Architecture (Edinburgh University Press, 2013) and Architecture and Field/Work (London: Routledge, 2010), among others. She is co-editor for Architecture and Feminisms: Ecologies, Economies, Technologies (Routledge 2017), Deleuze and the City (Edinburgh University Press 2016) and a themed issue of Architecture and Culture (Vol. 5, 2017 – 2) on architecture and capitalism. With Helena Mattsson and Kenny Cupers, she is editor of Neoliberalism on the Ground: Architecture and Transformation from the 1960’s to the Present (Pittsburgh University Press, 2020). Amongst her current work is also a collection of essays, Housework (forthcoming).

Hélène Frichot, KTH Royal Institute of Technology

Hélène Frichot is Professor of Architecture in the School of Architecture, KTH (Royal Institute of Technology) Stockholm, Sweden and director of Critical Studies in Architecture, well known for its critical feminist approach to the practices and theories of architecture. Her research is located between architecture and philosophy, a transdisciplinary location within which she considers architecture-writing to be her mode of creative and critical practice. In 2017 she was the recipient of a Riksbankens Jubileumsfond sabbatical grant, one outcome of which is the book Creative Ecologies (Bloomsbury 2018). She is a co-editor of Architecture and Feminisms: Ecologies, Economies, Technologies (Routledge 2017); Deleuze and the City (EUP 2016); and Deleuze and Architecture (EUP 2013) and the author of How to Make Yourself a Feminist Design Power Tool (AADR 2016) and Dirty Theory: Troubling Architecture (AADR 2019). In 2020 Hélène joins the Faculty of Architecture, Construction and Planning, University of Melbourne as Professor of Architecture and Philosophy.

Klaske Havik, TU Delft, Architecture and the Built Environment

Klaske Havik is leading the chair of Methods & Analysis at TU Delft. She has developed a distinct research approach relating the experience, use and imagination of architecture and urban space to literary language. Her book Urban Literacy. Reading and Writing Architecture (Rotterdam: Nai010 2014), based on her PhD, proposes a literary approach to architecture and urbanism. She edited the book Writingplace. Investigations in Architecture and Literature (2016), and established the Writingplace Journal for Architecture & Literature in 2017. Havik’s literary work appeared in Dutch poetry collections and literary magazines. Currently, Havik is Action Chair of the EU Cost network “Writing Urban Places”.

Marko Jobst

Marko Jobst is a writer and researcher based in the UK. Until recently he was Architecture Undergraduate Theory Coordinator at the Department of Architecture and Landscape, Greenwich University, London. He holds a Diploma in Architecture from Belgrade University and MArch, MSc and PhD from The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL, in Architectural History and Theory. He has practiced architecture in Belgrade and London and taught at a number of London schools of architecture. He has published on the philosophy of Gilles Deleuze and creative/performative writing, and is the author of A Ficto-Historical Theory of the London Underground (Spurbuch AADR, 2017). He is the co-editor of Architectural Affects: After Deleuze and Guattari (Routledge, 2020/21) with Hélène Frichot, and is currently working on a series of queer fictions.

How to Cite
GABRIELSSON, Catharina et al. Reading(s) and Writing(s). Writingplace, [S.l.], n. 3, p. 4-9, dec. 2019. ISSN 2589-7691. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 25 oct. 2020. doi: