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Architects' Lives

Creators:Courtney, Cathy

This is a project documenting in-depth detailed recordings with architects and their associates in order to create a vital, otherwise missing, tool - of use both to those in the profession, biographers, writers, teachers, students and general users

Courtney initiated ‘Architects’ Lives’ to document in-depth detailed recordings with architects and their associates in order to create a vital, otherwise missing, tool - of use to those in the profession, as well as biographers, writers, teachers, students and general users. Based within the National Life Stories Collection (British Library Sound Archive) the recordings follow life story methodology, thus capturing biographical and personal data as well as focusing on each individual’s career and their perspective of the profession as a whole.

The first recording was made in 1996 with Mary Lutyens (b.1908), writer and daughter of Sir Edwin Lutyens; selected recordings between 2001 and 2007 include Sir Philip Dowson, Marianne Goldfinger and John Roberts.

The scope of ‘Architects’ Lives’ ranges from landscape architect, Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe, to key figures such as Sir Hugh Casson, Dame Elizabeth Chesterton and Sir Denys Lasdun, and purposefully includes lesser known individuals, among them those who have worked in the firms run by high profile figureheads. It seeks both to analyse the thinking behind the briefs of significant twentieth and twenty-first century buildings and to examine the interchange between client (whether state, commercial or private) and architect, and the hierarchies, philosophies and politics within architecture practices and those affected by them.

Crucially, the conversations documented between interviewer and architect must be comprehensible to those outside the profession, thus ensuring that a unique eductional resource is created. Recordings can be word-searched to ensure that cross-references can be followed throughout the collection.

The project is on-going and at present consists of 85 recordings. ‘Architects’ Lives’ is supported by a distinguished Advisory Committee, chaired by Margaret Richardson. Fundraiser and administrator for the project, Courtney trains and supervises interviewers and conducts recordings herself. Funders for ‘Architects’ Lives’ include The Monument Trust, Marco Goldschmied Foundation and Hans and Marit Rausing.

Type of Research:Other
Publisher/Broadcaster/Company:British Library Sound Archive
Your affiliations with UAL:Other Affiliations > RAE 2008
Colleges > Wimbledon College of Art
Date:01 March 2001
Funders:The Monument Trust, Marco Goldschmied Foundation, Hans and Marit Rausing
Related Websites:http://www.bl.uk/reshelp/findhelprestype/sound/ohist/ohnls/nlsarch/architectslives.html
ID Code:1838
Deposited On:27 Nov 2009 00:48
Last Modified:02 Sep 2010 14:25
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