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Prof Albena Yaneva - research

Research interests

My research is intristically transdisciplinary and crosses the boundaries of science studies, cognitive anthropology, architectural theory and political philosophy. My current projects are:

Moving Networks: Architectural Tools for Tracing the Social

Recent collaborations at the crossroad of the fields of science and technological studies and web technologies have led to numerous attempts of visualizing networks. Yet, all the network maps at our disposal suffer from two main deficiencies: 1) although based on dynamic web browsers, the final maps are static and difficult to manipulate and update; 2) their visual repertoire draws on a rather limited graphic language.
This project aims at developing new and dynamic ways of vizualising networks. Taking advantage of the new developments of architectural software, I explore alternative ways of digital data analysis and present visualisations in which the actors gain identity only in a network and are capable of infinite multiplication in the process of enquiry; time folds and unfolds with changing and reversible paces of speed; the maps are dynamic and can be swiftly updated. This project is run in collaboration with Aedas, London. Its first stage has been funded by an EU-grant as part of MACOSPOL.

The Architectural Presentation: Techniques and Politics

The project explores the architectural presentation as a specific experimental form of public action. Departing from a description of the speech-generating techniques of different forms of architectural presentations (office presentations, client presentations, competition presentations, media presentations), I analyse the mechanisms for enrolment of a variety of publics (both internal architects, consultants, contractors, and external clients, marketing and industry people, potential users, representatives of city authorities and government). I follow these publics in the process of gathering around the visuals in the presentational settings, and account in an anthropological fashion their reactions, their interpretations, their ways of communicating with architects and visuals. The main research questions are: What are the specific retoric repertoires used by architects to enrol and convince an audience? What are the new forms of experimenting and creating public arenas with architectural means? How do architectural presentations succeed in shaping new forms of public participation and re-enact the forms of collective action in the urban space? The project is funded by a Small Research Grant of the British Academy.

Research Grants

2011-2012. Project: “Mapping Controversies @ Manchester: The Case of the 2012 London Olympics Stadium Design”; Methods@manchester competition in the Faculty of Humanities, University of Manchester, Sole Investigator, Grant: £4,298

2011. Project: “High-Speed Rail in Europe: Learning from the Design Controversies”; Research grant under the SED RSF 2010/2011, Principle Investigator (Co-I: Michael Hebbert and Simon Guy), Grant: £3,794

2010. Consultancy Grant from the Urban Research Plaza, Osaka for consultancy work on the editorial strategy of the new journal City, Culture & Society, Grant: £ 10, 270

Publication grant from Stimuleringsfond voor Architectuur, Netherlands, for the monograph Made by the Office for Metropolitan Architecture: An Ethnography of Design, Rotterdam: 010 Publishers, 2009, Grant: € 6, 242

2008 – 2009. British Academy Small Research Grant “The Architectural Presentation: Techniques and Politics”. Sole investigator, Project grant: £ 5 999

2008 - 2010. MApping COntroversies on Science for POLitics (MACOSPOL), EU Project number: 217701; FP7-SCIENCE-IN-SOCIETY-2007-1, Leader of work package n 4, Coordinator: Bruno Latour, FNSP, Sciences-Po Paris, Project grant: € 118 645.56 out of € 924 514. 00