Imperial Data: An Architectural History

Imperial Data: An Architectural History

Tuesday, November 1, 2022

5:30 PM–7:00 PM
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In this Research and Academic Program talk, architectural historian Zeynep Çelik Alexander (Columbia University) presents material from her forthcoming book, which examines the architecture of nineteenth-century storehouses of information in the British Empire. Alexander notes that what people call a “database” today was, first and foremost, a political technology that, she argues, could be understood as a legacy of imperialism.

Zeynep Çelik Alexander’s work focuses on the history and theory of architecture since the Enlightenment. After being trained as an architect at Istanbul Technical University and Harvard Graduate School of Design, she received her PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Alexander is the author of Kinaesthetic Knowing: Aesthetics, Epistemology, Modern Design, a history of an alternative mode of knowing that informed the epistemological logic of modernism in the German-speaking world. She is an associate professor of Art History and Archaeology at Columbia University and is an editor of the journal Grey Room.


Presented in person in the Clark auditorium. This event is free with a reception in the Manton Research Center Reading Room starting at 5 pm.

Image: H. T. De la Beche, Sections and Views, Illustrative of Geological Phaenomena (London: Treuttel & Würtz, 1830).