Catching glimpses: the fragment-anthology as a strategy for architectural research

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


The weaving together of fragments under the heading of a “weak” theme has a long tradition in research. The strategy has, however, not been so popular after the 19th century, even though advocates of a more modern fragmentology can be found, e.g. in Walter Benjamin. For Benjamin, the artefacts truly showed themselves only when the context had disappeared or been forgotten. In this article we would argue that, for the investigations of marginal aspects within architecture, the research strategy of collecting fragments could be especially promising. They belong to the strategies of “weak thought” that, as Vattimo proposes, have the strength of the debilitated through the use of tangential and transversal sources instead of fostering the authoritative and the dominant. Starting with a critical analysis of classical anthologies through the notion of the “title”, we proceed to present a series of intellectuals that have developed alternative methods to do their own researches and explorations of reality with fragments. Afterwards, we study the possibilities and risks that fragments pose when doing research, as well as, developing an inventory of strategies for working with fragments. Ultimately, we formulate how fragments, brought together as “fragment-anthologies”, could be used as a specific research technique.


External organisations
  • Technical University of Madrid
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Architecture
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Feb 1
Publication categoryResearch
EventCritic|all Conference III. : International conference on Architectural Design & Criticism - Architectural Design Department at ETSAM School of Architecture, Universidad Politécnica Madrid, MAdrid, Spain
Duration: 2018 Apr 262018 Apr 27


ConferenceCritic|all Conference III.
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