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Architectural enthusiasm: visiting buildings with The Twentieth Century Society

Craggs, R and Geoghegan, H and Neate, H (2013) Architectural enthusiasm: visiting buildings with The Twentieth Century Society. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 31. ISSN 0263-7758

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Abstract

In this paper we put forward the concept of architectural enthusiasm—a collective passion and shared emotional affiliation for buildings and architecture. Through this concept and empirical material based on participation in the architectural tours of The Twentieth Century Society (a UK-based architectural conservation group), we contribute to recent work on the built environment and geographies of architecture in three ways: first, we reinforce the importance of emotion to people's engagements with buildings, emphasising the shared and practised nature of these engagements; second, we highlight the role of architectural enthusiasts as agents with the potential to shape and transform the built environment; and third, we make connections between (seemingly) disparate engagements with buildings through a continuum of practice incorporating urbex, local history, architectural practice and training, and mass architectural tourism. Unveiling these continuities has important implications for future research into the built environment, highlighting the need to take emotion seriously in all sorts of professional as well as enthusiastic encounters with buildings, and unsettling the categories of amateur and expert within architectural practices.

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