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Communiquer l'architecture par le média exposition (with an abstract in English)

Marie Élizabeth Laberge


[Communicating Architecture Through the Medium of the Exhibition]

When analysed as a form of media, exhibitions need to be considered from three different perspectives : that of the person producing the message (curator), that of the person receiving it (visitor) and that of the exhibitionary apparatus itself (through the various mise-en-scène strategies employed). This article examines two different ways of thinking about the communication of architecture in the exhibitionary setting. In the first example, which is also the more traditional, the use of the term architecture generally refers to the building, and the curator endeavours to communicate through the medium of the exhibition both the material and experiential aspects of the building. Over the past two decades, a different approach has been employed within the exhibition venue: that of conceptualising architecture not only as a building, but also as a project. This newer approach takes into account aspects such as the generative idea, the creative process, and the many different forms of representation of the building under investigation. Exhibitions focusing on the ideas and creative processes underlying architecture have become common in recent curatorship, with the effect that architecture is increasingly presented in exhibitionary settings as a practice rather than as a historical or theoretical field. The author concludes by explaining that, from the perspective of communication theory, both forms of architectural exhibition neglect their audiences, and consequently the full potential of the exhibition as a form of media is seldom reached.


exhibition as media; architectural exhibition; communication of architecture; architectural project; curator; visitor

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