Biography; bios ‘life’ + -graphia ‘writing.’

Have you ever been curious about the lives of thinkers or speculated how biographical details affect creative output? Has reading about the life-choices of a designer, architect, and urban intellectual, building or radical ever inspired your own choices? If so, you share an interest in ‘Biography’, the focus of this session at AIARG.

Biography, being both verb and noun, ‘scientific as well as literary’ offers an interesting duality. Regarded once as a poor relation of history, by 1803, biography was held by Sir Walter Scott to be ‘the most interesting species perhaps of every species of composition’. Embracing the circumstances of specific lives, it is how biography is viewed collectively and positioned culturally that is of particular relevance here. The lives of designers can be viewed as an odyssey, marked by artifice but the narrative of a life brings the artifice to life.

Therefore, in the spirit of uncovering the inter-connectedness of lives and built form, this session seeks proposals which focus on a scholarly examination of how the life of a person and the life of a building or city become intertwined, especially how one can become an extension of the other. Group biographies and reflections on the peculiar relationship between the biographer and his or her subject are welcomed.

Session chairs: Miriam Fitzpatrick, University College Dublin; Miriam.Fitzpatrick[at] and Sarah Mulrooney; Sarahmulrooney[at]

Call for Papers