Tools and Techniques


The art of architecture is most commonly examined through recourse to aesthetics, or in reference to social dynamics, politics or other cultural discourses. Rarely do we discuss the art of making architecture, to reveal the artfulness in the use of techniques, tools or materials. Yet, it is by virtue of these elements and processes that architecture comes into being and, through their adept usage, that architecture endures against the tide of time and decay.

The history of construction offers an alternative viewpoint from which to understand and appreciate architecture, revealing the tools and techniques employed in its making, and the influence that their evolution has had on architectural form. Equally, it exposes the other participants involved in the production of buildings, including tradesmen and contractors whose contributions so often remains unacknowledged, as well as the dynamics between all parties involved, which has varied significantly through time and across cultures.

Proposals are welcome that address these concerns through; the examination of specific projects; the history, production and use of specific building materials; the development of construction tools; specific building techniques in response to environment; the history of a building trade or specific builders; or the history of services.

Session chairs: Elizabeth Shotton, University College Dublin; elizabeth.shotton[at] and Peter Carroll, University of Limerick; pcarroll[at]

Call for Papers