Edifices. Architecture and the Spatial Frameworks of Memory
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The thesis studies the role of architecture in societal remembrance, positioning itself in an overlapping field of architectural theory and memory studies. It offers a reading of the concept spatial framework of memory, conceived by sociologist Maurice Halbwachs as a component of the theory of collective memory, and addresses its development in the writings of Kevin Lynch, Aldo Rossi, Aleida Assmann, and Jan Assmann. With its focus on the built environment, as it is represented in the memory of individuals, the study stresses multiple perspectives and transitoriness rather than singularity and stability. It posits that architecture results from and gives rise to cognitive constructs that structure the memory of social groups. Further, it is argued that the spatial framework of memory, with its dual nature of internality and externality, acts as a catalyst for processes of recollection, challenging any view of the built environment as hypostatised memory. The concept is applied in an analysis of the debate about the Government Quarter in Oslo after the bombing on 22 July 2011. It is suggested that such events can alter memories associated with an environment and make them move between groups.