Beyond Third Terms and Spaces

Activity: Talk or presentationTalk or presentation at a conference


To address the many variables that can inform a non-binary approach to architecture and the city, this lecture will examine a few pedagogical strategies, projects, and events that encourage, but also benefit from diverse inter- and multi-disciplinary exchanges. An underlying premise of the lecture is that our knowledge of cities and their inhabitants can improve if we recognize the manifold exchanges that generate the built environment. Aiming for a similar understanding, the philosopher of science Paul Feyerabend developed a proliferative theory (multiplying) as alternative to reductive approaches to knowledge. It is perhaps for that same proliferative approach that Mary-Louise Pratt’s focus on ‘contact zones,’ as well as Michael Werner and Bénédicte Zimmermann’s ‘histoire croisée’ have become topical for architectural theory and historiography. Complementing ‘third’ or ‘zero degree’ approaches to architecture, contact zones and crossed histories allow us to grasp and describe built reality as both the result of, but also as a canvas for multiple exchanges and conflicts, and the many stories that contain them.
Period3 Nov 2022
Event titleSymposium: The zero degree of architectural writing: Theorizing, drawing, and debating the ‘third term’
Event typeOther
LocationBrussels, Belgium
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • architectural epistemology
  • architectural theory
  • architectural methodology
  • pluralism
  • proliferation