A Flat Theory: Toward a Genealogy of Apartments, 1540–1752

Research output: ThesisDissertation (TU Delft)

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A Flat Theory presents a first step toward a yet-to-be-completed, larger project: a genealogy of apartments. While centering on the historical formation of apartments, it does not offer a straight-forward history of apartments or flats. Rather, as a contribution to a wider history of the present, it draws together the first synthetic study of the complex processes through which apartments have initially taken form. To do so, it proposes an eco-systemic and assemblage-theoretic extension of genealogical modes of inquiry so as to draw together an epiphylogenetic mapping of this complex process. After situating and specifying this approach, A Flat Theory charts three converging lineages that mark the ‘material-discursive’ formation of appartamenti and appartements as an (I) architectural concept, (II) spatial phenomenon, and (III) residential system during the 1540–1780s in western Europe
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Delft University of Technology
  • Avermaete, T.L.P., Supervisor
  • Radman, A., Advisor
Award date27 Oct 2021
Electronic ISBNs 978-94-6366-461-5
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • #architecture
  • architecture history
  • architecture theory
  • apartments
  • genealogy
  • assemblage theory
  • mapping
  • diagram
  • topology
  • flat ontology

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