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Aerial silhouette in gold of Trajan's Column in Rome, red cover, Trajan's Hollow in white font above.

Trajan's Hollow

By (author) Joshua G. Stein
By (author) Michael J. Waters


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  • The publication's primary readership will be composed of architects, architectural theorists, and historians, but Trajan's Hollow offers a model of research that, by its nature, is hybridised and will therefore draw an audience from multiple fields. The project weaves together critical theory and techniques drawn from archaeology, art history, craft, design, and art, and cultivates an equal interest in the past and future (and their complexly bidirectional causal relationships). As much of the documentation of the interior of the column will be considered significant primary research in the field of art history, it will be of interest to generalists and specialists working on Rome
  • While the interior spaces have long been considered irrelevant by most scholars, this book argues for their importance, and includes the first publicly available documentation exploring the habitable space within the column
  • In addition to its academic and popular appeal, the publication will be particularly useful for students working on design theses (especially within Architecture and Interior Architecture), as it comprehensively documents research, proposal, and implementation
Full Description

Although this second-century monument located in the heart of Rome has been the object of hundreds of years of study, Trajan’s Hollow uncovers aspects of the column curiously omitted amidst all this attention, manifesting the lacunae in various paradigms of historical inquiry: this work rereads the column and its legacy through the simple act of prioritising the embodied occupation of its interior over the analysis of its exterior narrative frieze. By focusing on traces of workmanship (chisel marks, seam lines, tool dimensions), material attributes (provenance, behavior, constraints, change in qualities over millennia), and the experience of habitation (interior atmosphere, circulation, functional details), the project develops an alternative understanding of the historical artefact and of its role in contemporary design.

About the Author
Joshua G. Stein is the co-director of the Data Clay Network (www.data-clay.org), a forum for the exploration of digital techniques applied to ceramic materials, and the founder of Radical Craft (www.radical-craft.com), a Los Angeles-based studio evolving newly grounded approaches to the challenges posed by virtuality, velocity, and globalization. He was a 2010-11 Rome Prize Fellow in Architecture, and is currently professor of architecture at Woodbury University. Michael J. Waters is an assistant professor of Renaissance Architecture, Italian Renaissance Art, and the History of Technology at Columbia University. He earned his PhD from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, and was previously the Scott Opler Research Fellow in Architectural History at Worcester College, University of Oxford.
ORO Editions
9th Aug 2019
Paperback / softback
229 mm x 152 mm
296 Pages
250 color, b&w
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