How Architecture Depends on Photography
Architecture and photography are deeply dependent on one another. The first photograph ever taken frames buildings as its subject. Even more, it took an entire room to produce the image through a camera obscura. In the early days, buildings were one of the few subjects that could sit still for the 8 hours it took to burn an image onto a photosensitive medium. However, architecture is dependent on photography too. Buildings are large, slow, and immobile. Without photographs, it would be difficult to visit the important structures around the world. In this way, photographs are an easily shareable surrogate for buildings. But, photographs are not truthful 1:1 depictions so photographers have a lot of agency when it comes to how we experience architecture. This video offers some insight into this relationship and presents a few photographers as examples for how they interpret an architect’s intentions and add their own voice. These include Julius Shulman, Ezra Stoller, Stephen Shore, Iwan Baan, among others.
Architecture with Stewart is a YouTube journey exploring architecture’s deep and enduring stories in all their bewildering glory. Weekly videos and occasional live events breakdown a wide range of topics related to the built environment in order to increase their general understanding and advocate their importance in shaping the world we inhabit.
Stewart Hicks is an architectural design educator that leads studios and lecture courses as an Associate Professor in the School of Architecture at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He also serves as an Associate Dean in the College of Architecture, Design, and the Arts and is the co-founder of the practice Design With Company. His work has earned awards such as the Architecture Record Design Vanguard Award or the Young Architect’s Forum Award and has been featured in exhibitions such as the Chicago Architecture Biennial and Design Miami, as well as at the V&A Museum and Tate Modern in London. His writings can be found in the co-authored book Misguided Tactics for Propriety Calibration, published with the Graham Foundation, as well as essays in MONU magazine, the AIA Journal Manifest, Log, bracket, and the guest-edited issue of MAS Context on the topic of character architecture.