Stories, Stages and Journeys

Narrating Ecologies of Practice in the Plan of Work Report

  • Paul Gottschling Independent ­researcher
Keywords: plan of work, narrative, United kingdom, ecology of practice


In recent ethnographies of architects at work, the figure of the project as an ecology of practice replaces an older understanding of a step-by-step sequence. This development is an occasion to re-evaluate the notion of architectural storytelling. I ask to what extent architects’ narrations of projects engage with the textures and trajectories of practice. Using Ingold’s analysis of story and line-making to form a hypothesis, I examine a common document within the UK construction industry, the Plan of Work report. The report offers to narrate the ideal stages of the Plan of Work alongside the meandering paths of architectural projects. In reports for a major renovation project and in interviews with UK architects, we see how this sort of narrative does not trace a path through a project but instead enacts the project’s multiplicity. Here the project is both a continuous agglomeration of materials and a movement through discrete moments

Author Biography

Paul Gottschling, Independent ­researcher

Independent ­researcher –