This is both a guidebook to the excavation of a fictional building and a manual towards holding further excavations. It is edited by Honor Gavin and Adam Kaasa and published in partnership with Theatrum Mundi.
Uncommon Building has its provenance in a workshop in Sheffield which brought together a group of creative practitioners, scholars, and theorists and invited them to excavate a nonexistent building, a lost structure or structure of loss of which virtually nothing was known.
Effectively a collective exercise in speculative fiction, the workshop generated the findings archived here. It also elicited a series of conversations between participants on themes such as the following: the relationship between the real and the fictive and the material and the imaginary, cultural value in the context of the built environment, time and the urban, media archaeology, dissociation as creative process and the possibilities of speculative fiction as a form of cross-disciplinary methodology.
Because this uncommon building is by no means the only one, the publication also includes an instructional manual. This provides some advice and guidelines as to how to collectively excavate an uncommon building of your own and is intended as a pedagogical tool without purpose or given horizon.
Contributors include Fabienne Collignon, Paul Bareham, Matt Westbrook, Sam Ladkin, Stephen Walker, Alexander Marsh, Manca Bajec, Linda Kemp, Jon Orlek, Vicky Illott, Matthew Cheeseman, Rosa Ainley and Miranda Iossifidis.
Theatrum Mundi is a network of people from the performing and visual arts, the built environment disciplines, from across the academy and community and social collectives. Based in London, with partnerships in New York, Paris and Beijing, it activates projects, meetings, and research in cities around the world.