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Repertoires of architects and mountaineers. A study of two professions

Nydal, Anja Karina (2013) Repertoires of architects and mountaineers. A study of two professions. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent. (doi:10.22024/UniKent/01.02.94558) (KAR id:94558)

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This thesis studies the emergence of two crafts and argues that the ways in which a craft develops into a well defined discipline with rules, principles and techniques that underpins its practice, is dependent upon an underlying quest to master it and to become a master craftsman. It will show how mastery had several different modes but also that the repertoire of techniques that forms it has the capacity to cross both historical and disciplinary boundaries. It does so by examining two disciplines, architecture and mountaineering, and the way in which they emerged as professional practices during the sixteenth and the nineteenth centuries and also how they individually attempted to master the craft of building and the craft of climbing, respectively. The two disciplines each tell a (hi)story of anempts to master the craftsman's activity and the space within which the activity takes place but, here, the two are conjoined, not only as a metaphorical comparison but also materially through stone. Much of the content of this thesis has arisen from seeing one discipline through the eyes of another, and through weaving their (hi)stories together into one. The different modes of mastery grappled with in separate chapters represent !he ways in which the disciplines were theorised, practiced, graphically and verbally described, imagined and finally how they made use of aesthetic sensibilities, with each mode of mastery being derived from an attempt to solve spatial problems. In order to trace the identification of skills and techniques within the two disciplines, the texts investigated focus predominantly upon those books that could be defined as instruction manuals in addition to many of those that were written in the immediate lead up to the idea that practical instruction could be written. Thus the material e.xamined stems both from narrative as well as instructional texts. Through examining these different modes of mastery, a close relationship between architecture and mountaineering, and between two different centuries, is mapped out. The texts investigated include those by Antonio di Pietro Averlino (Filarete), Sebastiana Serlio, Philiben Delorme, John Ruskin, John Ball, Alfred Wills, Frederick Burlingham, Clinton Dent, George Abraham, Geoffrey Young and Kun Diemberger.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
Thesis advisor: Friday, Jonathan
DOI/Identification number: 10.22024/UniKent/01.02.94558
Additional information: This thesis has been digitised by EThOS, the British Library digitisation service, for purposes of preservation and dissemination. It was uploaded to KAR on 25 April 2022 in order to hold its content and record within University of Kent systems. It is available Open Access using a Creative Commons Attribution, Non-commercial, No Derivatives ( licence so that the thesis and its author, can benefit from opportunities for increased readership and citation. This was done in line with University of Kent policies ( If you feel that your rights are compromised by open access to this thesis, or if you would like more information about its availability, please contact us at and we will seriously consider your claim under the terms of our Take-Down Policy (
Subjects: N Visual Arts
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of Arts
SWORD Depositor: SWORD Copy
Depositing User: SWORD Copy
Date Deposited: 22 Sep 2022 09:34 UTC
Last Modified: 22 Sep 2022 11:07 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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