Construction History, Above and Beyond. What History Can Do for Construction History

Project Details


Since 1985, Construction History is internationally recognized as a distinct field within history, situated on the
interface between the history of engineering and the history of architecture. Antoine Picon, historian of
architecture and technology, argued in 2006 that construction history “offers a unique opportunity to rethink the
relations between technology and culture." This proposal starts from the observation that this opportunity has
not yet been grasped in its full potential. Thanks to the state-of-the-art of Construction History research in
Belgium, and the interest it currently arouses among other academic fields, we can build a strong case to
unveil the untapped potential of Construction History as an ‘inter’disciplinary link between various fields in
In this project, we propose to set up a dialogue (in terms of sources, methodologies, concepts and cognitive
interests) between Construction History and three other fields of history, namely Colonial History, Legal History
and Planning History. As such, we aim to strengthen the historical dimension of Construction History, while
simultaneously demonstrating its relevance and potential to other fields and disciplines. The project will
concentrate on 19th and 20th -century building knowledge and building practice in Belgium and its former
colony, with particular attention for tacit knowledge, in order to voice crucial yet underrated actors, sources and
types of knowledge.
Short title or EU acronymCH+H?!
Effective start/end date1/01/2231/12/25

Flemish discipline codes

  • Architectural sciences and technology
  • Urban and regional planning policy, instruments and legislation
  • Law not elsewhere classified
  • Development of methods and techniques
  • African history
  • Business and labour history
  • Modern and contemporary history
  • Library and archival heritage


  • Construction history
  • Colonial history
  • Planning history
  • Legal history
  • Tacit knowledge
  • Belgium
  • 19th & 20th century