Building Black

Building Black: Towards Antiracist Architecture

Punctum Books, May 2022

A radical intervention in Black studies and architectural theory, offering novel criticisms of perspective and design as racializing urban movements, and proposing a new concept of antiracist architecture.

The agency of urban forms in the construction of race as a social referent has rarely been questioned. In this book, through sustained criticisms of Kantian subjectivity and the emergence of architectural perspective, poet and cultural theorist Elliot C. Mason develops a model for archipelagic urban thinking, resisting the universalizing function of architecture’s racializing impulse. Through multiform critiques of architectural theory and Western philosophy, and close engagements with Black studies and Indigenous thinking, Mason criticizes the writing subject as a collaborator in the racialization of urban cartography. In this book, Mason turns inwards, opening the impossibility of the writer’s position in architecture and philosophy, and setting up a new mode of self-critical architectural writing. Building Black is an innovative contribution to Black and spatial studies, as well as a method of writing about space and race.