Chris Abel, The Self-Field

Chris Abel is an award-winning writer, interdisciplinary theorist and teacher of architecture, culture and identity formation. A graduate of the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London (1968) and the University of Sydney (PhD 2012), he first achieved international prominence with a ground-breaking series of essays published in Architectural Design and other journals in the 1960s and 1970s. In his essays he explored such subjects as self-organizing urban systems and computer-based methods of architectural production, anticipating many cutting-edge developments in design theory and building technology.

Since 1978, when he began living and teaching in different countries, his critical and theoretical writings have also broadened further, covering urgent issues of sustainable development as well as questions of personal and cultural identity in a fast-changing world. In addition to numerous essays and books of architectural criticism and interdisciplinary research, his recent theoretical works include The Extended Self: Architecture, Memes and Minds (2015), winner of the International Committee of Architectural Critic’s 2017 Bruno Zevi Book Award. A third and expanded edition of his collected essays, Architecture and Identity: Responses to Cultural and Technological Change (2017), was also shortlisted for a CICA award the same year. His latest book, The Self-Field: Mind, Body and Environment (2021), is published in the Routledge Research in Psychology series and further advances the author’s life-long work on the fundamental roots of identity formation. For further details, see Publications: Books. He now lives in France in the Val-de-Marne close to Paris.

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