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Scholarship of Design
Street Fiction: or, Philadelphia Stories
David Leatherbarrow
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This study of the relationships between spaces and stories reconsiders the common conception of architecture as a constructive art that shapes buildings and streets, so that they accommodate and represent the patterns of our lives. I imagine it will not be controversial to say that architectural works are fabricated. But when it is said they are made, possibly few will understand what I shall suggest: that they are made-up much the way stories are, that the two, stories and spaces are sibling fictions. Architectural construction is obviously productive. New buildings are added to the urban and rural topographies we occupy, to satisfy previously unmet desires. Can it be said that stories are similarly additive, altering, and enhancing, because they intensify emotions, deepen understanding, and enrich character? Are their influences similarly public? A few definitions will help me address these and related questions.

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