CARTHA – Building Identity

CARTHA – Building Identity

A Handbook for Architectural Design

A handbook on fundamental issues of architectural design today, compiled by the international CARTHA network


  • June 2023   approx. CHF 29.00 | eur 29.00


Title Information

Edited by Holly Baker, Pablo Garrido, Ainsley Johnston, Amy Perkins, Rubén Valdez and Francisco Moura Veiga

1st edition

, 2023


approx. 112 pages, 40 color and 30 b/w illustrations 15 x 21 cm

15 x 21 cm

ISBN 978-3-03860-314-6


In their new book, the international CARTHA network engages with the question of forming identity in society and the role that architecture plays in this process. Inspired by Jacques Lacan’s approach from psychoanalysis, CARTHA’s members break down the identity-formation process into four sub-steps, which they explore in interviews: Maarten Delbeke, professor of history and theory of architecture at ETH Zurich, talks about Assimilation; Frederike Lausch, researcher at TU Darmstadt’s Department of Architecture, about Appropriation; Rob Krier, Berlin and Liguria-based architect and sculptor, about Denial, and Jonathan Sergison, London-based architect, about Reconciliation. These conversations make up the cornerstones for a new, experimental design methodology, which has been tested in practice by architecture firms Bruther (Bordeaux), Bureau Spectacular (Los Angeles), Conen Sigl (Zurich), Made In (Geneva / Zurich), Monadnock (Rotterdam), Studio Muoto (Paris), and Sam Jacob Studio (London). CARTHA—Building Identities features a variety of buildings—houses, cottages, apartments—designed in the context of these insights.

The book offers a didactic manual for contemporary architectural design. The concept of identity that CARTHA proposes invites readers to adopt a critical attitude towards any found environment. The objective is a deeper understanding of how architects actually create identity through their designs.


Contributions by Bruther, Bureau Spectacular, Conen Sigl, Made In, Monadnock, Studio Muoto, and Sam Jacob Studio; Interviews with Marteen Delbeke, Rob Krier, Frederike Lausch, and Jonathan Sergison


CARTHA is a network of young architects and designers from all over the world. The international platform focuses on alternating topics and creates a landscape of contemporary architecture from opinions, insights, and new designs gathered in their exchange with other architects, scholars, and researchers.


Other available books from CARTHA:

CARTHA—On Relations in Architecture

CARTHA—On the Form of Form

CARTHA—On Making Heimat

Authors & Editors