Chez Etym. is a nascent architectural publication considering alternative perceptions of place & time. This focus will be explored through a multi-disciplinary lens inclusive of design, art and literature. Through counterpoint or critique, poetry or polemic, stimulation or structure, words will weave a narrative of voices which are honest and compelling. The title of the publication reflects this endeavour:

Chez, a French preposition meaning “with,” or the more architecturally connotative “at the home of,” rooted in the twelfth century Old French chiese, or “house;” and,
Etym., an abbreviation of etymology, the study of the origin of words and the way in which their meanings have changed throughout history.

Thus, Chez Etym.: to be with the history of words and hosted in their company.

Conceived as a body of work, the publication is tied together under the principle of the Etymology of Place. This principle was catalysed by parallels found between the etymology of the word ‘site’ and three distinct facets signified within Chez Etym.’s consideration of place: landscape, the urban fabric and culture. Through its development, we have found that what runs as a thread throughout the body of work is the intersection of both memory and time with place, in expressions both deeply personal and those looser and more abstract. Thus, we shift from a strict focus, to a softer lens from the periphery: place as seen through a personal vignette, pointed or blurred. Place and time presents itself as both an ocean, mercurial and non-eculidian, and a fractal landscape of discrete moments.  With memory we can transcend a key moment, or merely half-draw a veil in the haze.

Chez Etym., was thematically catalysed and inspired by the Burrell Collection, the work of Brit Andresen, Barry Gasson and John Meunier. Subtly informed by its parkland setting, the Burrell is both elegant and restrained in its tectonic language and holds a unique position in the architectural landscape of its city, Glasgow. Place and memory are inherent in the discussion when considering the Burrell Collection, and its site in Pollok Country Park on Glasgow’s Southside offers a geographical centre for conversations grounded in these themes, both particular to Scotland and further abroad. Having recently closed for (controversial) renovations, it also seems timely to employ this iconic building as platform for reflection.

For updates regarding the journal, Chez Etym., please email us here, or follow us on Instagram.
With the journal still in development, we are eager to discuss potential contributions from any interested. Please find our abstract here, for greater details on both the journal’s theme and intentions.