Prof Albena Yaneva

Chair (Professor Architectural Theory)

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Biography

 
 
Albena Yaneva is Professor of Architectural Theory at the University of Manchester. She has been Visiting Professor at Princeton School of Architecture and Parsons School of Design. In 2017 she was awarded the Lise Meitner Visiting Chair in Architecture at Lund University, Sweden.
 
After a PhD in Sociology and Anthropology from Ecole Nationale Supérieure des mines de Paris (2001) with Professor Bruno Latour, Yaneva has worked at Harvard University, the Max-Planck Institite for the History of Science in Berlin and the Austrian Academy of Science in Vienna. Her research in anthropology of architecture is intrinsically transdisciplinary and spans the boundaries of science studies, cognitive anthropology, architectural theory and political philosophy.
 
Her work has been translated in German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Thai and Japanese.
Her book The Making of a Building (Oxford: Peter Lang, 2009) provides a unique anthropological account of architecture in the making, whereas Made by the OMA: An Ethnography of Design (Rotterdam: 010 Publishers, 2009) draws on an original approach of ethnography of design and was defined by the critics as “revolutionary in analyzing the day-to-day practice of designers”. For her innovative use of ethnography in the architectural discourses Yaneva was awarded the RIBA President's Award for Outstanding University-located Research (2010).

Her book Mapping Controversies in Architecture (Farnham: Ashgate, 2012) brought the newest developments in social sciences into architectural theory. It introduced Mapping Controversies as a research and teaching methodology for following design debates.
 
A recent volume in collaboration with Alejandro Zaera-Polo What is Cosmopolitical Design? (Ashgate, 2015) questioned the role of architectural design at the time of the Anthropocene and provided many examples of cosmopolitically correct design.
 
Her more recent monograph is Five Ways to Make Architecture Political. An Introduction to the Politics of Design Practice (Bloomsbury, 2017).Taking inspiration from object-oriented political thought, this book engages in an informed enquiry into the different ways architectural design can be political and contributes to a better understanding of the political outreach of the engagement of designers with their publics.
 
Currently professor Yaneva is working on a new book that explores to the daily practices and politics of archive making based on ethnography of the Canadian Centre of Architecture in Montreal. 

Yaneva is the recipient of academic grants of the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts in Chicago (2003), the British Academy (2008) and the EU (2008-2010). She has presented more than 100 international invited lectures and keynotes, including in Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the USA. She is a member of the Peer Review College of the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the Economy and Society Research Council in the UK and serves as a reviewer for the National Science Foundations of USA, Switzerland, Austria, Irland and the Netherlands.

Further information

Invited Lectures and Keynotes

2017

Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montreal, 7 July 2017, invited lecture, http://www.cca.qc.ca/en/events/50481/oral-history-part-ii-institutional-storytelling

The Bartlett school of Architecture, London, 10 May 2017, invited lecture at the methods seminar

The Roskilde University, Denmark, 27 April 2017, invited lecturetitle: "Five Ways to Make Architecture Political"

Lund University, 25-26 April 2017, invited lecture at the "Tendencies in architectural and urban research: Focusing on everyday life", Ethnography seminars in Lund, organised by the Scandinavian Network ResArc

Harvard University, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies, 3-4 April 2017, invited lecture,  "Design Anthropology: Landscapes and Cities".

Lund University, Sweden, 25-27 Jan 2017 – invited lectures

 

2016

Aalborg University, Denmark, 29-30 November 2016, keynote lecture, international conference “Material Motilities”

Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin, 24 November 2016, invited lecture in the series ”Space Practice Knowledge", hosted by “Image Knowledge Gestaltung”, an Interdisciplinary Laboratory, Humboldt-Universität Berlin

Bauhaus University, Weimar, 11-12 November, 2016, invited lecture at the conference “relationShips, Sociality and Sociability through Things Interdisciplinary Conference”

University of Graz, 10 November 2016, keynote lecture, international conference “Cultural Anthropology meets Architecture”, FORUM STADTPARK, Graz, Austria

University of Texas, Austin, 20-21 October 2016, invited lecture, conference “The Secret Life of Buildings”, 20-21 October 2016, Texas, USA

Parsons School of Design NYC, 18 October 2016, invited lecture

Yale School of Architecture, USA, 13-15 October 2016, invited lecture, conference “Aesthetic Activism", Yale, USA

Cyprus School of Architecture, 5 October 2016, invited lecture

Manchester Literally and Philosophy Society, 3 October 2016, invited lecture

Politecnico di Torino e Milano, 19 July 2016, keynote lecture, the Alta Scuola Politecnica, Postgraduate Summer School, Sistiere, Italy

Zurich University of the Arts, 3 June 2016, keynote lecture, conference “Aesthetic Matters: becoming an artist, a designer and an architect in the age of Bologna. International Conference”, Zurich, Switzerland, lecture title: “How to Train Reflective Practitioners at the Time of the Anthropocene? A Cosmopolitical Proposal”

 

2015

Copenhagen, Denmark, 5 November 2015, keynote lecture at the conference ‘The City and the Pragmatic Turn’

University of Indonesia, 29 October 2015, invited skype lecture, lecture title “Visual Methods for Tracing the Social”

Birkbeck College, University of London, 23 October 2015, invited lecture at the conference on archeology and architecture, lecture title: “Slowing Down: Temporality in Building Renovation and The Escape from Perspective”

The New School, New York, invited lecture, 23 September 2015, lecture series sponsored by the Anthropology Department, the Graduate Institute of Design, Ethnography & Social Thought (GIDEST), and Design Studies/ADHT. Lecture title: “Blinded by the Sun: Testing Glare, Crafting Cosmopolitical Designs” 

University of Aarhus, Denmark, 10 September 2015, keynote lecture at the conferenceMaking Research, Research Making”: http://adapt-r.eu/creative-practice-conference-aarhus/, lecture title: What is Cosmopolitical Design?

University of Tampere, Finland, 3 September 2015, keynote lecture at the conference “RE-CITY 2015: Future City – Combining Disciplines”: www.recity2015.com, lecture title: “Architecture: Five Ways of Being Political” 

Lancaster University, Lancaster Institute for the Contemporary Arts (LICA), 3 June 2015, round table

European University at St. Petersburg, Russia, 30 April 2015,lecture title: "The Networks of Architecture: a Pragmatist Approach"

UCL, Department of Science Studies, 29 April 2015, conferenceOn Being the Right Size: Science, Technology and Scale”, invited lecture: ‘Scaling in architectural design’

MBS, 28 April 2015,conferenceNew Objects of Concern and the Challenge to Ethnography”, invited lecture: “Blinded by the Sun: Cosmopolitical Experiments with Glare”

Welsh School of Architecture, Cardiff, 4 March 2015,invited lecture: “Design as Experience: on OMA, Foam and the Logic of Making”

Foundation Cerezales, Leon, Spain, conference Cabins to Think, 21-22 February, 2015,invited lecture, title:Design at the Time of the Anthropocene: Spaces for Cosmopolitical Thinking”

Aachen University, Germany, Jan 29-31 2015, conference Architecture as Matter of Contention" / "Streitsache Architektur", lecture title: “Sites of Politics: on Buildings as Matters of Concern, the Architectural Practices of World-Making and the Enactment of the Political”

 

2014

Lund University, Sweden, 1-2 December, Temporalities: the impact of time in architecture and planning, lecture: “Slowing Down: Temporality in Building Renovation and The Escape from Perspective”  

University of Cyprus, Department of Architecture, 27 November 2014, lecture “The Networks of Architecture: a Pragmatist Approach”

Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montréal, “Misleading Innocence" Open Round-table, 20 November, 2014, invited talk

University of Karlskrona, Sweden, conference Planning for Sustainable Urban Forms, keynote lecture, Nov 12-14 2014; lecture: “Traceable Cities: a Cosmopolitical View”

Institute of Design Inquiry (IDE) at the Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK), 2-4October 2014, Symposium: Designs' intrinsic logic.Zurich, keynote lecture, title: “A Plea for Slow Design Research: Politics and Controversies.”

Collective | City Observatory & City Dome, Edinburgh, 8 September, symposium How Near is Here?, keynote lecture: “Thinking Through Place: How to Map the Local?”

Université de Tour, France invited lecture, title “OMA: une ethnographie de la subversion”, 21 January 2014

  

2013

Zurich University of the Arts, Switzerland, symposium “David & Goliath: Models between Art and Architecture, invited lecture, 22 November 2013

Warsaw, Poland, International Festival “Warsaw Under construction”, WUC5. WHO IS AN ARCHITECT?  http://artmuseum.pl/en/wydarzenia/wwb5-kim-jest-architect, invited lecture, 8 November 2013

McGill University, Montreal, invited presentation in the History and Theory seminar, MA programme, McGill School of Architecture, 11 October 2013 

University of Concordia, Montreal (co-hosted by l’ Université de Montreal), as a part of the 2013 Design Lecture Series: Design as Critical Inquiry, 10 October, 2013

STSItalia, The Italian Society of Science and Technology Studies, Bolzano, Italy, invited lecture, lecture title: “To Give Image to a City: Testing Iconicity and Ontological Politics in the Process of Redeveloping the Birmingham New Street Station”, 27 Sept 2013, http://www.stsitalia.org/?p=1388&lang=en

Innovation festival Bolzano, Italy, invited speaker in the round table: “Come e dove si suona la musica dell’innovazione?”, 26 September 2013, http://www.innovationfestival.bz.it/en/index.asp

Strelka, Institute for Media, Architecture and Design, Moscow, invited public lecture, lecture title: “Bolshoi Theatre: Mapping Renovation, Testing Politics”, 10 September 2013, http://www.strelka.com/albena-yaneva/?lang=en&d=1378771200

Strelka, Institute for Media, Architecture and Design, Moscow, invited to teach a 2-day workshop: “Mapping Controversies in Architecture”, 14-15 July 2013

Cerisy, France, keynote lecture, title: « Plus grand que le ciel: réflexion sur l'ontologie et l’échelle des images-mouvements en architecture », 17 June 2013.

Plymouth University, UK, invited lecture, title “Network Narratives: A Pragmatist Approach to Controversies in Architecture” in the Culture, Theory and Space lecture series of the School of Architecture, April 25 2013

Princeton, Cooper Union, Parson New School of Design, New York: invited critic in studio and theory courses, Spring 2013 Princeton

 

2012 

UCL, Bartlett School of Planning, invited lecture, 11 December 2012

University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg Research Institute, keynote lecture, speaker at the conference of Mistra Urban Futures, "Cities as Value Networks", 7 December, 2012 

University of Gothenburg, Chalmers School of Architecture – invited lecture as a part of the PhD training programme of the Scandinavian Architecture schools “ResArc”, 7 December 2012

Royal Academy of Arts, School of Architecture, Copenhagen – invited lecture at the workshop “Architectural Practice, Methods and Management”, 5 December 2012; 6 December 2012 - MasterClass at the Royal Danish Academy, Copenhagen

ETH, Switzerland, keynote lecture at the ETH, Architecture Talks, 17 November 2012, Einsiedeln, Switzerland

http://www.nsl.ethz.ch/index.php/content/view/full/2678

UCL, Department of History of Art, invited lecture; title “Image Bigger than Skies: Exploring the Political Ontology of Contemporary Architecture”, 18 October 2012 

University of Westminster, invited talk at "Addressing the Games", event at P3, 12th July 2012:

http://www.westminster.ac.uk/news-and-events/events/architecture/archive/2012/addressing-the-games

Science-Po, Ecole des Arts Politiques, 15 & 16 March 2012, 2 invited lectures

University of Sheffield, 6 March 2012, invited lecture as a part of the lecture series “The Social Production of Architecture”, SSoA Forum

University of Oxford, invited lecture, conference “Visualizing Knowledge Controversies”, 20-21 January 2012

 

2011

Université Paris-Est, Laboratoire Techniques, Territoires Sociétés (LATTS), 8 December 2011

UC Berkeley, Office of Science and Technology Studies, 2 December 2011, keynote lecture, symposium Design & STS

TU Graz, Graduate School of Architecture, 17 November 2011; lecture title: “Urban Controversies and the Making of the Social”

Ensa Paris - La Vilette, symposium “La sociologie de l’architecture. Un domaine de savoir en construction ?” 17-18 October 2011, keynote lecture, title: “Une sociologie non-représentationnelle de l’architecture? Le verre et de l’ardoise dans l’architecture parlementaire”

Bergen School of Architecture, Symposium “Future Trajectories in Architectural Education” 24 September 2011, Oslo, keynote lecture, title, “Mapping Controversies in Architecture: A New Epistemology of Architectural Education” 

Bavarian American Academy, Munich, June 10-11 2011, "Thinking Architecture Technology Culture: A Conversation"; lecture title: “Technologies of Making: The Politics of Scale Models”

University of Manchester, keynote lecture at the CRESC conference City Materialities, Manchester, 6-9 September, 2011; lecture title: “Urban Debates at the Time of Computational Design”

ARCHITECTURE [discussion] FUND, Vilnius, Lithuania, 10 May 2011, lecture title: Mapping Controversies in Architecture: A New Epistemology of Practice

Web link: http://www.archfondas.lt/en/lectures/lecture/29/albena-yaneva-mapping-controversies-in-architecture-a-new-epistemology-of-practice

Ecole Spéciale d’Architecture, round table The human/social parameter ?, 5 May 2011, Paris, talk: Paramétriser ou tracer? (with the participation of Odile Decq (Ecole Spéciale, Paris), Daniel Dendra (Anotherarchitect, Berlin), Sanford Kwinter (Harvard University), Philippe Morel (EZCT, Paris Malaquais), Antoine Picon (Harvard University); video: http://vimeo.com/23480298/ 

Yale School of Architecture, USA, the spring lecture series on contemporary architectural theory, 19 April 2011; lecture title: 'Mapping Controversies: A Pragmatist Approach to Architecture'

Chalmers School of Architecture in Gothenburg, Sweden, 3-4March 2011, keynote lecture, title: “Form Reflecting in Action towards Mapping the Real” + PhD workshop

École d’Architecture of the Université de Montréal, LEAP - Laboratoire d'étude de l'architecture potentielle), 25 January 2011, invited lecture in the cycle of conferences "From the Studio to the Laboratory: What is Experimentation in Architecture?", lecture title: “Mythes et réalités de l'expérimention en architecture: le cas de l'OMA"

 

2010

L’Union régionale des Conseils d’architecture, d’urbanisme et de l’environnement (URCAUE) d’Ile-de-France, formation Ekopolis, 25 November Paris, 2010 lecture 1: “Écologie du projet: une approche pragmatique”; lecture 2: “Le projet en train de se faire”.

Faculté d'Architecture La Cambre Horta, Brussels, 29 October 2010, lecture title: “Analyse des Controverses en Architecture” (Mapping Controversies in Architecture)

Architectural school in Nantes, France, keynote lecture at the Rencontre doctorale en architecture, 9-11 September 2010, Nantes, lecture title: “La Fabrique d’un bâtiment: Pragmatique de l’architecture”

Osaka City University, Osaka, Japan, 24 August 2010, lecture title: “Mapping Urban Controversies and the Making of the Social”

Osaka City University, Osaka, Japan, 9 August 2010, lecture title: “Rem Koolhaas and his Design Philosophy”

Deutsches Forum fur Kunstgeschite/Centre allemand d’Histoire de l’art, Paris, France, 1-3 July 2010 international symposium Poesis. Uber das Tun in der Kunst/Poiesis, Sur le faire en art, lecture title: “Doing Architecture: From Foam to Shapes”.

The University of Sofia, Bulgaria, workshop of the Master Program in Urban Studies, 23 May 2010, lecture title: “Urban Controversies and the Making of the Social”.

Open University, London, workshop “Mobile Methods: Engagements with Digital Data”, 20 May 2010, lecture title: “Moving Networks: Architectural Tools for Tracing the Social”.

London School of Economics, the Cities PhD research seminar, 2 March 2010, lecture title: “Urban Controversies and the Making of the Social”. 

Princeton University, USA, Department of Architecture, Princeton Envelope Conversations, 25 February 2010, lecture title: “Building Envelopes as Complex Ecologies”. 

Columbia University, USA, History and Theory of Architecture Program, lecture series  "Inside/Out”, 23 February 2010; lecture title: “Is Architecture Accountable? The Epistemological Offerings of Science Studies”.

 University of Oslo, Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture (TIK), Norway, 15 February 2010, lecture title: “Controversies over Public Architecture: An Actor-Network Theory Perspective”.

 Royal Academy of Arts, Department of Architecture, Copenhagen, 22-23 January 2010, lecture title: "Scale Perplexities in Architecture".

 

2009

Goldsmiths College, University of London, Design and Social Science Seminar Series 2009-2010 “The Objects of Design and Social Science objects and social sciences”, 4 November 2009, lecture title: “Buildings as Things”.

RIBA research symposium Changing Practices”, RIBA 24 September 2009, London, lecture title: “Reconnecting Practices and Meaning”.

University of Oxford, Saïd Busines School, International workshop “From Scale to Scalography”, 8 July 2009, lecture title: “Ethnographies of Scaling. An Enquiry on the Production of ‘Voluntary Blind’ Empirical Accounts”.

Aarhus School of Architecture, Denmark, International conference "Scale and Representation", 22-23 June 2009, lecture title: “No Scales, but Ethnographic Attention to Scaling”.

Copenhagen Business School, The Center for Management Studies of the Building Process, 18 May 2009, lecture title: “The Architectural Presentation: Techniques and Politics".

University of Manchester, international conference: “Materialising the Subject: Phenomenological and post-ANT objects in the social sciences”, 26-27 February 2009, lecture title: “Some Questions on the ANT Becoming. In response to the paper of John Law: ‘Actor Network Theory and Material Semiotics’”. 

University of Manchester, workshop Invisio, “Multidisciplinary visual resources”, as a part of the International Network for Visual Studies in Organizations, 30 January 2009, lecture title: “Making Statements with Visuals: The Architecture of the Architectural Presentation”.

 

2008

Danish School of Design, Center for Design Studies, workshop “How Can Design Studies Learn from STS and Actor-Network-Theory?”, 19 June 2008, Copenhagen, lecture title: “Towards a Pragmatist Approach to Design” a Dialogue of STS and Design Studies”.

Goldsmiths College, University of London, “The Physique of the Public”, international workshop, 6 June 2008, Centre for the Study of Invention and Social Process (CSISP), Department of Sociology, Goldsmiths and The Spaces of Democracy and the Democracy of Space network, lecture title: “The Architectural as a Type of Connector”.

l'Institut Bruxellois d'Architecture Instituut (IBAI), centre culturel "Recyclart”, 29May 2008, Brussels, lecture title: “On Models, Agency and the Politics of Architectural Presentations.

 

2007

Dialoghi di San Giorgio: “Inheriting the past. Traditions, shifts, betrayals and innovations”, 12-14 September 2007, Venice, Fondation Cini, keynote lecture

University of Alicante, "Recalcitrant Spaces", international workshop organised by the Universidad de Alicante, 18 May 2007, lecture title: “Recalcitrant Models: Experiments in Design Cognition”.

Bauhaus-Universität, Weimar, keynote lecture at the 10th International Bauhaus Colloquium,Bauhaus-Universität, “The Reality of the Imaginary: Architecture and the Digital Image”, 19 - 22 April 2007, Weimar, lecture title: “Obsolete Ways of Designing? Scale Models at the Time of Digital Media Technologies”.

 

2006

University of Oxford, St Catherine’s College, Oxford, keynote lecture at the 3rd annual Architectural Humanities Research Association [AHRA] international conference, “The Politics of Making”, 16-17 November 2006, lecture title: “How to Make a Building Talk”.

Valencia School of Architecture, 26-27 October 2006, Valencia, Spain, lecture at the Annual Conference of the School, title: “Breaching Design Routines: An Ethnography Note on Emergency in Design”. 

UCL, Seminar of the Department of Material Culture, 16 October 2006, London, lecture title: “Compelling Objects: on Models, Foam, and Agency in Architectural Design.

HGKZ, Zurich The International Symposium “Emergency Design”, 15-16 February, 2006, keynote lecture, title: “Clashes” in the Office: an Ethnography Note on Emergency Design”.

 

2005

TU Vienna, The Architectural Congress “[oriental HOT:KEY] - Dubai and other booming regions,” the Museum für Angewandte Kunst, 24 October 2005,  keynote lecture, title: “The Meaning of Extension: Historical Complexity and Urban Change”.

University of Vienna, keynote lecture at the Kongress der Österreichischen Gesellschaft für Soziologie, Den Stillstand bewegen. Praxis der Soziologie,” 22 September 2005, Vienna, lecture title: “Sociology and the Public: Hybrid Forums in Architecture”. 

The European Commission Forum “Science in Society”, 9-11 March 2005, Brussels, lecture title: “Mapping Controversies: a Gallery Experiment in Science Communication”.

 

2003

School of Architecture in Madrid, 9 December 2003 Madrid, Spain, lecture talk: “Historical Continuity in Architecture of Addition: The Extensions of Whitney Museum of American Art”.

 

 Other activities

 

Service as editor and member of editorial boards

Member of the advisory board of ARDETH. Architectural Design Theory 

Managing editor of Museum & Society, independent peer-review journal

 

External examiner

2017 University of New South Wales, Australia, Tim Tompsonm“In Becoming a Smarter City: Pragmatist accounts of experiments in Sydney’s Transport Information Systems”

2015 University of London, Joana Sampaio Rodrigues “Keeping in Reserve: Rethinking crises of the Earth and of architecture through acts of reservation”

2014 Sheffield University, Anna Holder “Initiating Architecture: Agency, Knowledge and Values in Instigating

Spatial Change”

2013 Ecole des Mines de Paris, France, Martin Tironi “La Ville comme experimentation: le cas du Velib’ a Paris”

2011 University of Western Australia, Department of Visual Arts, Mark Cypher, “Trans-Action: An Actor-Network Approach to Interactivity in Visual Arts”

2009 Copenhagen Business School, Department of Organization, Sara Malou Strandvad, “Inspirations for a new sociology of art A socio-material study of development processes in the Danish film industry”

2008, The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture, Katrine Lotz “Architectors: Specific Architectural Competences” (jointly supervised with the STS department)

 

Peer reviewer for the journals

International Journal of Urban and Regional Research (IJURR)

Environment and Planning D: Society and Space

Environment and Planning A:

The Journal of Architecture

Architectural Theory Review

Architecture and Culture

Cultural Sociology

Theory and Society

Design and Culture

Journal of Design Research (JDR)

Social Semiotics

City, Culture and Society (CCS)

Architectural Research Quarterly (ARQ)

Building Research & Information

Theory, Culture and Society

Progress in Planning

Planning Perspectives

Social Studies of Science

The Journal of Material Culture

Museum and Society

Public Understanding of Science

Home Culture

Music and Arts in Action (MAiA)

Journal of Cultural Economy

Journal of Design History

Journal of Qualitative Sociology

Journal of Town Planning

Journal of Architecture

Urban Studies

Transaction of the Institute of British Geographers

 

Peer reviewer of grant proposals

Reviewer for the FNRS, Brussels

Reviewer for ERC grants, 2016

Member of the Peer Review College of the ESRC 2010-2013 and reappointed for 2014- 2019

WOTRO Science for Global Development, Netherlands

National Council for Research and Development of Romania, Partnership Program - Joint Applied Research Projects - PCCA 2011

Member of the Peer Review College of the AHRC 2009-2012

National Science Foundation, USA

Vienna Science and Technology Fund [Wiener Wissenschafts-, Forschungs- und Technologiefonds (WWTF)]

Swiss National Science Foundation

The Leverhulme Trust

Irish Research Council

 

Tenure reviewer

2011 Tenure External Reviewer at New School for Social Research, Parsons, New York (Tenure application of Jamer Hunt)

 

External Expert

The Italian Agency for the Evaluation of Universities and Research Centers (ANVUR)

University of Bahrain

The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Open University, UK (validation of new programs from the Architectural Association)

 

Reviewer of book proposals

Routledge, Taylor & Francis group

Manchester University Press

Ashgate

 

Book reviewer

Isis: Journal of the History of Science Society

Iris: European Journal of Philosophy and Public Debate

Journal of Contemporary Archaeology

Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute

 

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