This is website presents the research activities by staff in the Department of Architecture at the University of Westminster. It is intended to keep students, teachers and scholars updated on research related activities, events and awards by members of the department and to allow them to share their work and achievements with the wider academic and professional community.

This event is organised by Dr Davide Deriu (School of Architecture + Cities) and Dr Michael Mazière (CREAM), under Ambika P3 as a London Festival of Architecture partner institution.

This online event is the prelude to an exhibition of Catherine Yass’s films at Ambika P3. The exhibition, titled Falling Away, showcases a selection of Yass’s vertiginous films of architectural structures from the past 20 years. Initially scheduled in the LFA 2020 ‘Power’ programme, it has been postponed to the summer of 2021. Seven films will be brought together for the most comprehensive show of Yass’s work to date. The buildings in her films are undergoing demolition or construction, some are falling into disrepair: as they crumble, so too do the powers behind them. The viewer is drawn into dizzying spaces as the camera is turned upside down, plunged into water, lowered from cranes, buried under falling rubble. The exhibition addresses our society’s ambivalent relationship with modernity and the material structures that give it form. By addressing urgent issues around architecture and the institutions it embodies, it will contribute to current debates about how built environments shape our lives. In anticipation of this Ambika P3 show, we present one of Yass’s films, Royal London (2018), together with an essay written for the upcoming exhibition catalogue by Christopher Kul-Want.

To view this event please visit here.

Featured image: Still from Royal London (2018). Copyrights: Catherine Yass.

When: From Thursday 20th of June, 9:00 to Friday, 21st of June, 19:00

Where: School of Architecture + Cities, University of Westminster, 35 Marylebone Road, NW1 5LS

The University of Westminster in partnership with the Royal Institute of British Architects is hosting a groundbreaking two-day conference to explore the boundaries between the sacred, spiritual and secular in modern British architecture. By bringing together some of the most significant and interesting design practices in the country today, the event will explore contemporary approaches to the design, use, stewardship and conservation of buildings across diverse faiths, and will feature presentations from leading architects, academics, heritage professionals, commissioners and clients.

The conference will include panel discussions and presentations, with contributions from key figures including Niall McLaughlin; John McAslan and Partners; Peter Clegg; Julia Barfield; Roz Barr, Patrick Lynch, Biba Dow, Andy Groarke and Waugh Thistleton.

The conference will conclude with two days of architectural tours in collaboration with the Twentieth Century Society which will look at contemporary approaches to faith buildings. You can book the 22nd and 23rd June tours here. The first day, led by the architectural writer Kenneth Powell, will explore recent examples of repurposing, restoration and renewal of churches in London. The second day will look at new faith architecture in and around the capital..

For full programme and to book tickets please visit here.



2 May, Erskine Room (M/523), 13:00-14:00

The Expanded Territories Reading Group in the School of Architecture + Cities invites all college staff and students who might be interested, to join us in reading some of the foundational texts of new materialism and post humanism over the coming months. We meet once a month in M330 on the Marylebone Campus.

The next reading will be Donna Haraway’s “The Companion Species Manifesto” introduced by Harshavardhan Bhat. This will take place at 18.00 in M330 on 07 May.

The text is available for download here:

If anyone would like to be added to the Expanded Territories Reading Group mailing list, please let Lindsay Bremner know at

When: 6th to 8th of June 2019

Where: Birkbeck Clore Management Centre, 27 Torrington Square, Bloomsbury, London WC1E 7JL

Jointly supported by the Design History Society, the European Architectural History Network, and the Architecture Space and Society Centre (Birkbeck).

I think that cars today are almost the exact equivalent of the great Gothic cathedrals: I mean the supreme creation of an era, conceived with passion by unknown artists, and consumed in image if not in usage by a whole population which appropriates them as a purely magical object. (Roland Barthes, 1957)

This two-day conference will explore old, new and future interconnections between Design History and Architectural History. It will address the disciplines’ shared historiography, theory, forms of analysis and objects of critical enquiry, and draw attention to how recent developments in the one can have significant implications for the other. It will attend to areas of difference, in order, ultimately to identify new areas for discussion and set future agendas for research between the disciplines.

Book Fair, Walking Tours and Keynote Speakers including: Ben Highmore (Sussex), Adrian Forty (Bartlett) and Doris Behrens-Abouseif (SOAS)

Programme and further info

Book tickets



4 April 2019, Erskine Room, 13:00-14:00



28 March 2019, Erskine Room, 13:00-14:00

When: Thursday, 28th of February 2019, 17:00-19:00

Where: LG02, Stuart Hall Building, Goldsmiths, London SE14 6NW

This presentation will be about sediment and humanitarian violence. It will examine the response of the Bangladesh government to the influx of 600,000 Rohingya refugees from Myanmar in 2017. Mobilising suspension as analytical method, it will argue that Bangladesh’s response has enlisted or ‘weaponised’ sediment, to both offer and undercut hospitality to the Rohingya, un-grounding them and heightening their political and material precariousness.

Event is free, no booking required.

When: Thursday, 21st of March 2019, 16:00 – Friday, 22nd of March 2019, 18:00

Where: Room M416, University of Westminster, 35 Marylebone Road, London NW1 5LS


Monsoon [+ other] Grounds is the third in a series of symposia convened by the Monsoon Assemblages project. It will comprise a key-note address, inter-disciplinary panels, and an exhibition. The event will bring together scholars and practitioners from a range of disciplines to engage in conversations about geologies, soils, histories, spatialities, and modifications of monsoon [+ other] grounds.

The confirmed keynote speaker is:

Tim Ingold, Professor and Chair of Social Anthropology at the University of Aberdeen. His early work involved ethnographic research amongst the Skolt Saami of northeast Finland. This led to a more general concern with human-animal relations. Most recently, he has been working on the connections between anthropology, archaeology, art and architecture, conceived as ways of exploring the relations between human beings and the environments they inhabit, as mutually enhancing ways of engaging with our surroundings. Ingold is author of numerous books, anthologies and essays, including, most recently, The Life of Lines (Routledge, 2015) and Anthropology: Why it Matters (Polity Press, 2018).

The event programme will be released shortly.

To book tickets: 

The Expanded Territories Reading Group will be held on Tuesday 9th of April at 18.00 in M330, Marylebone Campus, University of Westminster NW1 5LS.

Professor Lindsay Bremner will introduce AbdouMaliq Simone’s Improvised Lives (2018).

The poor and working people in cities of the South find themselves in urban spaces that are conventionally construed as places to reside or inhabit. But what if we thought of popular districts in more expansive ways that capture what really goes on within them? In this important new book AbdouMaliq Simone portrays urban districts as sites of enduring transformations that mediate between the needs of residents not to draw too much attention to themselves and their aspirations to become small niches of exception.

Suggested future titles are:

Amitav Gosh (2016). The Great Derangement. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Cadena, M. de la and Blaser, M., eds. (2018). A world of many worlds. Durham: Duke University Press.

Viriasova, I. (2018). At the limits of the political: affect, life, things. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield International.

When: Wednesday 13th of March 2019, 6pm – 9pm (Talk Starts at 6.30pm)

Where: University of Westminster, School of Architecture & Cities, Room 416, 4th Floor, Marylebone Campus, London NW1 5LS (near Baker Street Station)


Monsoon Assemblages has teamed up with the Friends of Sri Lanka to celebrate the work of Geoffrey Bawa.

Bawa (1919 – 2003) is regarded as one of the most in infuential Asian architects of his generation and a pioneer of a style that has become known as “Tropical Modernism”. We hope that staff and students in the School of Architecture + Cities will join us.

Booking is via Eventbrite at https://geoffreybawa. for a small cost, but there are some FREE places for staff and students at the School of Architecture + Cities. We ask that you kindly email Chamali Fernando at the Friends of Sri Lanka Association to have your name placed on the guest list.

At the event, architect Wendy de Silva and writer David Robson will look back on the life and work of Sri Lankan master architect Geoffrey Bawa. Both Wendy and David knew Geoffrey Bawa personally and will remember him with professional pride, personal anecdotes and joy. The evening will also incorporate the launch of David’s latest book: Bawa Staircases.

2019 marks the centenary of the birth of Sri Lankan architect Geoffrey Bawa. Bawa was born in Colombo in 1919 to parents of mixed Sri Lankan and European descent. He studied English at Cambridge and Law in London during the Second World War and then worked brie y as a lawyer in Colombo. In 1948, he bought an abandoned rubber estate near Bentota and set out to transform it into a Sri Lankan evocation of a classical European garden. It was this project that inspired him to become an architect. Returning to London, he qualified as an architect at the Architectural Association and, in 1957, became a partner in the Colombo practice of Edwards, Reid & Begg. He then embarked on a forty-year career in architecture, during which he created such masterpieces as the Bentota Beach Hotel, the Sri Lankan Parliament at Kotte, the Ruhunu University Campus and the Kandalama Hotel near Dambulla. Bawa’s career ended in 1998 when he was felled by a stroke and he eventually died in 2003. In 2001, he received the Aga Khan’s Award for a Lifetime’s Achievement in Architecture.

David Robson is a Professor of Architecture and must be the world’s leader in Bawa studies. From 2002, with the publication of his Geoffrey Bawa: the complete works to 2018 and the publication of Bawa Staircases, David has written four major books on Bawa, with more on his associates. He is the holder of the Geoffrey Bawa Trust Award for Lifetime Achievement and he has much to tell us. Copies of Bawa Staircases and other David Robson books will be available to purchase on the night.

Wendy de Silva is an award-winning architect who practices in London at the IBI Group. During the early 1980s, Wendy worked with Bawa on the design of the Ruhunu University Campus. Wendy is also one half of the Chance de Silva practice in London, a practice set up to explore the possibilities of architecture in interaction with other participants: artists, designers, musicians (and who can forget Laki Senanayake’s divine copper balustrade winding its way round the central staircase of Bawa’s Lighthouse Hotel at Galle; the elegant inhabitants of Sri Lanka grappling with occidental invaders, a figure playing a pipe at the very top – oriental calm in the face of violence – nor, amongst many such instances, the same artist’s delicious trees drawn through several storeys of the Triton Hotel at Ahungalla).

Lindsay Bremner & Chamali Fernando

Monsoon Assemblages & The Friends of Sri Lanka Association

Featured image: Geoffrey Bawa, Steel Corporation Offices and Housing, 1966–1969

The next Expanded Territories Reading Group will be held on Tuesday 12th of March at 18.00 in M330, Marylebone Campus, University of Westminster NW1 5LS.

Anthony Powis will introduce Sunil Amrith’s Unruly Waters.

Asia’s history has been shaped by her waters. In Unruly Waters, historian Sunil Amrith reimagines Asia’s history through the stories of its rains, rivers, coasts, and seas, and of the weather-watchers and engineers, mapmakers and farmers who have sought to control them.


Suggested future titles are:

Amitav Gosh (2016). The Great Derangement. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Cadena, M. de la and Blaser, M., eds. (2018). A world of many worlds. Durham: Duke University Press.

Viriasova, I. (2018). At the limits of the political: affect, life, things. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield International.



7 February 2019, Erskine Room, 13:00-14:00

European Architectural History Network

Biennial Conference, University of Edinburgh, June 10-13, 2020

Deadline: Dec 31, 2018

The European Architectural History Network is delighted to announce its next biannual meeting at the University of Edinburgh, UK, 10-13 June 2020. In accordance with EAHN’s mission, the meeting aims to increase the visibility of the discipline of architectural history, to foster transnational, interdisciplinary and multicultural approaches to the study of the built environment, and to facilitate the exchange of research in the field. EAHN is a European organisation, but its intellectual scope is global, and the meeting welcomes proposals on any architectural historical topic. As well as topics on any aspect of the built environment, proposals on landscape and urban history are also very welcome, along with proposals dealing with the theories, methodologies and historiographies of architectural history.

Proposals are sought in two basic formats: (1) a Session, and (2) a Roundtable debate. A Session should consist of 4-5 paper presentations, with a respondent, and time for dialogue and discussion at the end. A Roundtable debate should be an organised as a discussion between panel members, and the format would suit topics of particular urgency, or contemporary relevance. Roundtables should also aim to activate audience discussion as far as possible. Sessions and Roundtables may be chaired by more than one person.

Anyone wishing to chair a Session or a Roundtable debate at EAHN2020 are invited to submit proposals by 31 December 2018. Chairs should make clear whether their proposal is a Session, or a Roundtable.

Please note that EAHN is self-funding, and chairs are expected to provide all their conference expenses, including travel and accommodation.

For further details, please visit the conference website:

For EAHN, see:



13 December 2018, Erskine Room, 13:00-14:00



22 November 2018, Erskine Room, 13:00-14:00



15 November 2018, Erskine Room, 13:00-14:00


When: Monday, November 12, 9:30-18:00

Where: University of Liverpool in London, 33 Finsbury Square, EC2A 1AG

All about Concrete: from the Pantheon to the Present

The second in the British School at Rome’s series of interdisciplinary research study days will explore concrete, a material that is at once both ancient and contemporary. The event will comprise a series of presentations on the use of concrete over two millennia; case studies will highlight the extreme versatility, strength and plasticity of the material. Participants will appraise its use in specific case studies and discuss each one from the different perspectives of the experts brought together by the BSR.

Registration via Eventbrite IS REQUIRED; to register for this event please click here.


When: June 13 – 15, 2019

Where: Brisbane, Australia,

Deadline: November 26, 2018

The Values of Architecture and the Economy of Culture

Architecture has always been found in a space between its monetary and cultural values, but the rise of the concept of the cultural economy asks new questions as to how these values of architecture intersect and affect one another. Discussions of the cultural economy tend to deal with architecture and urban design as the infrastructure of culture, asking questions such as: what building types and land values enable a vibrant popular music culture; or, what landmark cultural flagships drive cultural tourism and city branding.

Architecture itself is rarely seen as a matter of culture or, if it is, it becomes framed as a symptom of the social inequities of gentrification. It seems that outside of the architecture and design communities, architecture is not culture but its scaffold. At the same time, those cultural forms usually seen as having pure intrinsic value—the visual and performing arts, literature, music and the like—are now also seen as having socio-economic values of the kinds usually claimed by architecture in economics and employment, value in community engagement and even health and well-being. One can be sceptical of the efficacy and the politics of exchanging cultural, social and economic values in this way, but the fact that culture is now seen as a wholistic interacting system capable of measurement asks new questions of the place of architecture. As methods for assessing value become increasingly important in the management of culture, the conference asks: how do we understand the values of architecture as a matter of culture?

There is a growing cultural audience for architecture in galleries, events and public space; visual artists take architecture as subject matter; spectacular buildings make for city identity, while the strong line between commercial and creative activity that used to keep architecture in the real estate pages of newspapers has been blurred. Architecture, we could say, has never been more valued, nor valued in such a variety of ways, but often in some form of friction with how the discipline values itself. Our conference is not concerned with arguments for or against the cultural value of architecture per se or that of particular buildings, but rather in the different sites and occasions where values are bestowed, exchanged and come into conflict. We are sceptical of an equivalence of values, whereby an addition of real and proxy monetary values, or a ‘dashboard’ of quantitative and qualitative aspects is said to express the total value of a work, institution or cultural agency, and hold it up for comparison. Rather our focus is on finding concrete cases, both historical and contemporary, from which we hope to make some account of the construction and interrelationship of the values of architecture.

The conference aims to bring together academics and professionals from a range of disciplines. We seek papers that investigate specific cases that can open out to more general issues. Cases may address one or more of the following interlinked themes:


Here we are interested in the role of architecture in the decades of museum expansion of the late twentieth century, and its current repercussions. In particular, we are interested in the values generated through the collection and exhibition of architecture by museums, and the differing approaches and problems of collecting architecture in all its forms—from whole buildings and drawings, to models, fragments and replicas. We are interested in how collecting practices of cultural institutions relate to the commercial trade in architectural drawings and architectural salvage, as well as the expansion of the art market into architecture and design. Equally we are interested in the traditional role of museums in constructing periods, canons, and national narratives, and how this art-historical frame and its attendant set of values comes to be applied in the exhibition of architecture.

Historical fabric and environments

Protecting historical buildings for their cultural values is frequently seen as a devaluation of the land on which they are built. At the same time the historical value of the built environment is seen to create other kinds of economic value. The cheap rents and collective memory of older parts of a city are frequently seen as the optimum conditions for creativity and cultural entrepreneurship, artist run galleries and venues for indie music. Just as familiar is the gentrification narrative in which financially disinterested artists discover the place qualities that lead to successful property developments. But the temporality of urban development has sped up with the ‘festivalization’ of public life, pop-up retail, and the experience economy. In this section we are concerned with the age and the speed of change and response of the built environment and the contested values that this can reveal.


The public nature of building means that it has generally been understood as a form of civic culture and regulated, in varying degrees, by planning mechanisms intended to ensure ‘good’ design. Buildings, from those civic in intent to vernacular traditions that are recognised and valued by their communities, provide a repertoire of objects useful in occasioning debate about the balance of public and private interests and the representation of the polity. In this section of the project we are concerned with publishing, criticism, and the systems of awards and honours through which the profession of architecture acclaims good practice and attempts to gain public recognition and consent for its values. The commissioning of a famous architect is a point at which these professional architectural values can return as commercial value and social license for sometimes controversial projects. Similarly, we are concerned with education—of architects, but also of children and the population at large—in the kinds of visual acuity necessary to converse about design and the built environment and thus enact an aspect of citizenship.

Cultural Policy

Here we are concerned with the meta-level question of how architecture is valued as a cultural form, infrastructure for culture and as a form of creative labour. In the nineteenth century, from Goethe to Ruskin and Morris, architecture was one of the principal sites for debate on the social implications of cultural forms. Its near complete absence from the current academic discourse on culture, alongside its demonstratively increasing importance in econometric analyses of the cultural economy begs a number of questions. These include: the extent to which architecture’s professionalisation excludes or obscures its classification as culture; the extent to which discourse on the creative and cultural economy is focused on the politics of subsidies which is largely irrelevant in architecture; and the extent to which the academic discourse on culture is still structured by cultural studies, its origins in debates on literature and language-based forms of film and TV, and a consequent lack of domain knowledge of architecture.

Practical Information

Abstracts of up to 300 words in length and a short biographical note of no more than 100 words may be submitted by email as a Word document to:

Please name your submission file SURNAME-ABSTRACT and clearly describe in your abstract the case and the themes (listed above) you intend to engage with, or identify an alternative theme that is pertinent to the conference topic.

  • Abstract Deadline: 26 November 2018
  • Notification of acceptance: week of 10 December 2018
  • Draft paper submission: 30 April 2019. In the month prior to the conference the conference conveners will be in contact with authors to discuss draft versions of their papers. We are aiming at 20 minutes presentations.
  • Conference and Book Workshop: 13-15 June 2019, Brisbane, Australia.
  • Submission of paper: 21 June 2019*

Authors will be invited to resubmit their texts shortly after the conference for the specific purpose of a book to be published in 2020, with final texts due in December 2019. We will therefore only be accepting substantially new work that is not considered for publication elsewhere. Please note that we may not be able to include all papers in the final publication.

There will be no conference fee for participants.

This Conference and Book Workshop are a part of the research project “Is Architecture Art? A history of concepts, categories and recent practices,” funded by the Australian Research Council and The University of Queensland’s Architecture Theory Criticism History Research Centre (ATCH), in partnership with Ghent University. For more information on the research project, please click here.

Convened by John Macarthur, Susan Holden, Wouter Davidts, Ashley Paine and Elke Couchez



04 October 2018, Erskine Room, 13:00-14:00


KESTER RATTENBURY: What About Design? The Research Assessment and You

17 May 2018, Erskine Room, 5th Floor, 13:00-14:00

Westminster has an amazing body of active, diverse, internationally recognised staff teaching our students design. Their outputs – your outputs – include buildings, competition designs, exhibitions, books, collaborations, products, blogs, new ways of working. This work is recognised locally, nationally and internationally. But is it research?

Arguably in all case, and demonstrably in some, yes, it is. And when the next national University research appraisal, the REF, takes place, all staff will be considered to see what their ‘research outputs’ have been, and will have to make submissions demonstrating this.

In the last REF, Architecture was able to submit Design Portfolios of selected staff projects for the first time. This Research Forum opens the discussion on how this will work – and whether we can in any way shape the process so as make the work of our remarkable staff a more more visible part of our School.

This is a short, three part event to open the discussion:

*Professor Lindsay Bremner and Professor Susannah Hagan will give short accounts of how the process worked last time;

*Toby Burgess and Arthur Mamou-Mani will give short presentations of the range of work they do, as an example of the range of our staff work

*Open discussion chaired by Kester Rattenbury on how we might approach Design Folios in the next REF and whether we could turn any part of the exercise to our advantage.

The Architecture Research Forum is a seminar series hosted by the Architecture + Cities Research Group where staff present work-in-progress for discussion.


As part of the London Festival of Architecture programme, Davide Deriu (Director of Research and MA Architecture course leader) will be chairing a panel on Knowledge Territories at the Italian Cultural Institute on the 4th June.

The authors of a recent book about the architecture of higher education will discuss (in English!) university buildings and the politics they reflect.

The event will consider how university architecture should respond to the new conditions under which higher education operates, as well as how architecture may be conceived as central to a substantial contemporary redefinition of higher education comparable to that of 1968, when Joseph Rykwert described the new universities of the time as archetypes of combined urban and educational values for their age.

They will be joined in conversation by Dr Clare Melhuish, Director of the UCL Urban Laboratory.

When: 4th June 2018, 19:00-20:30

Where: Italian Cultural Institute, 39 Belgrave Square, SW1X 8NX

More info and booking (free):

Featured mage: Photo by Stefano Graziani from LFA’s web-site

The second Expanded Territories reading group will meet in M330 on Wednesday 06 June at 17.30.

Christina Geros will introduce:

Architecture in the Anthropocene: Encounters Among Design, Deep Time, Science and Philosophy, edited by Etienne Turpin.

The book is available for download or purchase here:

Discussion will be accompanied by wine and nibbles.

All are welcome.

Educating architects in Europe. From critical intellectual to successful entrepreneur?

Christophe Van Gerrewey, David Peleman, Bart Decroos (eds.)

In an interview from 2003, writer Sandro Veronesi talks about his education as an architect.

When you’re born in Florence, architecture is the ideal approach to learn the best of one’s tradition. It is a broad study, ranging from mathematical to humanist subjects, architecture included. I found that very attractive. I have never practised architecture, but I think like an architect: it’s a way of looking at the world.

Veronesi is a ‘product’ of the architecture education that came into being following May ’68. The humanities – history, theory, criticism, literature – become of paramount importance; architects are trained to become critical intellectuals or ‘good civilians’ with a wide knowledge of culture.

This tradition is discussed in a conversation between Peter Eisenman and Pier Vittorio Aureli (LOG 28, 2013). ‘The idea was that architecture was taught,’ Eisenman says, ‘as a way of educating – not to learn about architecture, but as a means to understand society. So when you had 7,000 students at the University of Venice, they were not all going to be architects, but they were using architecture, as previous generations used the law, as a way of understanding society.’ Aureli replies: ‘Yes, the humanities were a fundamental component of the education of an architect.’ Elsewhere in their conversation the Bologna Process (1999) is considered as another key moment in the history of European education, following ’68. ‘Bologna’ forced the educational system to yield clear ‘returns’, and to develop a professional profile that makes students independent and self-sufficient in a globalised free market.

Does it still make sense to educate architects as ‘critical intellectuals’, or does this model belong to the past?

OASE invites authors to inquire what kind of architect and urban planner is or was being ‘produced’ at European schools of architecture. In which way has the classic distinction between the architect-as-engineer and the architect-as-artist been defined, and is it still valid today? What is the result of an education in architecture, and what kinds of subjectivity are formed? Can skills be defined professionally, or do they transcend the ‘tools’ that are needed to ‘work’? Do schools really define the training they offer – and how? Thanks to a legacy, or rather by means of well-known and influential tutors? To what degree do schools imitate what happens in a globalised world and in professional praxis? And what moments have been historically decisive in the European organisation of architecture education?

OASE welcomes historical case studies – about schools, methods, teachers, reforms or books – or critical analyses of contemporary European schools and educational practices. Interviews are possible, personal or institutional presentations of pedagogical projects or positions are not.

Proposals for contributions should be submitted to by 15 May 2018 and must include a proposed title, an abstract (maximum 300 words), as well as the contributor’s name, professional affiliation (if applicable), email address and a short bio (maximum 150 words).


  1. DARKNESS, 13-17 January 2019, Svalbard
  2. Special Territorial Status and Extraterritoriality, 20-24 January 2019, Svalbard
  3. Culture in Urban Space: Urban Form, Cultural Landscapes, Life in the City, 8-12 April 2019, Macau, China

1. DARKNESS, 13-17 January 2019, Svalbard

This multidisciplinary conference explores cultural and environmental aspects of darkness. Darkness is a recurring motif: as chaos and void in mythological narratives; as an aesthetic choice or driver of adaptation in architecture and design; as a marker of hidden activity on the dark web; as a source of dread, beauty, or awe in literature and film; as an ambiguously attractive quality in dark tourism; as an ideal threatened by light pollution; as a symbol of otherness in colonial encounters.
Darkness and the impossibility of visual orientation often connote danger, uncertainty, malice, even moral ruin. Indeed, darkness plays so central a role in our understandingof terror that it is deemed worthy of note when a horror film succeeds in terrifying us in the daylight (The Wicker Man (1973), Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975)). Both in the past and today, Western colonialism has addressed its own anxieties by projecting them onto the non-European “dark places of the earth,” as Conrad puts it in Heart of Darkness (1899). Darkness can also be appealing. Tourists are drawn both to the illicit thrill of visiting sites of tragedy and violence and to the humbling majesty of the polar night. In a densely populated world, natural darkness is an increasingly rare experience, leading to the establishment of International Dark Sky Sanctuaries where the stars of the night sky remain visible.

About Longyearbyen, Svalbard: Longyearbyen (population 2200) is the world’s northernmost town, the main settlement in the vast Svalbard archipelago. Although Svalbard is under Norwegian jurisdiction, this arctic outpost is so remote and its environment so harsh that it was first permanently inhabited in the early 20th century. Longyearbyen was founded as a coal mining town and hosts an arctic sciences university centre, yet life here today increasingly revolves around tourism: both during the summer, when the sun never sets, and in winter, when the sun never rises. The polar night lasts from late October until mid-February. Delegates will have the opportunity to experience the northern lights (aurora borealis) and the deep darkness of the arctic wilderness.

About the conference: Delegates will arrive in Longyearbyen on 13 January. On 14 and 17 January, delegates will take excursions out into Svalbard’s spectacular Arctic landscape and industrial heritage: 1) a trip into the polar night by dog sled and 2) a visit to one of Longyearbyen’s old coal mines. (The precise excursions are subject to weather.) Conference presentations by delegates will be held on 15-16 January at Radisson Blu Polar Hotel Spitsbergen. Registration covers five dinners and all conference activities.

How to make a presentation: 15-minute presentations are welcome on any aspects of darkness in culture and the environment. The deadline for abstracts is 30 June 2018. You can submit your abstract here. The deadline for early registration is 31 July, and the final deadline registration 31 October.

If you have any questions, please e-mail convenor Anne Sofia Karhio.

2. Special Territorial Status and Extraterritoriality, 20-24 January 2019, Svalbard

This conference explores tangible consequences of territories subject to exceptional forms of governance or jurisdiction: enclaves and exclaves, autonomous zones, reservations, reserves, domestic dependent sovereignties, export processing zones, sham federacies, subnational island jurisdictions, overseas territories, military installations, protectorates, realms, free-trade zones, and any other forms of specially designated territory, the status of which creates identifiable outcomes. These outcomes include (but are not limited to) territorially conditioned differentiations in: economic policies and practices; inward or outward migration; culture, language, and traditions; health; Indigenous self-determination; military alliances and installations; scientific and research practices; environmental issues; jurisdictional capacity; and diplomatic or paradiplomatic practices.

About Longyearbyen, Svalbard: Longyearbyen (population 2200) is the world’s northernmost town, the main settlement in the vast Svalbard archipelago. Svalbard is under Norwegian jurisdiction and is administered by a Governor appointed by the Norwegian state. Nevertheless, the terms of the Svalbard Treaty (1920) have placed significant limits on Norway’s ability to control immigration to and economic activity in this distant territory. Longyearbyen is home to residents of over 40 nationalities, Russia runs the mining town of Barentsburg, and the settlement at Ny-Ålesund hosts research stations from more than a dozen countries. The polar night, when the sun never breaches the horizon, lasts from late October until mid-February.

About the conference: Delegates will arrive in Longyearbyen on 20 January. On 21 and 24 January, delegates will take excursions out into Svalbard’s spectacular Arctic landscape and industrial heritage: 1) a trip into the polar night by dog sled and 2) a visit to one of Longyearbyen’s old coal mines. (The precise excursions are subject to weather.) Conference presentations by delegates will be held on 22-23 January at Radisson Blu Polar Hotel Spitsbergen. Registration covers five dinners and all conference activities.

How to make a presentation: This interdisciplinary conference welcomes presentations addressing any region of the world as well as innovative perspectives that highlight the complex intersections of multiple peoples, places, and polities. Presentations last 15 minutes and will be followed by around 5 minutes’ question time. The deadline for abstracts is 30 June 2018. You can submit your abstract here. The deadline for early registration is 31 July, and the final deadline registration 31 October.
If you have any questions, e-mail convenor Zachary Androus.

3. Culture in Urban Space: Urban Form, Cultural Landscapes, Life in the City, 8-12 April 2019, Macau

The city cannot be understood in terms of its buildings, infrastructure, and physical geography alone. Urban materiality is inextricably linked with city life: Urban spaces are influenced by the cultures that inhabit them, and urban form shapes these cultures in turn. This conference brings together researchers, planners, designers, and architects from around the globe to explore the mutual influence of urban culture and urban form.
Impacts of past urban planning reverberate long after original rationales have become obsolete: Fortifications (walls, moats, fortresses), coastlines and land reclamation, transport infrastructure (roads, bridges, city gates), and other elements of the built environment structure future development. Aspects of urban form contribute to dividing the city into neighbourhoods, determining which areas flourish while others decay, encouraging shifts from industrial to tourism to leisure uses. The city’s architectures affect the cultures of the people who use them: Different kinds of housing foster different forms of sociality or isolation, and different networked infrastructures promote different pathways to the internal cohesion and/or citywide integration of urban cultures. Whether urban cultural landscapes evolve gradually over time or result from decisive, top-down planning, they reflect and influence the city’s multitude of identities, industries, cultural politics, ethnic relations, and expressive cultures.

About Macau: In 1557, Portugal established a colony on Macau, then a sparsely populated archipelago in the Pearl River Delta. Macau developed into a major trading centre and regional leader in the gambling industry. Macau became a self-governing Special Administrative Region of China in 1999. Macau’s islands were expanded through land reclamation over time. The spatial limitations arising from the territory’s enclave geography led to extreme yet phased urban densification. Macau is today the most densely populated territory in the world, with 650,000 residents concentrated in just 30.5 km², primarily on the 8.5 km² Macau Peninsula. Yet despite its small size, Macau Peninsula is a place of strong neighbourhood and functional distinction, encompassing heritage tourism zones; Buddhist, Taoist, and Christian religious sites; residential districts at all income levels; casino zones; green parks; and retail districts.

Although Macau is best known for its gambling tourism and UNESCO World Heritage status (both of which are characterised by strict regulatory regimes), Macau Peninsula in particular is rich in vernacular urban and architectural practices that flourish alongside, above, and sometimes beneath the city’s internationally oriented facade. The simultaneous preservation of colonial heritage and construction of monumental casino tourism infrastructure means that, despite the withdrawal of Portuguese colonial rule, the culture, traditions, and lifestyles of the Chinese people of Macau continue to be pushed to the margins of this hyper-dense city, necessitating creative spatial practices and clear differentiations between spaces for tourists and residents. At the same time, in an atmosphere of Western suspicion toward China, Macau’s decolonisation and re-Sinification is often framed in terms of culture loss, a framing that paradoxically echoes discourses surrounding Indigenous activism. Macau’s urban space thus contains and conditions complex negotiations regarding cultural authenticity, visibility, and practice.

About the conference: ‘Culture in Urban Space’ allows delegates to contextualise knowledge and engage with the local community. On 8-10 April, delegates will explore the morphological and cultural distinctions of Macau Peninsula, visiting diverse neighbourhoods across the city, with an emphasis on the ways in which the urban environment has transformed over the centuries. Delegates will experience Macau’s urban environment through three days of walking-based field trips, including visits to tourist gateways, religious sites, heritage tourism zones, and residential neighbourhoods, and casino zones, and commercial areas. Conference presentations will take place on 11-12 April. Special emphasis will be placed on negotiations of meaning within the urban environment, particularly in the aftermath of colonialism and other forms of cultural encounter.

How to make a presentation: This interdisciplinary conference welcomes presentations addressing any region of the world as well as innovative perspectives that highlight the complex intersections of multiple peoples, places, and polities. Presentations last 15 minutes and will be followed by around 5 minutes’ question time. The deadline for abstracts is 31 August 2018. You can submit your abstract here. The deadline for early registration is 31 October, and the final deadline registration 30 December.

If you have any questions, e-mail convenor Adam Grydehøj.

​​Conversation on the role of the image in architecture.

When: 22 May 2018, 6.30pm to 8pm

Where: RIBA, 66 Portland Place, London W1B 1AD

Contact: ​ ​

Tickets: £5; £2.50 for students (includes glass of wine)

For more info and to book tickets:

The Society of Architectural Historians Great Britain (SAHGB) is accepting submissions for two of its internationally-renowned essay prizes. These awards are the most prestigious in the country for the discipline of architectural history. They are open to all historians of the built environment, and you do not need to be a member to participate. Nominations are normally accepted from members, but unsolicited nominations will be considered on merit.

We particularly encourage submissions from:

  • Masters and doctoral students in relevant disciplines
  • Heritage professionals
  • Practising architects, in particular those working with historic environments
  • Full-time academics at all career stages in relevant disciplines

The society welcomes submissions of work relating to the history of the built environment from all disciplines, including but by no means limited to:

  • History
  • Geography
  • Architecture
  • Art History

On as diverse a range of themes as possible, including:

  • Histories of design
  • Histories of planning
  • Histories of construction
  • Histories of buildings in use
  • Histories of interiors and interior design
  • Histories of practice and professionalism

We are looking for work that it is innovative, ambitious and rigorous in the history of the built environment. Previous winners of our awards and prizes have gone on to have esteemed careers in architectural history and heritage.

Please consider submitting work and encourage students, colleagues and friends to do so too. Further information and methods of submission can be found on our website.

James Morris Essay Prize for Colonial and Post-Colonial Architecture

Submission Deadline – 31st May

For who?

Graduate Students, Early Career Researchers, Academics, Heritage Professionals, Architects

For what?

Unpublished research up to 10,000 words

Prize £400, consideration for publication in Architectural History

The James Morris Essay Prize is named after James Morris (1878-1964), a British-born and -educated architect who worked in South Africa from 1902, including a period spent in the office of Sir Herbert Baker. It was generously endowed by his grandson, Dr Simon Morris. It is awarded to the best essay received on British Colonial and Post-Colonial Architecture. The prize is presented at the Society’s annual lecture.

Hawksmoor Essay Medal

Submission Deadline – 31st May

For who?

Graduate Students, Early Career Researchers, Heritage Professionals

For what?

Unpublished research up to 10,000 words

Prize £400, Medal, and consideration for publication in Architectural History

To encourage new architectural historians, the Society’s Essay Medal (popularly known as ‘the Hawksmoor’) is awarded annually to the author of the best essay submitted in competition. Early career and unpublished researchers are particularly encouraged to submit new work for the competition. As a permanent reminder of the winner’s achievement, a bronze medal featuring a relief portrait of Nicholas Hawksmoor based on the bust of the architect by John Cheere is awarded and inscribed with the winner’s name and date. This is presented at the Society’s Annual Lecture.


Ecological Standardisation

5 April 2018, Erskine Room, 5th Floor, 13.00–14.00

This special issue of IJIA focuses on the experience of carrying out archival work or fieldwork in architectural research, including research-led practice. How might this experience, with all its contingencies and errancies, be made into the very stuff of the architectural histories, theories, criticisms and/or practices resulting from it?

This question is rendered all the timelier due to recent and ongoing developments across the globe, not least in the geographies relevant to IJIA’s remit. The fallout from the so-called ‘Arab Spring’ has escalated social, political, and economic crises and, in certain cases like Libya and Syria, has taken an overtly violent turn. Major countries with a predominantly Muslim population, such as Turkey, Egypt and Indonesia, have witnessed restrictions on civil liberties. Moreover, the word ‘Islam’ has become embroiled in various restrictive measures introduced in countries whose successive administrations have otherwise laid claim to being bastions of democracy and freedom, such as emergency rule in France and travel bans in the US.

Others with significant Muslim populations, such as India and Russia, have seen nationalist and/or populist surges, often with significant implications for their minorities. Such developments have engendered numerous issues of a markedly architectural and urban character, including migration, refuge, and warfare, protest and surveillance, as well as heightening the risk of contingencies and errancies affecting archival work and fieldwork.

Whereas this risk and its materializations are typically considered unfortunate predicaments and written out of research outputs, how might a focus on architecture at this juncture help write them back into history, theory, criticism, and practice? What might this mean for the ways in which architectural research is conceived and carried out under seemingly ‘ordinary’ circumstances – those that appear free from the risk of contingencies and errancies affecting archival work and field work?


Deadline for submissions: 30th July 2018

For more information:,id=204/view,page=2/


When Architecture & Culture, the Journal of the Architectural Humanities Research Association, was first launched in November 2013, the intention was to include book reviews. We have a designated editor for book reviews, and we have sporadically published essays that review books, when those essays concern the theme of a particular journal issue. What we have not done is to dedicate a regular section of the journal to book reviews, or to solicit new books from publishers (who send them, regardless).

Here, we broach the issue of book reviews by foregrounding the suggestion that to review is more than to formulate a critique of something, it is “to look at or to examine again … to look back upon” (Collins English Dictionary). Our interest is to re-view the book review, to study its different roles and explore its possibilities for architecture’s various modes of production, dissemination and reflection.


Deadline for submissions: 30th June 2018

For more information:

The Expanded Territories Research Group in the Department of Architecture has started a reading group, which will meet at 17.30 on the first Tuesday of every month in the Monsoon Assemblages Project Office, Room M330, 35 Marylebone Road, London NW1 5LS.

We will read one agreed book or essay per month related to the anthropocene, more-than-human ontologies, climate change or any other topics the group puts forward, and discuss it in relation to architecture, landscape, art and design.

All are welcome – staff, students, friends, even if you are not a member of Expanded Territories or have done no prior reading in these areas. All we ask is that you read the book agreed each month!

The inaugural reading will be:

Arts of Living on a Damaged Planet
Anna Tsing, Heather Swanson, Elaine Gan and Nils Bubandt (eds.)
Introduced by Corinna Dean and Victoria Watson


When: 02 May 2018, 17.30

Where: Room M330, 35 Marylebone Road, NW1 5LS

Accompanied by wine and nibbles


About Arts of Living on a Damaged Planet

Living on a damaged planet challenges who we are and where we live. As human-induced environmental change threatens multispecies live-ability, Arts of Living on a Damaged Planet puts forward a bold proposal: entangled histories, situated narratives, and thick descriptions offer urgent “arts of living.” Included are essays by scholars in anthropology, ecology, science studies, art, literature, and bioinformatics who posit critical and creative tools for collaborative survival in a more-than-human Anthropocene.

The book is available on Amazon or in other bookstores or downloadable chapter by chapter here:

When: 5th April 2018, 6.30pm – 9.00pm

Where: Robin Evans Room M416, University of Westminster, 35 Marylebone Road, NW1 5LS

Join the author Yara Sharif and a number of outstanding speakers and panellists for the book launch of Architecture of Resistance: Cultivating Moments of Possibility within the Palestinian/Israeli Conflict published by Routledge.

Robert Mull, Sarah Beddington, and Tanzeem Razak will join the author with presentations on offering unconventional alternatives while dealing with contested space.

The author and speakers will be in discussion and open Q&A with panellists, Lindsay Bremner, Harry Charrington, Murray Fraser, Nasser Golzari, Kim Trogal, Nouha Hansen and Rim Kalsoum on themes raised in the book concerning spatial resilience, politics and place.


  • 6.30 pm Harry Charrington: Welcome
  • 6.45 pm Yara Sharif: Introduction to the book
  • 7.00 pm Robert Mull: On Offering Alternatives
  • 7.15 pm Tanzeem Razak: Subverting the Black Narrative in Post-Apartheid Context’
  • 7.30 pm Sarah Beddington: The Logic of the Birds

7.45 pm Panel discussion and open Q&A joined by

  • Lindsay Bremner
  • Harry Charrington
  • Murray Fraser
  • Nasser Golzari
  • Kim Trogal
  • Rim Kalsoum
  • Nouha Hansen

8.15 pm Drinks

Copies will be sold at discounted price.
The event is free and open to the public

About the Book

Architecture of Resistance investigates the relationship between architecture, politics and power, and how these factors interplay in light of the Palestinian/Israeli conflict. It takes Palestine as the key ground of spatial exploration, looking at the spaces between people, boundary lines, documents and maps in a search for the meaning of architecture of resistance. Stemming from the need for an alternative discourse that can nourish the Palestinian spaces of imagination, the author reinterprets the land from a new perspective, by stripping it of the dominant power of lines to expose the hidden dynamic topography born out of everyday Palestine. It applies a hybrid approach of research through design and visual documentary, through text, illustrations, mapping techniques and collages, to capture the absent local narrative as an essential component of spatial investigation.


In this subtle, compassionate, and clear-eyed book, Yara Sharif offers architecture as both a tactic of physical resistance and a contesting form of knowledge and possibility – a critical mnemonic for a culture under erasure. Her profound mapping of Palestine beautifully harmonize space and life and, with courageous modesty, advance creativity and improvisation in defense of a beleaguered, precious normality. (Michael Sorkin)


Subver-City: The Green Urban Lab Typology

15 March 2018, Erskine Room, 5th Floor, 13.00–14.00



Accounting for Alognon Pragma: Recent work in the Studio and On-site

1 March 2018, Erskine Room, 5th Floor, 13.00–14.00

The full programme for the Monsoon [+ other] Waters Symposium is now available and booking is now open on the Eventbrite:

This is the second in a series of symposia convened by the Monsoon Assemblages project led by Professor Lindsay Bremner. The two-day event will comprise inter-disciplinary panels, keynote addresses and an exhibition.

It will bring together established and young scholars and practitioners from a range of disciplines, knowledge systems and practices to engage in conversations about the ontologies, epistemologies, histories, politics, practices and spatialities of monsoon waters.

Confirmed key note speakers at the symposium are:

  • Anuradha Mathur and Dilip da Cunha: landscape architects based in Philadelphia, USA and Bangalore, India, whose work is focused on how water is conceptualised and visualised in ways that lead to conditions of its excess and scarcity, and the opportunities that its ubiquity offers for new visualizations of terrain and resilience through design.
  • Kirsten Blinkenberg Hastrup: environmental anthropologist based in Copenhagen, Denmark, whose work deals with social responses to climate change across the globe, currently centered in the Thule Area, NW Greenland.

When: 12th and 13th April 2018

Where: Room M416, University of Westminster, 35 Marylebone Road, London, NW1 5LS


On the Estate

15 February 2018, Erskine Room, 5th Floor, 13.00–14.00


Elusive landscapes of ‘design’ in the city

Session convenors: Gabriele Schliwa (University of Manchester) and Robert Cowley (King’s College London)

Although design was historically associated with the form of industrial and commercial products (and with the professional field of ‘urban design’), processes of ‘design thinking’ and the conceptual language of design have become commonplace in many spheres of practice and governance. In line with Richard Buchanan’s early understanding of design thinking as a ‘new liberal art of technological culture’ (Buchanan 1992), varied design processes are now advocated and applied across fields as diverse as public service delivery, democratic institutional decision-making, corporate management, international disaster relief, and even military operations research. This long-term trend has significant implications for urban space, not only in relation to governance approaches and new types of citizen engagement, but also in, for example, the development of infrastructural innovations, experimental and grassroots initiatives, the implementation of sustainability agendas, and the spread of digital/’smart’ urbanism.

This panel aims to critically and constructively engage with emerging modes of governing and reshaping urban space and social relations through the lens of design.

The scattered and elusive landscapes of design in the city we seek to explore include:

  • Design processes that follow ‘the concept of co-‘ (Bason 2014) such as co-design, co-creation, co-production or collaboration and are often concerned with ‘citizen engagement around urban issues’ (Balestrini et al 2017)
  • Design concepts previously used in the digital design sector and/or in the context of business innovation (e.g. service design, experience design, interaction design, interface design, human-centred design)
  • Ways of thinking including design thinking and resilience thinking (Cowley 2017) or creative thinking
  • Shifting identities, often from private towards public subjectivities, e.g. consumer to citizen, user to participant or claims about ‘citizen-centric’ goals (Cardullo and Kitchin 2017)
  • Workshops, events or projects such as e.g. innovation labs, living laboratories (Evans and Karvonen 2014), civic hackathons or jams in support of smart or sustainable city agendas
  • Cybernetic urbanism and aspects of environmental control (Gabrys 2014, Halpern 2015, Krivý 2016, Luque-Ayala and Marvin 2017)

Considering this variety of logics and activities, we would like to invite position papers or short provocations based on related empirical work, personal experience or theoretical considerations. These will be followed by a wider discussion. Contributions could address (but are not limited to) the following themes:

  • Rationalities – What does design as a mode of governing promise and what does it deliver in practice?
  • Contexts – In which contexts is ‘design’ as a mode of governing being mobilised today?
  • Levels of facilitation – Who is hosting, facilitating and participating in ’design thinking’ or ’designerly’ initiatives
  • Governing spaces – What are its spatial dimensions and spaces of inclusion and exclusion?
  • Power – What are the mechanisms of empowerment and disempowerment?
  • Historical perspectives – What are the origins of ‘governing through design’ approaches and current drivers behind this trend?
  • What theorisations and conceptualisations do we need to better understand the power relations and implications of design or designing in cities?
  • How can we maintain a critical, reflective, and constructive practice when designing with people becomes part, or even the focus of our academic work (particularly under funding schemes aimed at impact and innovation)?
  • What are its opportunities, limitations or dangers when attempting to steer society into more desirable directions?

Please submit your proposed title and abstract (200 words) to and by Friday 9th February 2018.

Featured image source:

The Architecture Exhibition as Environment

A special issue of Architectural Theory Review, edited by Alexandra Brown & Léa-Catherine Szacka

Deadline: Jun 1, 2018

The rise and professionalization, around the 1960s, of the figure of the “curator” marked an important point in the configuration of an exhibition’s authorship and process, including artist-curator overlaps, restaging or reframing of exhibitions, and questioning processes of instruction versus creation. The exhibitions of Harald Szeemann, Lucy Lippard, Seth Siegelaub, Pontus Hultén and others gave form to these new problems, as did the disciplinary provocations of conceptual art. Together, these changes contributed to the transformation of the very idea of the exhibition, from a display of discrete and primarily representational objects to more immersive and experiential environments.

In architecture, however, shifts in curatorial processes and exhibition environments trailed behind experiments in the visual arts (painting, sculpture, conceptual art). And while the practice of discussing exhibitions in terms of curators and the architectural objects they curate may appear to carve out clearly defined roles for those involved, it can often conceal more complex negotiations and overlaps in the practice of exhibition-making and the display of architecturally informed work. In the case of architecture, exhibitions that seek to display process alongside products or outcomes through forms of commissioned content invariably ask the curator to assume multiple roles in the development of the exhibition: those of the curator, the client, the critic, the advisor, and the designer. Likewise, the more totalised experience of the exhibition as environment can recast visitors or audiences as users, clients and participants, as well as embedded spectators.

Such broader shifts in exhibition practices coincided with the emergence of a wide range of architecture exhibitions conceived as, or concerned with, environments. For example, at the 1976 Venice Art Biennale, architecture entered the renowned multidisciplinary institution through an exhibition entitled Ambiente Arte (Environment Art). And by directly addressing or challenging the architectural dimension of the notion of environment, the exhibition suggested new terms on which architecture and design could be practiced, prepared and presented in both institutional and extra-institutional settings. Reflecting growing uncertainty over architecture’s capacity to meaningfully engage with the expanding networks and systems responsible for re-ordering the urban environment in unprecedented (and often intangible) ways, architecture is no longer just the object of the exhibition. Instead, the exhibition itself has emerged as an important site for reframing and representing the discipline of architecture in response to these new challenges.

This issue of Architectural Theory Review seeks to discuss the often overlooked and yet productive negotiations and tensions embedded in the postmodern and contemporary architecture exhibition as form of production. Specifically reflecting on the conflation of the architecture exhibition with environments, to what extent can the productive and problematic aspects of display be considered either as distinct from, or as extensions of, those encountered within the art exhibition? In which ways does the architecture exhibition, considered thus, challenge more traditional and unidirectional curator-artist relationships and outcomes? How might the notion of environment (as media, physical settings or systems) in relation to architecture be used a lens through which to understand new forms of exhibition making?

We are particularly interested in papers reflecting on the conceptualisation and curation of architecture exhibitions, as well as other kinds of exhibitions in which architecture or architectural (or environmental) thinking may be at stake, from the middle of the twentieth century onwards. We also welcome papers addressing biennial and/or triennial exhibitions as forms of display that particularly challenge the temporality of the exhibition as a singular event.

Full papers may be submitted to the ATR Manuscript Central site by June 1, 2018.

This issue of ATR (23, no. 1) will be published in April 2019.

Informal inquiries may be made to or

Reference / Quellennachweis:
CFP: Architectural Theory Review (23, no. 1), Architecture Exhibition as Environment. In:, Jan 27, 2018. <>.


Talking about building/s: oral history and modern architecture

1 February 2018, Erskine Room, 5th Floor, 13.00–14.00

Senior Fellowship Grants

Two Senior Fellowships are offered annually to established scholars in the field of British art and architectural history to complete a manuscript or book for publication or to undertake a sustained period of research towards a major project. The fellowships are for senior scholars only and are for nine months each.

Mid-Career Fellowships

Three Mid-Career Fellowships are offered annually for research in the field of British art and architectural history. These fellowships offer a four-month period of research to applicants who already have a significant publishing record and are working on a subsequent research, publishing or curatorial project. The four-month period may be used to undertake research for an article, book, exhibition or catalogue.

Postdoctoral Fellowships

Five Postdoctoral Fellowships are offered annually for the purpose of transforming doctoral research in the field of British art and architectural history into publishable form. The fellowships are for six months

Junior Fellowships

Four Junior Fellowships are offered annually to scholars in the advanced stages of their doctoral research in the field of British art and architectural history to pursue further study in the UK (based at the Paul Mellon Centre) or in the USA (based at the Yale Center for British Art). The fellowships are for three months

Research Support Grants

Grants to contribute towards travel and subsistence expenses for scholars engaged in research on the history of British art or architecture. Grants, of up to £2,000, may be used towards the expenses incurred in visiting collections, libraries, archives or historic sites with the United Kingdom or abroad for research purposes.

Educational Programme Grants

Grants to support lectures, symposia, seminars or conferences on British art and architecture. Educational programmes eligible for awards up to £3,000 include lectures, conferences, symposia and seminars for scholars or provided at a scholarly level for the general public.

Find out more here.

Featured image sourced from Paul Mellon Centre’s web-site.

Tuesday 22 May 2018

University of Wolverhampton, UK

The Centre for the History of Retailing and Distribution (CHORD) invites submissions for a workshop that explores the architecture, material environmement, objetcs and material culture of retailing and distribution.

Papers focusing on any historical period or geographical area are welcome, as are reflections on methodology and / or theory. We invite both experienced and new speakers, including speakers without an institutional affiliation. Potential speakers are welcome to discuss their ideas with the organiser before submission (please see details below). Some of the themes that might be considered include (but are not limited to):

  • The architecture of shops, markets and retail premises
  • Retailing and distribution ephemera
  • Retail exteriors, displays and interiors
  • The material culture of distribution
  • Fixtures, fittings and packaging
  • The restoration and recreation of historical shops
  • Retailing and town planning
  • Retail premises in the wider environment

Individual papers are usually 20 minutes in length, followed by 10 minutes for questions and discussion. We also welcome shorter, 10 minute ‘work in progress’ presentations, also followed by 10 minutes for discussion.

To submit a proposal, please send title and abstract of c.300 to 400 words, specifying whether you are proposing a 10 or a 20 minute presentation to Prof Laura Ugolini, at by 2 March 2018.

If you are unsure whether to submit a proposal or would like to discuss your ideas before submission, please e-mail Prof Laura Ugolini at

The workshop will be held in the Mary Seacole (‘MH’) Building, Wolverhampton University City Campus Molineux, a short walk from Wolverhampton’s bus and train stations. Maps and directions are available here.

The call for papers is available here.

Find out more about this and other CHORD events at

For further information, please e-mail Prof Laura Ugolini at:

Featured image: Marks and Spencers Edgware Road, London store in 1912 © Marks and Spencers Company Archiv

The Journal of Public Space is a joint research project developed by City Space Architecture, a non-profit organization based in Italy, and the Queensland University of Technology, based in Australia, in partnership with UN Habitat, the United Nations Programme for Cities and Human Settlements.

The Journal of Public Space is the first, international, interdisciplinary, academic, open access journal entirely dedicated to public space. It speaks different languages and is open to embrace diversity, inconvenient dialogues and untold stories, from multidisciplinary fields and all countries, especially from those that usually do not have voice, overcoming the Western-oriented approach that is leading the current discourse.


Call for papers | 2018 issues

The Journal of Public Space is welcoming full papers for 2018 issues, to be published in April, August and December.

Deadline for April issue: January 10, 2018

Deadline for August issue: May 10, 2018

Deadline for December issue: September 10, 2018

Find out more about the journal, as well as about the submission requirements here.



Featured image taken from the journal’s website: FESTA Festival of Transitional Architecture in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Credits: (top right) University of Auckland School of Architecture and Planning, Orbis, CityUps, FESTA 2014. (bottom right) Unitec Architecture Dept, Influx, CityUps, FESTA 2014. Photo: Erica Austin. (top center left) University of Auckland School of Architecture and Planning, Antigravity, (top center right) CityUps, FESTA 2014. Photo: Bridgit Anderson. Photo: Erica Austin. (top left) Lonnie Hutchinson, I Like Your Form lit by Gap Filler for FESTA 2014. Photo: Erica Austin. (bottom left) Unitec, Aurora, CityUps, FESTA 2014. Photo: Jonny Knopp.

The CA²RE community and Aarhus School of Architecture proudly announces the third CA²RE conference 13-16 April 2018 in association with ARENA, EAAE and ELIA

The Architectural Research European Network Association (ARENA), the European Association for Architectural Education (EAAE) and the European League of Institutes of the Arts (ELIA) are seeking to offer a joint platform for research in all fields of architecture, design and arts. This includes subjects such as environmental design, sustainable development, interior design, landscape architecture, urban design/urbanism, music, performing arts, visual arts, product design, social design, interaction design, etc.

One of the objectives is to support early-career researchers, PhD students and Postdocs in the fields of architecture and the arts, and to improve the quality of their research. Another objective is to show that senior researchers CARE about the work that is being done by more junior researchers.

CA²RE, the Conference for Artistic and Architectural (Doctoral) Research will be hosted in April 13-16, 2018 at the Aarhus School of Architecture, in association with ARENA, EAAE and ELIA. CA2RE is intended to bring together senior staff and early-career researchers to improve research quality through an intensive peer review at key intermediate stages. It wishes to contribute to the open and diverse fields that exist in architectural and artistic research, not giving priority to any single approach.


15 Dec 2017 Abstract submission deadline, registration opens

15 Jan 2018 Notification of acceptance

28 Feb 2018 Full text submission deadline

1 April 2018 Registration deadline

13-16 Apr 2018 Conference dates

For further information, please visit the conference website.


Featured image taken from the conference website.



23 November 2017, Erskine Room, 13:00-14:00

Monsoon Waters

Call for Papers

Deadline: 08 January 2018

Symposium Dates: 12-13 April 2018

Venue: University of Westminster, London, UK

Proposals for papers are invited for Monsoon Waters, the second in a series of symposia convened by Monsoon Assemblages, a research project funded by the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.

We live in a world where political geography and spatial planning have assumed permanent and easily observable divides between land, sea and air. Land is understood as solid, stable, divisible and the basis of human habitation; the sea is understood as liquid, mobile, indivisible, and hostile to human settlement; air is understood as gaseous, mobile, invisible and indispensable to human life. The monsoon cuts across these divisions. It inundates lived environments every year, connecting land with sea and sky. It is a spatial practice that reorganises air, water, land, settlements, cities, buildings and bodies through heat, wind, rain, inundation, saturation and flow. It unites science with politics and policy with affect. Today climate change is disrupting its cycles and explosive social and economic growth and rapid urbanisation are increasing the uncertainty of its effects. How can spatial design and the environmental humanities respond to these conditions by drawing on the monsoon as a template for spatial theory, analysis and design practice?

In order to deepen its responses to these questions Monsoon Assemblages is convening three symposia between 2017 and 2019 framed by the states of matter connected by the monsoon – air, water and ground. Monsoon [+ other] Airs took place in April 2017. The second symposium, Monsoon Waters will take place on 12-13 April 2018. It will comprise inter-disciplinary panels, key-note addresses and an exhibition and aims to bring together established and young scholars and practitioners from a range of disciplines, literatures, knowledge systems and practices (theoretical, empirical, political, aesthetic, everyday) to engage in conversations about the ontologies, epistemologies, histories, politics and practices of monsoon waters. We are particularly interested in contributions that investigate

1. Wet monsoon ontologies

Following Mathur and da Cunha1 we are interested in contributions that explore wetness (in the air, on the earth, under the earth) as a way of being, cultures of wetness, and the urban, environmental and political consequences of attitudes towards being wet.

2. Late-modern monsoon waters

We are interested in contributions that explore attitudes towards water in south Asia since the mid 1980’s, their history, their urban, environmental and political consequences and the ways-of-being-monsoon-water that these attitudes have produced, such as flood-water, deficient-water, toxic-water, beautified-water, bottled-water etc.

3. Monsoon waters in a changing climate

We are interested in contributions that explore monsoonal cycles of wetness and dryness from the perspective of climate change, any changes in political, social or economic behaviour these might be catalysing and in new or invigorated social movements these changes might be inspiring.

4. Visualising monsoon waters

We are interested in contributions that explore ways of visualising monsoon cycles of wetness and dryness, (in the air, on the earth, under the earth) and their consequences for spatial design practice.

Confirmed key note speakers at the symposium are:

Anuradha Mathur Dilip da Cunha: architects, planners and landscape architects based in Philadelphia, USA and Bangalore, India, whose work is focused on how water is conceptualised and visualised in ways that lead to conditions of its excess and scarcity, and the opportunities that its ubiquity offers for new visualizations of terrain, and resilience through design.

Kirsten Blinkenberg Hastrup: environmental anthropologist based in Copenhagen, Denmark, whose work deals with social responses to climate change across the globe, currently centered in the Thule Area, NW Greenland.

Contributions are invited in response to these provocations. They should take the form of 150 – 250 word abstracts for either papers or creative, practice based contributions such as drawings, photographs, videos, performances, musical compositions etc. Enquiries or abstracts should be sent to Lindsay Bremner at by 08 January 2018. Abstracts will be reviewed by the Monsoon Assemblages team and authors will be notified by 29 January 2018 whether their contributions have been accepted or not. There is no registration fee for the symposium, but participants will be required to secure their own funding to attend it. Participants will be requested to submit their contributions for publication in the symposium proceedings, or, potentially, a special journal issue.

Monsoon Assemblages, a research project funded by the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (Grant Agreement No. 679873).

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University of Kent, KSA Create Biennial Conference 2018

Cultural landscape refers to landscapes shaped by humans through habitation, cultivation, exploitation and stewardship, and has influenced thinking in other fields, such as architecture. Generally, architecture has been subsumed within cultural landscape itself as a comprehensive spatial continuum. Yet standard architectural histories often analyse buildings as isolated objects, sometimes within the immediate context, but typically with minimal acknowledgement of wider spatial ramifications. However, buildings may become spatial generators, not only in the immediate vicinity, but also at larger geographic scales. ‘Buildings’ in this case include architectural works in the traditional sense, as well as roads, bridges, dams, industrial works, military installations, etc. Such structures have been grouped collectively to represent territories at varying scales.

In the context of this conference, the term ‘territories’ is appealed to rather than ‘landscape’, for the latter is associated with a given area of the earth’s surface, often aestheticized as a type of giant artefact. Territories by contrast are more abstract, and may even overlap. Discussions in this conference may consider varying territorial scale relationships, beginning with the building, moving to the regional, and even to the global. For example, at the level of architectural detailing, buildings may represent large-scale territories, or obscure others, themselves acting as media conveying messages. How tectonic-geographic relationships are represented may also be considered. Various media, primarily maps but also film and digital technologies have created mental images of territories established by buildings, and are all relevant to these discussions. Geopolitical analysis may provide another means towards understanding how architecture makes territories. Governments are often the primary agents, but not always, for religious and special interest groups have played central roles. Mass tourism and heritage management at national and international levels have reinforced, or contradicted, official government messages. Organisations dedicated to international building heritage, such as UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) also are implicated in such processes.

Paper proposals may cover anytime period, continuing into the present. Relevant proposals from all disciplines are welcomed.

Where: Canterbury, Kent, UK

When: 28th and 29th June 2018

Paper abstract submission due date: 15th of January, 2018.

Paper selection announcement date: 31st of March, 2018.

Find out more:



2 November 2017, Erskine Room, 13:00-14:00

Cosmopolitanism without provincialism is empty, provincialism without cosmopolitanism is blind.
(Ulrich Beck, Cosmopolitan Vision)

Translocality draws attention to multiplying forms of mobility without losing sight of
the importance of localities in peoples’ lives.
(Oakes and Schein, Translocal China, Linkages, Identities and the Reimagining of Space)

TRANSLOCAL Contemporary Local and Urban Cultures seeks to explore and discuss the possibility of the transcendence of the physical and virtual place(s), understood as expanded space(s)/time(s), where local and global arise as implicated dynamic realities. It will analyse, not only the geopolitical, social, historical and cultural processes of local and urban encounter, but also the various forms of artistic expression resulting from these phenomena understanding that, nowadays, it always implies both the development of local identification ties as well as the building of ties that belong to several external networks, located beyond the local.


The inaugural issue of TRANSLOCAL Contemporary Local and Urban Cultures opens the invitation to the publication in the sections of a) Essays, including visual essays and b) Articles.

Proposals for publication should contribute to the reflection on the concepts of (trans) locality and urban cultures, as well as to the critical analysis of geopolitical, social, economic, geophysical, biological, cultural, artistic, psychological and affective dimension that these concepts can refer to, or even to the discussion of the problems that these phenomena and experiences imply. The case studies taken as the object of analysis and discussion may relate to both the city and the urban cultures of Funchal, as well as other cities and other places marked by translocality.
(Trans)locality and urban cultures

Today, to reflect on what is translocal and translocality, on what is the city and the urban (and their cultures), implies putting these concepts, phenomena and experiences in correlation with others that are alternative or complementary to them: On the one hand, local / locality / localism, region/regionality/regionalism, nation/nationality/nationalism, globalization and cosmopolitanism; and, on the other hand, countryside / rural / rurality.

The catastrophic, fragmentary and palimpsest character that Walter Benjamin (2003) identified in the experience of modern temporality, the liquidity that Zygmunt Bauman (2012) diagnosed in late modernity, or the critical reflexivity that Ulrich Beck (1994) also pointed out in contemporary times could no longer coexist, in the late twentieth century, with exclusively linear and progressive conceptions of time, with deterministic and merely material perspectives of space (Lefebvre, 1991; Massey, 2005; Harvey, 2009), or even with tight and static paradigms of phenomena such as frontier or community (Agamben, 1993, Nancy, 2000).

The city and the urban, thought and experienced as expanded and unstable place-times, presented themselves as a physical, social, political, and cultural fabric, fragmentary but dense, contaminated and in turbulent metamorphosis (Crang, 2000). They emerged as organic, tensile, and non-homogeneous units, where the threshold with the rural and with the foreigner dissolved and where various temporalities intersected, in a plot that was permeable to the strange, the difference and the new, but simultaneously would define itself as an autophagic body that nourishes itself from the ruins of the past, in order to reinvent itself in a complex and sometimes chaotic way (Domingues, 2010).

City and urban would configure themselves then (as today) as palimpsests and transboundary archipelagos, marked by dynamics that surpassed the physical place; like rhizomatic systems, whose fluidity found points of anchorage and crystallization that extended beyond the classic physical walls of the city and beyond the norms that, until then, dominated.

Along with this understanding of what was (or is) the city and the urban, in that same period, translocality and translocal emerged also as a conceptual renovation of these other terms that are tangential to them. Subject to the usury of time and the phenomenological, historical and contextual alteration, local / locality / localism, became limiting operative concepts in the reflection on the modern eco sociocultural systems as well as in the construction of answers to the questions and the challenges posed by contemporaneity. On the one hand, the growing wave of human and cultural mobility was intensified with technological development, with the emergence of new media and (with these) renewed modes of communication and interpersonal, intercultural and economic relations, now also marked by Virtuality, cross-border simultaneity and more complex space/time experiences (Beck, 2007; Greenblatt, 2010). On the other hand, the nineteenth-century paradigm of the nation-state (often reproduced, on a smaller scale, in the paradigm of the Region) was exhausted (Sousa Santos, 1999), requiring a re-equating of the processes of political and geocultural identification, identity narratives and community-based relationships (Agamben, 1993, Nancy, 2000). Simultaneously, the hegemonic tendency of globalization, the vertigo of cosmopolitan uprooting, and these new understandings of space/time, brought about a profound destabilization and pulverization of the narratives of identity.

In this way, translocal and translocality questioned and deconstructed the radical and uncritical dichotomization that, not infrequently, was established between what was local and national or between what was local and global or cosmopolitan (Greiner and Sakdapolrak, 2013). They came to refer to cultural, social, political, historical, economic, artistic, or even biological, geophysical, psychological and affective phenomena and experiences implied in more or less transgressive dynamics of transit, fluctuation, transference and metamorphosis, Was of subjects, values, substances and imaginary, whether of goods and products. However, these phenomena and experiences did not, however, stem from an absolute deterritorialization or from a radical uprooting of time that projected them out of a here-now. The prefix trans- inscribed (and still subscribes today) the dynamic, transformative, relational and transgressive character of this contemporary modality of experiencing and thinking the place. Locus, in the etymological root of place, in turn, stressed that this fluctuation or drift, as well as the merging of boundaries resulting therefrom, did not exhaust itself.
In this context, to return to the local, to rethink it critically, now in an articulation of various scales and times that cross in it, emerges as an attempt to respond to those shocks, demanding, however, another conceptualization, that exceeded the confinement of the borders of the local to a static, physical and geographic rooting (Appadurai, 2003: 178).

As Katherine Brickel and Ayone Datta (2011: 3-4) note, following the path of authors such as Appadurai, translocal and translocality designate phenomena and experiences “place-based rather than exclusively mobile, uprooted or ‘travelling.” As expanded places, resulting from the encounter and negotiation between various places-times, the existence of these phenomena and experiences is produced locally (Appadurai, 2003: 178).

Essays and Articles

TRANSLOCAL welcomes, proposals of essays and articles (2500 to 5000 words), written in Portuguese or English, which, dealing with the theme “(Trans)Locality and Urban Cultures”, address (although not exclusively) topics such as:

  • The local, the urban and the city as expanded place-time (spaces), as palimpsests and/or transboundary archipelagos: issues of identity and heritage;
  • Human and cultural mobility: centrifugal and/or centripetal movements, between the vertigo of transit and the pulverization of local rooting;
  • Displacement, conflict, and power;
  • The plasticity of local and urban territories:
  • Processes of spatial co-production processes (top-down and bottom-up dynamics);
  • Ecological sustainability, (de)territorial organization, risks, resilience;
  • Local and urban landscapes as metamorphic phenomena and as hybrid territories: conservation, subversion, (re)creation;
  • The babelic complexity of the contemporary (trans)local and urban: issues of linguistic encounter and variation;
    issues of linguistic, social, cultural and artistic (in)translatability;
  • The (re)imagination of the local and/or the city: narratives: literary and film narratives and representations;
    Contemporary artistic discourses, site-specificity, transgression and (re)creative relocations;
  • Tourism and the reinvention of the local and/or the urban: from the virtual to the empirical experience; processes of touristification

Submissions: All submitted material will be subject to a double-blind peer review process.

Essays and articles proposals must be sent to , by 10 November 2017, and should also include the following elements:

  • A summary of the proposed text submitted in Portuguese and English (up to 250 words);
  • Name of the author (s) and a short curricular note (up to 150 words).
  • Author guidelines

All submissions must follow the predefined author guidelines.

Guidelines for articles are available at


TRANSLOCAL. Contemporary Local and Urban Cultures is a journal oriented to the dissemination and study of contemporary local and urban cultural phenomena. Intending to reach local, national and international heterogeneous public, it is composed: a) an online edition and b) a printed edition, both autonomous, but dialoguing with one another. Both versions own their unique ISSN registration. TRANSLOCAL will assume cultural analysis and dissemination, taking into account not only its local context but also potential translocal and international articulations.

The online edition will be updated quarterly, with contents being published/organised in five different sections: Essays, Articles, Dialogues, Crossed gaze and Reading Suggestions. The digital edition of the journal will give preference to contents that address issues and themes related to the project, or to activities and events that TRANSLOCAL promotes or is associated with as a partner. will not be subject to exclusive themes

The paper edition, with the ISSN 2184-1047, will be published one a year and each number will have a specific theme. Articles submitted for publication will be subject to double-blind peer review, by members of the journal’s Reading Committee and Advisory Board. The first number will be published in Spring 2018.

TRANSLOCAL is a partnership between the Centre for Research in Regional and Local Studies of the University of Madeira (UMa-CIERL) and the Municipality of Funchal (CMF). TRANSLOCAL. Contemporary Local and Urban Cultures will take a particular “topos” of interest Funchal to think (with) other (trans)local and urban cultural realities.

+ info here (PT):

Call for Papers for the next themed issue of Architecture and Culture journal.

Spaces of Tolerance
Vol. 7, Issue no. 1, March 2019
Igea Troiani and Suzanne Ewing, Editors.


Academic journal publishing worldwide has become increasingly watched over and policed by funding bodies and institutions demanding that scholarship be seen to have direct and maximized impact for economic gain or return. As Wendy Brown notes, “the move to judge every academic endeavour by its uptake in non academic venues (commerce, state agencies, NGOs), as the British Research Excellence Framework (REF) does, is […] damaging” because “academic practices have been transformed by neoliberal economization”.3 This monitoring, counting, measuring and quantifying frames assessment of the validity of architectural research and limits the exchange between architectural practice and publishing. Within academic institutions, organizational adjacencies of disciplines create conditions of more or less tolerance in judging the value of a wide and diverse range of architectural outputs and the limits of the form/s original and creative architectural research may appear beyond a building design or a traditional 7,000 word scholarly journal article about a building’s history or performance that is double-blind reviewed by expert peers in architecture.

In an effort to recover architectural publishing as a more liberal, yet rigorous, space of production and imagination, this issue of Architecture and Culture seeks to reveal nuances in publishing and associated academic practices which might exceed or distil conventional and accepted disciplinary limitations. It seeks to instigate more open-ended relationships, interpretations and iterations between theory and practice – between textuality, visuality and aurality – to sway between and across more or less disciplinarity with empathy and insight. Contributions are sought from a range of cultural and geographical positions and perspectives that examine any aspect of the discourse, practice and research of architecture as an exploration of spaces of tolerance.


To download full version of call for papers:   


Featured image: John Hejduk, 13 Watchtowers of Cannaregio, 1978.

MONASS: Reporting from the Field

With: Lindsay Bremner, Beth Cullen and Christina Geros

Where: Erskine Room (M/523), Marylebone Campus

When: Thursday 19 October, 13:00–14:00


Monsoon Assemblages is a five-year-long European Research Council funded research project investigating relations between rapid urbanisation and changing monsoon climates in South Asian cities. The MONASS team spent six weeks in Chennai over the summer conducting field work for the project. In this seminar, we will briefly sketch out the monsoon assemblage thesis and the questions that framed this field work. We will take you to a number of the sites we studied and discuss how our engagement with them has both challenged and extended our thesis and shaped future work.

Lindsay Bremner is a Professor and Beth Cullen and Christina Geros are Research Fellow at the University of Westminster





30 March 2017, Erskine Room, 13:00–14:00



17 March 2017, Erskine Room, 13.00 – 14.00

The Monsoon Assemblages project is pleased to announce the first of three symposia that will be convened at University of Westminster in London over the next three years.

This year’s symposium, Monsoon [+ other] Airs  will interrogate questions of monsoon atmospheres, airscapes, politics and media. The event includes an evening keynote lecture (Thursday 20th April) followed by a one-day long symposium (Friday 21st April). It will be accompanied by an exhibition of graphic, audio and video works.

The keynote lecture will be given by architect Sean Lally of WeathersSymposium speakers will include meteorologist Andrew Turner (University of Reading) and philosopher Etienne Turpin (MIT Urban Risk Lab). The exhibition will include work by students of DS18 and Victoria Watson (University of Westminster).

This event is open to anyone interested in monsoonal matters!

For more information please see here:

Attendance is free, but please book here:









02 March 2017, Erskine Room, 13.00 – 14.00

The Architecture Research Forum next week will be hosting Joana Carla Soares Gonçalves, a Professor at FAUUSP, Sao Paulo, currently visiting Dr Rosa Schiano Phan in our department. Details are below:



Congratulations to three members of the department’s staff: Pete Barber of Peter Barber Architects, and Anthony Engi-Meacock and Giles Smith of Assemble, whose projects have been shortlisted for the The European Commission and the Mies van der Rohe Foundation’s  2017 European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award.

Pete Barber, who teaches DS12 in the MArch programme was shortlisted for Holmes Road Studios and Anthony Engi-Meacock and Giles Smith of Assemble, who run DS6 in the BA programme, for Granby Four Streets.

These were two of the 40 works shortlisted from the 355 that were nominated. Five finalists will be announced in mid-February and the winner and the Emerging Architect in mid-May. Remarkable achievements by members of our Department!

Holmes Road Studios, Peter Barber Architects

Granby Four Streets, Assemble


Architecture Research Forum 2016/7_7

Julian Williams: Reporting Collaborative Research from the Estate

02 February, 13.00 – 14.00

Erskine Room, 5th Floor Studios, 35 Marylebone Road, NW1 5LS



Matthew Barnett-Howland (MPH Architects)

‘Building With Cork’

Thursday 8th December, 6pm, Robin Evans Room (M416)

Department of Architecture

Cork is a genuinely ecological material – it is sustainably harvested from cork oak trees in southern Europe, and reconstituted in its block form without any additional binders. It is a natural vegetable product that is carbon neutral, is biodegradable, can be recycled, and has excellent thermal, acoustic insulative properties. Solid cork can also be exposed externally which will weather to a silver-brown colour over time.

Matt Barnett-Howland is currently working on a government funded research project exploring the innovative use of cork as a construction material. His research project aims to demonstrate how cork can provide all three fundamental functions of a building envelope – primary structure, insulation, and weather-proofing. As part of his research, Barnett-Howland is currently working on the world’s first building to use solid cork as a structural material for the roof as well as the walls.


For details contact Will McLean

Technical Studies website

Architecture Research Forum 6

Kate Heron: The Adapt-r Exhibition

15 December, 13.00 – 14.00

Ambika P3, 35 Marylebone Road, NW1 5LS


Architecture Research Forum 5

Alastair Blyth: Measuring the Effectiveness of School Design

01 December, 13.00 – 14.00

Erskine Room, 5th Floor Studios, 35 Marylebone Road, NW1 5LS



Simon Allford (AHMM)

Extra Ordinary and The White Collar Building

Thursday 24th November, 6pm

Room M416 (Robin Evans Room)

Department of Architecture

Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment

35 Marylebone Road

London NW1 5LS


Simon is one of the four founding partners of Allford Monaghan and Morris (AHMM), a leading architectural studio that works in the UK and internationally. Simon works on projects at a range of scales and typologies, with recent projects including Stratford residential master plan, The Angel, Tea and Yellow Buildings as well as Adelaide Wharf, the Saatchi Gallery and Chobham Academy. AHMM won the RIBA Stirling prize in 2015 for the Burntwood School project.


Simon is currently working on The White Collar Factory at City Road, a new tower ‘240 Blackfriars’, three mixed-use projects on Regent Street for the Crown Estate, an academic building for the University of Amsterdam as well as large urban scale projects in London and the US. Simon is Chairman of the Architecture Foundation, a trustee of the Architecture Association Foundation, a visiting professor at The Bartlett and GSD Harvard, and he was recently Vice President for Education at the RIBA. Simon engages in the broader architectural discussion as a writer, critic, teacher, competition judge, frequent lecturer, examiner, advisor and commentator.


As a part of a publishing initiative by AHMM called Fifth Man, Simon has recently authored Extra Ordinary … “Some thoughts on architecture and the theatre of everyday life.” Extra Ordinary develops an earlier lecture by Simon and describes the challenge of making extra ordinary architecture in a contemporary urban setting. Simon will be talking about this new publication as well as the White Collar Factory, a new workspace typology currently under construction at the Old Street Roundabout.


For details contact Will McLean

Technical Studies website


What do architects, artists, and designers actually do? What inspires them? How do they make the leaps of imagination they need to break new ground? Where do they find their ideas? How do they develop, test and share them with each other? How do they know when something’s going right?

Ambika P3 is proud to present ADAPT-r, a major exhibition exploring research processes of working artists, architects and designers – revealing the diverse approaches and how they do what they do. From digital designers to landscape architects, brand designers to design activists, painters to performance artists, and many different types of architects,

26 November – 18 December 2016, open daily from 10am – 6pm
Private view: Wednesday 23 November, 6:30 – 8:30pm

Thursday 24 November

Book launch and talk with Dr Tom Holbrook


Friday 25 November

Practice Research Symposium Opening Lecture by Dr Deborah Saunt


Architecture Research Forum 4

John Bold: The Politics of Heritage Regeneration in South-East Europe

20th November, 13.00 – 14.00

Erskine Room, 5th Floor Studios, 35 Marylebone Road, NW1 5LS



Christophe Egret (Studio Egret West)

Harmony of Dissonance

Thursday 10th November, 6pm,

Room M416 (Robin Evans)

Department of Architecture

35 Marylebone Road

London NW1 5LS


Christophe Egret is an Architect and Founding Director of Studio Egret West with over 30 years practice experience. His formative years were spent working with Norman Foster, Ian Ritchie, John McAslan, Nigel Coates and Ron Arad and more recently with Will Alsop, with whom he worked for 10 years as a director, managing, amongst others, the Peckham Library (winner of the RIBA Stirling Prize 2000), and the Blizzard Building for the Queen Mary Research laboratory in Whitechapel.


In 2004 he joined forces with David West, an Urban Designer, to create Studio Egret West (SEW), a dynamic cross platform workshop where architecture and urban design are not seen as separate skills, but rightfully reunited to create a unique working environment where “city and building speak to each other”.


Christophe led the practices’ input into the regeneration of the Park Hill community in Sheffield, which included the transformation of the longest listed building in Europe. As a result of this project experience the practice are currently engaged in the refurbishment of the listed, 27-storey Balfron Tower in Poplar designed by Erno Goldfinger.

Contributions are invited to Monsoon Assembly Air, the first of three annual symposia to be convened by Monsoon Assemblages, ERC Starting Grant no. 679873 at the University of Westminster in London on 21 April 2017.

Indian meteorologists release a balloon in order to track monsoons. Photograph: Adeel Halim/Reuters. Source:
Indian meteorologists release a balloon in order to track monsoons. Photograph: Adeel Halim/Reuters. Source:

The South Asian monsoon is more than an annual meteorological phenomenon. It Is an atmospheric principle that organises territory and seeps into almost every aspect of life on the Indian subcontinent – its politics, economics, infrastructure, food, sex, culture, religion and daily life. The ambition of the Monsoon Assemblages is to (i) develop an understanding of the monsoon as an environmental, political, economic and cultural agent (ii) adopt the monsoon as a template for spatial theory, analysis and design (iii) work with this template to address the twin conditions of volatility and vulnerability presented by climate change, globalisation and rapid urbanisation on the Indian subcontinent. 

We live in a world where political geography and spatial planning have assumed permanent and easily observable divides between land, sea and air. Land is understood as solid, stable, divisible and the basis of human habitation; the sea is understood as liquid, mobile, indivisible, and hostile to human settlement; air is understood as gaseous, mobile, invisible and indispensable to human life. The monsoon cuts across these divisions. It inundates lived environments every year, connecting land with sea and sky. It is a spatial practice that reorganises air, water, land, settlements, cities, buildings and bodies through heat, wind, rain, inundation, flow and flood. It unites science with politics and policy with affect. Today climate change is disrupting its cycles and explosive social and economic growth and rapid urbanisation are increasing the uncertainty of its effects. How can the spatial design and environmental humanities disciplines respond to these twin conditions of volatility and vulnerability by drawing on the monsoon as a template for spatial theory, analysis and design practice? 

In order to deepen its responses to these questions over the next three years, Monsoon Assemblages will convene three Monsoon Assemblies.These will be structured around the monsoon’s three material elements: Monsoon Air, Monsoon Water and Monsoon Ground. These will be one-day long symposia made up of multi-disciplinary round table discussions and a key-note address. These aim to bring together established and young scholars and practitioners from a range of disciplines, literatures, knowledge systems and practices – theoretical, empirical, aesthetic, everyday – who seldom talk to one another – to engage in conversations about monsoon aesthetics, epistemologies, histories, ontologies, practices and risks. These contributions will range from the environmental sciences, the social sciences, science and technology studies, history, the humanities, media studies, urban studies, architecture, art and design, amongst others. These conversations will be videoed and the papers presented will be published in online proceedings. The Assemblies will coincide with the annual April meetings of the Monsoon Assemblages Advisory Board.

Monsoon Assembly Air

21st April 2017 , 35 Marylebone Road, University of Westminster, NW1 5LS, London.

Monsoon Assembly Air will interrogate questions of monsoon atmospheres, depressions, winds, cyclones, clouds, onsets, temporalities and forecasts; of birds, seed dispersal, dust, aerosols and fragrances; of monsoon sounds and music; of monsoon wind driven trading systems; of monsoons on the air and in the media; of the many systems and technologies through which knowledge of monsoon air is produced – religious, cultural, political, scientific, everyday. We also wish to address questions of urban monsoon airs – heat islands, the micro-politics of life performed by air, bodily airs, air-conditioning, air-pollution, air-ports and air architecture.

Contributions are invited in response to this provocation. They should take the form of 150 – 200 word abstracts for either papers or creative, practice based contributions such as performances, musical compositions, photography or video.

These should be sent to Zahra Mohamed Saleh at by 15 January 2017.  Abstracts will be reviewed by theMonsoon Assemblages project team and authors will be notified by 15 February 2017 whether their contributions will be included in a round table or not. The assembly will take place on 21st April 2017 on the Marylebone Campus of the University of Westminster in London. Contributors will be asked to submit their work as 3,000 – 5,000 word working papers, photo essays or other materials for publication in the online proceedings of the event. These could be developed for the culminating Monsoon Assemblages conference and exhibition, to take place at the University of Westminster in 2020 that will result in refereed conference proceedings. For further information, contact Lindsay Bremner, PI of Monsoon Assemblages at

logo-erc flag_yellow_low

Emma Flynn (AStudio) + Christian Kerrigan

Living Architecture

Thursday 3rd November, 6pm

Room M416 (Robin Evans Room)

Department of Architecture


Emma Flynn leads Research and Development at the London-based architecture practice AStudio. A practicing architect and design researcher, Emma’s work broadly focuses on the future architectural landscape in relationship to nature, exploring environmental responsiveness and resilience in the context of climate change and resource depletion. Emma is a tutor in Environmental Design at The Bartlett, UCL; Design Think Tank leader at the London School of Architecture; and works with students at Brunel University as part of the EU Co-Innovate programme. In June this year she talked about Bio-Responsive façades with Dr Rachel Armstrong at Vision: The Future of the Built Environment.

Christian Kerrigan trained as an architect, but has worked for a number of years as an artist. Christian is now based at AStudio working at the intersection of art and science exploring nature and architecture and how we might use algae as an energy resource and carbon sink for new architecture on earth and outer space. Recent work includes ‘The 200 Year Continuum’ … “exploring the line between technology and nature…I use digital technology and scientific methods to make sculptures, installations, films, drawings and architecture, which portray an ‘evolutionary principle’ of nature and technology as a single living organism.”

For details contact Will McLean

Technical Studies website


The third Architecture Research Forum of the year will be given by Zhenzhou Weng, on 03 November, 13.00 – 14.00 in the Ralph Erskine Room, 5th Floor, 35 Marylebone Road NW! 5LS. His topic will be: Playing with Building Physics: Environmental Design in Architectural Education and a new Interactive Learning Platform (ROOM). All are welcome to attend.



Paul Maddock – HTA Designs

The Heartland Project

Thursday 27th October, 6pm, Robin Evans Room (M416)

University of Westminster

Department of Architecture

Paul Maddock joined HTA Designs in 2003 as a Project Architect, and since then has worked on a wide range of residential-led regeneration projects across the UK and abroad. He is one of HTA’s Design Leaders since 2005, becoming an Associate in 2012.

The Heartlands project is located in the Cornish village of Pool and forms a part of The Homes and Communities Agency’s regeneration programme for Pool’s industrial mining legacy. The development of 144 houses and flats are situated across two sites overlooking the central Heartlands Park. Previously the sites had formed part of Cornwall’s tin mining past, and the surrounding local landscape is dotted with the remnants of its historic past.

The masterplan was developed in close collaboration with the local planning department and the local community. The masterplan includes 54 Custom Build house plots. This regeneration represents the Government’s first and biggest Custom Build projects for England, offering people from across Cornwall the chance to select a Home Manufacturer and customise their own home. A new open space is also planned, termed “Not the Village Green”, and will be designed through the joint collaboration with the new community.

HTA Design is a multi-disciplinary practice based in London, Manchester and Edinburgh, specialising in housing and regeneration.

For details contact Will McLean –

Technical Studies website –


Enric Ruiz-Geli (Cloud 9)

Media ICT and El Bulli

Thursday 20th October, 6pm, Robin Evans Room (M416)

University of Westminster

Department of Architecture

Enric Ruiz-Geli is an architect based in Barcelona who works with a group of collaborators and researcher’s as Cloud 9. Enric works at the interface between architecture and art, digital processes and technological material development. The architects’ multifaceted projects include stage designs and buildings, installations and technical patents. In 2011 he was awarded the prize for best building by the World Architecture Festival (WAF) for his groundbreaking net zero-energy building project ‘Media-ICT’ in Barcelona, which featured ‘glow in the dark’ fireproof paint and an interactive smoke filled ETFE wall.

Key projects of Enric Ruiz Geli / Cloud 9 include the Villa Nurbs in Empuriabrava, an organically formed, ecological and futuristic house; Media-ICT building in Barcelona and the elBulliFoundation for the chef Ferran Adrià. Designed as a living laboratory in Cap de Creus on the Spanish/French border, the elBulliFoundation (culinary institute) is designed to sustainably regenerate its site within a national park using a mixture of ancient and contemporary environmental design strategies and is being developed in partnership with the national parks authority.

For details contact Will McLean –

Technical Studies website –

Robin Partington (Robin Partington & Partners)

…two nails and a piece of string….

Thursday 13th October, 6pm, Robin Evans Room (M416)

Department of Architecture

University of Westminster

Robin Partington grew up in the Northwest of England surrounded by architects and engineers, which helped to nurture his interest in materials, how things are made and a healthy respect for the craftsmanship and skills involved. Robin joined Foster Associates in 1984 where he was responsible for a wide range of projects culminating in 30 St Mary Axe in the City of London (the ‘Gherkin’). Robin subsequently joined Hamiltons Architects in 2001 before forming his own practice Robin Partington & Partners (RPP) in October 2009.

RPP do not have a ‘house’ style and the practice is ‘built around people’, which helps to create a lively and supportive work environment which has been recognised through awards as a good employer.

In 2014 the practice established the Robin Partington & Partners Material Practice and Dissertation Awards in partnership with the Department of Architecture at the University of Westminster. To date over £10,000 has been generously gifted to our Undergraduate and MArch Students for the development of material prototypes/experiments and to support travel and other expenses in the pursuit of knowledge. In addition, RPP employees Yashin Kemal (Westminster alumnus) and Giovanni Beggio have assisted with final year degree and MArch technical tutorials.

Robin is going to talk about the realities of construction; ‘Concrete-iness’ and ‘Steel-iness’; Frank Lloyd Wright and the Johnson Wax building; the Eiffel tower, galvanised steel handrails and how the Romans dealt with unruly architects!

For details contact Will McLean –

Technical Studies website –

Geoff Morrow (Structuremode)‘Engineering, Pavilions, Research and Humanitarian projects’Thursday 6th October, 6pm, Robin Evans Room (M416)

University of Westminster

Department of Architecture

35 Marylebone Road

London NW1 5LS


To launch the Technical Studies Thursday evening lecture series Geoff Morrow will discuss a series of recent humanitarian projects, pavilions and lightweight structures on which he has worked. Geoff is a structural engineer and the founder and director of StructureMode, established in 2007. Geoff is driven by his passion for beautiful design through an innovative and collaborative approach to structural engineering and materials. He has over 20 years’ experience designing many types of bespoke buildings and structures.

In the last five year Geoff has led a number of humanitarian projects in partnership with Orkidstudio where the creative use of novel engineering strategies and local materials has created some exceptional projects including Fabric cast concrete for Bomnong L´Or Project, Cambodia (pictured) and a prototype for a Pop-up Cardboard Classroom for Nairobi.

Geoff lectures and tutors students in a number of architecture departments, most recently the Bartlett, Oxford Brookes University and here at the University of Westminster as a part of the Technical Studies team.

For details contact Will McLean

Technical Studies website


The first Architecture Research Forum of 2016 will be a seminar presented by Dr. Victoria Watson on 06 October, as per details below. This year the research forum will take place bi-weekly on Thursdays at lunch time. They are open to all staff and students. You are welcome to bring your lunch to these seminars and encourage your students to attend.


The Department of Architecture is pleased to invite you to the launch of Douglas Spencer’s

The Architecture of Neoliberalism: How Architecture became an Instrument of Control and Compliance.

24th October 2016, 18.00 – 20.00

M416, University of Westminster, 35 Marylebone Road, london, NW1 5LS.


On 23 September 2016, the Monsoon Assemblages Research Project will host its first seminar as follows. All are welcome to attend.


The Department of Architecture will launch the Studio as Book series on Monday 10th October at 18.00 as per details below:

Studio as book launch s




The Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment at the University of Westminster will be launching two grant funded projects on:

Tuesday the 4th of October 2016,  6pm to 8pm,

Room M416,

35 Marylebone Road,

NW1 5LS,


Public Space and the Role of the Architect, directed by Professor Susannah Hagan is an Anglo-Brazilian research project examining the often neglected role of the architect in the production of public space in London and São Paolo. Monsoon Assemblages, directed by Professor Lindsay Bremner will undertake research on and propose design strategies for three South Asian cities: Chennai, Delhi and Dhaka, as more-than-human monsoonal ecological assemblages.

The event will be chaired by Professor Harry Charrington. Professor David Dernie, Dean of FABE will introduce the projects and Professor Geoff Petts, Vice Chancellor of the University will situate them in relation to the University’s wider  research strategy. For more information go here.

Screenshot 2016-07-05 15.16.48

The Politics of Heritage Regeneration in Europe, a report edited by John Bold and Martin Cherry has just been published by the Council of Europe. John Bold is Reader in Architecture at the University of Westminster.

For a PDF version of the report, go here: Politics of Heritage Regeneration

Studio as Book No 1

Architecture Energy Matter

Lindsay Bremner and Roberto Bottazzi


The Department of Architecture has initiated a new series of yearly publications that tender the extraordinary creative work undertaken in the Department of Architecture’s design studios – in detail. The series includes undergraduate and graduate level work, and is intended to sit alongside the Open Exhibition and catalogue. Each book in the series covers the work of a single design studio over the course of at least two years.

The first book in the series, DS18: Architecture Energy Matter (Lindsay Bremner and Roberto Bottazzi) is now published and available on line. DS03: Dialogic Designs (Constance Lau) will follow later this year and DS11: The Intrinsic and Extrinsic City (Andrew Peckham and Dusan Decermic) and DS15: Here Comes Everybody (Kester Rattenbury and Sean Griffiths) will be published next year.  For further details go here.

The series will be launched at an event at the University of Westminster in October 2016.


Architecture Research Forum 19

Richard Difford: On Stereoscopic Depth and Pictorial Space in Early Twentieth-Century Art and Architecture

02 June 2016, 13.00 – 14.00

Erskine Room, 5th Floor Studios, 35 Marylebone Road, Nw1 5LS


Architecture Research Forum 18

Corinna Dean: Making as Place: Mapping Creativity

19 May 2016, 13.00 – 14.00

Erskine Room, 5th Floor Studios, 35 Marylebone Road, Nw1 5LS




Architecture Research Forum 17

Alessandro Ayuso: Body Agents: Subjective Figures in Design

O5 May 2016, 13.00 – 14.00, Ralph Erskine Room, 5th Floor, Marylebone Building, 35 Marylebone Road,, London NW1 5LS


Below are links to videos of the presentations given at


a one day interdisciplinary conference held at the University of Westminster, Friday 05 February 2016 that explored the possibilities of going beyond the limitations of liberal-modernist policy-making and urban planning and the implications of doing so.


Filip De Boeck (KU Leuven) Of Mountains and Holes. How to map the rhythms of urban life in Congo’s cities?  Video


Michele Manzella (University of Ferrara) Constructing uncertainty: Use of data for the design of disaster-resilient cities Video 

Tudor Vilcan (University of Southampton) Sustainable futures? Resilience building processes and the challenges of the urban setting Video

Daniel Fernández Pascual (Goldsmiths, University of London) Ambiguous Lands, Profitable Margins: The Invention of the Coast Video

Tania Katzschner (University of Cape Town) Uncertainty as Chance – Weaving our Futures from the Fabric of Reality: Rethinking Urban Conservation in Cape Town Video 


Nathaniel Tkacz (University of Warwick) Dashboards, Design Principles, and Data Signals, Or, How To See Like a Data-Driven State Video


Adam Greenfield (Urbanscale) Empire of the Sum: Hegemony and resistance Video

David Chandler (University of Westminster) Algorithmic governance: the government of things rather than people?  Video


Philipp Rode (LSE Cities) Strategic Planning and Policy Integration: Governance hierarchies and networks in London and Berlin  Video

Owen White (Collingwood Environmental Planning) Understanding the implications of global megatrends at the EU and national scale: methodological reflections and lessons for policy  Video 

Johan Woltjer (University of Westminster) Place-based planning for water and infrastructure


Erik Swyngedouw (University of Manchester) Insurgent Cities and the Spectral Return of the Political Video,  Q and A Video 

For further information about the conference, go here.


The Architecture Department hosted a seminar on the work of Italian photographer Gabriele Basilico on Wednesday 18 May, 17.30 – 19.00.


This seminar reassessed the work of Basilico (1944-2013), whose contribution to the development of urban photography remains relatively little known in Britain. Basilico graduated in architecture from Milan Polytechnic and began to photograph urban landscapes in the early 1970s under the influence of the ‘new topographics’ approach. After portraying Milan’s factory buildings, he went on to photograph cities around the world for the next four decades. His formation shaped his distinctive way of observing urban space through the camera. By seeking familiar elements in the most foreign of places, he established an intimate bond with every city as an ever-changing living organism. What is the significance of Basilico’s work today, and what is its legacy? An international panel reflected on these questions from the perspectives of architecture, photography, art history, and Italian Studies. While focusing on the work of a singular figure, the seminar addressed wider issues concerning the relationship between contemporary photography and the experience of urban space.



Panel Speakers were:

Alexandra Tommasini, The Bridget Riley Art Foundation, London

Eugénie Shinkle, Department of Photography, University of Westminster

Angelo Maggi, Università IUAV di Venezia

Marina Spunta, School of Modern Languages, University of Leicester


Davide Deriu, Department of Architecture, University of Westminster

Abstracts of the presentations are available here.


Architecture Research Forum 16

Ro Spankie

Drawing out the Interior

07 April 2016, 13.00 – 14.00

Erskine Room, 5th Floor, north east, 35 Marylebone Road, NW1 5LS