Posted by AAPC on March 15, 2021 | Comments Off on Nerma Cridge
“Post-Yugoslav City”. Nerma Cridge at Projective Cities.
Guest Seminar, Tuesday, March 16, 10am.
The first part of this lecture will examine the relationship
between ideology, politics and abstraction in former Yugoslavia with the aim of
offering a more complex understanding of the highly visible monumental
architecture and almost completely unknown secret ones.
We will start at the violent
end of Yugoslavia, with Lebbeus Woods’ projects on Sarajevo from War and
Architecture. Woods’ poignant drawings of mindless destruction during the
four-year-long siege of the city of Sarajevo will be used to introduce the idea
of country and architecture full of contradictions.
It often tends to be forgotten
that Yugoslavia was not part of Stalin’s block of countries, and that Socialist
Realism never took off there. Due to its politics of non-alignment Yugoslavia
forged a unique global presence, with architecture having not only social, but
also a mediating and unifying role.
We will explore what is behind
the recent surge of interest in the Yugoslav architecture, and question if in
this particular context, abstraction should be understood as a political
compromise. We will also speculate on whether the uniqueness of the political
system helped not only create highly distinctive socially responsible
architecture, but also played a pivotal role in its ultimate self-destruction.
The conspiracies on the alleged
Yugoslav secret space program will be used to shift the argument towards the
cold war and the space race, where we will look closely at the designs of
Soviet space craft architect Galina Balashova and much more recent examples
designs including Lunark moon pod by Saga Architects.
This lecture is dedicated to the memory of Mark Cousins, and it will conclude with a personal tribute to him.
Nerma Prnjavorac Cridge grew up in Sarajevo and completed her education in architecture at Birmingham, the Bartlett and the Architectural Association. Since qualifying, she worked for a number of distinguished practitioners including Thomas Heatherwick and art2architecture. Her first monograph Drawing the Unbuildable, based on her PhD thesis at the Architectural Association (supervised by dr Marina Lathouri and Mark Cousins) on the Soviet avant-garde, was published by Routledge in 2015. Nerma currently teaches at the AA and several other UK universities, as well as running her art and design practice Drawing Agency. Forthcoming publications include Restless: Drawn by Zaha Hadid, in Routledge Companion on Women in Architecture edited by Anna Sokolina, and The Politics of Abstraction, Nerma’s second monograph.
Power Out of Restriction is a social enterprise that focuses on the development of communities through the elevation of young people. POoR sees the power of the younger generation and seeks to get young voices heard. Through knowledge sharing and design, we aim to bridge the gap between communities, bring together a wealth of demographics, and empower the youth of today.
Shawn Adams is a writer, lecturer and architectural designer. Currently, teaching at Central St Martins, University of the Arts London, Shawn believes that architecture can be used as a tool to develop stronger communities. An alumnus of Blueprint For All previously known as the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust, Shawn has delivered workshops in both primary and secondary schools. He has written for magazines that include VICE, Architects’ Journal and Icon and has been featured in The Guardian and Financial Times. Shawn is a Wren Insurance Association Scholar and was recently awarded the AJ Student prize and RIBAJ Rising Star title.
Larry Botchway is an architectural designer, researcher and illustrator. He has experience working with artists that include Antoni Malinowski and international research collectives such as Feral Atlas. His design work has been published by Stanford University Press and was exhibited at the Istanbul Biennial in 2020. Larry is an alumnus of Blueprint For All formerly known as the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust and is an advocate for diversity and inclusion. Larry is actively working with the Metropolitan Police to understand the issues young people in South West London face around policing.
Matt Harvey is a part qualified accountant and handles the operations at POoR. With expertise in budgeting, forecasting and cash flow management, Matt aims to teach the younger generation financial literacy. Having witnessed first-hand the struggle under- represented youth face in modern society, Matt strives to help educate the younger generation whilst teaching them professional and transferable skills. Currently, Matt is working alongside the Metropolitan Police to tackle issues involving the policing of youth in South West London.
Ben Spry is a speaker, architectural designer and environmental campaigner. Having worked extensively on community-led projects, Ben uses his skills in critical design to drive positive change within the built environment. Ben has a wealth of expertise in co-design and has facilitated several consultation sessions for housing projects in London. A facilitator of the Architect’s Climate Action Network’s education working group, Ben aims to teach climate literacy to young people.
For the past three years, Autonomy has been developing research and proposals about the future – and end – of work. Tackling themes that range from working time to wages, welfare to workspace, the think-tank has developed a unique set of tools and approaches to navigate the ongoing crises. In this lecture Julian Siravo, head of Autonomy’s urban research branch, takes us for a tour into the engine room of the think tank, explaining how certain ideas – from the four-day week to neighbourhood care centres – have travelled across media platforms and political arenas. The talk will explore the role and potential of deploying spatial investigation and drawing in a Westminster think tank.
Julian Siravo is an architect and urban designer working in policy. He has spent time in research and commercial architectural practices, eventually gravitating to the think tank world. He has worked for Common Wealth and leads Autonomy UK’s urban research branch. Julian currently teaches history and theory of architecture at UCL and, along with Stephanie Sherman, at the RCA’s City Design programme.
The MPhil in Architecture and Urban Design (Projective
Cities) is a 18-month, interdisciplinary research and design programme that
examines multi-scalar questions arising at the intersection of architecture,
urban design and planning.
Projective Cities is a critical forum to engage with
questions of governance and development in the context of global challenges of
urbanisation. Its objective is to respond to current urban, environmental and
social crises by rethinking the agency of spatial design and development within
specific political, economic, social and cultural contexts.
Projective Cities prepares its candidates for independent
research through a framework of rigorous design and research methodologies. The
first year of the programme is taught, introducing students to research
methods, academic writing, architectural and urban histories and theories,
advanced analytical techniques and computational design in preparation for a
substantial dissertation project. At the end of the first year, students submit
a research proposal. This is developed in the second year, leading to an
integrated design and written dissertation.
Projective Cities seeks candidates with a desire to develop
substantial and original research. It seeks exceptional thinkers, gifted
designers and critical writers with an interest in the future of our cities.
Recent and ongoing research projects in London, Athens, Barcelona, Bangkok, Beijing, Wuhan, the region of Silesia in Poland, Berlin, Jakarta, Leipzig, Shanghai, among others. Collaborations with academic institutions, municipalities, collectives, cooperatives, multi- and interdisciplinary practices.
Wojciech Mazan, ‘Proximal Relations: Forms of
Settlement, Dwelling and Territory in Opole-Silesia, Poland’. 2019-20.
Dimitris Chatziioakeimidis, ‘Renovation as a
Project: Athenian Post-war Office Buildings as Social Infrastructure’. 2019-20.
Posted by AAPC on December 22, 2020 | Comments Off on Athens Virtual Trip
A WEEK OF SEMINARS, LECTURES AND PRESENTATION ORGANISED AND
HOSTED BY PROJECTIVE CITIES MPHIL IN ARCHITECTURE AND URBAN DESIGN
14-18 DECEMBER 2020
Athens as a case study, and
specifically the neighborhood of Kaisariani, is the focus of the programme term
2 design exercise. A series of collaborations with the local municipality and
various stakeholders, academic institutions, practitioners and activists,
present and expose AA students in the city’s complex urban and social history,
aiming to rethink urban and architectural design practices within the context
of 21st century ecological, social, economic and political
city and the neighborhood of Kaisariani serve as sites of research and design
experimentation, focusing on the development of new housing typologies,
renovation projects and various public and collective equipments, while
rethinking and promoting the legacy of the refugee population and its social,
cultural and political histories and their registry in spatial and design
Mon DEC 14: Introduction, Athens as a case
study and Kaisariani Project. 3pm
as a project: the Athenian office building. 6pm
Marlanti, Thanos Pagonis, Kostantinos Serraos.
Wed DEC 16: Decentralised interiorities and
Athens ‘Long Walk’. 5pm
Balaoura, Elisavet Hasa.
Thu DEC 17: A Compact City facing Covid-19,
Athens Social Atlas. 5pm
Leontidou, Thomas Maloutas.
Fri DEC 18: 2008-16. Athens Remembered. 5pm
– NOTE: times above are local in Athens (GMT +2hrs)
– In English, via Zoom/Teams, follow Projective Cities
website and social media.
Tue DEC 15: Pandemics,
the City, a Crystal -plus two Competitions. 8pm
and its relation to the City will serve as a short prélude to the presentation
of two first Prize competition proposals for Athens -with a time difference of
60 years: Jan Despo’s project for the Athens Cultural Centre (1959) and tense
architecture network’s project for the Regeneration of the Athens City Centre (2019).
Born in Athens
(1974). Diploma in Architecture, National Technical University of Athens
(2001), Metropolis Msc in Architecture and Urban Culture, CCCB- Universitat
Politècnica de Catalunya (2006). Founder of Tense Architecture Network_TAN
(2004). Public space and private environments are constantly researched in TAN’S
work; the two fields are purposely interconnected. The practice’s portfolio includes several first
prize competition proposals as well as awarded residences: ‘Residence in
Megara’ received a Häuser Award (2016), Residence in Heraklion was nominated
for the Mies van der Rohe award (2017) and ‘Residence in Sikamino’ was
shortlisted for the same award (2013), while TAN participated in the
Architecture Biennale of Venice twice (2012 and 2014). 1st Prize Competition
Proposals: Regeneration of the Athens City Center (2019), Six Star
Resort in Mykonos, invited Competition_1st Prize
(2019), ‘Kastraki’ Urban Park in Piraeus (2016), Rehabilitation of
Venetian Arsenali and their wider surrounding space in Heraklion (2009),
Arkalos Town Hall, Crete (2007). Selective architectural competition
distinctions: New Passenger Terminal in Souda_3rd Prize (2017), New Cyprus
Archaelogical Museum_6th Prize (2017), Museum for Argo in Volos_2nd Prize
(2014), Pylaia Cultural Center_2nd Prize (2002). Receiver of the Greek
Architecture Award (2020) by domA.archi for the Restoration of the Upper
Concert Hall of the Athens Conservatory in collaboration with atelier66. Member
of the multidisciplinary group Greenproject (2010), of the Hellenic Institute
of Architects (2015), and of do.co.momo international (2015). Associate
Professor in the School of Architecture of the National Technical University of
Image caption: Michiel Sweerts, ‘Plague in an ancient City’.
Thu DEC 17: The
law of withdrawal, 8pm
The idea of protocols of withdrawal seems to refer to the
condition of the pandemics but it is not so. On the contrary it leads here to a
definition of the city’s normality pre-existing the pandemics and
addressing the future after it; through an investigation about urban
withdrawal we are oriented towards a systematic theory of the infrastructure;
an updated concept of infrastructure -including the realm of the post digital
extensions of it- becomes increasingly visible as a mechanism of withdrawal.
Providing services and goods from a distance, this infrastructure can settle a
form of “life from a distance”; in the same way it automatically
silences all possible technical malfunctions operated in its realm, it
glorifies a concept of permanent maintenance as the core of its rationale.
By tele-operation this silencing effect of the infrastructure becomes even
stronger as a permanent possibility for the gratification of all possible urban
or post-urban needs. In this sense the infrastructure seems to not only be the
technical support of urban life but the unifying spine of its multiple faces.
Any concept of the political has to deal now with the automatisms of
The law of withdrawal is presented in two chapters: the
theory of the cockpit and the status of invisible community, both
extended to an architectural practice. Both showcase the double bind between
the public and the private sphere of the post network world.
Aristide Antonas’ work spans philosophy, art, literature and
architecture. He published novels, short stories, theatre scripts and essays.
His art and architecture work has been featured among other places in documenta
14, Istanbul biennial, Venice biennale, and had solo institutional
presentations in the Swiss Architecture Museum, in Austria’s Vorarlberger
Architektur Institut and in the French FRAC, Orleans.
caption: Aristide Antonas, ‘Protocols of withdrawal’.
Posted by AAPC on December 22, 2020 | Comments Off on Barcelona Virtual Trip
A week of seminars, lectures and presentations organised and hosted by Projective Cities MPhil in Architecture and Urban Design.
2-6 November 2020.
studio trip, this second edition (first virtual) will deepen in the
understanding of the city’s current problems and challenges derived from both
contextual matters and historic claims. Organized around a number of daily
topics (Introduction, models and governance for affordable housing, resilience,
urban subjectivities and designing Barcelona), local guests from different
profiles and backgrounds will enable a number of discussions for which the
understanding of multiple stakeholders approaches becomes fundamental.
Mon NOV 2: Barcelona, a brief introduction
Tue NOV 3: Affordable housing: models and governance
Wed NOV 4. Resilience
Thu NOV 5. Urban subjectivities
Fri NOV 6. Designing Barcelona
_3-6pm. NOTE: times are local times in Barcelona
_ 2 sessions per day, 1h total time. 30’ lecture + 30’ conversation led
_ In English, via zoom/teams.
2. – BARCELONA, A BRIEF INTRODUCTION:
Seminar: “Barcelona, Plans and Challenges”. Barcelona’s urban structure and
architecture allows a transparent reading of the urban morphology as a result
of different historical society structures, political strategies, power
deployment forms and city struggles. From ancient roman times, through medieval
city, industrial extension (Eixample) and implementation of modern ideas, each
moment spatialized socio-political ideas in specific city patterns, while
transforming previous ones at its convenience. Exemplified in Barcelona, this
seminar will navigate through the relevant urban episodes that made the city of
Barcelona, ending up in the 1992s’ so-called “Barcelona Model”, broadly
exported, and as much celebrated as criticized. Lecturer: Raül Avilla.
Seminar: “Community Architecture” (1 session, lecturer: Raül). The 2008
real estate bubble burst caused an unprecedented economic crisis, that soon
turned into a social and political one. In 2011, the 15M Indignados (Outraged) movement became a spontaneous social movement
that politicised society at all levels, producing significant changes in city
governance, particularly after 2015 with the rise of the municipalist movement Barcelona in Common, whose members are
former activists. This seminar will analyse how a young generation of
architects assumed political commitment and social responsibility as their own
agenda, shifting their disciplinary tools and protocols, and becoming mediators
between administration, technicians and social movements. Closely linked, it
will address the new scenario produced by the emergence of cooperative housing
and a number of self-managed community facilities. Lecturer: Raül Avilla.
NOV 3: AFFORDABLE HOUSING: MODELS AND
Josep Maria Borrell |IMPSOL| “NEW PARADIGM IN SOCIAL HOUSING” | Architect, Technical
coordinator, IMPSOL-AMB. IMPSOL is the public metropolitan procurement agency
in Barcelona, in charge of defining procurement and tenureship models,
organizing competitions and coordinating the whole process, from conversations
with different municipalities to dwellers, ensuring economic, technical and
social feasibility of housing projects. In 2020, a development in Sant Boi won
the prestigious FAD award for design (architects: Herreros & MIM). Ongoing
projects: shorturl.at/wFRZ8 (usually more information in architect’s website).
16:30-17:30h Clara Triviño | Sostre Civic Housing Cooperative |. Sostre Civic is one of the most active housing cooperatives in Catalonia, pioneer with the model in Barcelona with c/Princesa housing project. Futher projects include Cirerers (arqs: Celobert), La Balma (arqs: Lacol+la Boqueria), or senior housing cooperative (Walden XXI). https://sostrecivic.coop/projectes
4. – RESILIENCE:
“Coòpolis at Can Batlló: a laboratory for public-cooperative-communitarian
managment in Barcelona city” | Elba Mansilla is a graduate Jounalist (Universitat
Autònoma de Barcelona) and a founding partner of the cooperative La Ciutat
Invisible, where works as a researcher and teacher in Feminist Economy and the
Solidarity Economy, is the coordinator of the trainnig area of Coopolis –
Barcelona’s Cooperative Center and a regular collaborator of the Feminist
Economy Commission of the Solidarity Economy Network of Catalonia (XES). Her
work has focused on the power and challenges of the Social Solidarity Economy
for the self-organization of women and the feminist social transformation; and
in collecting, systematizing and spreading the organizational culture for the
formation of no-patriarchal groups and gender mainstreaming in cooperatives.
David Bravo Bordas | Architect, activist and educator. Co-author of
ATRI strategy (Tactical Accommodations of Inclusive Repopulation, www.atri.city). Co-curator of the exhibition “Piso Piloto” in
2015. Former designer of Barcelona City Council’s strategy against gentrification.
Documentaries to watch in preparation for
On urban struggle:
“To Green or not to Green: Four
stories of urban (in)justice in Barcelona”. BCNUEJ & Alberto Bougleux, 2020.
(with English subtitles).
“Like an invisible giant: Can Batlló and the Imaginary
Cities” [Com un Gegant Invisible. Can Batlló i les Ciutats Imaginàries].
Panóptica & Lacol, 2013. Available online: https://vimeo.com/82442928.
(with English subtitles).
“SI SE PUEDE: Seven Days At PAH
Barcelona”. Tony Macías,
2018. Available online: https://vimeo.com/323297000. (with English subtitles).
5. – URBAN SUBJECTIVITIES:
Ortiz Escalante |Col·lectiu Punt 6. | “Feminist Urban
Planning: Towards a Radical Transformation of Everyday life Spaces” | Collective of urban designers and
activists, with focus on everyday life experiences and a feminist approach to
the city. www.punt6.org. Authors of the book: Urbanismo Feminista [Feminist Urbanism], Virus Editorial, 2019.
Saldaña |Equal Saree| “Space, Gender, Education” | Equal Saree is a team of architects and researchers who study the
impact of spatial configuration on the (re)production of social inequalities.
With a feminist approach, our goal is to design inclusive spaces through
participation and co-creation with users. We use participatory and innovative
methodologies to put people at the center of urban transformations and give a
voice to generally neutralized groups. Following these principles, we develop
architecture and urban design projects, we design and facilitate community
participation processes, and carry out training and awareness-raising actions.
Dr. Manuel Bailo Esteve |
“Public Catalyst: Against Indiference” | PhD architect
and Associate Tenured Professor of Architecture, University of Virginia. Bailo
Esteve’s research explores how the public space is activated by Urban
Catalysts – energy and informal agents.
Manuel Bailo Esteve has been teaching and lecturing at several different
universities around the world (Harvard,
Arizona, Barcelona, etc are the last universities). He founded BAILORULL in
Barcelona in 1995 with Rosa Rull; BAILORULL projects crystallize a process of
investigation that looks for the balance
between assimilation of new ways of reading landscape taken from
extra-architectural disciplines and
focus implementation through a close-to-manufacture technology.
NOV 6. – DESIGNING BARCELONA.
16h H Arquitectes | “The Nature of Building” |HARQUITECTES is an architecture studio
established in 2000 and based in Barcelona. It is managed by four partner
architects: David Lorente Ibáñez, Josep Ricart Ulldemolins, Xavier Ros Majó and
Roger Tudó Galí, who count on an ample team of collaborators, such as
architects, interior designers and students. All of them licensed between 1998
and 2000 in ETSAV (UPC), where Josep and Roger teach in the Department of
Architectural Projects and Technology. Xavier also teaches Projects in the ETSA
Barcelona. Their work has received many awards – for built works and also in
architectural ideas competitions – and it has been published in many national
and international media. They have also been selected in various exhibitions
and invited as teachers and lecturers in Europe and America.
Join us for a collective discussion on research by design practices at the intersection between academia, professional practice, activist work and policy making. Projective Cities MPhil in Architecture and Urban Design is inviting distinguished graduates of the programme to share their recent and past work that combines new design trajectories and forms of speculative research, while challenging existing disciplinary boundaries and contributing to emerging multiscalar questions and problematics about the future of cities and the built environment. The forum will discuss individual and shared methodologies, as well as how the programme’s teaching has impacted the future of their practice.
Reinterpretations of the Cité Housing’s Formal and Social Diagrams
The presentation focuses on the analysis and possible reinterpretations of the cité: a typical housing solution for the first half of the 20th century in Santiago de Chile. Through a series of arguments and projects, it is intended to account for the possibilities of using this row housing typology in two novel ways. First, as a means for urban design, including morphological aspects (of spatial and functional proximity) to Santiago’s expansion and densification process. Second, as a mechanism to promote social assemblages and to include domestic programs, aiming at overcoming the limited conception of the minimum dwelling.
ALVARO ARANCIBIA is an architect graduate of the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, holding an MPhil in Architecture and Urban Design (Projective Cities Programme) and a PhD in Architectural Design from the Architectural Association. Since 2007 he has been undertaking research and practice on the problem of social housing and urban design in Santiago. As a researcher, he received the AA Graduate Prize for Research: Outstanding Work 2015-2016 for his PhD thesis ‘The Social Re-Signification of Housing: A Design Guide for Santiago de Chile’. As a practitioner, he has participated in a number of housing competitions, among which stands out the first prize in Architecture and Social Integration: Communities of Different Incomes (2008) and first prize in Socially Integrated Density Housing Design, 290 dwellings in Ciudad Parque Bicentenario (2017). In addition, his practice focuses on commissioned private houses, being the CS House nominated for the Mies Van der Rohe Crown Hall Americas Prize – Emerging Architecture (2016). Alvaro’s writings and design proposals have been published internationally and also has lectured in several universities. Most recently: Universidad de La Salle (México), The Royal College of Art, The Bartlett School of Architecture, The Architectural Association (UK), and Pontificia Universidad Católica (Chile).
Staying with the Unsettling
The talk will share a personal path of design research, meandering through architecture, anthropology and art. From architectural urbanism adopted at the AA Projective Cities, to design ethnography practiced throughout the doctoral study on Chinese rurality at AA PhD by Design and postdoctoral works on community and governance at the RCA, to the idea of structured ambiguity that explores the form of scroll drawing as a synthesis of research and a means of argumentation, then to the deep entanglements between agents of the Earth and planetary feedback loops as an architectural domain, I hope to reflect on my practice as a design researcher that does not dwell on a defined subject matter, but rather as a form of personal enquiry, and indeed struggle, driven by an urge to unsettle the domination of all those constituted as others, which underpins the rather wide ranging themes, i.e. diverse ways of cultural knowing and being, non-canonical histories and socio-spatial models, and alternative cartographic imaginaries. The ultimate questions I seek to explore are: To whom are we responsible and accountable? And what might be the constitutive role of architecture in the production of knowledge, imaginations and practices concerning these responsibilities and accountabilities?
JINGRU CYAN CHENG is currently a design tutor in MA Architecture (ADS7) and postdoctoral research associate at the Royal College of Art. She holds a PhD by Design and an M.Phil Projective Cities from the Architectural Association in London. Cyan’s doctoral work on Chinese rurality, domesticity, and the resistance and care in the practices of rural dissolved households, received a commendation by the RIBA President’s Awards for Research (2018). Her postdoctoral research centres around the idea of the collective, the construct of collective subjectivities, and the socio-spatial design of community. Another line of Cyan’s work, through studio teaching and exhibition practice, looks into the atmosphere as a transformative terrestrial subject that reshapes global and local politics, as well as struggles and conflicts in the climate crisis. Cyan’s work has been exhibited at Critical Zones: Observatories for Earthly Politics (2020-21), Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism (2019), Venice Architecture Biennale (2018) and Beijing Design Week (2016), among others.
Rethinking Housing and Care Cooperatives in the Netherlands
In recent years, cooperatives and social support networks have come to the centre of attention in search for an alternative response to traditional forms of assistance. Community-led care networks such as Buurtzorg, District Care, and care cooperatives are being developed in the Netherlands as a result of new legislation. Through the administration of the Right to Challenge (2016), the funding of community organisation and the establishment of the cooperative in the Housing Act (2015 and 2020), the Dutch government is framing cooperatives as an urban strategy to develop social initiatives, decentralised care models and affordable housing in order to renew neighbourhoods. Through an analysis of housing acts, spatial forms and dwelling types the seminar reflects on the role of housing (cooperatives) in relation to healthcare and wellbeing. Moreover, the seminar illustrates how the shift towards decentralised care models has led to new design questions about the use and organisation of the home environment in relation to care work, district services and cluster living. The aim of the seminar is to start an open discussion on how we can challenge and rethink the dwelling as an infrastructural project to organise the provision of support, services and cooperation.
GIANNA BOTTEMA holds a MSc in Architecture from Delft University of Technology and a Taught MPhil (Projective Cities) in Architecture and Urban Design from the Architectural Association in London. Her thesis was focussed on the development of housing and care cooperatives and formed an investigation into decentralised and cooperative care models in the Netherlands. Currently, she is working as an architect on different housing projects and developing the research projects Collective Home Ownership: New Protocols for Architecture, and Vital Home: Dwelling as an Infrastructural Project.
From Violin to Axes: Falling in love with Robin Evans
Through the cell partition detail, Evans displays architecture’s agency where the designer is questioning what it means to be isolated? It is the moment where architecture pushes back and demands a reckoning in an existing political order. Evans’ writings were my gateway into understanding what architectural agency meant, which was one of the more enduring take-aways from Projective Cities that has underlined the teaching I did in Aarhus and my own research since. I will retrospectively look at some of my own work since 2013, linking it back to some of the important moments in the programme and Evans’ essays that guided me during this journey.
NAINA GUPTA is an architect with a BArch from India, and a March and a MPhil from the Architectural Association (AA) in London, U.K. Currently she is completing her PhD. at the AA and her research is titled A Curious Constellation: An International Sensibility and Modern Architecture, that departed from her MPhil dissertation titled Palaces Without A People: Constructing a Post-National Forum, which was done at Projective Cities. She has practiced as an architect in India, Singapore, the Netherlands, and Russia. Between 2015-2018 she taught a unit at Aarhus School of Architecture in Denmark.
In every major city, housing is being disputed as a right and as a commodity within a transformation process that affects its urban fabric as much as its social structure. Architecture and urban design play major roles in these transformations, as they are seen as instruments both by public authorities and developers. With the PC dissertation “The Role of Public Housing in Barcelona” (2018) I analysed the impact of local associations and dwellers both during the design process and once the building is inhabited, reconsidering notion of standards – “what” and “for whom” – and shifting traditional housing design and procurement process by starting it from the domestic space. This lecture will present the continuation of that research after 2018 through public and cooperative housing projects in Barcelona.
RAÜL AVILLA-ROYO is an architect and researcher. He studied architecture in Barcelona School of Architecture (ETSAB-UPC) and in the Accademia di Architettura di Mendrisio (AAM-USI), after which he pursued a Taught MPhil at the Architectural Association (AA). He is currently tutor at MPhil in Architecture and Urban Design (Projective Cities) at the AA and since 2013 he runs his own practice, focused on public and cooperative buildings. He is also PhD candidate at the Royal College of Art in London (RCA) and member of the collective Arquitectos de Cabecera in Barcelona.
Focusing on two large scale projects in London and New York, the lecture will reflect on Ricardo’s experience working in the early phases of design for affordable, cooperative living schemes in Haringey and the Bronx. The projects span his time as a student researching for his thesis and as a practising architect, both with the aim to conceive just housing.
RICARDO PALMA is an architect who graduated in Architecture and Design from the Instituto Superior de Arquitectura y Diseño (ISAD), Chihuahua and from the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London. Ricardo has worked in Mexico City, Copenhagen and New York where he currently resides. His dissertation focused on community-led housing in Haringey, and thereafter he went on to work on an affordable housing project in the Bronx.
Hidden Remains Architecture of Former Workers Settlements of State Agricultural Farms in Contemporary Poland
Wojciech Mazan is an architect, he graduated with an MPhil in Architecture and Urban Design (Projective Cities) from the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London, and with an MSc from the Faculty of Architecture of the Wrocław University of Technology and studied at the Rotterdam Academy of Architecture and Urban Design. In 2017 he co-founded architectural practice PROLOG, which curates Polish Pavilion at the 17th International Architecture Exhibition preparing the project concerning the countryside of Poland named ‘Trouble in Paradise’. He currently works as an assistant researcher at the Royal College of Arts in London.
Posted by AAPC on June 5, 2020 | Comments Off on Guest Seminar: Charlotte Johnson
Image from Engineering Comes Home, taken by Kat Austen.
The scale of the climate crisis requires radical rethinking of urban life. As an anthropologist working on the relationship between the built environment and resource consumption, my approach is to focus on everyday practices of care and alternative forms of exchange. I draw on the recent turn to material politics to look in particular how infrastructural connections enable alternative interpretations, forms of value and action. The drive to retrofit the city with less resource intense living often includes a rescaling of infrastructure as policy makers hope to better align demand with locally available resources. This delineates groups of people who share key parts of the system, such as a secondary electricity substation or a drainage network. These urban neighbours may not know one another or hold values in common and yet their individual actions can be aggregated to provide system-level services. Thinking of these groups as residents who share a material connection that may or may not align with how they identify with location or interest-based groups provides a useful lens for both critique and intervention. In this talk, I discus a number of interdisciplinary projects that have worked with these ‘infrastructural communities’ to understand the possibilities for action on resource consumption through the built environment.
Charlotte Johnson is a Senior Research Associate in Urban resources & communities, Bartlett School for Environment, Energy & Resources (UCL). She is an anthropologist specialising in urban sustainability, with a focus on decentralised infrastructure and how it can produce transformative social action. She is currently working with community energy groups trialling Peer-2-Peer electricity markets, and leads community co-design of water infrastructure on the NERC funded Community Water Management for a Liveable London (CAMELLIA) project.
Posted by AAPC on May 29, 2020 | Comments Off on Guest Seminar: Geraldine Dening, Architects for Social Housing.
‘Architects for Social Housing: For a Sustainable Architecture’
The urban conditions that we have been witnessing and responding to in London over the past 5 years are a direct result of the global phenomenon of the privatisation, marketisation and financialisation of housing, the neo-liberalisation of our processes of development, and the consequent decimation and destruction of our urban communities, environments and cultures in favour of short-term financial gain and increasing inequality. Simultaneously, the issue of sustainable cities, or more accurately ‘how we can develop sustainability’, is one of the most urgent issues of our time, and one in which architects and fellow built-environment professionals have both the opportunity and the duty to take a leading role. To be genuinely sustainable, just and equitable development must go far beyond the simplistic notions of the environment characterising so-called ‘green’ architecture. Architectural approaches must not only improve the physical, built and ‘natural’ environments in which we live, but also be socially beneficial and financially viable if we are to call them truly sustainable. Very few architectural treatises on the environment talk about the relationship of the environment to the economy, to the social dimension of the environment, or its relationship to the political sphere. The work of ASH pushes all these constituent contexts to the forefront of the architectural debate.
Geraldine Dening is the co-founder and Director of Architects for Social Housing (ASH), and a qualified architect with her own practice based in London. She is also a senior lecturer at the Leicester School of Architecture, where she lectures on professional practice and ethics, as well as running a design studio. In 2018 Geraldine was named by the Evening Standard newspaper as one of London’s 30 most influential architects. and with ASH co-founder Simon Elmer she is working on a book titled ‘For a Socialist Architecture’. Recent projects with Architects for Social Housing include designs and feasibility studies for additional housing and improvements to 6 council and social housing estates in London threatened with demolition. These include proposals to increase the housing capacity on Central Hill Estate in South London by up to 50% with no demolition, and on West Kensington and Gibbs Green Estate, as part of the community’s application for the Right to Transfer the estate into community ownership. She also devised and co-ordinated Open Garden Estates, a series of events hosted by estates threatened with demolition. As ASH’s lead architect she is also currently working with a number of housing co-operatives to explore new forms of community-led development.
Posted by AAPC on May 22, 2020 | Comments Off on Guest Seminar: Cristina Gamboa, Lacol, Barcelona.
Radical Daily Practices
The lecture will describe the relation between the development process of LaBorda, the first housing cooperative built in Barcelona, and its architectural definition. Once the property is at stake and the focus is on use, the requests for the architecture change. In the case of LaBorda, the housing need motivation was also challenged by the transition towards sustainability, in the broadest way possible: political, social, economic and environmental.
Cristina Gamboa – Lacol arquitectura cooperativa Barcelona
Cristina is a chartered architect and teacher. She Is currently a Studio Master at Projective Cities, MPhil in Architecture and Urban Design. She studied at the Barcelona School of Architecture ETSAB / UPC, and the Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning / University of Stuttgart. Cristina is co-founder of Lacol, a cooperative of architects established in 2014 in Barcelona, where she has focused on researching participative approaches to design and developing cooperative housing and housing policies, tested in on-going projects.
Lacol works from architecture towards social transformation, using architecture as a tool to intervene critically in the local environments. The activity is based on a horizontal system of labor, acting alongside society with the motivation and challenge to achieve a transition towards sustainability in the broadest way possible: political, social, economic and environmental. Lacol’s practice embrace Architecture, Urbanism, Housing policies and Participatory processes, blurring the limits of the different disciplines to define a cross-sectional and participative approach. She has focused on researching participative approaches to design and developing cooperative housing and housing policies, tested in on-going projects.
Posted by AAPC on May 22, 2020 | Comments Off on Guest Seminar: Christoph Schmidt, ifau Berlin
Spaces of Negotiation
Date: 26/05/2020 Time: 10:00-11:30 Venue: AA Lecture Hall Microsoft Team
What if architecture does not solve conflicts or tries
to organize them by assignments?
What if architecture enhanced conflicts to activate
their inherent potentials for action and negotiation?
Insights into actual projects of the Berlin based architectural group ifau regarding urban housing development processes in Hamburg and Berlin. According to two projects the participatory planning processes are strongly connected with and controlled by the local communities and the political-administrative municipalities. Developments and participatory planning processes for a new mixed residential and non-residential quarter with sub-cultural forms of use providing a mix of live and work units meeting the needs of artists, producers and creative professionals. The starting point for the spatial layout and design is a collaborative and socially mixed concept of use. Moreover, the comparatively low land prices allow the cross financing of co-operative living and studio spaces within the project.
Create situations for conflicts to be negotiated by the users!
ifau – institute for applied urbanism, Berlin
ifau is a Berlin-based working group
of architects with a focus on interrelated, interdisciplinary projects in the
field of architecture and urban design. Their flexible methodology extends from
research projects to interventions in the urban realm. All of their work aims
to involve contextual processes, difference and diversity to create space for
negotiation in design development. They are particularly interested in
process-oriented strategies and participative design methods. They realised
several projects for arts institutions. Their works and texts have been
published in numerous books and architectural magazines. References include
Palais Thinnfeld in Graz, Casco – Office for Art, Design and Theory in Utrecht,
The Showroom in London, Artists Space and Goethe Institute – Wyoming Building
in New York, R50-cohousing, Residential and studio building at the former
Berlin flower market (IBeB) in Berlin
Christoph Schmidt is a founding
member of ifau (institute for applied urbanism, 1998). He studied architecture
at the RWTH Aachen University of Technology and the University College of
Portsmouth. He worked as a freelance architect in Cologne and Berlin. He has
been teaching architecture as assistant professor at the Technical University
of Berlin where his research and taught courses where focused on innovative design
methods, process-oriented design strategies and cooperative housing projects. Currently
he teaches as professor at the department of urban context design at the Peter
Behrens School of Arts in Düsseldorf.
Posted by AAPC on May 8, 2020 | Comments Off on Guest Seminar: Silvia Franceschini
Global Tools 1973-1975
When Education Coincides with Life
Date: 12/05/2020 Time: 10:00-11:30 Venue: AA Lecture Hall Microsoft Team
Silvia Franceschini will critically retrace the experience of Radical Design Global Tools and its multidisciplinary school program “without students or teachers.” The Global Tools was founded in 1973 by groups and figures drawn from Italian Radical Architecture (Archizoom, Superstudio, UFO, Mendini, La Pietra, Pettena, Dalisi, and Sottsass among others), Arte Povera, and Conceptual Art (including Davide Mosconi and Franco Vaccari), and ended in 1975 after three years of intense experimentation. Departing from her book on the subject (co-authored with Valerio Borgonuovo and published by Nero Editions), Franceschini will recontextualize the experience of Global Tools among a vast network of historical references and experiences of critical pedagogy and environmental activism.
Silvia Franceschini is a Curator at Z33 House for Contemporary Art, Design & Architecture in Hasselt (BE) and a visual culture scholar whose work focuses on different critiques of modernity. She is a co-author of Global Tools 1973–1975. When Education Coincides With Life (Nero Publishing, 2018) and editor of Curator Without a System (Sternberg Press, Upcoming). Her selected curatorial projects include the research program The Politics of Affinity. Experiments in Art, Education and the Social Sphere, Cittadellarte-Fondazione Pistoletto, Biella (2016–18); the participation in the curatorial team of The School of Kyiv—Kyiv Biennial 2015; the exhibition and public program Global Tools 1973–1975: Towards an Ecology of Design, SALT, Istanbul (2014) and the exhibition The Way of Enthusiasts, Venice Biennial 2012. Since 2009 she has been involved in the curation of exhibitions in various institutions including V-A-C Foundation, Moscow—Venice; The Moscow Biennale for Young Art; Futura—Center for Contemporary Art, Prague; and the Centre Pompidou, Paris. Franceschini holds a PhD in Design and Visual Cultures from the Polytechnic University of Milan and she was a research fellow at the Exhibition Research Lab of the Liverpool John Moores University and at the Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design in Moscow. She has lectured at numerous places such as The Sharjah Biennial, The Istanbul Design Biennial, The Triennale Milano, MAXXI Museum and Konstfack University, among others.
This lecture will compare cities from two communist countries which at first glance, could be seen as the exact opposite from one another. Ex-Yugoslavia which tends to be seen as the most open and least communist, will be juxtaposed with the most defiantly secretive and closed country in the world – North Korea.
Taking Lebbeus Woods’ Sarajevo project in 1993 which dealt with Yugoslavia’s tragic disintegration as a point of departure, we will explore the history, secrets and speculation behind some of the most intriguing architecture in ex-Yugoslavia – including numerous gigantic abstract monuments and hidden military structures.
Counter-posed will be the still officially communist figurative monuments of Pyongyang. The premise behind taking two such different regimes is that by looking at the margins, important traits of the communist architecture as a whole, could be uncovered. Pyongyang’s figurative monuments offer no ambiguity, instead we are confronted with very clear literal meaning. One of the many contradictions of its monumental architecture built on a massive scale with incredible speed, is that even when newly completed most structures appear already out-dated.
There has been a recent surge of interest in both countries lead by photographers. This lecture will seek to redress this imbalance between the large quantities of visual information, which often comes with little explanation of the meaning, history or context.
The concluding parts will seek to define further what could be behind our insatiable yearning for this type of imagery, and argue that, at least in part, it could be attributed to collective nostalgia towards more naïve, simple and innocent times. Towards times when communism appeared to function and even inspire architecture with a true social purpose and responsibility.
Nerma Prnjavorac Cridge grew up in Sarajevo and completed her education in architecture at Birmingham, the Bartlett and the Architectural Association. Since qualifying, she worked for a number of distinguished practitioners including Thomas Heatherwick and art2architecture. Her first monograph Drawing the Unbuildable, based on her PhD thesis at the Architectural Association (supervised by dr Marina Lathouri and Mark Cousins) on the Soviet avant-garde, was published by Routledge in 2015. Nerma currently teaches at the AA as well as running her small art and design practice Drawing Agency. Forthcoming publications include Restless: Drawn by Zaha Hadid, in Routledge Companion on Women in Architecture edited by Anna Sokolina, and The Politics of Abstraction, Nerma’s second monograph.
Jingru (Cyan) Cheng obtained both PhD by Design (2018) and M.Phil Projective Cities (2014) at the Architectural Association (AA) and was the co-director of AA Wuhan Visiting School 2015-17. She is currently a postdoctoral research associate at the Royal College of Art. Her research interests lie in the intersections between disciplines, especially shared ideas and methods by architecture, anthropology and sociology, with a focus on socio-spatial models in China. Employing the design research method, her PhD thesis focuses on rurality as a spatial question at levels of territory, settlement and household. Cyan’s research on Care and Rebellion: The Dissolved Household in Contemporary Rural China received a commendation from RIBA President’s Awards for Research 2018.
This guest seminar will be co-led by Teresa Stoppani, author of Paradigm Islands: Manhattan and Venice(Routledge, 2010) and Unorthodox Ways to Think the City (Routledge, 2018), and Braden Engel who recently completed his PhD on Colin Rowe’s historiography and pedagogy, with an expert reinterpretation of Rowe’s seminal Collage City. Presentations and discussions will consider the possibility of the city as an island ‘in relation’ with shifting and ambiguous edges to the point of incremental saturation and endless interiority, in convergence with the possibility of the city as theatre, and vice versa, theatre as city, that address questions of construction and curation. The idea of city as island is instrumental to the condition of openness and remote networks, which ‘make archipelago’ of island narratives that, far from closed and isolated, are always ‘full of noises’ (William Shakespeare, The Tempest, III. II. 140-41). From political utopia to continental geophilosophy, complex urban archipelagos are formed through convulsing nomotop, as mythical impossibility, or as personal or sci-fi constructions. These will be linked to moments in Colin Rowe’s unpublished lecture at Cornell University that critically explored the city, from design process to lived experience, as a collective theatre that transgress possibilities of the tragic, the satiric, and the comic.
Teresa Stoppani is an architect, architectural theorist and critic based in London, where she lectures in History and Theory Studies at the Architectural Association in London. She studied architecture in Venice and Florence, and has taught architectural design and theory in Italy (IUAV Venice), Australia (UT Sydney, RMIT Melbourne) and the UK (Architectural Association, Greenwich, Brighton, Leeds Beckett). Teresa’s research explores the relationship between architecture theory and the design process in the urban environment, and the influence on the specifically architectural of other spatial and critical practices. Teresa is the author of Paradigm Islands: Manhattan and Venice(Routledge, 2010) and of Unorthodox Ways to Think the City (Routledge, 2018), and editor, with Giorgio Ponzo and George Themistokleous, of This Thing Called Theory(Routledge 2016). She is the instigator of the architecture research collective ThisThingCalledTheory, and an editor of (RIBA/Routledge). She is currently working on her next book Architecture Dust.
Braden R. Engel (BS Philosophy and MArch, North Dakota St; MA Histories & Theories, Architectural Association) has been teaching architecture and design history and theory courses for ten years between London and California. He is currently Undergraduate History + Theory Coordinator at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. Braden’s writing has been published in Architecture and Culture, The Journal of Architecture, AA Files, the Journal of Art Historiography, PLAT, and Planning Perspectives.
Posted by AAPC on November 24, 2019 | Comments Off on BOOK LAUNCH: Neeraj Bhatia (The Open Workshop), hosted by Projective Cities and Diploma Unit 7.
New Investigations in Collective Form
Date: 09/12/2019 Time: 18:30 Venue: 36 Bedford Square, Front Members Room.
More than fifty years have passed since the publication of Fumihiko Maki’s seminal text, Investigations in Collective Form, which argued for collective form as an organizing device to address the increasingly fragmented city and public realm. Today, we continue to face urban challenges – from economic inequality to a progressively fragile natural environment – that, in order to be addressed, require us to come together in a moment when what we collectively value is increasingly difficult to locate. Working within the fluctuating and indeterminate conditions of the urban realm, its public sphere, and its ecological context, this publication examines how collectivity can be formed today. Neeraj Bhatia (the principle of founder of The Open Workshop) will discuss a group of design experiments presented in his book, New Investigations in Collective Form, testing how architecture can empower the diverse voices that make up the public realm and the environments in which they exist.
The book launch will be followed by a conversation with Maria S. Giudici, Pier Vittorio Aureli, Eva Franch i Gilabert, Hamed Khosravi, and Platon Issaias.
Caption: Gianna Bottema, Housing & Care Cooperatives in the Netherlands: Spatial Diagrams of Cluster Living, detail, 2019.
Gianna Bottema studied architecture at Delft University of Technology and ETH Zurich. After her Master’s degree in Delft she pursued a Taught MPhil (Projective Cities) at the Architectural Association which was focused on the emergence of housing and care cooperatives in the Netherlands. Currently she is working on the research project Collective Home Ownership: New Protocols for Architecture in collaboration with the municipality of Amsterdam.
Caption: EDIT Collective, Act 1, GDP, 2019.
EDIT is an all-female design
collective. Formed about a year ago, from RCA graduates, the group shares
common interests in issues of social equality, gender biases, environmental
activism and the creation of equitable institutional forms. At the Oslo Architecture Triennale 2019, EDIT presented ‘Honey, I’m Home’, a project that explores the domestic realm as a space of performance, in which objects and furniture are props that further enforce heteronormative habits. In an attempt to disrupt these domestic rituals, the project suggests the alteration of the domestic props. The Gross Domestic Product (GDP), for example, is a fictional, provocative prototype for collectivising domestic labour. As an alternative to the capitalist assumption that housework is most efficient when performed individually, the GDP is a device best used by three people. The collective’s aim is to challenge some of our archetypal spaces and structures by suggesting more equitable scenarios.
Caption: Julian Siravo, Stavros Oikonomidis, Care Centres in Vanencia, 2019.
Siravo is an architect and urban designer working in the policy and think tank
world. Originally from Rome, Italy, he is a graduate of both the Bartlett and
the Royal College of Art. Julian is part of Common Wealth think tank and head
of urban research at Autonomy, where he focuses on the spatial implications of
new welfare and employment policies, on ageing populations and sustainable
forms of leisure.
This talk draws its core
ethnographic material from fieldwork on architectural aesthetics and
contemporary art in Warsaw and Moscow. It deploys the notion of the Power
Vertical – a term used by political scientists to refer to Vladimir Putin’s
brand of post-Soviet authoritarian governance – as a conceptual pivot. What are
the aesthetics of the Power Vertical? Are they resolutely upright and
ostentatious, like Moscow’s proliferating neo-Stalinist skyscrapers and
turbo-charged Victory Day Parades? Or are they happy-go-lucky, dissipate and
chaotic, like Putin’s villainous trickster wink (or Trump’s insomniac Twitter
sessions)? Moreover, in the era of resurgent populisms, re-militarization and
the oligarchization of capital, are the styles, shapes and affects of the Power
Vertical making a mark on the planetary political-aesthetic New Normal?
While seeking to make sense of the Power Vertical, this paper also
looks beyond it, exploring the heterodox shapes, styles and ideologies
populating the “Global East” – a loosely-sketched zone encompassing the
(post-)socialist world and its transnational entanglements. Moreover, it probes
ways in which scholars can collaborate with artists, architects and activists
from across the Global East: not only to analyse the Power Vertical (not only
to take the Power Vertical seriously), but also to develop tactics, strategies
and imaginaries to ridicule, trick, twist, undercut, queer, resist and pervert
With this in mind, this paper also seeks to highlight the powerful (and subversive) legacies of Actually-existing State Socialism (AeSS) – and its multiple “still-socialist” (Murawski 2018) afterlives – in the Global East and beyond; and it sketches some ideas towards a concept of trans-socialism: a radical and intersectional mode of socialist aesthetics, urbanism and political economy. Trans-socialism theorizes AeSS’s many actual and imagined migrations through space and time (beyond the “socialist block”, as well as beyond the notorious expiry date of 1989-1991); and it mines the Global East for progressive dimensions of the AeSS legacy – in the realms of urbanism, aesthetics, class, gender, race and ecology – which can be re-harnessed to exert a defamiliarizing and destabilizing effect on our late capitalist present and future.
Michał Murawski is an anthropologist of architecture and art based at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University College London, where he is Lecturer in Critical Area Studies. His book, The Palace Complex: A Stalinist Skyscraper, Capitalist Warsaw and a City Transfixed, was published by Indiana University Press in 2019; and, in Polish, by the Museum of Warsaw in 2015. During 2017-2018, while a Visiting Scholar at the Vysokovsky Graduate School of Urbanism at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow, he carried out fieldwork for a new book project on architectural aesthetics and politics in Putin-era Moscow. With Jane Rendell, he co-edited A Century of the Social Condenser, 1917- 2017, a special issue of The Journal of Architecture (2017), and he has published in scholarly and media outlets including Third Text: Critical Studies in Contemporary Art and Culture, Comparative Studies in Society and History, Anthropology Today, Social Text, Laboratorium, Focaal, The Calvert Journal, Strelka Magazine, Forbes and The Architectural Review. In 2018, he co-curated the exhibition Portal Zaryadye – featuring 18 new works by Russian artists exploring the relationship between architecture, politics and ecology in contemporary Russia – at the State Shchusev Museum of Architecture in Moscow.
Caption: Zofia Kulik, Human Motif, 1989. Foto-dywan 240cm x 480cm (24 panels 80 x 60cm).
The event brings
together researchers, architects and artists to explore the use of media and
representation of space as a form of multiscalar investigation, from
architecture to the territory and the urban. From analogue tools to advanced
computation, speakers will discuss key projects from their practice that use
media beyond the pure representation of architecture but instead as a
systematic form of enquiry.
This is the first
of a series of public events by the MPhil Projective Cities to foster a
transversal conversation and a creative dialogue across different parts and
research in the AA.
Organisers: Sam Jacoby, Platon Issaias Keynote speakers: David Burns, Eva le Roi Participants: Gili Merin, Samaneh Moafi, Jingru (Cyan) Chen, Hamed Khosravi, Xristina Argyros, Maria S. Giudici, Clara Oloriz, Christina Varvia.
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