Guest Seminar: Teresa Stoppani, Braden Engel.

Archipelagos of Noises: exploring convolutions of city as island and city as theatre

Date: 21/01/2020
Time: 14:00-16:00
Venue: 38 Bedford Street, Ground Floor Front.

Image credit: Sohei Nishino, i-Land,

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 These will be linked to moments in Colin Rowe’s unpublished lecture at Cornell University that critically explored the city, from design process to lived experience, as a collective theatre that transgress possibilities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.

Comments are closed.