Type versus Typology

AA Projective Cities Symposium 2014
During the nineteenth century, a deliberate turn away from ideas of imitation and truth-to-nature towards concepts of abstraction or objectivity emerged and fundamentally altered the knowledge and practices of many disciplines. In architecture, this important shift resulted in theories of type and design methods based on typology, complementary concepts through which architecture as both a modern form of knowledge and knowledge of form was to be consolidated. In terms of architecture and its instrumentality, type and typology are unique as disciplinary frames through which broader socio-political, cultural and formal problems can be posed.

The one day symposium will bring together academics and practitioners to discuss the potential of type and typology and the problem of the historicity of disciplinary knowledge.

Date: Friday 7/2/2014
Time: 10am-9pm
Venue: Lecture Hall, Architectural Association, 36 Bedford Square, London WC1B 3ES

Watch symposium online: Part 1 (Session 1+2) and Part 2 (Session 3)


Rafael Moneo. Photo: Alexander Furunes


10:00‐10:10     Welcome (Sam Jacoby)
10:10‐10:50     Sam Jacoby (AAPC): ‘Typal and Typological Reasoning’
10:50‐11:30     Lawrence Barth (AA)
11:30‐12:10     Hyungmin Pai (University of Seoul): ‘The Diagrammatic Construction of Type’
12:10‐12:40     Discussion: Chaired by Alvaro Arancibia (AA PhD) and Cyan Cheng (AAPC)
13:00‐14:00     Lunch Break

14:00‐14:40     Philip Steadman (UCL): ‘Building Types and How they Change over Time’
14:40‐15:20     Tarsha Finney (UTS): ‘The Typological Burden’
15:20‐16:00     Christopher Lee (Harvard GSD, Serie Architects): ‘The Fourth Typology’
16:00‐16:30     Discussion: Chaired by Naina Gupta (AAPC), Simon Goddard (AAPC), and Thiago Soveral (AA PhD)
17:00‐18:30     Coffee Break (Mark Cousins: Friday Lecture Series)

18:30‐19:10     Rafael Moneo (Harvard GSD): ‘Type, Iconography, Archaeology, and Practice’
19:10‐20:00     Concluding Round Table: All speakers; chaired by Adrian Lahoud (UCL)


Lawrence Barth lectures on urbanism in the AAs Graduate School and has written on the themes of politics and critical theory in relation to the urban. He practises as a consultant urbanist, most recently collaborating with Zaha Hadid Architects and s333 Architecture and Urbanism on large‐scale projects, and is engaged in research on urban intensification and innovation environments.

Tarsha Finney is an architect, urbanist and a senior lecturer in the School of Architecture at the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS). She completed an M.A at the AA (Distinction 2002‐2003) and was recipient of the Michael Ventris Memorial Award (2003). From 2004‐2008 as part of the doctoral program at the AA, she was a participant in research seminars led by Lawrence Barth: Rethinking Architectural Urbanism 2006‐2007; Transformation and Urban Change 2007‐2008. She is completing her Doctorate at UTS, Domains of Reasoning/Fields of Effect: The Housing Project and the City. New York, 1960‐1980.

Sam Jacoby is a chartered architect who graduated from the AA, and received a doctorate from the TU Berlin. He teaches at the AA since 2002 and has taught at the University of Nottingham and Bartlett School of Architecture. He has directed Projective Cities since 2009.

Christopher Lee is the co‐founder and principal of Serie Architects London, Mumbai and Beijing. He is Associate Professor in Practice at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design. Prior to that he was the Director of Projective Cities (2010‐12) and AA Unit Master (2002‐09). Lee graduated with the AA Diploma (Honours) and his Doctor of Philosophy from the Berlage Institute and TU Delft. Lee is the author of Common Frameworks: Rethinking the Developmental City in China, Part 1, Xiamen: The Megaplot, and Working in Series. He co‐authored Typological Formations: Renewable Building Types and the City, and ‘Typological Urbanism: Projective Cities’.

Rafael Moneo received undergraduate (1961) and doctoral (1965) degrees from the Madrid School of Architecture, worked (1960‐61) with Danish architect Jørn Utzon, and studied (1963‐65) at the Spanish Academy in Rome before opening (1965) his own practice in Madrid. Moneo, who founded (1968) Arquitectura Bis magazine, is also a noted theorist, critic, and teacher. He has taught in Spain and at such American institutions as Princeton and Harvard, where he was (1985‐90) head of the graduate architecture department and remains a professor. Among his many awards is the 1996 Pritzker Prize.

Hyungmin Pai graduated from Seoul National University and received his PhD from MIT. Twice a Fulbright Scholar, he is professor at the University of Seoul. He was visiting scholar at MIT and London Metropolitan University and has lectured at Harvard, Cornell and Tongji University. His books include The Portfolio and the Diagram (2006), Sensuous Plan: The Architecture of Seung HSang (2007), and The Key Concepts of Korean Architecture (2012). For the Venice Biennale, he was curator for the Korean Pavilion (2008) and a participant in the Common Pavilion project (2012). He was curator for the Kim Swoo Geun exhibition at Aedes Gallery, Berlin (2011) and was Head Curator for the 4th Gwangju Design Biennale (2011).

Philip Steadman is Emeritus Professor of Urban and Built Form Studies in the Bartlett Faculty of Built Environment, University College London. He trained as an architect at Cambridge University, and has taught at Cambridge, the Open University and UCL. Much of his research has been on the forms of buildings, and he has published two previous books on the subject: The Geometry of Environment (1971) and Architectural Morphology (1983). His book on biological analogies in architecture, The Evolution of Designs, was published in 1979. His forthcoming book Building Types and Built Forms (2014) brings together several of these themes: architectural history, building geometry, and parallels with the analysis of form in biology.

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