Monthly Archives: February 2014

28 February 2014 – HCT Debates / Architecture Politics: Francesco Jodice

MA History and Critical Thinking Debates / Architecture Politics
Term 2: Friday 1:00 / 36 Bedford Square, New Soft Room

Francesco Jodice
Friday 28 February

Francesco Jodice, one of the founders of Multiplicity and professor at NABA (Milan), is one of the most prominent Italian visual artists. He graduated from Politecnico di Milano as an urban planner and remains intrigued by concepts such as ‘public space’ and ‘participation’. Convinced that our cultural behaviour is constantly transferred to what he calls ‘the landscape’, his research looks at territories as a projection of people’s desire. Looking at the viewer/artist interface as a project, his work is more concerned with how the art speaks to the public rather than what the art says. Disgruntled by the elitist subtraction of art from the public sphere, he constantly tries to reverse this condition by creating a form of art interface which is accessible to everyone: ‘double-access’. Aware of the difficulties in defining ‘public’ and ‘inside’ in the contemporary cultural environment, he continues to explore the artist interface as a social canvas.

Summary by Marzia Marzorati and Devanshi Shah

HCT Debates: Architecture Politics
Organised and hosted by Marina Lathouri, John Palmesino and Douglas Spencer

To enable students to pursue questions and problems in public, yet small-scale sessions, the HCT programme holds a debate series with guest designers, writers, artists, scholars and critics. Each week two people are invited to talk and share their work with the group. The presentations are followed by discussion. Although the sessions are open, the MA students are asked to prepare questions and observations based upon preliminary reading. Also each student is expected to conduct an interview with one of the speakers.

The theme of the discussions this year is architecture politics. Every time brings specific conditions to the manner in which the claims on architecture are made. New technologies and modes of design and production have prompted elaborate arguments on economic policies, new organisational models, environmental strategies and sustainable development patterns. There seems to be, however, a lack of reflection on the fundamental question of architecture as a composite form of knowledge, yet with specific traits, and as a distinct set of practices, yet in difficult connections with cultural territories and material configurations.

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21 February 2014 – HCT Debates / Architecture Politics: David Knight

MA History and Critical Thinking Debates / Architecture Politics
Term 2: Friday 1:00 / 36 Bedford Square, New Soft Room

David Knight – Planning is Frozen Politics
Friday 21 February

For David Knight, architect and PhD by practice candidate at the Royal College of Art, the essence of planning lies in its definition, “the tool we collectively use to design the future”. The description implies that complex planning legislation needs to become openly accessible to the public and suggests wider participation can open up greater potential for innovative growth. Therefor a large part of his work focuses on demystifying the code used by the planning bureaucracy. An example from Knight’s self-made planning manual shows how slight differentiations in distance from existing structures, width of intervention, and roof types can prevent simple annex projects, yet permit elaborate backyard cinemas. Knight’s latest project, www.buildingrights.org focuses on sustaining this kind of productive misinterpretation. The wiki site aims at growing a community of experts and layman expected to open up discussion and provide resources and advice for planning. Knight is taking on a challenge imbedded deep within the phenomenon of continuously accelerating information and shifting power structures, which has proven tremendously emblematic of our time.

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HCT Debates: Architecture Politics Organised and hosted by Marina Lathouri, John Palmesino and Douglas Spencer To enable students to pursue questions and problems in public, yet small-scale sessions, the HCT programme holds a debate series with guest designers, writers, artists, scholars and critics. Each week two people are invited to talk and share their work with the group. The presentations are followed by discussion. Although the sessions are open, the MA students are asked to prepare questions and observations based upon preliminary reading. Also each student is expected to conduct an interview with one of the speakers. The theme of the discussions this year is architecture politics. Every time brings specific conditions to the manner in which the claims on architecture are made. New technologies and modes of design and production have prompted elaborate arguments on economic policies, new organisational models, environmental strategies and sustainable development patterns. There seems to be, however, a lack of reflection on the fundamental question of architecture as a composite form of knowledge, yet with specific traits, and as a distinct set of practices, yet in difficult connections with cultural territories and material configurations.

building rights homepagebuilding rights needs yousubplan5

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Matilda Audisio

Matilda Audisio

Matilda Audisio is a History of Art & Design graduate from MMU (2013) who is interested in contemporary visual culture and its various effects on society. She is preoccupied with the everyday, is often consumed by attention to detail and generally fascinated with the process of living itself, past and present. She is also interested in all things space, place, and non-place and all of the blurred trajectories laced in between.
During her BA Matilda focused mainly on the correlation between British Post-War suburban housing as a means of self-representation and the orchestrated creation of ‘the self’ through mass consumption and DIY within the home. In her spare time she’s an avid rider, illustrator and crafter who is always drawn back to the sea (especially the North-West coast’s desolate beaches) and generally captivated by anything that is as devastating as it is beautiful.

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10-13 February 2014 – Design by Words: Laboratory on Writing

MA History and Critical Thinking Laboratory on Writing with Fabrizio Gallanti and Marina Lathouri

10-13 February, 10:00a.m., 37 FFF

Friday 14 February, 10:00a.m., 33 FFB

In this one-week intensive workshop, writing is considered as a tool to communicate ideas in a clear and direct way, moving away from the complexities of architectural jargon and academic writing. Each day consists of the introduction of a writing example, the discussion of it, and then the writing and reading in public of a short piece. There will be a final presentation at the end of the week.

The two main references are:

Italo Calvino, Six Memos for the Next Millenium, 1988

David Foster Wallace, Authority and the American Usage, in: Consider the Lobster and Other Essays, 2005

The five exercises are:

1. Description I

Example: Restaurant reviews from the New Yorker magazine

Exercise: Write about the physical, sensorial, emotional experience of a specific location (restaurant, bar, club, art gallery, theatre, etc.)

2. Description II

Example: Georges Perec, An attempt at Exhausting a Place in Paris

Exercise: Note during a period of 5 hours and then edit the time spent in a public space (the same for all of the students) in London.

3. Cause and effect

Example: Jonathan Massey, Risk Design, 2013

Exercise: Identify a building in London and speculate about the political, socio-economical and technological conditions that informed and possibly determined its design.

4. Translation

Example: Toyo Ito, Tarzans in the Media Forest, 2011

Exercise: Select a brief text in a foreign language and then translate it into English, highlighting the words, themes or concepts which meaning does not properly transfer through translation.

5. Summary

Example: Colm Tóibín; Callil, Carmel (editors), The Modern Library: The Two Hundred Best Novels in English Since 1950, 1999

Exercise: Summarise an assigned architectural essay in 300-500 words

Fabrizio Gallanti is the Associate Director Programs at the Canadian Centre of Architecture in Montreal. He has wide-ranging and international experience in architectural design, education, publication, and exhibitions.

Marina Lathouri is the Director of the MA History and Critical Thinking programme at the AA.

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Lindsey Stamps

AA profile

Lindsey Stamps is a Master Student in the History and Critical Thinking programme at the Architectural Association. She has lived, studied, and worked in fashion, architecture, and design in London, Denmark, and the United States. She enjoys long walks on the beach, cooking for friends, and describing situations in triplicate. Lindsey thrives in the summer sunshine, but settles for the decadence of Bailey’s and baklava to counter the dreary London weather. Her favorite past-times include playing hide-and-go-seek, cuddling with her cat Maleficent, and writing creatively.

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Matilda Audisio

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Alvaro Velasco Perez

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In 2012, Alvaro obtained his degree on Architecture by the University of Navarre, Spain. During his degree, he took part as intern in an environmental consulting company(Israel Berger & Associates) for high-rise buildings in New York City. During the last year of his degree, he combined the design of his dissertation project with the collaboration on a research innovation project on Dwelling with the Design Department of the school.
Alvaro believes that, in a society of information that is continuously being bombarded with data—treating all as being of equal importance—, Architecture runs the risk of remaining in superficiality. In response, he bets for an education based on critical thinking, and so, he decided to enrol in the AA´s theory masters programme.

Publications:

• The Post-Eurocentric City. Term 2.

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(Re)descovering the Mediterranean. On its current conditions concerning Architecture.

Mediterranean-ness seems to appear and re-appear stubbornly in the architectonic debates of Southern Europe removing the waters of a glorious past to find a recycled lexicon. However, the Mar Medi Terraneum—”sea in the middle of the land”—long time ago stopped to be the centre of the World. What remains of this culture in a globalized society? Is Mediterranean-ness our cultural condition?
Setting sail in the limits of the Old World—the Non-Plus Ultra—I want to perambulate in the coast of Spain revisiting the lands that once were Mediterranean, looking for plans that modify the present territory and, most likely, our future.
Can we say that the Mediterranean still exists?(…)

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Yanisa Niennattrakul

Born, grew up, and persistently continued her bachelor degree in Bangkok, Thailand at the International Program in Design and Architecture (INDA), Chulalongkorn University. Right after her graduation with a full-hearted fascination in travelling, documenting, and participating with the local ‘vernacular’, certainly started practicing in five governmental socially-engaged community development and planning projects in Konkaen, a northeastern province of the country with the Community Organizations Development Institute (CODI), together with heritage building conservation projects for the Crown Property Bureau. Promptly, she decided to come to the AA for studying European architectural history and theory, and aimed to combine with her interests as a medium to pursue a provocative voice for current architectural situations in her home country.

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Winston Hampel

Winston Hampel studied in a number of places and worked with different practices and various academic, cultural and social institutions, before enrolling in the History and Critical Thinking programme. While his general interest is in the interrelation between cultural artifacts and conditions, ideas and narratives, he most currently focuses on referring to himself in the third person.

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María José Orihuela

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María José Orihuela. Architect. MA History & Critical Thinking at AA School of Architecture. Lived in Shanghai, Paris, Rotterdam, Bilbao and currently in London. Born in Pamplona, Spain. Since her third year of studies, she was invited to join the Design Department and became involved in teaching. The cliché proved true and she learnt much more than what she was able to teach. María accompanied the Museum of her University during its first year of life; since then, she became interested in how museums of art can be the place where to establish a dialogue between disciplines. Her research interests also include an inquiry into the tools that ease the process of design, relating it to the ever lasting controversy on the role of history. She enjoys pretending to read Le Monde in the Swiss Pavillion at the Cité Universitaire de Paris.

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Maarten Lambrechts received his Master degree in Architecture in 2013 in Antwerp, where he also briefly worked for a small architecture office. In his thesis ‘On Effect in Architecture’ he explored his early interests in architecture theory, and this eventually … Continue reading

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Caitlin Elizabeth Daly

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Caitlin Daly is a native of Upstate New York and received her Bachelors of Architecture from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 2009. Upon graduating from RPI, Caitlin strove to utilize the theoretical and technical knowledge she acquired to better understanding of architecture’s applied role in our culture. She worked for a couple years as a CAD Designer before transitioning into the role of Project Architect. During this time, Caitlin was involved in the design and construction management of a variety of projects ranging from new construction of public libraries and schools to the renovation of offices and public housing facilities for Newark and New York City. Utilizing the knowledge and insight she has gained from her years of experience in an architectural office Caitlin is pursuing a masters in Architectural History and Critical Thinking with the intention of combining her practical technical experience with theoretical inquiries to pursue an avenue of academic research.

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Marzia Mazorati

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Marzia pursued her higher education in Italy, Israel and United Kingdom. In 2013 she decided to settle in London, where she eventually joined the History and Critical Master at AA.
Her previous research primarily investigated the concept of ‘Italian (after)shock’: by focusing on the promulgation of a number of ‘special’ laws during the aftermath of L’Aquila earthquake (2009), she tried to examine the planned dissolution of concepts such as ‘city’, ‘community’, and ‘public space’ within her native country.
Deeply interested in the relation between architecture and politics, her current explorations span from issues of environmental trauma to the development of contemporary media productions such as journalism and visual artefacts.

 

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