Monthly Archives: February 2018

MA HCT & PhD History and Language Open Debate Series

Public Seminar hosted by the MA History and Critical Thinking and PhD Programmes

Open Debate 4

On Writing

Guest Speaker: Emmanouil Stavrakakis 

Friday 2 March | 12.00pm | HCT Room

One cannot think of or address the issue of history and language without thinking of writing. Writing neither belongs nor serves history or language. It forms a system of its own. The seminar/talk will present a brief historiography of writing and will focus on its relation to drawing. It will discuss writings’ evolution from the prehistoric marks of ownership found on caves, to its’ objectification during the Renaissance, its’ scientific establishment in the 1950’s by Ignace Gelb and David Dirringer and finally to its’ most contemporary form; that of the emoji.


Forerunners of Writing. (pp. 24-51) in Gelb, I. G. A Study of Writing. The foundations of Grammatology. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul. LTD, 1952

Postalphabetiticism. (pp. 156-159) in Sutil, Nicolas Salazar. Motion and Representation. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2015

This Will Kill That. (pp. 191-206). in Hugo, Victor. Notre-Dame de Paris. A New Translation by Alban Kraisheimer. Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2009

Manolis Stavrakakis holds a PhD in History and Theory of Architecture from the AA. He has studied architecture at the National Technical University of Athens, Columbia University and the AA. He has been teaching architecture at the AA and the Bartlett since 2011 and practicing in Athens and London since 2005.

Part of the HCT | PhD History and Language Debate Series
with Marina Lathouri and Guest Speakers

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Maria Brewster

Maria Brewster is an Architect based in London and Greece. She has worked for practices in Athens and London on residential, sports and educational projects as well as small installations and set design. She is director of the AA Visiting School ‘Industrialised Craft’ and has taught at AAVS Greece Patras (Projections) and Athens (Cipher City). She has participated in various educational programmes and was a construction tutor at the Burlington Danes Academy for the ‘School House Project’ 2014-15 and a RIBA ambassador in 2016-17. She is an AA Dipl RIBA Part II (2013), Part III (2017) graduate and a RIBA/ARB registered Architect. Additionally she holds a professional diploma in dance from the Arts Educational School, Tring. She returned to the AA to study History and Critical thinking in Architecture in 2017/18 in order to answer three questions and explore writing as a form of architectural expression.


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Chandni Joshi

Chandni was born and raised in India. She received her Bachelor of Interior Design from APIED at Vallabh Vidyanagar and her Master of Interior Architecture and Design from CEPT University at Ahmedabad. She worked as Senior Interior Designer at architecture firms in Ahmedabad and Delhi. She also worked as Design Researcher at NID at Ahmedabad.

In 2010, Chandni moved to London. She worked as a volunteer on a number of exhibitions at Somerset House. She travelled extensively and documented architectural traditions across diverse cultures through the medium of photography.

Currently, Chandni is pursuing MA in History and Critical Thinking at AA School of Architecture. Her research interests lie in exploring minimalist expressions of architecture and architectural photography, and the historical contexts and theoretical constructs within which they lie.

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Roshanak Sheikh-Rezai

Born and raised in Tehran ,Iran, I completed a Master’s degree in urban studies with a major in urban design from University of Tehran in 2005, prior to which I studied architecture at Azad university of Tehran.

After graduation in 2005, I moved to Toronto, Canada, and entered practice as an architectural designer. For the past eleven years, I have been working on a wide range of projects locally and internationally.

During these years, I have learnt that the strength and value of the profession of architecture lies in its breadth and its degree of connection with other relevant disciplines as a way of enhancing its own intellectual foundations. However, rather than critically reflecting on the limitations and potentials of architectural discipline, most practices see production and proliferation as ends in themselves. As a result, understanding transformations of architectural knowledge due to new technologies and disciplinary practices or the emergence of new forms of architectural subjectivity within the Neoliberal market economy is not a research priority for a great majority of practicing professionals. My objective to return to the academic world after eleven years of practice is driven by the desire to reconnect with these relevant discursive questions.

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Olivier Belflamme

Born in Mons in Belgium, Olivier Bellflamme completed his studies at La Cambre-Horta in Brussels and in Valle Giulia in Rome. After a Master in “Histoire, Théorie, Critique” in Brussels, he lived in Mexico City during three years and started working with Index Art Book Fair in 2014.  In January 2015, he became Project Manager at Frida Escobedo Studio, in charge of the Pavilion for the Victoria and Albert Museum, “You Know, You Cannot See Yourself So Well As By Reflection” and the museography of the exhibition “Under the Same Sun” at Jumex Museum in collaboration with the New-York’s Guggenheim. Since 2016 Olivier has been developing his own architectural practice and has moved to London in 2017 to undertake the “History and Critical Thinking” programme at the Architectural Association.

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Stephanie Delgado

Stephanie is an Architect who graduated in Lima at the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru, where she has been teaching First Year Design Studio and assisting the History of Architecture class for the past 7 years. She is involved in the creation of the new Peruvian Architecture Archive at the same institution, in charge of the recompilation of material, inventory, and subsequent exhibitions.

After graduating in 2010, she started to work in different architecture studios, dividing her time between architectural practice and academia. With an interest in Architecture and Art History and Theory, she enrolled at the museography department of the Museum of Art in Lima, and later on, developed the consultancy for the Teacher Housing Project in Peruvian rural contexts for the Ministry of Education. She joined the History and Critical Thinking program at the AA with the aim to expand and diversify her studies on Architecture.

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Nicolas Rivera

Nicolás Rivera is an architect based in Lima, Peru. He received a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture and Urbanism from the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú. After his studies, he has worked in architecture firms in Lima before opening, together with Mariana Jochamowitz, the design studio Jochamowitz Rivera Arquitectos in 2015.

Jochamowitz Rivera Arquitectos has designed and built 8 projects between 2015 – 2017. The architecture firm is concerned with design and research projects involving domestic and landscape architecture. One of the studio’s main projects involves research, design and landscape planning for the marine Natural Protected Area Punta San Juan, in the southern coast of Peru. As part of this large-scale ongoing project, a Seacoast Observatory was built in 2015. This building earned Jochamowitz Rivera Arquitectos a nomination for the Mies Crown Hall Architecture Prize 2014/2015 in the category Emerging Architecture.

Nicolás is a Chevening Scholar currently enrolled in the MA History and Critical Thinking at the Architectural Association.

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Sophie Lanigan

Sophie is a writer and designer from Sydney, Australia. She completed a Bachelor of Design in Architecture at The University of Sydney in 2016 where she was awarded the Henry J Cowan Prize for Architectural Science. Subsequently she worked for Tribe Studio Architects before relocating to London to commence the HCT course at the AA and to participate in the Sir John Soane Youth Panel.

Her work has appeared on the Architecture Folio Review and several publications including Dialogues 1., New Perspectives in Architectural Culture and Contemporary’s Contemporaries. Additionally she was an editor of the student journal Sydney Subjective.  Her considerable interest in contemporary art has been fostered by working as a guide at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Australia, volunteering at the Australian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale of Architecture 2016 and working at both Artist Run Initiatives (ARIs) and commercial galleries in Sydney. In 2017 she founded her collaborative practice, AGENDA Lord and Lanigan, with Isobel Lord. Their first project Temple was exhibited at Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi 2017 and won the Clitheroe Emerging Sculptor Scholarship.

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Colette Sheddick

Colette studied architecture at The Bartlett School of Architecture and London Metropolitan University. She has worked for a number of practices in London, including Pierre d’Avoine Architects, and founded her practice Colette Architecture in 2012. She taught Diploma Fourteen with Pierre d’Avoine at The CASS from 2013 to 2017, and since 2015 has been a Design Fellow and Studio Master at the University of Cambridge. In 2017 she joined the History and Critical Thinking programme at the Architectural Association.

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Marko Skoblar

Marko received his Master of Architecture degree from the University of Zagreb, Croatia in 2015. During his studies he was also a teaching assistant and participated in multiple workshops including Amsterdam, Hamburg and the Venice Biennale. He briefly worked at the young award winning office Studio Up, after graduation moving to Berlin and working for gmp Architekten, where he was involved in international stadium and residential design competitions. Wishing to broaden his knowledge of architectural theory with the goal of later incorporating it in practice, he enrolled in the HCT program at the AA, where his interest so far includes the relation of subject to space, objective aesthetics and questions of architectural autonomy.

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MA HCT & PhD History and Language Debate Series

Marina Lathouri and Guest Speakers

Open Debate 3

Forays in Spacing: Nature, Technics, Trace

Guest speaker: Georgios Tsagdis

Friday 23 February | 4:00pm | HCT Room

Half a century after the three-fold announcement of the logic of the trace in Derrida’s Of Grammatology, Voice and Phenomenon and Writing and Difference the constructive potential of deconstruction continues to grow. Authors as diverse as Bernard Stiegler and Judith Bulter continue to explore the logic of the trace (supplementarity, pharmacology, spectrality and so on) in socio-political, aesthetic, technological and architectural spaces. The reach of this spectrum is granted by the originary articulation of the trace: from its inception writing, which is nothing but the tracing of the trace, is constituted precisely as spacing: the becoming-space of time and the becoming-time of space.

In this seminar we will explore the structure, function and effects of spacing in the interrelation of nature and technics, termed here technophysics. Thinking through Heidegger, Derrida and Stiegler, we will depart from historical theoretical constructions of space to explore trace-topologies as well as the effects produced by different articulations of the relation of the who (subject, Dasein, human) and the how (nature, technics). In this exploration, all tropes of technē, from industrial production to literature assume a direct relevance to the future of the technological apparatus as the latter is traced back to the heart of nature. We finally examine the implications of the technophysical always already for places of dwelling, travelling and production, at a moment when an unprecedented transformation announces itself.A discussion of false or contradictory arguments among proponents of the Modern Movement and their critics


Tsagdis, Georgios, Dispositions: the Technophysical Apparatus, in: Azimuth, Issue 10, 2017 (forthcoming)

Ross, Daniel, A Summary of Bernard Stiegler, Technics and Time, 1: The Fault of Epimetheus

Tsagdis, Georgios, The Manual: Heidegger and Fundamental Oto-cheiro-logy I

Georgios Tsagdis is Fellow at the Westminster Law & Theory Lab. He has taught at the University of Greenwich, Surrey, UCL as well at the London School of Philosophy and other institutions. His work operates across theoretical and disciplinary intersections drawing on 20th Century, Contemporary and Ancient Greek Philosophy. His Archeology of Nothing is revised for publication, while his current project examines the function of the negative in the ontology of matter from Plato to New Materialisms. In other recent research, he explores various themes in the historic encounters of philosophy and nature, from the figure of the animal in the Platonic corpus to post-humanism and parasitism. He has written on the question of love with reference to theological, political and feminist discourses. His essays have been published in various book collections and international journals, among which Parallax and Philosophy Today. Since 2014 he has been organizing the Seminar of Neoplatonic Studies, a London intercollegiate study and research group, hosted at the Warburg Institute.


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MA HCT & PhD History and Language Debate Series

Marina Lathouri and Guest Speakers

Debate 2

Arguments in bad faith; is truth dead?

Guest speaker: Tim Benton

Friday 16 February | 11:00am | 33 FFB

A discussion of false or contradictory arguments among proponents of the Modern Movement and their critics


Perelman, Chaïm. The Realm of Rhetoric.  Notre Dame, Ind.: University of Notre Dame Press, 1982.

Benton, Tim. The Rhetoric of Modernism : Le Corbusier as a Lecturer.  Boston, MA: Birkhaeuser, 2009

Benton, Tim. “E-1027 and the Drôle De Guerre.” AA files 74 (June 2017): 123-54

Colomina, Beatriz. “Battle Lines: E.1027.” In The Architect : Reconstructing Her Practice., edited by Francesca. Hughes, 3-24. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1996

Birksted, Jan. Le Corbusier and the Occult.  Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2009

Tim Benton is Professor of Art History (Emeritus) at the Open University, England and has served as Visiting Professor in the Department of Art History and Archaeology at Columbia University, New York (2007) and at the Bard Graduate Center (2003). He is a noted scholar of the works of Le Corbusier but has also worked on Italian architecture in the 1930s and on Art Deco. He was elected to the Conseil d’Administration of the Fondation Le Corbusier from 2008 to 2015. Professor Benton has co-curated several major exhibitions including Art and Power (Hayward Gallery,1995), Art Deco 1910-1939 (V&A, 2003), Modernism Designing a New World 1918-1939 (V&A, 2006) Modern Taste Art Deco in Paris 1910-1935 (Madrid, 2015) Recent publications include The Rhetoric of Modernism; Le Corbusier as lecturer, (Basel, 2009) Lc Foto : Le Corbusier : Secret Photographer (Zürich, 2013). More recently, he has been working with the Association Cap Moderne on the restoration of the villa E-1027, Le Corbusier’s cabanon and the Étoile de mer and Unités de camping at Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, publishing a book Le Corbusier peintre à Cap Martin (Paris 2015), which was awarded the Prix du Livre de la Méditérrannée.

The image selected is the copyright of Eileen Gray Archives


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MA HCT & PhD History and Language Debate Series

Marina Lathouri and Guest Speakers

Debate 1

Ex Libris: Novel Architecture

Guest speaker: Mark Morris

Friday 2 February | 11:30am | HCT Room

This talk examines the ways in which architecture is treated in fiction, specifically its role in the novel where descriptions of the built environment exceed the function of providing a setting. We will look at a range of literary genres, from the Gothic to Romance to Crime to Sci-Fi. How architecture features in a plot, is used as a foreshadowing element or surrogate character will be reviewed. A key consideration will be language’s permissiveness and expansiveness in regard to architecture, the ability one has to economically speculate on architecture through text. We will conclude by turning our attention to the figure of the architect in select titles.


Mark Morris is Head of Teaching at the AA and an HTS lecturer. He completed his MArch at Ohio State University where he received the AIA Henry Adams medal, and took his PhD at the London Consortium supported by the RIBA Research Trust. His research focuses on questions of visual representation in the context of the history of architectural education, architecture in fiction, and the preservation of scale models. Mark previously taught architectural theory and design at Cornell University where he served as Director of Graduate Studies and Director of Exhibitions. He is the author of two books: Models: Architecture and the Miniature and Automatic Architecture.

The image used has been selected from the article titled ‘Pemberley, Manderley and Howards End: the real buildings behind fictional houses’ published on 29 July 2017 in The Guardian (link:


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