Category Archives: 2017

‘Drawing Matter’ seminar with Tina di Carlo

This three-day workshop will draw on the collection of Drawing Matter to use drawing as a pedagogical tool, to reveal a historiography and a critical approach and method. Drawings, their collection and exhibition, will be considered as modes of thinking, in the materiality, as they convey information, techniques, ideas and attitudes about architecture and the limits of representation.

The first seminar will present a broad overview of the collection, focusing on 1952-1988 when drawing went through a series of reinventions and the limits architecture were questioned though the language of drawing. The second session will feature a discussion with curators Ellis Woodman and Manuel Montenegro on the James Gowan and Alvaro Siza exhibition, currently on view at the AA. It will consider the juxtaposition of four social housing complexes to consider different modes of drawing. The third seminar will present an in-depth consideration and reading of sketchbooks. Underpinning each session will be considerations of exhibition and display.

Rooms are to be confirmed.

Monday 20 March, 11:00 – 1:00

MA History and Critical Thinking Drawing Matter Seminar with Tina di Carlo

Tuesday 21 March, 5:00 – 7:00

MA History and Critical Thinking Drawing Matter Open Seminar

Tina di Carlo in conversation with curators Ellis Woodman and Manuel Montenegro on the James Gowan and Alvaro Siza exhibition, currently on view at the AA

Wednesday 22 March, 11:00 – 1:00

MA History and Critical Thinking Drawing Matter Seminar with Tina di Carlo

 

Readings

Forty, Adrian. Words and Buildings: A Vocabulary of Modern Architecture, London: Thames & Hudson, 2014, in particular “Language and Drawing,” 28-41. “Context,”132-135 “Flexibility,”142-48 “Form,”149-72 

Evans, Robin. “Translations from Drawing to Building,” AA Files 12, pp. 3-18

Seigert, Bernard. Cultural Techniques: Grids, Filters, Doors and Other Articulations of the Real, (rans. Geoffrey Winthrop-Young), New York: Fordham University Press, 2015, in particular, “Introduction: Cultural Techniques, or, The End of the Intellectual Postwar in German Media Theory,” pp. 1-17

Stanisweski, Staniszewski, Mary Anne. The Power of Display: A History of Exhibition Installations at the Museum of Modern Art. Cambridge, Mass: The M.I.T. Press, 1998 (pages to be assigned).

 

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1960s: ‘Avant-Garde’ Roots, Function. A Terminological Approach

Organised and hosted by Marina Lathouri

Series: HCT / PhD Debates
Date: 17/3/2017
Time: 14:00
Venue: 37 FFF

HCT/PHD Debates

The HCT Debates provide a venue for exchange of ideas and arguments. External speakers are invited every week to present and engage with tutors and students. The aim is to position the multiple voices making possible a process of thinking in common, by definition a pedagogical practice different from the seminar or the lecture. The sessions are open to the public.

 

1960s: ‘Avant-Garde’ Roots, Function. A Terminological Approach

From the early twentieth century the avant-garde forms an important cultural and interdisciplinary sub-system with a strong impact on architecture. However, it is only in the sixties that the term ‘avant-garde’ starts describing architects, groups, and material and immaterial productions of the latter – associated, but also not, with the wide cultural avant-garde circles of their time. The sixties mark the period when the term enters into architectural history books and writings of theory and criticism. A disciplinary consciousness of the avant-garde is now manifest along with avant-garde’s appropriation as endogenous architectural quality. A terminological approach to the avant-garde of the sixties provides tools for detecting patterns of formation and ideological constructions, and for uncovering how these may even shape avant-garde’s understanding up to the present.

 

Texts

1.Bürger, Peter, Theorie der Avantgarde (Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp Verlag, 1974) English translation: Bürger, Peter, Theory of the Avant-Garde (Manchester; Minneapolis: Manchester University Press; University of Minnesota Press, 1984).

2.Poggioli, Renato, Teoria dell’arte d’avanguardia (Bologna: Società editrice il Mulino, 1962). English translation: Poggioli, Renato, The Theory of the Avant-Garde, trans. by Gerald Fitzgerald (Cambridge, Mass., London: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1968).

3.Weightman, John, The Concept of the Avant-Garde. Exploration in Modernism (London: Alcove Press, 1973)

 

 

 

Lina Stergiou is Associate Professor of Architecture at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, China, co-founder and creative director of 4Life Strategies, a non-profit organization for strategically design cross-disciplinary actions for life as agencies for change, and principal of LS/Architecture&Strategies, an award-winning design research lab. Independent Expert for the Mies van der Rohe Award-European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture. A Princeton University Research Fellow and recipient of numerous research grants, her research explores spatial politics and the avant-garde, including her forthcoming book on The Concept of the Avant-Garde in Twentieth and Twenty-First Century Architecture.

 

 

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The Politics of Violence as/against/through Architecture

Organised and hosted by Marina Lathouri

Series: HCT / PhD Debates
Date: 10/3/2017
Time: 10:00:00
Venue: 37 FFF

HCT/PHD Debates

The HCT Debates provide a venue for exchange of ideas and arguments. External speakers are invited every week to present and engage with tutors and students. The aim is to position the multiple voices making possible a process of thinking in common, by definition a pedagogical practice different from the seminar or the lecture. The sessions are open to the public.

 

The Politics of Violence as/against/through Architecture

The past decade has seen a growing body of literature explore the interface of architecture and violence. If this has helped undo such normative dichotomies as war versus peace, destruction versus construction, and barbarism versus civilisation, it has also further complicated the problem of how critical analysis negotiates the dynamics between particularity and universality, description and prescription, and structure and agency. Against this background, this seminar discusses the limitations and possibilities of understanding violence and architecture as intimately entangled with one another. In light of two texts and other relevant cases, we will explore the following questions. How might an architectural history and theory of violence be different from other histories and theories of it? In what ways might an understanding of architecture as a slow or covert mode of violence challenge dominant histories and theories of the built environment? And, ultimately, what are the political stakes involved in considering violence as inherent in architecture, and architecture as a force that institutionalises, legitimises and even produces violence rather than as its other? Eray will introduce the topic in the first third of the seminar, which will be followed by group discussion. Attendees are kindly asked to think of cases from various historical or geographical contexts they find relevant to the material discussed in the readings, and bring to the seminar a short note on and an image of one such case.

Image: Turkey installs the “Modular Border Security System” along its border with Syria (Ömer Ürer, 26.04.2016)

Texts:

Herscher, Andrew (2008) Warchitectural Theory, Journal of Architectural Education 61(3): 35-43

Weizman, Eyal (2007) Urban Warfare, Hollow Land, London: Verso, pp.185-218.

 

Eray Çaylı, PhD (UCL, 2015), works at the interface of architecture and anthropology. He is interested in the ways in which the built environment shapes and is shaped by conflict, disaster, and protest, especially in the contexts of Turkey and London. Eray currently teaches Architectural History and Theory at the Bartlett and at Syracuse University (London programme), and works as a researcher at the LSE’s European Institute. Further information (including publications) is available at www.eraycayli.com

 

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Flat White: incipient Modernist architecture in late Wilhelmine Germany

Organised and hosted by Marina Lathouri

Series: HCT / PhD Debates
Date: 3/3/2017
Time: 11:00:00
Venue: 33 FFF

HCT/PHD Debates

The HCT Debates provide a venue for exchange of ideas and arguments. External speakers are invited every week to present and engage with tutors and students. The aim is to position the multiple voices making possible a process of thinking in common, by definition a pedagogical practice different from the seminar or the lecture. The sessions are open to the public.

 

Flat White: incipient Modernist architecture in late Wilhelmine Germany

Image: Heinrich Tessenow, Alexander von Salzmann, Festspielhaus, Dresden-Hellerau, Germany. Views of interior of the Festival Hall, looking towards the stage (north) and towards the audience (south), (1913). Source: ‘Das junge Hellerau’, in Bildunsanstalt Jaques-Dalcroze (ed.) Der Rhythmus. Ein Jahrbuch (Jena, 1913).

The early years of the twentieth century witnessed remarkable advances in architecture emanating from Germany in matters technical, aesthetic and functional. The hiatus of the First World War interrupted this flowering of the art of building, which nonetheless resumed during the years of ferment of the Weimar Republic. On the northern outskirts of Dresden a settlement was founded, taking inspiration from English Arts and Crafts endeavours in Reform design and living culture, but with a pronounced Nietzschean ‘will to form’ all-encompassing in its reach. Here was a garden city with real industry at its heart (the progressive furniture factory of the Deutsche Werkstätten) and a magnificent performance space at its periphery, to which the great and the good of European society would come on pilgrimage.
The spare, unadorned houses designed by the quiet Mecklenburg architect Heinrich Tessenow (1876-1950) gave way to the spiritual and artistic centre of the settlement, his great festival theatre and School of Eurhythmy. A building which at first glance seems a correct and prim exercise in understated Neoclassicism turns out to be nothing short of revolutionary in its concision of internal planning, purity and simplicity of surface, and manipulation of light. It is an inspiring example of a building as product of a variety of artistic and social impulses, orchestrated by the tactful skill of its young architect, one which presages the collaborative work of the Bauhaus in Dessau some 15 years later. Its main performance space has qualities that would not make it unusual to find in the twenty-first century: its surfaces are smooth and pale, and emit light, shimmering like a reversed lampshade.
Between the economy of sachlich, functional terraced and paired houses and the stately Festspielhaus, designed to accommodate and give shape to emerging Reform ideas of pedagogy, dance and music (such as the eurhythmy dabbled in by D. H. Lawrence’s heroines), key traits of Modernist aesthetics were born, uniting the various arts and paving the way for the prevailing look of the twentieth century, one that is arguably still with us in the twenty-first: flat white.

 

Texts

Gerald Adler, ‘The German Reform Theatre: Heinrich Tessenow and Eurhythmic Performance Space at Dresden-Hellerau’, in Alistair Fair (ed.), Setting the Scene: perspectives on twentieth-century theatre architecture (Farnham: Ashgate, 2015), pp. 35-59

Kathleen James-Chakraborty, ‘Spectacle’, in Kathleen James-Chakraborty, German Architecture for a Mass Audience (London: Routledge, 2000), pp. 70-94

Heinrich Tessenow, Hausbau und dergleichen (Berlin, 1916). Extracts from House-building and such Things in Richard Burdett and Wilfried Wang (eds), On Rigour (London: 9H, 1990), ‘Order’, pp17-19; ‘Ornament, pp. 27-30

Gerald Adler runs the Masters in Architecture and Urban Design programme at the University of Kent, where he is Deputy Head of School. His practice experience has been with Kammerer and Belz in Stuttgart, Georg Heinrichs in Berlin, Burkard Meyer Steiger in Baden, Switzerland, Hampshire County Architects in Winchester, Koichi Nagashima in Tokyo, and Ted Cullinan in London. His PhD was on the early twentieth-century German architect Heinrich Tessenow, and his monograph on the mid-twentieth-century British architectural practice Maguire & Murray was published in 2012.  He has written on the ‘Bauhaus bioconstructivist’ Siegfried Ebeling and co-edited the AHRA (Architectural Humanities Research Association) book Scale: imagination, perception and practice in architecture (2012). His chapter ‘The German Reform Theatre: Heinrich Tessenow and Eurhythmic Performance Space at Dresden-Hellerau’ was published in Alistair Fair (ed.), Setting the Scene: Perspectives on Twentieth-Century Theatre Architecture (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2015). Most recently, he has published ‘Pragmatics: towards a theory of things’ in This Thing Called Theory (Abingdon: Routledge, 2016) and is working on an account of the Berlin architect Myra Warhaftig for the AHRA Architecture and Feminisms book.

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Alberti’s Media Lab

Organised and hosted by Marina Lathouri

Series: HCT / PhD Debates
Date: 17/2/2017
Time: 11:00:00
Venue: 33 FFB

HCT Debates

The HCT Debates provide a venue for exchange of ideas and arguments. External speakers are invited every week to present and engage with tutors and students. The aim is to position the multiple voices making possible a process of thinking in common, by definition a pedagogical practice different from the seminar or the lecture. The sessions are open to the public.

Alberti’s Media Lab

Please join us for the second MA HCT/PhD seminar. Our guest will be Mario Carpo who will speak about drawings, models, and architectural notations in Alberti’s theory.

 

 

 

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MA HCT/Projective Cities/Media Practicies Seminar

 

Organised and hosted by Marina Lathouri

Series: HCT Debates
Date: 10/2/2017
Time: 10:00:00
Venue: 32 First Floor Back, Architectural Association London

HCT Debates

The HCT Debates provide a venue for exchange of ideas and arguments. External speakers are invited every week to present and engage with tutors and students. The aim is to position the multiple voices making possible a process of thinking in common, by definition a pedagogical practice different from the seminar or the lecture. The sessions are open to the public.

Interior Urbanism: Charles Rice

Please join us for a seminar with Charles Rice this Friday. It is a joint event with the Projective Cities and Media Practices and will take place at 10:00 in 32 FFB.

The presentation and the following dialogue with the audience will be based on Rice’s new book ‘Interior Urbanism: Architecture, John Portman and Downtown America,’ which he discussed a few weeks ago during his evening lecture at the Architectural Association.

Image: John Portman and Associates, Hyatt Regency, San Francisco, 1974. Diagram showing outline of atrium space with interior elements: trellis structures, sculpture, conversation pit and elevator shafts. Drawing by Alina McConnochie.

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MA HCT/PhD Seminar with Thanos Zartaloudis

Organised and hosted by Marina Lathouri

Series: HCT / PhD Debates
Date: 1/2/20
Time: 14:00:00
Venue: 37 FFF

HCT Debates

The HCT Debates provide a venue for exchange of ideas and arguments. External speakers are invited every week to present and engage with tutors and students. The aim is to position the multiple voices making possible a process of thinking in common, by definition a pedagogical practice different from the seminar or the lecture. The sessions are open to the public.

Making Time: on Agamben’s Time and History

In this seminar we shall discuss the chapter titled Time and History extracted from the Italian philosopher’s Giorgio Agamben early book titled Infancy and History (pp.87-105). What is time? (and in this we shall ask, too, what is the Architect’s time?) This is a relatively obvious question that we however rarely encounter, yet occasionally think of. If asked in this manner the question will lead, each time, to a particular type of an answer (which can take various forms, while it remains essentially the same as we shall perhaps discover in our discussion). How is time? This may be a better question, and we shall see what that kind of raising of the question may mean for the way in which we think of time. In doing so and in following the reading closely we shall particularly interrogate the so-called Western understanding of time in order to locate its problem. What is the problem, if it is one, that ‘time’ is invented to solve? How to think of time? What happens if we venture outside of this logic or structure of problem-solution? Let’s find out.

Please read the set text prior to the seminar and bring with you notes and questions. This will essentially be a reading discussion with a very short presentation during the last third of the session.

Image: Max Ernst, Rêve d’une Petite Fille qui Voulut Entrer au Carmel, 1930. Collage.

 

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