Artist Richard Wilson Lecture

Wednesday 20th November @ 6pm – Norbert Singer Theatre, Avery Hill

Richard Wilson will talk about some of his more grander architectural works from the past 20 years.

Richard Wilson is one of the country’s most renowned sculptors. He is internally celebrated for his interventions in architectural space, which draw heavily for their inspiration from the worlds of engineering and construction.

Richard Wilson Lecture

Edward W Soja lecture at Greenwich University
Monday 18th November 2013 – 6pm
Maritime Campus, King William Building KW315

Edward W. Soja is distinguished Professor (Emeritus) of Urban Planning at UCLA. He is the author of Postmodern Geographies (1989; new Verso edition), Thirdspace (1996), Postmetropolis (2000), Seeking Spatial Justice (2010) and most recently My Los Angeles, forthcoming in 2014 from University of California Press.

In Thirdspace, Soja reached beyond dualism to describe a theory in which “everything comes together… subjectivity and objectivity, the abstract and the concrete, the real and the imagined, the knowable and the unimaginable, the repetitive and the differential, structure and agency, mind and body, consciousness and the unconscious, the disciplined and the transdisciplinary, everyday life and unending history.” (Thirdspace, 1996)

in an article for the Journal of Literary Theory by Kathrin Winkler, Kim Seifert and Heinrich Detering titled “Literary Studies and the Spatial Turn” [JLT 6/1 (2012)], we read:

“The term “spatial turn” was introduced by the human geographer Edward W. Soja, who used it in the mid-nineties to call for greater attention to be given to the category of space, which he believed had been neglected. […]This article draws on Edward W. Soja’s concept of a thirdspace in arguing for real and imagined spaces to be brought together. In his concept of space, Soja turns to ideas of the French sociologist Henri Lefebvre, in whose model of space the separation of physical from mental space is set aside. On this basis, Soja identifies the perspectives of physical space alone (Soja’s firstspace) and mental space alone (Soja’s secondspace) as illusory truncations, for in neither case is the other and necessarily complementary aspect included. For Soja, space must be understood as simultaneously real and imagined (Soja’s thirdspace), for it always represents a link between physical, geographical spaces and mental, cultural constructions of space. Soja, a human geographer, is perfectly explicit about the fact that his concept of thirdspace is addressed not only at geography and other disciplines that are concerned by definition with geographical space, but at all disciplines that engage with spatiality as part of the spatial turn. ”

full abstract can be found here


about the lecture: “Urban restructuring over the past thirty years has been leading to a sea change in the very nature of the urbanization process. Signs of this change were recognized long ago in such terms as edge cities, outer cities, peripheral urbanization, boomburbs and metroburbia. But few realized that what was happening represented the end of the modern metropolis, the urbanization of suburbia, and the emergence of a very new urban form and way of life. This shift is what is behind such new terms as regional urbanization, city regions, regional cities, megacity regions, megaregions, and such notions as the urbanization of the world and planetary urbanism. This lecture will provide a detailed look at the regional urbanization process as it develops at several different scales.”

From  Saturday 16th November until the 14th of December there will be three concomitant exhibitions at the AA.

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[Images: Going through the archives, maps, and files of the Center for Land Use Interpretation, including one of Geoff Manaugh’s favorite headlines of all time: “Emptiness welcomes entrepreneurs”; photos by Mark Smout].

The first exhibition is “The British Exploratory Land Archive (BELA)” by Smout-Allen and BLDGBLOG, which was first presented at the Venice Architectural Biennale last year.
Geoff Manaugh describes BELA in his blog:

BELA is directly inspired by the Los Angeles-based Center for Land Use Interpretation (CLUI). It aims to unite the efforts of several existing bodies—English Heritage, Subterranea Britannica, the Airfields of Britain Conservation Trust and even the Department for Transport, among dozens of others—in a project of national landscape taxonomy that will combine catalogues created by distinct organisations into one omnivorous, searchable archive of human-altered landscapes in Britain… From military bases to abandoned factories, from bonded warehouses to national parks, by way of private gardens, council estates, scientific laboratories and large-scale pieces of urban infrastructure, BELA’s listings are intended to serve as something of an ultimate guide to both familiar and esoteric sites of human land use throughout the United Kingdom.

more info on BLDGBLOG hereand opening times on the AA website here

other exhibitions at the same time are

Random Structures by Sachiyo Nishimura

Not What But How

DLAB: Light Forest

details of which can be found here

FleaFolly Architects Open Lecture – Wednesday 13th November; 6PM
Norbert Singer Lecture Theatre / M055 – Mansion Site, Avery Hill Campus


“2012 marked the 200th anniversary of the first publication of the Brothers Grimm Fairy Tales. To celebrate this occasion FleaFollyArchitects ran a summer atelier on the outskirts of the Black Forest in Germany over the space of 5 weeks. As a group of young architects and designers they planned and built the ‘Grimm City’, a miniature Cityscape based on the imaginations of the Brothers Grimm. Grimm City is a spatial extrapolation of the Grimm Fairytales, an architectural satire that foretells a future state run by creatures with Grimm-esque attributes of gluttony and greed taken perversely out of context. Whilst being lampoonist and satirical, this architectural fairytale draws uncanny parallels with what many believe is the way that cities are run today; corrupt politicians, fraudulent banks, gluttonous churches and a great GDP are common in both the Grimm City and our own cities.

Established in 2012 by Pascal Bronner and Thomas Hillier, FleaFollyArchitects are spatial-storytellers who use narrative to discover, explore and invent unique architectural propositions encompassing all scales. FleaFollyArchitects operate across – and blur the thresholds between – the fields of architecture, design, fashion, contemporary art and installation. Drawing upon their multi-disciplinary experience in both architectural practice and architectural teaching, their objective – no matter what the subject – remains the same: to surprise and delight!”

Neil Deinari at the University of Greenwich
Open International Lecture
at the Norbert Singer Lecture Theatre / M055
Mansion Site, Avery Hill Campus
Tuesday 29th October, 6PM


Realism in cinema and literature was overcome in the 1960’s and 70’s by new forms of abstraction and meta-modernisms, techniques that called into question the conditions that compelled work to be truthful and matter-of-fact. Given the physical and material nature of architecture, it would seem to be nothing but matter of fact, a medium of experiential presence. But with new technologies driving everyday life, architecture has drifted into a hazy peripheral background, well out sight in our digitally focused world. At times, architecture has become spectacular enough to capture our attention, but this work seems somehow less real (unbelievable) than ever as more extreme forms and materials come into play. This lecture, using cultural references and the work of NMDA, will ask questions and make claims about the status of the real in our contemporary landscape.

Neil Denari is principal of Neil M. Denari Architects Inc (NMDA), and Professor of Architecture at UCLA. Denari lectures worldwide and has been a Visiting Professor at Harvard, Princeton, Columbia, and UC Berkeley among other schools and was the Director of SCI-Arc from 1997-2002. He is the author of Interrupted Projections (1996), Gyroscopic Horizons (1999), and Facticity, forthcoming in 2013. Neil Denari was the recipient of the Los Angeles AIA Gold Medal in 2011 and was inducted into the Interior Design Hall of Fame in 2010. In 2009, he was given the California Community Foundation Fellowship from the United States Artists organization and in 2008 he received an Architecture Award from the American Academy of Arts & Letters. In addition to these personal awards, NMDA has been awarded the 2005 and 2007 National American Institute of Architecture Awards, 2005 Progressive Architecture citation, and the 2011 American Institute of Architecture/Los Angeles Honor Awards in both the built and unbuilt categories.

andree balloon 03

These amazing photographs, from Andrée’s Balloon expedition into the Arctic in 1897 are on show at the Louisiana museum in Denmark, as part of the ARCTIC exhibition.

here is an extract of the museum’s text, which shows human pursuit and blind faith in the sciences:

Andrée was educated in the technical sciences and was thus a fierce rationalist; he believed in progress and industry and was an ardent enthusiast and unshakeable optimist. But when he finally took off from Svalbard, on his second attempt, he probably knew in his heart that it would never succeed. Heartbreakingly, he had become a prisoner of his own role – giving up in front of a public that had witnessed his commitment to his philosophy of the future was not an option. Posterity has debated what really mattered most to Andrée: reaching the North Pole or demonstrating the possibilities of a particular technology – balloon travel. And the consensus inclines to the latter.

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August 3: Andrée writes: We photographed the story of the development of our forks. It is so warm that we do the pulling without any coats on. The ice is horrible. Clothes-drying on large scale. I made a fork for Frænkel. The forks photographed.


More about the exhibition here and here on the beautiful exhibition website/webbook