Posts tagged Architecture

Landscape and Critical Agency, Fri 17 February

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Friday, 17th February 2012, 10.00am to 18.00pm, with drinks afterwards
Landscape and Critical Agency
University College London , Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT

What agency does landscape possess, as a means of territorial organisation and creative production, to engage critically with the conditions that define the collective aspects of our environment?

Jill Desimini, Harvard Graduate School of Design; Professor Murray Fraser, UCL; Professor Matthew Gandy, UCL; Dr Jon Goodbun, University of Westminster; Professor Jonathan Hill, UCL; Jane Hutton, Harvard Graduate School of Design; Douglas Spencer, Architectural Association; Lisa Tilder, Ohio State University; Ed Wall, Kingston University; Tim Waterman, Writtle School of Design; Jane Wolff, University of Toronto; Dr Daniel Zarza, University of Alcala/Daniel Zarza Architects

REGISTRATION:  Attendance is free but spaces must be reserved in advance at

Modernism, a Sentimental Myth

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This Saturday 10th December, our Visiting Fellow, Victoria Walsh, will be taking part in a panel discussion for Modernism, a Sentimental Myth, part of the Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2011 at the ICA. Other panellists include our former colleague, and member of the IMCC Advisory Board, Murray Fraser.

The panel is at 5pm, preceded by a walking tour around the back streets of the ICA, and followed by a Club Night. For more details visit

Modern in Miniature

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For anyone interested in architectural models, design education, and photography, the Institute’s Dr Davide Deriu, a colleague from the Department of Architecture here at University of Westminster, has curated a fascinating exhibition entitled ‘Modernism in Miniature’ at The Canadian Centre for Architecture. If you happen to be in Montreal, why not swing by, it’s on until January 2012:

The Scarcity Exchanges

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Scarcity Exchanges
University of Westminster, 35 Marylebone Road, London NW1
All talks start at 6.30pm at 5LS

Hosted by our friends in Architecture, a series of exchanges on and around the topic of scarcity, bringing together some of the leading thinkers in the field to expound on one of the most pressing, but often avoided, issues of the day. That resources are diminishing is a commonplace, but scarcity is about much more than the destruction of our natural resource base: it is a socially and economically constructed condition that affects us all, and will increasingly do so. If the 2000s was the decade of false abundance, then the 2010s will likely be defined through scarcity. This series of exchanges will open up the discussion as to what scarcity might mean, and its social, economic, and environmental implications.

11 May: Economies of Scarcity
Dougald Hine and Andrew Simms

18 May: Cities of Scarcity
Alfredo Brillembourg and David Satterthwaite

25 May: Scarcity and Consumption
Ed Van Hinte and Steve Broome

1 June: Concepts of Scarcity
Iain Boal and Lyla Mehta

13 June: Fabricating Scarcities
Saskia Sassen

Tickets are free but please register at  

The research project, Scarcity and Creativity in the Built Environment, is led by Jeremy Till at the University of Westminster, with partners at the Oslo School of Architecture and TU Vienna. The project is funded by HERA (Humanities in the European Research Area). For further details visit

Utopia London screening

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Tuesday 3rd May, 6.00 pm
Hogg Lecture Theatre, University of Westminster, Marylebone site

Our friends in the Department of Architecture at Westminster are hosting a screening of the Utopia London, a documentary film by young director Tom Cordell, which explores London’s recent architectural history through the eyes of those who helped create it and those whose lives were shaped by it. The screening will be followed by a Q&A session with Tom as well as a panel of architects who are interviewed in the film.

“I’ve always been drawn to the excitement of London’s post-war landscape; concrete and brick textures, unadorned clean lines, neon glow and dark shadows. … Yet all our lives we have been told that the same urban spaces are ugly – symbols of a failed, arrogant technocracy. … I began to contact the people who tried to change the city, and my narrative thread continued to shift around as the filming went on. And what I found was that the power of the buildings came from the vision they were meant to serve – and that it’s this vision that so polarises opinion. They symbolise an attempt to build a fair, open society, and their existence frightens people who have rejected these values.” Tom Cordell

No Room to Move

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No Room to Move: Radical Art and the Regenerate City
Tuesday 15th March, 2 – 4pm
Westminster Forum, 5th Floor, 32 Wells Street, London W1T

As part of the ‘Interpreting Space’ module on our MA programmes, members of the Mute team, Josephine Berry Slater and Anthony Iles, will be visiting Westminster to talk about their co-edited collection No Room to Move: Radical art and the Regenerate City (Mute 2011), and the kinds of issues they were attempting to address. This will be followed by questions from students on the module.

J.G. Ballard and New Brutalism

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Wednesday 10th November, 1.15-2.30pm
Room 106, University of Westminster, 32-38 Wells Street, W1T 3UW

Joanne Murray (Birkbeck College, University of London)
“JG Ballard and New Brutalism”

Further details on the English Literature and Culture seminar series at Westminster here.

The Whitechapel Salon: ‘Matter Matters’ with Adrian Forty on Thursday October 28th

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With the Whitechapel Gallery, the Institute for Modern and Contemporary Culture at University of Westminster is hosting at the gallery the third in this year’s ‘Matter Matters’ Salon.

Date: Thursday 28 October, 7pm
Price: £8.00

Includes free glass of wine.

Adrian Forty (Professor of Architectural History at the Bartlett) and Katie Lloyd-Thomas (editor of Material Matters) discuss why building matters, in the third instalment of the Salon series exploring the matter of ‘matter’. Hosted by David Cunningham.

Book your ticket at:

Update: Ballardian Architecture online

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Videos from the Royal Academy event Ballardian Architecture in May, including David Cunningham’s talk on Pop art, Brutalism and Ballard’s prose of space, have now been posted online.

You can watch the videos here.

Open House

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Not strictly a tour around the Institute, but we thought we should flag up the fact that Westminster is taking part in Open House London, the capital’s largest architectural showcase, on September 18. Visitors can take a tour of the site of the original Polytechnic opened in 1838, visit the Sports Hall and the site of one of the first public swimming pools in London, and learn the importance in cinematic history of the Old Cinema.

Times: Tours at 10am, 11.30am, 2pm and 3.30pm. Pre-book only, maximum 25 per tour.
Admission: Free.

More information here.

Listen With Ballard: Ballardian Architecture Online

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You can now listen to the talks at the Royal Academy Ballardian Architecture symposium last month, including those of IMCC Deputy Director David Cunningham, John Gray, Nigel Coates and Nic Clear.

Audio files are up on the RA site here.

AA City Cultures project

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Last Friday 14th May saw the launch of the Architectural Association’s City Cultures project, to which the IMCC’s David Cunningham has been a contributor. The texts from the project, including David’s ‘Nine Theses on the Metropolis’, can be read or downloaded here.

The AA have also posted a video recording of the launch event on their website, with brief talks from David, Doug Spencer, Peter Carl, and others, at:

For those interested, an earlier talk on Metropolitics by David at the AA, as part of their Landscape Urbanism Public Lectures series, is also up on their website. Watch it here.

Ballardian Architecture

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David Cunningham, Deputy Director of the IMCC, is, along with John Gray and Nic Clear, one of the participants in the symposium Ballardian Architecture: Inner and Outer Space to be held at the Royal Academy of Arts on Saturday 15th May, 2-5pm. The event will trace several themes in Ballard’s literary analysis of the contemporary built environment, including the concept of spectacle and role of the media in contemporary society, and how Ballard’s fascination with so-called “invisible literatures”, such as scientific journals, technical manuals and advertising copy, can be seen as a literary counterpart to pop art and the “brutalist” aesthetic of modernity.

Tickets: £25/£16 reductions* (includes a drink)

Further details here.

Archigram Archival Project

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Congratulations to our colleagues in Architecture. The magnificent Archigram Archival Project, some four years in the making, launches at Westminster’s Regent Street building on April 19th. Days of online browsing lie ahead.

Once it’s up and running on the 19th, the website will be here:

The Polytechnic blog

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A new blog post on wind farms and peak oil, by the Institute’s resident environmental activist and ecological architect Jon Goodbun, is now up on the website of our friends The Polytechnic. Check it out here.

Las Vegas and Freedom

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Wednesday 11th November, 1.15-2.30pm
Room 106, University of Westminster, 32-38 Wells Street, W1T 3UW

Adam Eldridge (Urban Development, University of Westminster)
‘Las Vegas and the Production of Freedom’

Free to all.

Rem Koolhaas interview

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 David Cunningham and Jon Goodbun’s interview with OMA architect Rem Koolhaas is now up as a highlight on the Radical Philosophy website. Click here to download the pdf.