Posts tagged Urban

Book Launch at Architectural Association, Friday 6 June

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Architecture Against the Post-Political book launch

Friday 6 June 2014, 6.30pm
The Book Shop, Architectural Association
36 Bedford Square, Bloomsbury, London WC1B 3ES

A general welcome to the launch of two books edited by our friend Nadir Lahiji at the Architectural Association in London: Architecture Against the Post-Political: Essays in Reclaiming the Critical Project (Routledge, 2014) and The Missed Encounter of Radical Philosophy With Architecture (Bloomsbury, 2014)

Join Nadir in conversation with the IMCC’s David Cunningham, along with other contributors to the collections, including Douglas Spencer, Libero Andreotti and Uta Gelbke.

Expanded Territories seminar, Dec 5th

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Thursday 5 December, 12.30 – 14.00
Room M324, 35 Marylebone Road, London NW1 5LS

Measurement as Argument:
Planetary Constructions, PostNatural Histories, and the Will to Knowledge

Seth Denizen, Anna-Sophie Springer, Etienne Turpin
Organized by Lindsay Bremner

In this Expanded Territories seminar, Denizen Springer and Turpin will consider the relationship among the construction of systems of thought, our knowledge of the Earth System, and what Michel Foucault, following Nietzsche, describes as the will to knowledge. By examining several key episodes in the mid to late nineteenth century, including Antonio Stoppani’s argument for an “Anthropozoic” era, Vasily Dokuchaev’s proposal for a soil science distinct from geology, Franz Wilhelm Junghuhn’s early cartography of Java, and Alfred Russel Wallace’s theory of biogeographical distribution, they observe how measurement as argument has advanced our understanding of the Earth system in its manifold complexity. Because these systems of thought are not given, but produced, they suggest “what real struggles and relations of domination are involved in the will to knowledge.” As the Anthropocene as an object of knowledge is being constructed by stratigraphers and geologists, a series of affinities connecting measurement, aesthetic practices and the production of evidence can be discerned. How measurement as argument will challenge our inherited views of the architectural object in the Anthropocene remains to be seen; what is evident already is that this will to knowledge frames both our perception of the world and our capacity to change it.

Seth Denizen is a designer and researcher who currently teaches in the Division of Landscape Architecture at Hong Kong University. Anna-Sophie Springer is a writer, curator, and editor and co-director of the independent press K. Verlag in Berlin, Germany. Etienne Turpin is the founder and director of anexact office in Jakarta, Indonesia, and author of Architecture in the Anthropocene, Encounters among Design, Deep Time, Science and Philosophy.

Call for Papers: The Mediated City, LA, Oct 2014

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The Mediated City, Part Two – Los Angeles
Woodbury University, Los Angeles , October 1-3 2014

Keynote Presentation: Kenneth Frampton

Taking as its starting point the 50 year anniversary of Marshall McLuhan’s Understanding Media and the idea of “the global village”, the conference aims to bring people from diverse backgrounds together around the issue of the modern city.

Deadline for abstracts February 15th; Deadline for full papers / detailed proposals June 15th


Fu Manchu in London, Friday 4th October 2013

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Fu Manchu in London: Lao She, Limehouse and Yellow Peril in the Heart of Empire

Friday 4th October 2013
University of Westminster, 115 New Cavendish Street, London W1W 6UW

We are pleased to announce a special one-day conference on the occasion of three inter-related events this autumn: the publication by Penguin Modern Classics of Lao She’s forgotten masterpiece of 1920s Chinese London, Mr Ma and Son, the launch at the Ovalhouse Theatre of Daniel York’s satiric play, The Fu Manchu Complex (dir. Justin Audibert), and, to mark the centenary of the first appearance of “the Yellow Peril incarnate in one man”, Lord of Strange Deaths: The Fiendish World of Sax Rohmer, a collection of essays edited by Phil Baker and Antony Clayton (Strange Attractor Press, 2013).

The day’s speakers will examine the contexts and enduring fascination of one of the world’s most notorious fictional villains, from the fin-de-siecle racial anxieties and obsessions that spawned Rohmer’s oeuvre to the skewed perceptions that have arisen around his pervasive influence. Of all the overseas Chinese who came to England during the inter-war years, Lao She was the only one to confront the popular Sinophobia endemic in British society directly. Mr Ma and Son: Two Chinese in London (Er Ma, 1929) portrays the pernicious effects of the media on the lives of Chinese people in London. Based on his own experiences in London and written principally for a Chinese readership, the novel gives us a rare, if not unique, picture of the social and commercial affairs of the shop-keepers, café proprietors, and seafarers, that made up the major part of London’s small Chinese community, then based in Limehouse in the East End. Daniel York’s play, The Fu Manchu Complex challenges the resonances of ‘Yellow Peril’ stereotypes for the 21st century in a satirical pastiche of classic British cinema. Five East Asian actors ‘white up’ in the style of slapstick and Victorian music-hall comedy to play the traditional colonials in a murder mystery set in the East End.

Admission is free but please register by emailing Dr Anne Witchard at:


10.00AM – “Some Kind of Admiration or Respect”: Dr Fu Manchu as Hero
Phil Baker

10.45AM – The Case of the Yellow Peril Then and Now
Dr Ross Forman (University of Warwick)

11.30AM – 11.45AM – coffee

11.45AM – Fu Manchu, Orientalism and Arabophilia
Robert Irwin (SOAS /Times Literary Supplement)

12.30PM – 1.30PM – Lunch

1.30PM – Rohmer’s Odyssey
Antony Clayton

2.15PM – Mr Ma and Son: Limehouse and the Yellow Peril genre
Dr Julia Lovell (Birkbeck) in conversation with author Paul French

3.15PM – The Fu Manchu Complex
Daniel York and Justin Audibert will discuss their play, The Fu Manchu Complex, in production at the Ovalhouse Theatre in London.

The Fu Manchu Complex runs at the Ovalhouse, Kennington
1 – 19 October, Tues-Sat 7.45pm
BOOK / BOX OFFICE: 020 7582 7680

The Science Fiction Politics of Urban Crisis article

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A new article by David Cunningham and Alex Warwick has just appeared in the most excellent journal CITY, vol. 13, no. 4: ‘Unnoticed Apocalypse: The Science Fiction Politics of Urban Crisis’. The essay ranges over a number of contemporary texts from The Coming Insurrection to Rem Koolhaas’ Junkspace to the film District 9.

The nice people at Taylor & Francis Press are offering the first 50 people to make use of it free access to an eprint version from the following link:

Foreclosure conference, June 17-18 2013

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Brunel University & University of Westminster
1st Joint Researching the Arts/Social Sciences Conference for Research Students

The Pavilion, University of Westminster, 115 New Cavendish Street, London
June 17 & 18, 2013, 10:30-5pm

Keynote: Oren Ben-Dor, University of Southampton
‘Placial [in]justice: reflections on the wounded origin of political affectation’

Please join us at this two-day interdisciplinary conference Foreclosure that aims to bring together law, art and politics.  We understand foreclosure as the art of ordering and securing a common ground for the unfolding of a common experience; the exchange of affects and perspectives; and the performance of bodies and spaces. Art, Law and Politics habitually build walls around their concepts and practices. Foreclosure aims to encourage the exploration of practices and performances of law, art and politics through the prism of their shared operation; the investigation of the juncture between their disciplinary fences; and the unfolding of the fragility of their mechanisms. This is our aim: to dissect, dismantle and improve the operations of art, law and politics in order to locate cracks, produce apertures, and ride the lines of flight where new potentialities are generated.  The conference programme is attached.

Admission is free but places are limited. RSVP at

Call for Papers: The Mediated City

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The Mediated City
Two multidisciplinary conferences examining “the city”… a virtual, filmic, social, political and physical construct.

The Mediated City examines the metropolis as a contested concept. It offers a platform for multiple and diverse examinations of the city. It aims to bring together people from diverse backgrounds to fragment, multiply and reconfigure our readings of the city; to offer multiple and conflicting discipline perspectives. The intention is to share views of the city as physical entity, online community, film set, photographic backdrop, geographical map, sociological case study, political metaphor, digital or video game etc.. – to examine it as a mediated and shared phenomenon.

London Conference
April 1-3 2014, Ravensbourne College

Los Angeles Conference
October 2014 (tbc), Woodbury University

London Conference deadlines
15 September 2013: abstracts / initial proposals

Possible Formats:
20 minute presentations
60 minute panel discussions on selected themes
Workshop collaborative sessions
Screenings / Q&As

For full details visit:

Allan Stoekl Neoliberalism & Climate Change review

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Our Visiting Professor Allan Stoekl’s review of Adrian Parr’s book The Wrath of Capital: Neoliberalism and Climate Change Politics is currently up as a freebie on the Radical Philosophy site. Check it out here:

Michael Sorkin interview article

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The latest in a series of interviews with major figures in contemporary architecture and architectural theory, to be found in Vol 2, no. 4 of ARCHITECTURE_MEDIA_POLITICS_SOCIETY, is now available on-line.

Michael Sorkin, ‘Driving on the Left: A View of the Street, the City and Architecture’

Sardonic, cutting, insightful, provocative: Michael Sorkin is one of today’s most radical architectural commentators with a staunch leaning to the political left and a literary bent for framing painful truths in ironic, and sometimes hilarious, verse. He is a Distinguished Professor of Architecture and Director of the Graduate Program in Urban Design at the City College of New York. He is also Chair of Terreform, Center for Advanced Urban Research. He was the architecture critic of the Village Voice for ten years and has recently been appointed as a Visiting Professor in Architecture at Westminster.

Read it at:

Le Corbusier and the Challenge of a Pascalian Technocracy

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Wednesday 6th March, 4pm – 5.15pm
Wells Street, room 106

Allan Stoekl (Penn State University / IMCC)
“Le Corbusier and the Challenge of a Pascalian Technocracy”

Conference on The Olympic Park, Culture, and Regeneration – 30th January, 2013

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30 January 2013 in room MG14 Marylebone Campus, Marylebone Road

Our friends in Westminster’s School of Architecture and the Built Environment are hosting an event next week entitled ‘What is the role of culture in the regeneration of the areas around the Olympic Park?’ The event draws together practitioners and academics from a variety of professional backgrounds who will share their experiences and perspectives of cultural projects in the areas around the Olympic Park.

6.10 Introduction – Chair: Marion Roberts – Professor of Urban Design – University of Westminster

6.20 Dr Nancy Stevenson – Programme Leader: Tourism and Events – The Cultural Olympiad and cultural legacy

6.35 Ceryl Evans – Head of Museums and Culture, London Borough of Hackney – Mapping the Change

6.50 Dr Isaac Marrero Guillamón – Post Doctoral Researcher, Birkbeck – Critical art and the Olympic State of Exception

7.05 Adriana Marques – Principal Advisor for Arts and Culture, London Legacy Development Corporation – Culture at the heart of the Olympic Legacy

7.20 Liza Fior – Partner, Muf Architecture/Art – Future project and proposals

7.35 Questions and Discussion

Contact Details: For further details and to book please follow this link

Eyal Weizman lecture, January 29th

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Eyal Weizman, The Roundabout Revolution

January 29th 2013, 7pm
Department of Architecture, University of Westminster, 35 Marylebone Road, London NW1 5LS

Eyal Weizman, architect, curator and author of The Least of All Possible Evils: Humanitarian Violence from Arendt to Gaza will speak at the first of a 6 part lecture series: ‘Critical Humanitarianism’.  Eyal Weizman is Professor of Visual Cultures and director of the Centre for Research Architecture at Goldsmiths, University of London. Since 2011 he also directs the European Research Council funded project, Forensic Architecture, on the place of architecture in international humanitarian law. He is a founding member of the architectural collective DAAR in Beit Sahour/Palestine.

Religious tension, diminishing resources, city dwelling and environmental catastrophes continue to create vulnerable regions throughout the world.  The necessity for architects to address humanitarian and environmental issues in their practice is increasing.  Do architects have the means to address these issues through their work?  Or are we powerless to act?  Through a series of 6 talks addressing ‘Critical Humanitarianism’ by Architects volunteering for Charities or working with NGOs in the Development Sector we aim to raise some of the difficult ethical and political questions about Humanitarian work and it’s relation to power.

Architecture_Media_Politics_Society Kenneth Frampton interview

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If there is a modern invention that is apocalyptical, it is not the atomic bomb. It is the automobile…

A quick notice that Vol 1, no. 4 of ARCHITECTURE_MEDIA_POLITICS_SOCIETY is now available on-line. This month’s issue, ‘A Critical Architecture: Comments on Politics and Society’, is a fascinating interview-article with Kenneth Frampton.

Read it at:

Allan Stoekl seminar: Surrealism: Metaphor, Metonymy, and the Question of External Cost, Nov 21

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Wednesday 21st November, 4.00-5.30pm
Room 104, Univesity of Westminster, 32-38 Wells Street, London W1T

Professor Allan Stoekl
‘Surrealism: Metaphor, Metonymy, and the Question of External Cost’

Our Visiting Professor in the Institute this year, Allan Stoekl, will be giving a small series of seminars reading work from the book he is currently writing on post-sustainable cities, energy and the avant-garde.

The first of these will be on Wednesday 21st November from 4-5.30 in room 104, in the University’s Wells Street building. If you’d like to attend, do please email David Cunningham:

Allan is Professor of French and Comparative Literature at Pennsylvania State University. His many publications include the books Politics, Writing, Mutilation: The Cases of Bataille, Blanchot, Roussel, Leiris and Ponge (University of Minnesota Press, 1985); Agonies of the Intellectual: Commitment, Subjectivity, and the Performative in the Twentieth-Century French Tradition (University of Nebraska Press, 1992); and Bataille’s Peak: Energy, Religion, and Postsustainability (University of Minnesota Press, 2007).

New Reading Group at Carroll / Fletcher, Dec 12 2012

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Reading Group at Carroll / Fletcher Gallery
Chapter 1 | Organizing for the Anti-Capitalist Transition

December 12th 2012,7.30pm
Caroll / Fletcher, 56-57 Eastcastle Street, London W1W 8EQ

Chapter 1 is the first session in a series of participatory discussions that will use relevant, accessible texts as a starting point. For this opening meeting, we will be considering David Harvey’s 2009 text Organizing for the Anti-Capitalist Transition. In this essay, Harvey analyses the events that have led to the current economic crisis and maps out the various social movements that are currently challenging capitalism.

The discussion will be initiated by David Cunningham, writer, academic and Principal Lecturer in English Literature and Cultural Theory at the University of Westminster and editor at the journal Radical Philosophy; and Jon Goodbun, writer, academic and Senior Lecturer in Architecture at the University of Westminster. The conversation will be open to the audience and their contributions welcome.

To download David Harvey’s text click here

Booking essential as places are limited:

Refreshments will be provided

t +44 (0)20 7323 6111


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FRIDAY 23 NOVEMBER, 2012 2-7PM (followed by exhibition opening and reception)

An international symposium organised by the Architecture Research Group at the University of Westminster in conjunction with SOAS Seminars on Turkey.

The making of modern Ankara is a momentous yet oft-neglected episode in twentieth century history. The transformation of this ancient Anatolian town into the capital of the Turkish Republic captured the world’s attention during the interwar period, when Ankara became a laboratory of modernism and nation building.
Largely designed by European architects, the new capital embodied the reformist ethos of a secular state firmly projected towards the West. Today, as this sprawling city of over four millions seeks to reinvent its identity, its modern development is the subject of growing scholarship and public interest.

The half-day symposium brings together a panel of scholars from architecture, planning, art history, heritage, and Turkish studies to revisit the making of modern Ankara in a cross-disciplinary perspective, while also debating its legacy on the eve of the Republic’s 90th anniversary. The event will be followed by the launch of Building Identities, an exhibition about Ankara’s Republican architecture curated by the Turkish Chamber of Architects, Ankara branch.


PARTICIPANTS WILL INCLUDE: Elvan Altan Ergut, Middle East Technical University Martina Becker, ENGLOBE/Marie Curie, Middle East Technical University Lindsay Bremner, University of Westminster Eray Çaylı, University College London Davide Deriu, University of Westminster Benjamin Fortna, SOAS Zeynep Kezer, University of Newcastle Melania Savino, SOAS, Kunsthistorische Institut Florence

Queer London Conference: Call for Papers

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Queer London Conference: Call for Papers

Saturday 23rd March, 2013
Department of English, Linguistics and Cultural Studies, University of Westminster, London, UK

Keynote Speaker:
Dr. Matt Cook (Birkbeck College, University of London)

This one-day conference is dedicated to a consideration of London and its role in creating, housing, reflecting and facilitating queer life. It aims to bring together scholars from a variety of different disciplines and backgrounds to consider representations of queer London and how London itself represents queers.

That London is a focus and centre for queer life and culture can be seen on its stages; in its bar and club scenes; in its film festivals and its representations in film; in its performance art; in its political life; in its gyms; in its history; in its book groups and book shops; and in its representations in the contemporary queer fiction of writers like Alan Hollinghurst and Sarah Waters. What the ‘Queer London’ conference aims to do then is to offer an opportunity for further analysis and investigation of these representations / representational platforms and to consider the socio-cultural role that London plays in queer life. The conference will focus on the period 1885 to the present and welcomes interdisciplinary proposals and those from a wide range of disciplines, including: Literature, History, Art, Cultural Studies, Theatre and Performance Studies.

Please send abstracts of 500 words, or proposals for panels of three linked papers, by Friday 30th November 2012 to Dr. Simon Avery and Dr. Katherine M. Graham at the University of Westminster. Abstracts should be sent as Word attachments to and, and should include details of your current affiliation and a very short author bio.

Conference blog page:

New Journal Launch: Architecture_Media_Politics_Society

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ARCHITECTURE_MEDIA_POLITICS_SOCIETY is a new on-line, fully peer reviewed academic journal.

The journal is a forum for the analysis of architecture in the mediated environment of contemporary culture. It seeks to expand an understanding of architecture and its relationship with media, politics and society in its broadest sense. One international paper is published each month that deals with an issue or theme relevant to the journal. Dual language publications are encouraged. Selected authors are also invited to submit articles for a printed version of the journal.

Currently, the journal forum operates as a platform for a research project entitled Architecture as Political Image; an investigation into the use of architecture in political campaign imagery in the United States and the United Kingdom. It is run in affiliation with Ravensbourne (University College), London, and Florida State University, Tallahassee.

ISSN 2050-9006 For details about submissions visit the web site:

UPDATE: The second volume of issue one has just been published entitled Mythopoetics of the Kunsthalle. The issue contains an article arguing for a major reconsideration of the architectural profession that uses the notion of the Kunsthalle as its theoretical framework. The author, Manuel Schartzberg, is an architect and tutor currently working in the US. Previously, he worked for David Chipperfield Architects in the UK and his paper is partly based on his time there. You can read it at the web site:

Design Diplomacy seminars

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Two very interesting panel discussions taking place this week, as part of the Design Diplomacy series associated with the International Architecture and Design Showcase in Westminster’s P3 gallery at Marylebone.

Expanded Territories
Thursday 5th July, 2.00–4.00pm

This colloquium invites the audience to engage in a gallery talk and dialogue with participants of the Ambika P3 International Architecture and Design Showcase around questions of architecture’s role in (de)colonization, social (re)construction, national identity formation, human development and global (dis)integration in their countries. Participants include: Phillip Luell, Zahira Asmal, Bryan Bullen, John Allsop and Kevin Talma

Post-Colonial Legacies: South Africa and Namibia
Friday 6th July, 6.00–8.00pm

This panel discussion will exchange knowledge, ideas and experience about the agency of design (urban, architectural, industrial, fashion, graphic) in transforming life in cities in Namibia and South Africa since the end of apartheid. These will include questions of design’s agency in overcoming socio-spatial legacies of the past; design’s complicity in the recolonisation of cities by neo-liberal and market forces; the impact of mega events on host cities and priorities for design education to meet contemporary challenges. Panelists include: Marion Wallace, Guilermo Delgado, Diana Mitlin, Zahira Asmal, Yvette Gresle, Lesley Lokko and Philip Luehl.

For further details go to:

Narratives of Suburbia Programme Announced!

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Narratives of Suburbia

Friday 15th June 2012, 9.15am – 5.15pm
Room 354, University of Westminster, 309 Regent Street, London

Programme attached here: Narratives of Suburbia Programme[1]

Entrance is FREE but space is limited so please book your place in advance by contacting the organisers, Christopher Daley ( and Aisling McKeown (