Kent School of Architecture welcomes Dr Davina Jackson as first Honorary Academic

Kent School of Architecture warmly welcomes Dr Davina Jackson as its first Honorary Academic. Her appointment coincides with the publication by Lund Humphries of her latest book, Data Cities: how satellites are transforming architecture and design, in which she explains how rocket science and electronic technologies have changed obsolete practices and are expanding potentials for architecture and environmental design. The text surveys exceptional projects created by leading architects, scientists, artists, engineers, geographers, urbanists, gamers, gardeners, filmmakers and musicians who are reimagining life on our planet — and elsewhere.

Dr Jackson completed her PhD by publication  at KSA in 2017, following the publication  of her book on the Kent-born, New Zealand / Australian architect Douglas Snelling: Pan-Pacific modern design and architecture, on which she gave a talk to a full house for the Twentieth Century Society last year. Dr Jackson is an authoritative and highly respected historian and critic, and the CREAte research centre is delighted to host a continuing collaboration.

CREAte are pleased to announce the publication of Riverine: Architecture and Rivers by Routledge

Riverscapes are the main arteries of the world’s largest cities, and have, for millennia, been the lifeblood of the urban communities that have developed around them. These human settlements – given life hrough the space of the local waterscapes – soon developed into ritualised spaces that sought to harness the dynamism of the watercourse and create local architectural landscape. Theorised via a sophisticated understanding of history, space, culture, and ecology, this collection of wonderful and deliberately wide-ranging case studies, from Early Modern Italy tyo the contemporary Bngal Delta, investigates the culture of human interaction with rivers and the nature of urban topography. Riverine explores the ways in which architecture and urban planning have imbued cultural landscapes with ritual and structural meaning.

Edited by Gerald Adler and Manolo Guerci, the book results from the CREAte (Centre for Research in European Architecture) conference held in 2014, and contains a selection of papers from that event in addition to pieces specially commissioned for the publication.

Dr Luciano Cardellicchio receives mention at the 8th conference on Construction Research

Dr Luciano Cardellicchio presented the first results from his Leverhulme-funded research project ‘Our Future Heritage’ at the 8th International Conference on Construction Research organised by the prestigious Eduardo Torroja Institute in Madrid. The principal purpose of the institute is to carry on scientific research and technical development in the field of construction and construction materials.

The paper titled ‘Ageing pattern of Contemporary Concrete: the case study of the Jubilee Church by Richard Meier in Rome’ has received a mention from the conference jury, which included the editor of Casabella Professor Francesco Dal Co, award-winning Portuguese architect Eduardo Souto De Moura, and the Director of the Eduardo Torroja Foundation Pepa Cassinello.

CASE Dalby Square Project ‘highly commended’ at Kent Design and Development Awards

The Centre for Architecture and the Sustainable Environment’s Dalby Square project was shortlisted in three categories: Conservation, Residential Minor and Environmental  Performance in the Kent Design and Development Awards and won ‘highly commended’ in the Environmental Performance category. Focusing on key national priorities of climate change and aging population, the project evaluated exemplar climate change adaptation and retrofit strategies for heritage townhouses, while promoting opportunities for inter-generational living.

The Dalby Square project in Margate is a cross-sector collaboration between Kent County Council (KCC), Thanet District Council, CASE (Centre for Architecture and Sustainable Environment) at the University of Kent, the School of Psychology and the private sector. The aim was to develop and retrofit the KCC owned property at 12a Dalby Square into an exemplar residence that simultaneously addresses the challenges of climate change and promotes opportunities for inter-generational living, whilst also ensuring that the existing architectural details of the property are conserved and restored.

The refurbishment of the heritage townhouse in Dalby Square, Margate, has been completed and Kent County Council are looking for tenants. The three-generation family will be part of the innovative project, where extensive monitoring will take place, to evaluate the climate change adaptation strategies, whilst focusing on overheating, thermal comfort and energy performance, while testing the concept of multi-generation living. A ‘Sustainable Heritage Toolkit’ will be published to help other coastal towns across the UK.

Dr Timothy Brittain-Catlin joins the World Architecture Festival

Timothy Brittain-Catlin will be joining the world’s leading architects at the World Architecture Festival in Amsterdam at the end of November. The Festival’s super jury includes Sir David Adjaye and Nathalie de Vries, director and co-founder of MVRDV, and other participants include Simon Allford, Allison Brooks, Nigel Coates, Peter Cook, Deborah Saunt and many more from all over the world. Rem Koolhaas, Reinier de Graaf and Charles Jencks are among the speakers, and Catherine Croft, director of the Twentieth Century Society, and the editor and critic Catherine Slessor will also be participating.

Dr Brittain-Catlin will be part of a judging panel that includes Joyce Owens of Studio AJO and Torben Østergaard of the international Danish practice 3XN for the Future Projects category. The Festival runs from 28th to 30th November and will be held at the RAI Amsterdam convention centre.

The World Architecture Festival is the only global awards programme where architects present their completed buildings and future projects live to a panel of internationally renowned judges and delegates from around the world. This year there will be more award finalists to see, more presentations and prizes to be received, more delegates to network and more fringe activity than ever before.

Professor Gerald Adler published in Architecture Philosophy journal

‘Architecture is concealed unto itself: Helmuth Plessner and his influence on twentieth-century architecture’, written by Gerald Adler has just been published in the latest issue of the journal Architecture Philosophy. This is the journal of the International Society for the Philosophy of Architecture, and is a special issue devoted to papers presented at its major conference in 2016 at Bamberg University, Germany. The conference topic was ‘The Human in Architecture and Philosophy’ and Adler presented a paper on Plessner, one of the key philosophers of Weimar-era ‘Philosophical Anthropology’. He elucidates Plessner’s ‘place’-centred philosophy, and contrasts this with the time-centred thinking of his far more well-known peer Martin Heidegger. Adler presents the architectural implications of Plessner’s thinking, demonstrating this through the design of his own house (by Lucy Hillebrand), and by allusions to the pragmatic approach of the Viennese architect Josef Frank. The article will be of interest to those who wish to go beyond mere appearances to get to the philosophical underpinnings of design. It will also come as an antidote to those who recoil at ‘philosophy’ (and certainly the difficulties of Heidegger’s writing), and to those with an interest in the wider cultural and anthropological implications for architecture.

Guest-edited by the conference organisers, Martin Düchs and Christain Illies, the journal contains a number of interesting articles, including ones by keynote speakers Karsten Harries and the (recently topical) Roger Scruton.

KASA Open Lecture: Matthew Butcher, founder of P.E.A.R.

The last Kent School of Architecture open lecture of 2018 will be hosted by KASA (Kent Architectural Student Association), and will be given by Matthew Butcher, editor and founder of P.E.A.R. (Paper for Emerging Architectural Research) and Senior Lecturer in architecture at the Bartlett School of Architecture. The lecture, entitled, ‘Provocation and Performance’, will take place on Tuesday 27 November at 6PM in Marlowe Lecture Theatre 1.

Matthew Butcher is an academic, writer and designer. His work has been exhibited at the V&A Museum, London; Storefront for Art and Architecture, New York; The Architecture Foundation, London and the Prague Quadrennial, Prague. Recent projects and exhibitions include ‘2EmmaToc/Writtle Calling’ a temporary radio station in Essex,  ‘Flood House’ a floating architecture developed for Southend and ‘The Mansio’, a retreat for writers and poets, which was nominated for the 2017 Architects Journal Small Projects Prize. Matthew is also the editor and founder of the architectural newspaper P.E.A.R.: Paper for Emerging Architectural Research and Senior Lecturer in Architecture at the Bartlett School of Architecture; where he is also Director of the Undergraduate Architecture Programme.   He has contributed articles and papers for journals including Conditions, Architecture Research Quarterly (ARQ), the RIBA Journal and Architecture Today. He is also Guest Editor, along with Luke Pearson, for the upcoming special issue of AD titled Re-Imagining the Avant-Garde: revisiting the architecture of the 1960s and 1970s.

Matthew Butcher’s work, formed of designs, actions and events, operates as a provocation within particular social, cultural and political contexts associated with the inhabitation of suburban and rural environments.  This includes coastal sites in Essex affected by rising sea levels or the neglect of abandoned mines in the South West of England. Manifesting as built structures, events, drawings and scaled models, the work explores spaces and forms that are performative. That is to say, the material state of the architecture changes, or is perceived to change, in relationship to conditions such as the environments in which they are located, or through the actions of the people who inhabit them. Cross referencing his practice with the work of architects and artists working across the disciplines of art, architecture and performance in the 1970’s, Butcher will seek to ask whether we can, through the re-contextualization of historical models, re-enact an architectural Avant-Garde today? And he will question what the use of this mode of practice can mean to the future of the discipline?

KSA students design dystopian future as part of AIA Student Charrette 2018

The Kent School of Architecture entered this year’s AIA Student Charrette competition, held at the Roca Gallery in London. The team consisted of Edoardo Avellino, Ben Child, Ines Combalat, Kyle McGuinness, Jake Obichere and  Christine Wong from Stage 3, BA (Hons) Architecture.

The competition saw an array of participants from six universities and with the hope of continuing last year’s success as winners, a different challenge was posed. A daylong event, full of creativity, set the scene for a promising project. Set in Chelsea, at Lots Road Auction House, the brief for the day was split into two parts; i.e. to choose an object within the auction house, in order to describe its journey from the seller to the buyer, whilst imagining the process of the object in spatial and architectural form.

At the Lots Road Auction House, a member of staff gave a short talk about the type of items that are sold and the process of auctioning itself. Particular points stood out to us as we began searching for a concept. We were interested in how the bidding process had changed as technology and the world around had advanced, creating an auction house which worked mainly digitally now. This provoked us to speculate about the future of the auction house and how it may evolve as time goes on. Another interesting facet to the auction house is the bidding process itself and how people spend large amounts of money on items that they do not particularly want or need. This led us try to create a design that would match the drama of the bidding war in its architecture. These influences manifested in an imagined dystopian world where water is scarce and one of its few sources are sheets of ice, imported from the arctic, to be bid on in the Lots Road Auction House. This highlights how an item that is currently taken for granted should have much more value than we attribute to it and plays with the idea of exaggerating the tension within the auction house by bidding on a rare necessity.

In this scenario, we imagine that the Lots Road Auction House begins to sell ‘fresh, pure water from Arctic ice’ to its wealthy clientele, but as the conventional means of acquiring water becomes more restricted, demand increases for the Arctic-water. Due to this increased demand, the Lots Road Auction House moves in to the nearby power station and begins shipping in sheets of ice via the Thames. A shard of ice hangs between the two chimneys of the power station, slowly dripping in to a glass below it. The glass sits on a plinth in the centre of the power station, surrounded by hopeful bidders. Every time the ice drips in to the glass, a bid has to be made and when there is a drip with no bid, the most recent bidder lifts the glass from the plinth and drinks from it, replicating the hammer moment in the traditional auction house. As the bids are made, the new price is projected onto the side of the ice and the number of lights within the power station rise as the bid increases, elevating the tension of the process. From the outside, the city of London looks on as a level in the power station chimneys decreases, representing the ever-diminishing amounts of ice left in the Arctic. This in turn creates panic in the city, making its inhabitants flock to the power station to bid on water, once more increasing its value and adding to the intense nature of the bidding process. We portrayed this transformation of the Lots Road Auction House with various collages, models, sketches and drawings.

Overall, the judges were looking for a more conventional version of the auction house rather than the surreal proposal we developed. In the end, it was the students from the University of Westminster who succeeded to take this year’s title as winners of the AIA Student Charrette 2018. We learnt a lot during this CAD-free event, and it enabled us to be as creative as possible, learning how to respond to a brief through the methodologies of hand-drawing and model making.

We would like to congratulate the winning team and thank Amrita Raja, our mentor for the day, ROCA and Laufen for supporting yet another successful event.

By Jake Obichere and Ben Child
Stage 3, BA (Hons) Architecture

Steve Quartermain CBE to celebrate launch of MA Urban Planning and Resilience

To celebrate the launch of our new MA Urban Planning and Resilience course, Steve Quartermain CBE, the Chief Planner at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, is coming to the University of Kent to meet with students on the new masters programme, and to talk about the latest developments in policies in planning.

Steve began his career as a trainee planner having studied geography at Durham University. He took a postgraduate qualification and subsequently became an RTPI member in 1982. His early career was mostly in Development Management in Epping Forest and Dartford, before he moved to Yorkshire to take on the role of Head of Development Control, and in 1988 he was made Head of Planning.

The event is open to all current students, and all who are interested in studying on the new MA Urban Planning and Resilience programme, and will take place on Wednesday 21 November from 10.00 – 11.30 in Marlowe Lecture Theatre 1. If you have any queries about this event, or would like to find out more, please email architecture@kent.ac.uk.

Interested in studying MArch? Join our Google Hangout!

Kent School of Architecture are hosting an MArch Google Hangout with the MArch programme director, Michael Richards, on Tuesday 11th December at 12.00 – 13.00 GMT for all current and prospective applicants.

If you are interested in studying on the MArch programme for entry in September 2019, and would like to find out more information about the course structure, unit system, entry requirements and would like an opportunity to have your queries answered, then please email ksaadmissions@kent.ac.uk to book onto this event.