Prof Marialena Nikolopoulou, will give a keynote presentation at the biggest international conference and exhibition in Latin America, in Bogota

Prof. Marialena Nikolopoulou, Director of CASE (Centre for Architecture and Sustainable Environment) and KSA Director of Research will give a keynote presentation at the biggest international conference and exhibition in Latin America, EKOTECTURA 2014 . The event takes place in Bogota, on 18-20 March.

EKOTECTURA is organised by the Colombian Academy of Architecture and design, whose objective is to promote good architectural practices around the world.  It is the biggest event in Latin-American on sustainability in design and construction.

For more information see  http://www.ekotectura.com/

Bleak Houses: Timothy Brittain-Catlin’s new book explores disappointment and failure in architecture

Kent School of Architecture is proud to announce that  Timothy Brittain-Catlin’s new book Bleak Houses has been published. Timothy Brittain-Catlin is a senior lecturer at Kent School of Architecture and his  writing has appeared in many publications including the Architectural Review.

bleakhouses

Bleak Houses investigates the underside f architecture, the stories of losers and unfulfillment often ignored by an architectural criticism that values novelty, fame, and virility over fallibility and rejection. Brittain-Catlin tells us about Cecil Corwin, for example, Frank Lloyd Wright’s friend and professional partner, who was so overwhelmed by Wright’s genius that he had to stop designing; about architects whose surviving buildings are marooned and mutilated; and about others who suffered variously from bad temper, exile, lack of talent, lack of documentation, the wrong friends, or being out of fashion

To read more please visit The MIT Press [1].

Bleak Houses: Timothy Brittain-Catlin’s new book explores disappointment and failure in architecture

Kent School of Architecture is proud to announce that Timothy Brittain-Catlin’s new book Bleak Houses has been published. Timothy Brittain-Catlin is a senior lecturer at Kent School of Architecture and his writing has appeared in many publications including the Architectural Review.

Bleak Houses investigates the underside f architecture, the stories of losers and unfulfillment often ignored by an architectural criticism that values novelty, fame, and virility over fallibility and rejection. Brittain-Catlin tells us about Cecil Corwin, for example, Frank Lloyd Wright’s friend and professional partner, who was so overwhelmed by Wright’s genius that he had to stop designing; about architects whose surviving buildings are marooned and mutilated; and about others who suffered variously from bad temper, exile, lack of talent, lack of documentation, the wrong friends, or being out of fashion.

“Bleak Houses is a unique guide through architecture’s own disconsolate circles of hell, from the hopelessness of revivalism to the curse of the mutilating extension. At once comic and bitter, wry and lachrymose, Brittain-Catlin’s Virgil inducts the reader in architecture’s vast lacunae of the mediocre, the disappointed and the sad. In speaking to and for the many buildings for which there is no discourse because they merit none, he skilfully reveals how failure can be a whole lot more illuminating than success. This book will make a lot of architects, myself included, feel very uncomfortable indeed.”
—Francesca Hughes

To read more please visit The MIT Press.

Careers Day with Practitioners – Stage 3

Yesterday, KSA held a Careers Day for Stage 3 students. After the successful careers event with Alumni last month, this event focused on those in practice. There were a total of 10 practitioners that came from various practices in the South-East who were on hand to provide advice to our students on recruitment and the work of their practice. This is invaluable to our students at this point in their studies as they are now beginning to look for their year out work experience in practice.

After the presentations were given, the students split off into small groups and the practitioners rotated around each group during the course of the afternoon. Students were able to get advice on CVs/portfolios, have mock interviews and have their questions answered by the practitioners.

career3web

Professional Studies Advisor, Tim Carlyle who organised the day said that the practitioners really enjoyed the day – they said they were glad to help at what can be a daunting stage for students, and wished there had been something in  their own
courses that had offered help in this way. They were also glad to be able to say that job prospects are now very much better – all students should be confident that they can find a reasonable job.
The students felt it very useful to meet real employers, and to get quite
few different personal perspectives on a range of topics , from their own work
examples and CVS, to what architecture is about in the real world.

Stage 3 student, Oliver Smail, added that the event yesterday was fantastic, hearing the architects talk about there experiences and what they get up to in the job made me fall in love with architecture all over again, very useful day. And interesting to meet and talk to the kind of people who are potential bosses of ours.

One student was actually made a job offer on the spot to become a Part 1 Architectural Assistant after finishing their BA (Hons) degree later this year.

Stage 2 Field Trip to Amsterdam

Stage 2 were given a choice of excursions this year to either Rome or Amsterdam. We chose to visit Amsterdam and although the group was smaller, we found the visit an amazing experience.

The Meininger hotel was incredibly good value and offered a continental breakfast each morning and for a hotel the most amazing shower! The rooms were comfortable and modern, and the staff were helpful and friendly.

The transport system in Amsterdam is extremely good value and we took full advantage, we purchased a GVB Card for €21 which lasted us the whole trip. We could travel by tram, bus or the metro system. During our stay we also walked a lot (an awful lot) and tried to avoid the cyclists who always have the right of way!!

The first day we toured the central Stock exchange and the older parts of the town. During the next few days we toured a mixture of contemporary buildings types including The Eye, a film museum and several art galleries. Amsterdam offers an eclectic collection of architecture both modern and old which is nestled together and makes for a very interesting city. The many canals and rivers offer interesting views and the opportunity for boat and ferry rides.

Of an evening many of us toured the town in search of restaurants and shops, there is a mix of cuisines available from traditional Dutch (don’t miss out on the opportunity to try the local cheese or waffles) to Argentinian, Chinese and Italian. Amsterdam has a certain reputation as a tourist destination but offers so much more especially to architecture students. An exhilarating and inspirational city.

The residential buildings were definitely a motivation and provided great precedents for our current module Collective dwelling.

Luciano Cardellicchio and Chris Gardner accompanied us on the visit and made great tour guides, they were not only entertaining but also informative. We found this trip to be very educational yet enjoyable and being a small group meant we got a lot out of it.

By Paula Priest and Natasha Paul
BA (Hons) Architecture Stage 2

Art Debate: Public Art

Professor Gordana Fontana-Giusti will take part in Art Debate: Public Art at Turner Contemporary on Thursday 6 March 2014 at 6 pm.

gordana_artdebate

The debate will involve the artist Alex Chinneck who realised From the Knees of My Nose to the Belly of My Toes, popularly known as the ‘Slidey House’, on Godwin Road in Cliftonville with the support of Margate Arts Culture Heritage (MACH) and Thanet District Council.

A panel of experts includes artists, curators, commissioners and architects.

For more information please click here.

Stage 2 Field Trip to Rome

In February 2014, Stage 2 students were given the opportunity to visit either Amsterdam for modern architecture or Rome for Renaissance and Baroque architecture. This review is about Rome where we had the chance to explore historical architecture, exotic music, delicious food and a lot of Italian coffee!

Hsien Jing Lee, Hiu Kwan SI and Syukri Rasidi
BA (Hons) Architecture Stage 2

THE TRIP
We arrived in Rome early evening and before officially beginning our trip, we had a chance to explore the city on our own starting with a delicious Italian dinner, dessert and espresso. We then took a night walk around the hotel area.

We started our second day by visiting the Campidoglio and took in the panoramic view of the Roman Forum from the top. Pacing along the streets, we visited several churches nearby and then went on to the Pantheon and Piazza Navona.

Our tutors led the way and gave “open air lectures” during each tour, we explored almost every street within the city and found that Rome has many different faces. Throughout the trip, we visited many famous and spectacular buildings, churches and museums including the Church of S. Agnese, Palazzo Farnese and Piazza del Popolo. We also looked at contemporary architecture such as the Maxxi Museum.

Apart from visiting buildings and taking lots of photos, we were assigned sketching assignments every day and spent hours with our sketchbooks out which has been great for our portfolios. We even had our “sketching crits” in Rome conducted by Dr. Nikolaos Karydis, giving feedback on the sketches we had completed. The sketching assignment also gave us time to appreciate the city.

In the evenings, we had the chance to get to know more about Rome by visiting places like the Colosseum, the Vatican Museum, the Capitoline Museum and the Campo Marzio. Apart from soaking up the architecture, we took the tram and subway in our free time to visit open markets and to enjoy various music performances at the Piazza Navona and in front of the Pantheon.

After wandering around the city, we used our remaining energy to search for good food. Rome is famous for its pasta, pizza and gelato, you can find lovely places all over the city however the hardest thing to decide is which restaurant to try! Under the recommendation of Dr. Nikolaos Karydis, we also got the chance to taste the best coffee in Rome with our tutors after the end of the fourth day and you could smell the coffee the moment you stepped into the shop.

TRANSPORTATION
The nearest metro station, which is also the central station in Rome, was within half a mile walk from our hotel. We did however travel mostly on foot around Rome so that we could explore and admire all the things in the city along the way.

Home|less: Postgraduate Interdisciplinary Conference

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Home|less: Postgraduate Interdisciplinary Conference

University of Kent, Canterbury, UK

20-21 June 2014

Call for Papers

Keynote Speakers:

Prof Gordana Fontana Giusti, Kent School of Architecture (University of Kent, UK)

Dr Marianne Amar, Musée de l’Immigration (Paris, France)

 

The house shelters day-dreaming,

the house protects the dreamer,

the house allows one to dream in peace.

Gaston Bachelard

On the most literal level we can understand the home as a physical construction which allows for an enclosed, inner space, that provides shelter and protection to an individual or individuals. Although the form that homes take may vary over the world, the needs they fulfil and the range of feelings they evoke are universal: protection, comfort, warmth, safety and privacy. In addition to these basic needs, the concept of home plays a pivotal role in constructing and shaping the individual identity both at a personal and a social level.

If each human being is defined by his or her home, what are the implications of being without a home? What does it mean to be homeless? What are the social problems connected to physical, spiritual and emotional lack or loss of one’s home? And how do ideas of homelessness, like ideas of home, change across time and space?

The centrality of home to discourses of identity, social policy, and culture means that homelessness has implications beyond the spatial, impacting on the political, psychological and ecological spheres, among others. Consequently, any examination of homelessness demands a multidisciplinary approach.

This Postgraduate conference, jointly organised by 3 schools of the University of Kent, aims at exploring the topic of homelessness across disciplines and fields of study. We therefore welcome 250-words abstracts for 20-minute papers and posters (research, art or photography) from all academic disciplines, including architecture and urban planning, sociology, politics, human geography, the arts, literature, history, philosophy, social psychology and ethnobotany. We particularly welcome contributions from postgraduate students and early-career researchers.

Topics may include but are not limited to:

  • Home and the city: homelessness in urban spaces
  • Home and the polis: policies and politics of homelessness
  • Home and society: social integration and group dynamics
  • Representing homelessness: literature, cinema and the arts
  • Ecological implications of homelessness
  • Cultural memory, diaspora, exile and identity
  • Architectural responses to homelessness: shelters and ephemeral constructions

Please submit abstracts for papers or posters, complete with a short biographical note, to kent.homeless.2014@gmail.com by 31 March 2014. Please include the words “Homeless Submission” in the subject of your email.

Successful applicants will be informed by mid-April.

Selected papers will be published in a special issue of Contention: The Multidisciplinary Journal of Social Protest (contentionjournal.org), dedicated to the conference.

If you have any queries or would like to have more information, please feel free to contact us at kent.homeless.2014@gmail.com or check our website: homelessconference2014.wordpress.com/

The organising committee:

Christina Chatzipoulka (Kent School of Architecture)

Christopher Chang (School of English)

Barbara Franchi (School of English)

Luca Di Gregorio (School of European Cultures and Languages)

This conference is organised with the support of the Kent Graduate School.