The first Postgraduate Research Seminar of the year will be given by Iliona Outram-Khalili with her talk titled, ‘Unity within diversity: Masonry, method and analogy in the Byzantine Church of Hagia Sophia, Thessaloniki’ on Wednesday 22 January from 4 – 5pm in the Digital Crit Space.
This PhD thesis proposes that load-bearing masonry architecture contains analogies for timeless, metaphysical truths, experienced with all the senses. How can one prove this if the mason-builders of the great historical cathedrals, mosques, palace precincts, and temples never wrote it down? There aren’t any masons who wrote, “while I was setting up the central compass I was meditating on God as the unitary source of all being, and then I started to build the dome in a circle and I thought, yes, the circumference depends on the centre but the centre does not need the circumference!”. Therefore, how can one show that the poetics of building could be an initiation into a holistic, creative meditation, and a journey to mature consciousness?
This thesis selects the typical 7-8th century Byzantine church of Hagia Sophia Thessaloniki, to compare the ritual actions and iconography with the masonry architecture; it is a unique example of this Byzantine dome-in-cross ‘typos’ because it has the core of its original mosaics, and in it the early liturgies are still celebrated. My research finds analogous themes in all three disciplines, enabling me to propose intention by the master masons to transmit such timeless and metaphysical truths through the architecture. This helps us to re-discover a language of architecture that guides humans to being in harmony natural environment, much needed at a time that humans are destroying the earth. The thesis also seeks to rediscover creative hands-on work as a healing for the individual and the community. It is to be hoped that the conclusions of this research are transferable to modern architecture and sustainable arts and technologies.
By Iliona Outram-Khalili, PhD Student
The next CREAte Open Lecture of the academic year will be given by John Goodall, Architectural Editor of Country Life, with his talk titled, ‘Under a spell: Gothic 1500 – 1700’. The lecture will take place on Tuesday 21 January at 6pm in Marlowe Lecture Theatre 1.
It is often supposed that the course of 16th century England abandoned its medieval traditions of architecture. In fact, medieval buildings continued to be admired and to shape English architecture. This lecture will explore some of the ways in which medieval architecture was preserved, imitated and understood prior to the Gothic revival in the 19th century.
Dr Timothy Brittain-Catlin is one of the speakers at the first in a series of Roundtables on Heritage, organised by the University’s Centre of Heritage under the direction of Dr Sophie Vigneron, Reader at Kent Law School. The event will look at the significance of historic buildings as cultural symbols, and how to address the problems and ethical questions that surround their restoration; i.e. who plays a role in the process? What kind of decisions are they making?
One of the central issues is that of the historical recreation, sometime referred to as ‘pastiche’ architecture, and this came to the fore particularly in the aftermath of the recent major fire at Notre Dame cathedral in Paris. Dr Brittain-Catlin will speak on the theme, ‘There is no such thing as pastiche’. He will be joined by the Surveyor to the Fabric of Canterbury Cathedral, Jonathan Deeming who will be speaking about ‘Challenges of preservation for the Cathedral of Canterbury’, Dr Emily Guerry from the School of History on the topic, ‘The history and identity of the Gothic cathedral’, and Andrew Edwards from Canterbury Cathedral Trust who will be finishing the evening off with, ‘Giving for a good cause, why give to heritage?’.
The first roundtable will be on Monday 20 January from 6pm – 8pm in the Moot court room, Widoger Law Building. The discussion will be followed by a drinks reception.
The upcoming CASE (Centre for Architecture and the Sustainable Environment) Open Lecture will be given by Kristen Guida, manager at London Climate Change Partnership with her talk titled, ‘From Science to Policy – adapting London to climate change’ on Tuesday 28 January at 6pm in Marlowe Lecture Theatre 1.
Adapting to climate change requires good evidence-based policy and interventions. That means making strong links between science policymakers, and practitioners across different sectors. The London Climate Change Partnership exists to facilitate those links and ensure that those responsible for making the city climate resilient have the best evidence at their disposal and the capacity to use it.
Kristen has been working for nearly fifteen years on climate change adaptation, currently as manager of the London Climate Change Partnership, and previously as director of Climate South East and Chair of Climate UK. Her major interest is in convening partners from across sectors and helping them work together to respond to the social and environmental challenges presented by climate change. In particular, she is interested in the social justice issues raised by climate change and the need to incorporate equity in adaptive planning. In her previous life, she worked on human rights, as a Senior Researcher on political rights, civil liberties and press freedom at Freedom House in New York.
The first open lecture of 2020 will be hosted by the Kent School of Architecture and Planning’s Digital Architecture Research Centre (DARC), with Fabrice Bourrelly with his talk titled, ‘Unreal Engine: Real-time interactive design for Architecture’ taking place on Thursday 16th January 2020 at 6pm in Marlowe Lecture Theatre 1.
In this lecture, Fabrice will explain why the shift in gaming technology matters today. He will highlight how the technology is used throughout a wide spectrum of industries and more specifically in architecture and design. He will then demonstrate a live project to uncover the features and benefits of working in real-time.
Fabrice Bourrelly was originally introduced to the Unreal Engine community when he presented the Unreal Engine for Architecture webinar series in 2017, where he shared insights and tips based on his deep knowledge of Unreal Engine. Frabrice, a licensed architect since 1996, has worked as a freelance architectural visualisation designer over his entire career. From his London-based studio, he has worked for clients as diverse as Google, Bentley, Anish Kapoor, Thomas Heatherwick, and Zaha Hadid. Since 2017, he has been helping companies and individuals learn Unreal Engine, teaching online, and Unreal training centers and academy as well as creating and presenting UE4 demon content for Epic Games in the US, Europe and Asia.
Deputy Head of School, Professor Marialena Nikolopoulou to speak at the upcoming Edge debate titled, ‘Climate Responsive Urbanism: How can professionals meet the challenge of urban densification in a time of climate change?‘ on 9th January 2020.
The event will be jointly hosted with The Urban Design Group, and is the first in a series of debates entitled ‘Cities, Climate and Critical Urban Infrastructure’. The series looks to explore the ‘consequences of current practices in building, urban design, planning, regulation and policy on critical urban infrastructure’. The event will be convened by Richard Lorch, Editor, Buildings & Cities, hosted by Robert Huxford, the Director of The Urban Design Group and chaired by Professor Rohinton Emmanuel, Glasgow Caledonian University. Professor Nikolopoulou will be joined by Gerald Mills, University College Dublin, Asaf Din, Perkins&Will, Rachel Toms, Public Health England, and Nicola Bacon, Founding Director of Social-Life.
The debate will be held at The Gallery, 70 Cowcross Street, Farringdon, London, EC1M 6EJ from 14.00 – 17.10 followed by networking. If you are interested in attending the event, please register here.