Professor of Planning, Samer Bagaeen, contributes to Localis’ C19 Housing Recovery Essay Collection

Professor of Planning, and MA Urban Planning and Resilience programme director, Samer Bagaeen, has written an essay titled, ‘Our participatory future’ in response to the theme, ‘The role of housing in supporting the most vulnerable in society’ for the Localis essay collection titled, ‘Building for renewal: Kickstarting the C19 housing recovery‘.

The collection, “encompasses how housing policy and the planning system could be directed to promoting opportunity and prosperity, building sustainable communities as well as supporting lives and engaging with society during the recovery.” It also seeks to answer the question, “What measures can be put in place to create an environment conducive to growth, enabling the housebuilding industry to get back to work safely and deliver the Government’s target of one million new homes by 2025?”

Professor Samer Bagaeen writes, “These are interesting times: people keeping at least two metres form each other; a substantial number of schools closed; all public gatherings cancelled; the UK Government and those around the world putting together ever-increasing stimulus packages; landlords not collecting rent; the homeless being told to stay put in hotels free of charge; and workers furloughed on full pay in some cases.

In more than one city, in England, local authorities went on the hunt for innovative solutions to seek ideas from their residents about the path for a green future. This was before the increasingly louder and louder calls for a green future in the post COVID19 world began to take hold. With pollution in some cities halving on account of the lockdown – lower vehicle emissions as people ditch their car, attention has also shifted to the carbon emissions caused by our built environment and what can be done to reduce these.

As a forum for sharing ideas, citizens’ climate assemblies have gained traction in cities like Oxford and Brighton and Hove. These assemblies bring together a small number of residents (50 in the case of Brighton and Hove), randomly selected to reflect local demographics, alongside a panel of advisors to help shape how a city could address the climate crisis and prioritise actions to take forward.”

Read more, and download the full essay collection here.

Dr Ben Tosland publishes book review in EAHN Journal Architectural Histories

Recently completed PhD student, Ben Tosland, has published a review in the EAHN journal Architecture Histories on Łukas Stanek’s new book Architecture in Global Socialism: Eastern Europe, West Africa, and the Middle East in the Cold War (2020). The book, as the title suggests, studies the exploration of architects from Eastern Europe in the global south making an important contribution to the studies of architecture history and socialist internationalism. The book is generously laden with previously unpublished images complementing Stanek’s illuminating text, doubling up as a serious piece of original research and attractive object for any architect or historian’s bookshelf.

Architectural Histories is the international, blind peer-reviewed scholarly journal of the EAHN that creates a space where historically grounded research into all aspects of architecture and the built environment can be made public, consulted, and discussed.

More of Ben’s work can be seen in our End of Year Show 2020.

Find out more about Architectural Conservation in Kent and Beyond

Kent School of Architecture and Planning are pleased to announce that we are hosting an online event for you to find out more about the world of Architectural Conservation with Programme Director, Dr Nikolaos Karydis, Senior Lecturer, Dr Manolo Guerci, and PhD student, Anske Bax on Tuesday 30 June at 14.00.

Never has it been so important to have the right skill sets and experience in the job market, now more than ever is the time to invest in higher education to better your chances. The MSc Architectural Conservation provides an invaluable process in delivering a theoretical knowledge to Heritage Conservation, and perhaps even more rewarding is the on-site experience within the modules. Participation with conservation professionals and organisations, provide a unique opportunity of seeing the multiple sectors of conservation practice, helping you to decide the right direction for a truly exciting and rewarding career.

2:00 – 2:30. ‘Recapturing Lost Architectural Heritage’, lecture by Dr Nikolaos Karydis

This lecture presents recent research in the visualisation of historic buildings in Turkey, Italy and the UK. It also shows how this research informs our teaching in the MSc programme in Architectural Conservation and presents recent student proposals for the repair and reuse of historic buildings in Kent.

2:30 – 3:00. ‘Studying Conservation in Kent’,  Anske Bax and Nikolaos Karydis

MSc in Architectural Conservation alumnus Anske Bax discusses with Nikolaos Karydis, the programme director, about his experience of studying architectural conservation and the way in which his postgraduate course prepared him for his current doctoral research in the University of Kent.

3.00 – 3.30. ‘Why do we preserve and why does it matter?’, Dr Manolo Guerci

This lecture asks a fundamental question when it comes to our understanding of the very complex factors that govern decisions on how we deal with our heritage. In particular, the lecture will highlight what is perhaps the main issue: how we manage a balance between those categories which naturally make a building worth preserving and those (many) controversial instances, across all periods. For, whilst regulations do exist – and vary according to different contexts, their interpretations depend on many factors (political, historical, cultural, economic, etc.). The module is therefore concerned with the historical and cultural aspects behind this complex scenario, so as to provide with an appropriate background for the choices that need to be made when approaching conservation.

If you’d like to attend this free online event taking place on Zoom, email ksapadmissions@kent.ac.uk to book your place.

Howard Griffin takes part in Creative Folkestone and South East Creatives’ Tech Week

MA Architectural Visualisation programme director, Howard Griffin, alongside Paul Simms and Fabrice Bourrelly, will be presenting at Tech Week, organised by South East Creatives and Creative Folkestone with their talk titled, ‘Designing architecture in a virtual space’ on Tuesday 16 June at 10.00am BST.

This talk will look at how gaming technology changes the way we think about design. In this discussion, Paul, Fabrice and Howard will explore the ways (Architectural) design is going through significant changes as 3D, VR and gaming technologies are maturing and becoming increasingly adopted across industries such as automotive, aviation and fashion whilst becoming affordable.

All talks will be live-streamed via the Creative Folkestone Facebook page; they are also inviting up to 10 people to join in the room via Zoom to take part in the live Q&A element. Places are limited so book your place.

PhD Student Anske Bax takes part in Online Reading Marathon

GIANCARLO DE CARLO AT 100 – Online Reading Marathon participation with Kent University and the Kent School of Architecture & Planning.  

By Anske Bax

What is it?

A public marathon of reading and visiting the works of Italian architect Giancarlo De Carlo. Promoted on social media through Instagram among the initiatives by the Committee for the Centennial of Giancarlo De Carlo. The reading marathon organised by Professor Antonello Alici of the University of Politecnica delle Marche, is entrusted to students and housed in De Carlo’s places and architectures in Italy and abroad. The two-years long programme promotes a research network of schools and institutions; inviting master and doctoral students to participate in a marathon of re-reading and re-visiting the writings and projects by Giancarlo De Carlo. The four-minute readings seek to encourage research seminars and symposia. Kent School of Architecture was one of the international institutions to have participated in the readings on the 2nd May 2020.

Who was Giancarlo de Carlo?

Giancarlo De Carlo (12 December 1919 − 4 June 2005) is a major figure in the architectural debate and practice of the 20th century for his capacity of reading contexts and exploring the tensions of the city. He built his first theoretical steps on William Morris and Patrick Geddes and revived the legacy of Giuseppe Pagano and Edoardo Persico. In 1993 he was awarded the RIBA Gold Medal, following the suggestion of Colin St John Wilson, who praised him as ‘the Master of Resistance’ and  ‘the most lucid of his generation of architect-philosophers-in-action’ – for his tireless critical action within the Modern Movement.

University of Kent’s involvement and perspective

International collaboration and wider project participation are very much the norm at the Kent School of Architecture and Planning. A mindset that I noticed almost immediately upon joining the school as a doctoral student. These proud collaborations including the marathon reading for Giancarlo De Carlo harness a wider academic unity and through peer involvement encourages one to open one’s mind in architectural theory. These projects are thanks to the wonderful staff of our department, including my experience made possible by the kind efforts of Dr Manolo Guerci and fellow PhD colleague, Benedetta Castagna.  It was a true honour to be asked to read an extract (Reading 7.1) by Giancarlo De Carlo about the work of Le Corbusier. The Swiss born architect who De Carlo identified as someone who was able to create a defined architectural language, but at some point, it lost connection with the reality of the contexts. A clear statement of De Carlo’s conception about the Modern Movement. My reading is one of many enlightening texts on the Instagram page. I would encourage anyone to participate in this two-year project by emailing myself or Benedetta Castagna.

 

Howard Griffin organises online conference as part of Architecture Media Politics Society

Howard Griffin, a member of the Centre for Research in European Architecture (CREAte) and the Digital Architecture Research Centre (DARC) has organised a conference called Connections: Exploring Heritage, Architecture, Cities, Art, Media and is part of the Architecture Media Politics Society (AMPS) research organisation’s series of major international conferences. AMPS sees the definition, debates and concerns of the built environment as intrinsic to those at the heart of other social, cultural and political discourses. Its focus is cross disciplinary and draws on the media, politics and the social sciences. It invites participation from all sectors: architects, planners, policy makers, artists, academics, the public and community activists. It functions as an open access platform for publication, a forum for debate through conferences and workshop, a conduit for book publications.

The conference, which will be hosted online on the 29 – 30 June 2020, notes that, particularly in recent months, the ‘digital’ is ubiquitous across all disciplines connected with life in cities: urban history, architecture, planning, art, design, media, communications, and more. As the tools we use today merge and blur across disciplines, this conferences asks educators and professionals to consider the following. How can we best manage, direct and utilise the unique potentialities of this interdisciplinary and technological moment? Are we rethinking objects of art and design from the past and future? Are we reconsidering modes of communication, styles of teaching and ways of living? Are we seeing new links between designed objects, visualised spaces and cultural meanings? Are we understanding creative, documentary and media practices in new ways? Are we developing our own knowledge through the technologies, tools or thinking of other disciplines?

A number of staff and students at the University of Kent will be presenting papers. Howard Griffin will be presenting about his virtual reality project, created with MA Architectural Visualisation students in his paper, The Future of the Past: Reconstructing St Augustine’s Abbey, Canterbury.  Head of School, Professor Gerald Adler will present his paper titled, ‘Script, Nondescript’, Professor Gordana Fontana Giusti will present her paper titled, ‘Designing Public Spaces to Empower Citizens: Reversing the Subject / Object Relation in Smart Cities’, and PhD student, Rafaella Siagkri will be presenting her paper titled, ‘Understanding and Preserving Cultural Heritage in Expressionist Architecture Using Virtual Reality.’

Professor Samer Bagaeen discusses 5G on #PlanTalk

Professor of Planning, and MA Urban Planning and Resilience Programme Director, Samer Bagaeen, recently joined Peter Kemp from the Greater London Authority in a discussion titled, ‘5G – A Double Edged Sword?’.

#PlanTalk raises the questions, “How ready are we for this jump when some areas struggle even with 4G? How has Brighton performed as a hotbed for this technology? what technology is going to benefit? What are the planning implications for new masts? Do the social benefits for instance being able to plan for resilience outweigh the environmental impact? There are so many questions around this topic and the technologies linked to it such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and driver-less cars.”

Watch the full discussion on YouTube.

MSc Architectural Conservation student, Asma Haddouk, shares her experience of studying at University of Kent

MSc Architectural Conservation student, Asma Haddouk, shares her experience of studying the conservation of historic buildings at the University of Kent over on the MSc Architectural Conservation blog with her post titled, ‘Thoughts from a Medieval Chapel – Studying Architectural Conservation at Kent‘.

The MSc in Architectural Conservation is fully recognised by The Institute of Historic Building Conservation (IHBC). The course provides both a thorough understanding of architectural heritage and the skills required to contribute to the preservation and development of historic sites. Benefiting from its location in the historic city of Canterbury, the programme combines the study of conservation theory and philosophy with an exploration of the technical aspects of repair and reconstruction. The city’s stunning cathedral provides students with an education resource, giving them the opportunity to learn from the conservation of a World Heritage Site.

 

Dr Tim Ireland publishes new paper, ‘Bateson Information Revisited: A New Paradigm’

Director of Digital Architecture Research Centre (DARC), and programme director for MSc Bio Digital Architecture, Dr Tim Ireland has published a new paper titled, ‘Bateson Information Revisited: A New Paradigm‘. This paper is the latest in a line of papers written in collaboration with Dr Jaime Cardenas-Garcia, University of Maryland. This paper is product of a presentation by Dr Cardenas-Garcia at Conference Theoretical Information Studies (TIS), which took place in Berkeley, California in June 2019.

The goal of this work is to explain a novel information paradigm claiming that all information results from a process, intrinsic to living beings, of self-production; a sensory commensurable, self-referential feedback process immanent to Bateson’s difference that makes a difference. To highlight and illustrate this fundamental process, a simulation based on one-parameter feedback is presented. It simulates a homeorhetic process, innate to organisms, illustrating a self-referenced, autonomous system. The illustrated recursive process is sufficiently generic to be the only basis for information in nature: from the single cell, to multi-cellular organisms, to consideration of all types of natural and non-natural phenomena, including tools and artificial constructions.

IMAGE CREDIT: IS4SI 2019 SUMMIT

Professor Gordana Fontana-Giusti interviewed by TRT World on life of Vittorio Gregotti

Professor of Architecture and Urban Regeneration, Gordana Fontana-Giusti, was recently interviewed for a second time by Turkish television channel, TRT World as part of their flagship arts and culture programme, ‘Showcase’ on 4 May.

The episode titled, ‘Obituaries during the pandemic’ invited Professor Fontana-Giusti to discuss the life and work of renowned Italian architect and urban designer, Vittorio Gregotti, who sadly passed away of Covid-19 on 15 March in Milan. The interview discusses Vittorio Gregotti’s role in establishing architecture as a key art form and his life’s work including his work on industrialisation and the organisation of the Milan Triennale in the 1960s.

Watch the full interview online now. Professor Gordana Fontana-Giusti’s segment begins at 7m 50s.