Former PhD student, Itab Shuayb creates campaign for inclusive communities during Covid-19

Former Kent School of Architecture and Planning PhD student, Itab Shuayb, creates inclusive campaign with cohort of architecture students at the American University of Beirut as part of their final project in her Inclusive Design course, with the collaboration of the Disability Hub at the Centre for Lebanese Studies, LAU, in Lebanon.

 

Itab writes, “Inclusive design is a human-centered approach that acknowledges the rights of all people regardless of age, gender, ability, religion, and ethnicity to participate and contribute to their society. This campaign sheds light on the main issues and barriers that diverse people have encountered during the crisis of Covid-19. Five videos have been designed inclusively with subtitles in in English Language, audio description, and graphic animations that convey the slogan, If the Corona Pandemic does not exclude anyone, so why does social justice not include us all.”

Watch the campaign videos over on the Centre for Lebanese Studies YouTube channel.

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 The book is generously laden with previously unpublished images complementing Stanek’s illuminating text, doubling up as a serious piece of original research and attractive object for any architect or historian’s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.

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.

 

‘Think Kent Discovers’ launches with ‘Restoring the Palace of Westminster’ by Dr Henrik Schoenefeldt

University of Kent’s Research Services and KMTV commissioned a series of research documentaries titled, ‘Think Kent Discovers’ whereby researchers and field experts will host interactive talks featuring topical discussions.

Dr Henrik Schoenefeldt‘s documentary, ‘Restoring the Palace of Westminster’ which originally premiered at the RIBA in London at the end of 2019, will be live streamed on Tuesday 19th May 2020 at 19.00 on YouTube and the University of Kent’s Facebook page.

The film analyses Dr Schoenefeldt’s extensive research project on the Houses of Parliament’s historic ventilation system and how it shaped the overall design of the building. Following the film screening, there will be presentations from PhD students who have been involved in the project, and a live panel debate featuring:

  • Dr Henrik Schoenefeldt, Senior Lecturer in Sustainable Architecture at the University of Kent
  • Professor Dean Hawkes, Emeritus Professor of Architectural Design at the Welsh School of Architecture, Cardiff University and an Emeritus Fellow of Darwin College, University of Cambridge
  • Richard Ware, Former Director of the Palace of Westminster Restoration and Renewal Programme

This is a free event; book your place via EventBrite.

Future events as part of the ‘Think Kent Discovers’ series are:

Thursday 28 May at 19.00: “Mary Rose – A Chemical Conundrum”
The documentary explores how a team from the School of Physical Sciences helped to preserve, and put on display, the pride of the Tudor fleet.

Week commencing 1 June: “Peru – A Living Memory” (details to be confirmed)
Researcher Natalia Sobrevilla Perea, from School of European Culture and Languages, wants to teach citizens about all aspects of  Peru’s history in order to create a fully realised national identity for future generations of Peruvians.

If you have any queries, please feel free to email ref2021@kent.ac.uk

Former KSAP PhD student, Itab Shuayb, publishes new book

A big congratulations to former KSAP PhD student, Dr Itab Shuayb, who has published her new book titled, ‘Inclusive University Built Environments: The Impact of Approved Document M, for Architects, Designers and Engineers‘.

Dr Shuayb’s book focuses on an area of her PhD research which was to investigate whether universities adopting the British Accessibility regulations have impacted the built environment to the level that it became inclusive or whether the built environment is accessible for only people with mobility impairment. Dr Shuayb’s PhD research was done in collaboration with the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE) their specialists for inclusive design. CABE’s inclusive design work has since been incorporated into the Design Council agenda. Professor Gordana Fontana-Giusti was Itab’s first supervisor, with her second supervisor being Ann Sawyer, an access consultant based in London.

Dr Shuayb writes, “This book focuses on examining accessibility in the educational sector in the UK to investigate whether adopting an inclusive design approach in a university setting is preferable to just meeting legal building requirements. Six building case studies at the University of Kent were selected in order to investigate whether the design solutions had addressed the needs of a wide range of users. Moreover, the book investigates the impact of the legislation and Building Regulations on  six different university buildings dating from six different decades, the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s and 2010s, at the Universities of Essex, Bath and Kent to determine whether they have achieved inclusive design .The book then sets out a proposal to deliver the benefits of adopting the inclusive design approach by recommending alternative design solutions to tackle accessibility barriers that affect a wide range of users, including individuals with disabilities at the University of Kent.”

 

PhD students to present at SAHGB Architectural History Workshop

Two Kent School of Architecture and Planning’s PhD students, Ben Tosland and Rafaella Siagkri are due to present at The Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain’s Architectural History Workshop 2020. This year’s workshop is due to take place at a postponed date, and will take place at The Galley in London. The theme of this year’s workshop is, ‘Beyond the Academy: Architectural History in Heritage, Conservation and Curating’.

Ben Tosland will be presenting with his talk titled, ‘Methodological reflection: problems researching 20th century architecture in the Persian Gulf’. Ben’s doctoral thesis thesis faced numerous methodological challenges which this presentation will discuss, sharing the problems – in some cases unsolved – with researching a region in constant political and economic flux, characterised by cultural, political and economic contrasts. He will discuss the issues surrounding what study material to choose, or which buildings might be necessary, explaining the case studies and architects I chose for my thesis (focusing on Max Lock, Candilis-Josic-Woods, Alfred Roth, Doxiadis Associates and Jørn Utzon), describing their position in the Gulf’s contribution to a picture of a global modernism.

Rafaella Siagkri will be presenting, ‘Virtual Reality as an investigative tool to better understand architecture in historical films’. Her presentation will assess the significance of Virtual Reality (VR) as a reconstruction method. Using 3Ds Max Software to model film sets from the film The Cabinet of Dr Caligari and using Unreal Software to transfer to Oculus Rift technology will allow the generation of VR simulations to be used in this study. This provides the capability to recreate old, iconic expressionist film sets and to better understand its space.

Two further scholarships available for Architecture PhD applicants

Kent School of Architecture and Planning are pleased to announce two further scholarships for our Architecture PhD applicants:

Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Scholarship

  • Fee waiver at Home/EU rate
  • Maintenance stipend of £15,009 per year (2019/20 rate)
  • Open to Home/EU applicants but there might be an opportunity for an excellent overseas applicant
  • Deadline: 27 March 2020

The deadline for PhD Architecture applicants has been extended to 27 March.

The second scholarship is the Kent-Lille Joint (Cotutelle) PhD Scholarships

  • Fees and Stipend at the standard Research Council rate (Home/EU rate only, £15,009 in 2019/20)
  • Funding 4 PhD scholarships (2 in the field of Humanities, 1 in Social Sciences and 1 in Sciences)
  • Jointly supervised PhDs
  • Criteria: 1) Scholarships are available on a cotutelle (dual award) basis only 2) Students have to spend at least 12 months at Kent and Lille 3) Before applying students are required to identify an academic supervisor from Kent and Lille.
  • How to apply: contact the relevant academic school as early as possible and identify a supervisor at Kent and discuss your cotutelle plans with them. Applicants will need to complete a ‘Cotutelle Statement’ which explains why a cotutelle arrangement is necessary for their project (150 words).
  • Deadline: PhD offer in place by Friday 17 April 2020

If you have any queries about applying for Architecture PhD, feel free to email ksapadmissions@kent.ac.uk.

Postgraduate Research Seminar: Iliona Outram-Khalili

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

PhD Student Christopher Moore wins prestigious award at National Railway Heritage Awards

Kent School of Architecture and Planning PhD student, Christopher Moore has won with his company the Craft Skills Award at the National Railway Heritage Awards in London for his project to conserve Battle Railway Station in Sussex. The award recognises craftsmanship skills in the use of materials and modern technology in the repair and conservation of historic railway buildings and is judged on a national standard with 100s of projects from across the UK being considered for the prestigious award.

Christopher, who is a chartered surveyor and building conservation accredited specialist, worked alongside Canterbury-based Clague LLP in a joint partnership to deliver the design and the main works for Network Rail and Southeastern Railways. The project involved conserving the station, which is said to be, ‘one of the finest Gothic-style small stations in the country’, whilst ensuring no delays to the trains, no station closures, and that the works were undertaken to BS:7913 for excellence in building conservation. The judges were impressed with the scale of the task at hand and the excellent standard of conservation to this nationally important heritage asset.

Chris said, “It was an honour to work on this project and an absolute dream to be awarded by this national awards scheme. From sourcing the original construction drawings, using digital technology to form the stonework, undertaking sensitive conservational repairs through many nights so as not to shut the station for the public, and the huge amount of research in sourcing vernacular suppliers to match the original materials from the 1850s, we worked incredibly hard on this project and I am very grateful for us to be honoured.”

This week’s Postgraduate Research Seminar: Rawan Allouzi

This week’s Postgraduate Research Seminar takes place on Wednesday 13 February at 4 – 4.45pm in the PGR Hub at the Kent School of Architecture. This week’s PhD Candidate is Rawan Allouzi who will be be presenting her research titled, ‘Vernacular Architecture in Jordan: Vernacular transmission to meet the contemporary needs of the 21st century’.

‘Vernacular architecture is that kind of architecture which is related to specific time and place. It is most frequently applied to residential buildings. In the past, vernacular architecture did not use formal-educated architects, but depend on tradition and the skills of local craftsmen and builders. However, since the end of the 19th century, a lot of specialised architects have worked in this style which now represents part of sustainable design. All forms of vernacular architecture are built to meet specific needs, accommodating the values, economies and ways of living of the cultures that produce them.’ – Rawan Allouzi