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.
‘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.
In March 2018, the University of Kent will take part in the British Council’s Creative Industries Roadshow in East Asia, showcasing study and career options in architecture, design and the arts. The Roadshow includes events in Tokyo, Hong Kong and Seoul.
These events are great opportunities for anyone considering working in the creative industries. Professor Gerry Adler, Deputy Head of Kent School of Architecture, will be traveling to all three cities as part of the Roadshow.
In Tokyo and Seoul he will deliver a seminar, “Understanding the Past, Building the Future”. This will aim to answer questions like “How do we live? How do our houses and apartments look, and how do they combine to make our villages, towns and cities?” The event will also feature academics from other UK universities across design, fashion and the arts, talking about how these disciplines respond to 21st century challenges and how you can prepare yourself for careers in these fields.
In Hong Kong, Professor Adler will take part in a panel session with locally-based architecture professionals, talking about the built environment and taking audience questions. Also present, will be academic staff from Film (Dr Maurizio Cinquegrani) and Digital Arts (Dr Rocio von Jungenfeld).
Professor Gerald Adler recently gave a Think Kent lecture entitled, ‘Sauf aux Riverains: the riverine memorial of Georges-Henri Pingusson’ which you can watch below: