Organised by José Aragüez

The Building

Series: Evening Lecture and Book Launch
Date: Thursday 9 November 2017
Time: 18:30
Venue: Lecture Hall
Running time: 106 mins

Since 2014, José Aragüez has led the international project “The Building” which has yielded two symposia—at the Architectural Association and Columbia GSAPP in New York—and a theory seminar at Cornell University. The results of this work have culminated in a recent book from Lars Müller Publishers, which will be the topic of discussion at this event.


Forty-three contributors based in Europe and the US, including deans and academic leaders, architects, historians, theorists, philosophers, and doctoral candidates, offer poignant explorations of key architectural structures conceived across Asia and the West from the late 1980s to the present. In exploring these structures through a number of questions both intra- and metadisciplinary—like sameness, value, iconography, objecthood, the urban subject, boredom, and digital technologies—this volume suggests ways in which buildings can trigger conceptual frameworks whose influence extends beyond architecture into other domains of knowledge and practice. Such domains include cultural and intellectual history, philosophy, literary theory, the city, the arts, and design at large.


José Aragüez is an architect, writer, editor, researcher, and educator. He is Adjunct Professor of Architecture at Columbia University, where he leads graduate design studios. He has presented his work internationally across Europe, North America and in the Middle East, and taught, besides Columbia, at Cornell, Princeton, Rice University in Paris, and University of Granada.


Doreen Bernath is a theorist in architecture and visual culture. She is engaged in teaching and research in numerous international universities, including AA, UCL Bartlett and Leeds School of Architecture. Her publications explore histories and theories of design, visual culture and representation, transcultural studies, media theories and advanced digital architecture. She co-edited AHRA Architecture & Culture journal special issue on ‘This Thing Called Theory’ in 2016 and will take up the post of co-editor of RIBA The Journal of Architecture in 2018.


Murray Fraser is Professor of Architecture and Global Culture, and Vice-Dean of Research, at the Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London, UK. He has published extensively on design research, architectural history & theory, urbanism, post-colonialism and cultural studies. Currently he is General Editor for the 21st edition of Sir Banister Fletcher’s Global History of Architecture (forthcoming 2018).   


Samantha Hardingham is the Interim Director of the Architectural Association. Samantha Hardingham is an architectural writer, editor and curator. Her most recent and celebrated work is the award-winning, two-volume anthology Cedric Price Works 1952-2003: A Forward-minded Retrospective published by the AA/CCA in October 2016. 


Douglas Spencer, author of The Architecture of Neoliberalism (Bloomsbury, 2016) and contributor to The Journal of Architecture, Radical Philosophy, Architectural Design, e-flux, AA Files, New Geographies, and Volume, is a critical theorist of architecture. He teaches at the Architectural Association and University of Westminster.


Beth Hughes is the Head of Architecture at the Royal College of Art. Educated in Australia, she worked for several practices before joining Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) in 2004. As an Associate she was responsible for projects in London, Latvia and the Middle East. In 2011 Beth established her own practice in Athens, Greece now based in London. Her work has been extensively published and awarded in several international competitions.


Image: The Building cover



All lectures are open to members of the public, staff and students unless otherwise stated.


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