Items where Subject is "Architecture"

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Number of items at this level: 11.

D

This article describes a pedagogical approach to collage based on the work of art historians John Berger (1926–2017) and Aby Warburg (1866–1929). Its aim is to understand how images can be used to develop critical visual thinking skills within the context of architectural education and architectural theory in particular. Drawing on the notions of ‘visual literacy’ and ‘visual learning’ familiar from educational theory, the article proposes collage as a means to challenge the predominantly verbal modes of assessment prevalent in contextual and critical studies, where ‘contextual’ refers to the wider contexts (cultural, social, historical, theoretical) within which architecture is situated.The Collage Workshop, which the author has developed over the last five years whilst working closely with students at both undergraduate and postgraduate level, is a concrete attempt to implement visually oriented forms of learning and reduce the reliance on written assignments across the curriculum. By analysing some examples of collages produced by students who participated in the workshop, the article hopes to show how images can be used in the construction of an argument and, perhaps more crucially, how seeing assumes meaning in an image-saturated world.

Within the last two decades, the use of the term laboratory or ‘lab’, as it is often abbreviated to, has become widespread in both the profession and
in education. ‘Spacelab’, ‘Arch LAB’, ‘Laboratory of Architecture’ – these are but some of the names given to architectural practices today. Also, no self-respecting academic institution today lacks a ‘research laboratory’ or ‘lab’ of some kind, often set up in parallel to the conventional studio, but sometimes also as a substitute for it. In a more recent development, the laboratory has also been adopted as a place for exploring architectural themes through writing, as exemplified by the ‘Writing Labs’ set up at the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL. This development that has seen the laboratory become the very paradigm of conceptualizations of practice and research in architecture revolves, I argue, around a renewed interest in the notion of experiment and the spaces of experimentation. The question I want to raise in this article concerns the role of the laboratory as a metaphor in constructing spaces for writerly experimentation. For, outside the domain of science, how can a laboratory be understood as anything other than a (mere) metaphor?

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This chapter explores two manifestations of the black-mirror in architecture. The first of these consists of a shallow pool at the Barcelona Pavilion (1929), designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (1886-1969); the second takes the form of a ceiling at Villa Cavrois (1932) in Croix (near Lille), designed by Robert Mallet-Stevens (1886-1945). The chapter claims that the architectural black mirror opens up a realm, at once metaphorical and material, that can be understood beyond the binary mass/void distinction as standing in a negative relation to space.

This chapter explores the work of art historian Aby Warburg (1866-1929). Warburg's work, in particular the Bilderatlas Mnemosyene (known in English as the Mnemosyene Atlas), pioneered a means of 'doing' art history by juxtaposing images (mostly photographic works of art) mounted onto large panels to build an argument in pictorial terms.

G

This paper explores the role of corporations and financial organizations in maintaining a memory of employees who have served during the wars of the twentieth century. Focusing initially on memorial schemes devised by finance houses in the commemorative era after the Great War, the author examines the emergence of a broader approach to organizational memory and the social construction of collective memory. Taking the Lloyds TSB finance group as a case study, the author examines the origins of the company’s war memorial in central London, and the recent attempts to re-locate a number of memorial objects and icons accumulated during the expansion of the group. This case study indicates how the social memory of an organization might be understood through an appraisal of the monumental furniture that lives, often invisibly, within an organization. The paper concludes with a number of questions concerning the nature of organizational memory when confronted with a history of merger and acquisition, and the difficulties of finding a commemorative site able to represent and safeguard these histories.

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In exploring the mnemonic role of gardens, this paper will first focus on the value of gardens as both a palliative for melancholy, as liminal enclaves, and as carefully constructed surrogate memory systems. Their importance as places for reflection and recovery is examined through the lens of post-war Flanders, with a brief examination of the immense task required to recover the land from the trauma of the First World War. The paper then examines the manner in which pilgrims and veterans took their personal narratives to the battle zones. With so little to see, the bereaved had to reclaim lost names from the lost land; this process is explored through the work of the gardeners who had to ‘plant’ memory and to architects who designed vast monuments to enumerate those who had simply vanished without trace. Noting Fabian Ware’s transformational contribution to this process, this paper examines how the sites of battle became named and reclaimed, how shallow ditches and slight mounds were rendered sites of reverence, and how garden cemeteries have become the epicentres of ritual remembering. Two ‘mirror’ sites of national memory are examined – the ‘Anzac’ headland in Turkey, and the Memorial parkland and gardens of Shrine Reserve in central Melbourne, both hallowed places strewn with symbolic trees, designed gardens and abundant rhetorical ‘topoi’. They are also places where the seed and soil of distant battlefields has been mingled with the national landscape, where the front has literally been transplanted to another country. The paper concludes by suggesting that the garden memorial is an essential component in the future of remembering, creating open and inclusive spaces which rely on participation and careful nurturing to ensure that memory stays alert, relevant, and passed on from generation to generation.

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The Holy Box continues Gough’s published research into the work of British painter Sir Stanley Spencer who served as an official war artist in both world wars. Gough was given unique access to the archive held by the National Trust of correspondence between the artist, the architect Lionel G Pearson and the patrons Louise and Mary Behrend who provided the funding and guidance for the Sandham Memorial Chapel in Burghclere, Hampshire, which Spencer painted between 1924 and 1932, and reflected his war experiences in Bristol and the Balkans, now Macedonia.

The archive of material consisted not only of daily and weekly correspondence between the three main protagonists but also the financial papers, construction history, blueprints and designs related to the vexed history of the design, build and interior decoration. In order to tell the full story of the chapel, now regarded as one of the emblematic painted memorials of the Great War and unique in northern Europe, Gough brought together leading biographers, garden historians, national experts in silversmithing and ecclesiastic decoration to undertake detailed analysis of the social and material culture of the chapel. Each chapter relates an aspect of the chapel’s history and reception.

Gough’s work contributes detailed understanding of the importance of Spencer’s commemorative paintings, based on unique material never before analysed, interpreted and published. Gough was invited to present his research at international conferences in Thessaloniki, Macedonia, May 2018, and Ypres, Belgium in August 2018.

The book was launched in Burghclere at the invitation of the National Trust on the 90th anniversary of the consecration of the chapel in March 2017, in the company of both of Spencer’s daughters, Unity and Shirin, and grandson John Spencer, who now manages the Spencer estate in collaboration with the Stanley Spencer Gallery and the Tate.

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Where once geographers could argue that the ideological issues surrounding the quintessential character of English and Empire military cemeteries had drawn little comment, there is now a considerable literature exploring the space and place of remembrance. Increasing attention has been paid during the past decade to the value of “situation” in the discourse of death, grieving and commemoration. In this respect, “situation” should be understood to be a focus on “place”, “space” and the geopolitical (Gillis 1994). The emerging discipline of cultural geography in the late 1990s created the tools necessary to elaborate “space” in the abstract, to regard “place” as a site where an individual might negotiate definitively social relations, and give voice, as Sara Blair argued, to “the effects of dislocation, disembodiment, and localization that constitute contemporary social disorder.” In our post-historical era, further argues Blair, temporality has largely been superseded by spatiality, what has been termed the affective and social experience of space. Almost a century after Freud’s treatise Mourning and Melancholia (1917), our understanding of how memory and mourning function continues to be challenged, revised, and refined. Issues of place have become important to this debate. Once a marginal topic for academic investigation, there is now a body of scholarly work exploring the complex interrelationship between memory, mourning and what might be termed “death-scapes”. Indeed, this fascination with places of death and dying has given rise to myriad academic explorations spawning academic disciplines such as dark- or thana-tourism, which is an extreme form of grief-incited travel to distant prisons, castles, and abandoned battlefields where anthropological enquiry can be conducted. Suspicions of a release of “recreational grief” aroused after the death of Princess Diana in 1997 have also provided sociologists with considerable material for scholarly attention (Walter 1999).

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L

Through a case study of the professionally made architectural model in Britain between the late 1960s and the early1990s, this article draws from archaeologist Ian Hodder’s concept of entanglement and argues that the relationship between the architect, the architectural model, and the modelmaker exists as an entangled web of shifting distributions of power governed by asymmetric tensions and mutual dependencies. In tracing the changing relationship dynamics that led to a dramatic broadening of the model’s visual styles to incorporate both realism and creative abstraction during this period, this article describes the professionally made architectural model as the locus of an intricate web of interconnected dependencies in which the model, the modelmaker, and the architect reap both the positive and negative consequences of their increasingly fraught entrapment. Demonstrating how a study of their entanglement reveals the complexities that exist within the human-object interactions that surround them, this article highlights the mutual dependencies that bind the model, the maker, and the architect together.

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M

‘Evolution’ was a curated exhibition that presented a critical examination of the agency of the tools, media, and processes of architectural design through a case study of the evolution of process at Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA). The extensive exhibition, and supporting catalogue, traced the practice’s journey from analogue to digital methods over the past forty years.
Working collaboratively with both ZHA and the Zaha Hadid Foundation, the exhibition drew from their extensive collection of archived models, drawings, and paintings to offer a critique of how the changing tools of the architect have influenced the designs process, materiality and outcomes. McLening worked with fellow researcher David Lund and Woody Yeo from ZHA to create a series of interviews with architects and modelmakers at the practice so as to enrich the lines of enquiry.
Employing the relational perspective of actor-network theory, the exhibition viewed tools and media as active agents in the design process; reframing the contribution of design tools such as models, drawings, and computers from being seen purely in terms of Giovanni’s ‘instruments of vision’ to being acknowledged as active partners in the architectural design process.
The research was disseminated through two galleries– one dedicated to the complete design archive of an early, pre-digital building project; the other to the practice’s contemporary digital design methodologies. A 15,000 word publication provided deeper contextualisation about the evolution of process illustrated by the artefacts on display. Through its original focus on the evolution of the design tools used at ZHA rather than its built outputs, the exhibition charted the architects’ changing relationship with the non-human participants of the design process from drawing, painting, and modelmaking, to the use of computer-aided design, generative coding, virtual reality and big data; revealing the active agency of design tools as collaborators in the creation of architectural designs.

R

Independent filmmaking is often faced with difficulties. For the team behind San Sabba, the issue resided in the invisibilities embedded in the film’s location: a concentration camp within the city of Trieste. This article will explore how and why the writer and director of San Sabba considered Trieste as an archive of multiple histories, memories, and postmemory due to the historical findings the film is based on, and how silenced history informed a phenomenological examination of what a landscape can add to the collective memory. Linking other locations in the city, which contribute to the elucidation of stories and histories deprived of public attention, this article analyses the historical data and considers the ontological qualities of the landscape as an archive where dominant narratives impact the understandings of present and past identities.

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