Bogged Down in Cementics
Bogged Down in Cementics
Do you want to read an architecture joke?
Oh sorry, I’m still working on it.
The outbreak of coronavirus disease in 2019 created a global health crisis that impacted the way we perceive what is happening around us. Across the globe, lives and livelihoods are being lost as governments and public figures communicate poorly with the public. Therefore in times of crisis, the way that experts, officials, and leaders talk with the public matters. This is also why journalism is the fourth pillar of democracy and people providing it have been identified as key workers along with health professionals and those providing essential public services. The arts also have a key role, for example, some architecture practices helped to quickly build new hospitals and used their in-house workshops to create much needed protective personal equipment to hospital workers. But at the same time, many shut their offices as construction was paused or cancelled to stop the spread of the virus. News organisations have had to reinvent decades of working practices in days while many architects are going out of business. How can both practices enrich and help one another to adapt to the current conditions?
The House of Common Affairs invites you to a United Kingdom’s House of Commons style debate where, through the lens of current affairs such as COVID-19 pandemic, Brexit, and housing crisis, we will spend 60mins discussing the ethics of communication in regards to the built environment as well as the value of practice-based architectural research in the current climate.
Anne Boddington is Professor of Design Innovation and Pro Vice Chancellor for Research, Business & Innovation at Kingston University in London. Educated as an architect and urbanist, she subsequently studied Cultural Geography at Royal Holloway, University of London. With over thirty years of experience working in higher education, including a distinguished teaching career and extensive development of research, knowledge exchange and international partnerships, she is currently responsible for leading and shaping the research and business infrastructure and stimulating innovation across the four faculties of Kingston University. Her own research interests include creative and cultural leadership in higher education and in the museum and heritage sector, a specific interest in design education and in design and innovation studies and an enduring interest in the cultural landscape and the reciprocal interrelationships of man and land. Known particularly for her leadership and the development of arts and practice research she has held executive roles in a number of Subject Associations including the Council for Higher Education in Art & Design (CHEAD), Design Educators Association (DEED) and the Stand Conference of Heads of Schools of Architecture (SCHOSA). Professor Boddington is committed to public service innovation, quality enhancement and the future development of further and higher education. She has lectured and supported leadership and career development and mentoring, championed equality, diversity and inclusion and undertaken extensive peer and quality reviews across Europe, in particular in Portugal and Estonia but also in the Middle East, Hong Kong, India, China, South East Asia and North America. (https://www.kingston.ac.uk/aboutkingstonuniversity/howtheuniversityworks/thevicechancellorsoffice/pro-vc-research-business-and-innovation/)
John Zhang is the founder of London based boutique practice Studio JZ in 2017, focusing on bespoke residential projects in China and the UK. Prior to this John was an Associate at DSDHA, leading on diverse architectural projects across a range of sectors. John was responsible for a number of award winning buildings, including Olympic Village Housing for London 2012, a bespoke workshop and boutique for jewellery designer Alex Monroe, a luxury residential building in Marylebone and a flagship fashion store on Oxford Street. John studied architecture at Cambridge University and the Royal College of Art, winning the Conran Foundation Design Award and the Will Alsop Award for Urbanism for his Master’s design thesis. He obtained a PhD also at the Royal College of Art in 2017, exploring his long term research interest in the changing conditions of contemporary Chinese architecture, particularly as they pertain to the urban and rural renewal in a rapidly post-industrial China. This research has been featured in published magazines and is currently being developed into a book. As a Lecturer at the University of Westminster, John runs a 3rd Year BA Architectural Design Studio in conjunction with the Central Academy of Fine Arts in China, exploring novel ideas of housing design to address global questions. The work of the studio is being published later this year as a book. (https://www.studiojz.co.uk)
Enok Gåsland who is an architect who studied at The Oslo School of Architecture and Design and Escola Tècnica Superior d'Arquitectura de Barcelona. He went on to live and work in London, but is now back in Oslo, Norway. He has done some writing and editorial work on the side. (https://enokgasland.com)
Lenka Hamosova, an independent research designer, lecturer and visual speculator with special interest in contemporary visual culture and new uncolonized visual spaces. Lenka pursued her Master Degree in Design in Think Tank for Visual Strategies at Sandberg Instituut in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Currently she is based in Prague, where she collaborates with visual culture studies platform Fresh Eye and is a co-founder of the new Czechoslovak platform for critical & speculative design ALT.TAB (https://hamosova.com/)
Discussion will be moderated by Paula Minelgaite, a Lithuanian graphic designer/researcher based in London who founded the House of Common Affairs publishing imprint in 2017. Paula holds a First Class BA (Hons) degree in Graphic Communication Design from the University of Westminster as well as a Master of Arts in Visual Communication from the Royal College of Art. (http://paulaminelgaite.com/)
Requirements for participants
Zoom.us application for video streaming with free account
Please check your Zoom setting before the event starts - https://zoom.us/test
This discussion will rely on audience participation. Therefore, we would like to ask those who wish to join in to download the Zoom Desktop application, have their cameras turned on and have YES/NO signs ready to hold up against their cameras during the event. Spaces are limited, please book your spot via Eventbrite.
If you just want to watch, that’s alright too. Instead of booking a space to participate, you can see it live on YouTube.
House of Common Affairs
House of Common Affairs is an imprint that works in collaboration with cultural and educational proponents such as architects, artists, designers, and institutions. It was founded in 2017 and publishes an annual journal of the same name which questions the Fourth Estate utopias from a variety of professional perspectives.