THE DEPARTMENT OF ARCHITECTURE INVITES YOU TO PG2012:
An exhibition of thesis projects from the MA Architecture and Digital Media; MA Cultural Identity and Globalisation and MA Interior Design
Friday 14 September
6 – 9pm
UNIVERSITY OF WESTMINSTER
35 Marylebone Road
EXHIBITION CONTINUES DAILY
Saturday 15 September
to Saturday 22 September
9am – 9pm
Open 2012: University of Westminster, Department of Architecture End of Year Exhibition 15 - 30 June 2012
PREVIEW: Thursday 14th June, 6pm-9pm
35 Marylebone Road
(Entrance via Luxborough Street)
Labour cannot become play, as Fourier would like, although it remains his
great contribution to have expressed the suspension not of distribution, but of
the mode of production itself, in a higher form, as the ultimate object. Free
time—which is both idle time and time for higher activity—has naturally
transformed its possessor into a different subject, [who] then enters into the
direct production process as this different subject. This process is then both
discipline, as regards the human being in the process of becoming; and, at the
same time, practice [Ausübung], experimental science, materially creative and
objectifying science, as regards the human being who has become, in whose
head exists the accumulated knowledge of society. For both, in so far as labour
requires practical use of the hands and free bodily movement, as in agriculture,
as the same time exercise.
Karl Marx, Grundrisse: Foundations of the critique of political economy (Rough
Draft), trans. by Martin Nicolaus (Harmondsworth/London: Penguin/New Left
Review, 1973), p. 712.
We cannot pretend, as yet, to have mastered the extremely complex
articulations which connect the scientific forms of historical materialism with
the revolutionary practice of a class in struggle. But we have been right to
assume that, the power, the historical significance, of Marx’s theories are
related, in some way we do not yet fully understand, precisely to this double
articulation of theory and practice. We are by now familiar with a kind of
‘reading’ of the more polemical texts—like the Manifesto—where the theory is
glimpsed, so to speak, refracted through a more ‘immediate’ political analysis
and rhetoric. But we are still easily confused when, in the later texts, the
movement of the classes in struggle is glimpsed, so to speak, refracted through
the theoretical constructs and arguments.
Stuart Hall, ‘A “reading” of Marx’s 1857 introduction to the Grundrisse’, in
Anne Gray, Jan Campbell, Mark Erickson, Stuart Hanson and Helen Wood
(eds) CCCS Selected Working Papers, Volume 1 (London: Routledge, 2007), p.
Eric Hobsbawm has said of the Grundrisse notebooks that they are a ‘kind of
intellectual, personal and often indecipherable shorthand’. The pertinence of
this judgement is reaffirmed by Enzo Grillo in the introduction to his
remarkable Italian translation. There is no doubt that in so far as their reading
and their translation are concerned, we are led to this judgement: the
Grundrisse constitutes a very difficult work.
Antonio Negri, Marx Beyond Marx, Lessons on the Grundrisse, trans. by Harry
Cleaver, Michael Ryan and Maurizio Viano, ed. by Jim Fleming (New York:
Autonomedia, 1991), p. 1.
If you would like to participate in a reading group of Marx’s Grundrisse, please contact me (Nick Beech: firstname.lastname@example.org) by 15 September 2011. Precise details have not been drawn up on the structuring of the reading group and its meetings, as I’m waiting to hear how many and who is interested in participating. Below is a sketch of the kind of programme I imagine.
Start Date: beginning of October 2011
Regular Meetings: fortnightly, mid-week (Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday), evening (c.6.30 pm—c.
Location: central London, semi-formal, easy access to refreshments
Approach to Sessions
The reading group will use the Martin Nicolaus 1973 Penguin/New Left Review edition. This edition may not necessarily be the best (for a discussion on the English translation of the Grundrisse, see chrisarthur.net/grundrisse.doc ) but it is the most economical—widely available and much cheaper than the MECW two-volume edition.
The Grundrisse is a collection of seven notebooks, produced by Marx between August 1857 and May 1858. It is not a systematic presentation (as Capital, Volume One, for example); nor is it an attempt by editors of such (as Engels attempted with Capital, Volumes Two and Three). My suggestion is that the reading group use the Analytical Contents List (Grundrisse, pp. 69–80), to develop manageable and meaningful ‘slices’ of the text for each fortnight, in the absence of definite sections and chapters. The Grundrisse is not a ‘small’ work—including the ‘Bastiat and Carey’ essay, the Nicolaus edition numbers 813 pages. At the same time, as the work is notational in places, dense in some instances, expansive in others, pacing will be difficult. I will work toward mid-September to finalise a timetable proposal for reading, my initial suggestion is 15 fortnightly sessions—roughly two academic terms: week beginning 3 October; 17 October; 31 October; 14 November; 28 November; 12 December; 9 January 2012; 23 January; 6 February; 20 February; 5 March; 19 March; 2 April; 16 April; 30 April. But these sessions will not be even ‘cuts’ of text, some sessions may include quantitatively greater material than others. As I have not read the Grundrisse in full, my division of sessions may be out of whack—suggestions are welcome.
I suspect that the reading group will be constituted from a wide range of particular and general interests, there’s no reason why that won’t work well. It would be good to know, from the beginning, if there are sections of the text that individuals are interested in working on and presenting. It would also be good to know, from the start, if there are individuals who would like to participate in/discuss only certain sections, and not the text as a whole.
I would like to set a ‘three-part’ format to the reading group sessions:
First Part: one or two members of the reading group present an overview of the text read for that session —this to include key questions, areas for clarification, problematics, and developments from previous readings;
Second Part: reading group to address the presentation;
Third Part: less formal discussion—perhaps over some food/drink—centred on the text read, but on the usefulness of the text, relevance to particular concerns, wider implications, speculations, looser interpretations.
Alternative suggestions to this basic outline are welcome.
A blog may be valuable, for people to develop lines of enquiry/queries/propositions from the text. The sessions may be recorded and disseminated through the blog, for those who want to refer to in-session conversations/dialogues or who were unable to attend.
If you are interested in this reading group, could you let me (Nick Beech: email@example.com) know before 15 September 2011, with the following details:
Name, e-mail address, postal address;
Preferred evenings (Tues–Thurs), preferred times, and evenings/times you cannot do;
Any definite periods of absence during the reading group programme as outlined above;
Any section of the Grundrisse of particular interest.
Suggestions: for format of sessions; for location of sessions (if anyone knows a good café or public
space); for appropriate division of text into 15 ‘slices’.
It would also be useful to know a little bit about why you would be interested in a reading group on the
The Department of Architecture at the University of Westminster are inviting applications for an AHRC funded masters studentship in design/practice based research.
The School of Architecture and the Built Environment at Westminster (SABE) is widely recognised as an important centre for practice based research in architecture. Westminster is amongst the few architectural schools in Britain that has been actively developing a PhD by design route with expertise and the potential to support research in a wide range of areas.
Eligible candidates will hold a good first degree in architecture or a related discipline and will be able to demonstrate the intention to continue with their research at PhD.
For more details follow the following link: ahrc-research-preparation-masters-studentshipNo comments
Wednesday, 1 June 2011, 6.30 pm, University of Westminster, Marylebone Campus, Cayley Lecture Theatre, London
SCARCITY EXCHANGES with Lyla Mehta and Iain Boal on Concepts of Scarcity
Lyla Mehta is a Research Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex and an Adjunct Professor at Noragric, Norwegian University of Life Sciences. She is a sociologist and her work focuses on the politics of scarcity, water and sanitation, gender, forced displacement and resistance, rights and access to resources and the politics of environment/ development and sustainability. Several of her publications have been concerned with scarcity including the recently edited work ‘The Limits to Scarcity: Contesting the Politics of Allocation’. Her talk is entitled ‘Taking the scare out of scarcity: Why ‘perfect storm’ narratives serve to keep the poor poor’.
Iain Boal is a social historian and co-founder of the Retort collective, an association of radical writers, artisans, and artists in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has taught at Harvard, Stanford, and the University of California, Berkeley and Santa Cruz. He is presently Research Fellow of the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities, University of London. In his remarks, “Scarcity and the necessities of life”, Boal will review the Reverend Malthus’ definition of economics as “decision under scarcity”, and asks whether another economics, indeed another world, is possible.
This event is free but registration is required.
Concepts of Scarcity is part of Scarcity Exchanges, a series of exchanges on and around the topic of scarcity, bringing together some of the leading thinkers in the field to expound on one of the most pressing, but often avoided, issues of the day.No comments
65th SAH Annual Meeting in Detroit, April 18-22, 2012
ARCHITECTURAL ECOLOGIES: A RELATIONAL HISTORY OF ARCHITECTURE
The past decade has seen the emergence of an increasingly sophisticated environmental debate in architecture. This discourse has been led by architectural theorists, commentators, practitioners, and representatives of professional bodies, but has developed with little input from architectural historians. This panel proposes that architectural history may both contribute to and gain from this debate.
While there is clearly scope for identifying new areas of research (as in John Farmer’s Green Shift and Peder Anker’s From Bauhaus to Ecohouse), this panel seeks to explore architectural history’s role in the environmental debate from another vantage point, namely that of an ecological conception of architecture and, by extension, architectural historiography. It proposes that the key to a “green shift” in architectural history may be located at the level of epistemological, ontological, and methodological questions, rather than subject-matter, and that this, in turn, calls for a serious engagement with a range of relational theories, from process-philosophy and non-representational theory to recent enquiries at the intersections of phenomenology, ecology, and consciousness studies. This is not without conceptual challenges, but historical studies in other disciplines such as human geography, ethnography, and archaeology have already produced significant new insights by using relational approaches.
The panel asks what may be the theoretical implications of studying architectural history in relational terms; which methods of enquiry beyond conventional desk and archival study may become requisite in such a context; what new knowledges may be generated; and how this may inform the environmental debate in architecture and beyond. We invite papers that engage with these and related questions, in principle and/or practice. Session chair: Karin Jaschke, Senior Lecturer, School of Architecture and Design, University of Brighton; (+)44 7944663121;firstname.lastname@example.org.No comments
PROFESSOR OF ARCHITECTURE
SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE AND BUILT ENVIRONMENT
SALARY FROM £55K P.A.
The Department of Architecture at the University of Westminster is one of
Europe’s leading centres for architectural research and teaching. In the past
decade our students have achieved unparalleled success in the RIBA
President’s student awards, and the Department made a very strong entry
at the last Research Assessment Exercise, with 20% of its research being
graded as world leading. As a Department we celebrate our diversity of
approaches, and the breadth of our student intake, a combination that has
historically placed us in the forefront of architectural education.
We are looking to appoint a new Professor appointment to join a dynamic
and ambitious set of staff and students. This is a key position in the
development of Architecture at Westminster, and the person will be
expected to lead architectural research as well as making a strong
intellectual contribution to the Department and University. You will have an
international reputation for research in the field, and be able to make
connections to teaching within the Department and to the world of practice
beyond. You should have an established record in producing world leading
research outputs, which may include designs or artefacts. We are not
looking for a specific area of expertise, but rather the ability to lead by
example, and to be curious and generous enough to support and develop
other people’s architectural interests.
Closing Date: 1 June 2011
Candidates should apply via our website at: http://www.wmin.ac.uk/hrvacancies
A full job description and an online application form can be found under
the reference number 50001299. Please note CVs sent in isolation or
incomplete application forms will not be shortlisted.
A SERIES OF EXCHANGES ON AND AROUND
THE TOPIC OF SCARCITY, BRINGING TOGETHER
SOME OF THE LEADING THINKERS IN THE FIELD
TO EXPOUND ON ONE OF THE MOST PRESSING,
BUT OFTEN AVOIDED, ISSUES OF THE DAY
11 MAY: ECONOMIES OF SCARCITY
DOUGALD HINE AND ANDREW SIMMS
18 MAY: CITIES OF SCARCITY
ALFREDO BRILLEMBOURG AND DAVID SATTERTHWAITE
25 MAY: SCARCITY AND CONSUMPTION
ED VAN HINTE AND STEVE BROOME
1 JUNE: CONCEPTS OF SCARCITY
IAIN BOAL AND LYLA MEHTA
13 JUNE: FABRICATING SCARCITIES
All talks start at 6.30pm at
University of Westminster
35 Marylebone Road
London NW1 5LS
Tickets are free but please register at
For further details visit scibe.euNo comments
The Institute for Modern and Contemporary Culture (IMCC) invites you to:
Wednesday 9th March 2011, 1.15-2.45pm
Room 106, University of Westminster, 32-38 Wells Street, London W1T 3UW
Joe Banks (AHRC Research Fellow in the Creative and Performing Arts)
Rorschach Audio: Art and Illusion for Sound – Lecture & demonstration
Visual and sound and artist Joe Banks, based as an AHRC Research Fellow in the Institute, discusses the Spiritualistic phenomena explored by his “Rorschach Audio” research project, exploring Jean Cocteau’s Orphée and Art and Illusion by EH Gombrich in relation to Electronic Voice Phenomena (ghost voice) recording. The presentation focuses on perceptual psychology aspects of its subject matter – including live demonstrations of audio illusions and of related psychoacoustic phenomena – with a second presentation focusing on related literary themes to follow this Autumn.
“It is the story of the signaller who misheard the urgent message ‘Send reinforcements, am going to advance’ as ‘Send three and four pence, am going to a dance’.” E.H. Gombrich
“Sometimes we see a cloud that’s dragonish; A vapour sometime like a bear or lion, A tower’d citadel, a pendant rock, A forked mountain, or blue promontory With trees upon’t, that nod unto the world, And mock our eyes with air.” Shakespeare, Antony and CleopatraNo comments
Department of Architecture, University of Westminster
History & Theory open lecture series, 2010-11
6.30pm, Thursdays Room M421
University of Westminster,
35 Marylebone Road,
London NW1 5LS
Thursday 17th February 6.30 pm
Spatial Agency and The Ethics of Architecture
The most intemperate part of Jeremy Till’s book Architecture Depends focuses on architecture’s ineffective and sometimes immoral engagement with ethics. In this lecture he explains the cause of his ire, and suggests a view of ethics that goes beyond a consideration of building as object. This leads to an alternative version of architectural production called Spatial Agency, which offers numerous other ways of doing architecture.
Jeremy Till, Dean of Architecture and the Built Environment at the University of Westminster since 2008, was previously Professor of Architecture and Head of the School at the University of Sheffield. He is a prize-winning author whose books include Architecture and Participation, Flexible Housing (with Tatjana Schneider), Architecture Depends, and most recently, Spatial Agency (with Nishat Awan and Tatjana Schneider). As an architect, he worked with Sarah Wigglesworth Architects, best known for their pioneering 9 Stock Orchard Street (The Straw House and Quilted Office). In 2006 he curated the British Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale.No comments