ASSC: Modernism and the Museum Space in Germany – 5 July 2017

Please join us at the last Architecture Space and Society Centre event of 2016-17:

Modernism and the Museum Space in Germany

Wednesday 5 July 2017, 6pm, School of Arts, Birkbeck, 43 Gordon Square, Cinema

This symposium will explore the ways in which the advanced architecture of the early twentieth century in Germany confronted the space of the museum, and was itself curated and presented for display.

Max Sternberg, Cambridge University

Choreographies of the medieval: The Schnütgen Museum in Cologne 1910-1932

Jeremy Aynsley, University of Brighton

Curating Bauhaus Houses, 1923-2019

Respondent: Robin Schuldenfrei, Courtauld Institute of Art

Dr Leslie Topp
Department of History of Art, Birkbeck, University of London

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The Paul Mellon Centre Doctoral Researchers Network

The Paul Mellon Centre is pleased to announce the launch of the Doctoral Researchers Network.The DRN will connect members with colleagues all over the country in a supportive and creative environment, aiding them through the process of researching, writing, and publishing their dissertations. 

The aim of the network is to provide a support system for students in British art and architecture as they embark on this key element of their academic careers. The network will stage events and activities that will provide academic and CPD (continuing professional development) skills, such as workshops for dissertation writing, conference paper writing and presentation, preparing for upgrades and vivas, grant writing, and much more. The network will also provide opportunities for members to present on-going research, network with academics in the field, and provide assistance with approaching post-doctoral fellowships and jobs.

For more details go here: 

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Architecture Space and Society Centre Reading Group – 16 March 2017 3-4.30 – The Industrial City

A reminder of the reading group next Thursday:

Our next Architecture Space and Society Centre reading group meeting is on Thursday March 16, 3-4.30pm in the Keynes Library, 43 Gordon Sq. You are all warmly invited to join what promises to be a rich and lively discussion, with the focus on the industrial city. Please also circulate to any PhD students who might be interested.

Discussion will be led by Mark Crinson.  The readings and images are available here:

A message from Mark:

The Industrial City

For our next reading group I have got together some images and texts on the topic of the industrial city. Most of the material is pretty classic stuff on this subject but it could all do with a closer scrutiny and new angles on to it. It includes the following two readings –

Friedrich Engels – extract from The Condition of the Working Class in England (1845), pp82-109 in the current Penguin edition.

Elizabeth Gaskell – extract from North and South (1855), chapter 8 ‘Home Sickness’

There are also five images –

James Mudd – ‘The River Irwell from Blackfriars Bridge’ (1859)

James Mudd – untitled photograph of mills in Manchester (c1860)

William Wyld – ‘Manchester from Kersal Moor’ (1857)

AWN Pugin – Contrasted Towns, from Contrasts (1840)

Robert Owen – ‘The Old Moral World and the New Moral World’ (1832) and ‘Plan of a Self Supporting Home Colony’ (1841)

The Architecture Space and Society Reading Group meets once or twice a term to discuss a wide range of texts, sites and questions related to architecture and space, across periods, geographies and disciplines.

All meetings are on Thursday, 3-4.30pm

Upcoming meetings and people taking the lead:
16 March: Mark Crinson, Keynes (see above)
11 May: Lesley McFadyen, Gordon Sq, G02
15 June: Tag Gronberg, Keynes

Dr Leslie Topp
Department of History of Art, Birkbeck, University of London

Architecture Space and Society Centre


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Architecture Space and Society Centre – Peg Rawes, Housing Biopolitics and Care, Monday 20 March 2017, 6pm

We are delighted to announce our next speaker in the annual Thinkers in Architecture series:

Prof. Peg Rawes, Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL: Housing Biopolitics and Care

Monday, 20th March, 6pm, Keynes Library, School of Arts, Birkbeck

This talk outlines how Spinoza’s seventeenth-century philosophy constitutes a humane and ethical ratio within a biopolitical discussion of the UK housing crisis.  For Spinoza, ratio constitutes different modes of environmental, corporeal and societal lives. Drawing from Foucault’s writings on technologies of the self, and Spinoza’s geometric essay The Ethics (1677), I explore how Spinoza’s ‘radical enlightenment’ thought has resonance with architects and professionals who challenge the inhumane ratios of inequality that currently form UK housing provision.  For those interested in the talk, you can also watch the film, Equal By Design (2016), in advance.  Co-authored with Beth Lord (Aberdeen), and in collaboration with Lone Star Productions, it is available here:

Peg Rawes is Professor of Architecture and Philosophy, and Programme Director of the Masters in Architectural History at the Bartlett School of Architecture UCL. Recent publications include: Equal By Design (2016); ‘Humane and inhumane ratios’ in The Architecture Lobby’s Aysmmetric Labors (2016); Poetic Biopolitics: Practices of Relation in Architecture and the Arts (co-ed., 2016); Relational Architectural Ecologies: Architecture, Nature and Subjectivity (ed., 2013).

All welcome. The event is free of charge. To book a place, click here.

Architecture Space and Society Centre


Dr Leslie Topp
Department of History of Art, Birkbeck, University of London

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Healing Spaces, Modern Architecture, and the Body – 3 Feb 2017

New Books Series: Healing Spaces, Architecture and the Body

Co-hosted by Architecture Space and Society Centre and Centre for Medical Humanities, Birkbeck

3 February, 2-5pm, Keynes Library

You can now book your place here.

This event marks the publication of the collected volume Healing Spaces, Modern Architecture and the Body (Routledge, 2016).

We are delighted to welcome the co-editors Dr Sarah Schrank, Professor of History at California State University, Long Beach, and Dr Didem Ekici, Assistant Professor in the Department of Architecture and Built Environment at the University of Nottingham.


Didem Ekici and Sarah Schrank, Introduction to the volume

Didem Ekici, The Physiology of the House: Modern Architecture and the Science of Hygiene

Sarah Schrank, Naked Houses: The Architecture of Nudism and the Rethinking of the American Suburbs

Respondent: Caitjan Gainty, Lecturer in the History of Science, Technology and Medicine, Kings College London

There will be a drinks reception afterwards.


All welcome!

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The Architectural Association presents: Pierre-Jean Giloux 21 October 2016

Pierre-Jean Giloux works with the ideas of the Japanese Metabolists who wanted to revolutionise the cities of the future along the lines of organic growth. They produced innovative architectural designs and urban planning proposals but their mega-structures remained unrealised. Pierre-Jean Giloux’s Invisible Cities reconstructs their architectural projects on video starting with images of real Japanese cities and moving towards new virtual forms. His four videos are mixtures of photographic and digital images and the sounds of four Japanese cities and their suburbs –Tokyo, Yokohama, Osaka and Kyoto. He works with the composer Lionel Marchetti whose sound work parallels the pace of progressive metamorphoses of the landscape.

Pierre-Jean Giloux Details

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Two events at The Architecture Space and Society Centre, February and March 2016

The Architecture Space and Society Centre (ASSC) at Birkbeck is delighted to announce two upcoming events:

The Thinkers in Architecture inaugural lecture will be given by Norbert Nussbaum (University of Cologne). The title of his lecture is “From the Belly of the Architect”; it will be held on Friday 12th February at 5pm in the Keynes Library (Room 114), School of Arts, Birkbeck, 43 Gordon Square, London, WC1H 0PD

Professor Nussbaum is a distinguished architectural historian and author of seminal studies on German medieval architecture and on Gothic vaults. He is also deeply engaged with contemporary architectural issues, as well as the investigation, reconstruction and conservation of buildings.

ASSC’s Thinkers in Architecture series brings prominent architectural historians, critics and thinkers to Birkbeck to give extended talks about issues emerging from their research.

The following event will inaugurate our New Book series. Owen Hopkins will speak about his book From the Shadows: The Architecture and Afterlife of Nicholas Hawksmoor. Barry Curtis (Royal College of Art) will respond.

This event will take place on Friday 4th March, at 6pm, in the Keynes Library, Birkbeck School of Arts, 43 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PD

Owen Hopkins is new book, From the Shadows: The Architecture and Afterlife of Nicholas Hawksmoor (Reaktion, 2015) – is a lively and detailed history of Hawksmoor’s work and, pivotally, the ways it has been seen by a variety of observers over the nearly three centuries since his death. Owen Hopkins is a writer, historian and curator of architecture. He is Architecture Programme Curator at the Royal Academy of Arts.

New Books will present authors of recent books on architecture, urbanism and landscape speaking about the crux of their contributions to the area, followed by a short response by an invited scholar and discussion.

We hope you can join us. These events are free, but booking is recommended.

For more information and a link for booking, please go to our NEW website:

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