Bartlett PhD Research Projects 2021

Page 1

PhD Research Projects



5 6

Preface Introduction


Alena Agafonova High-rise Apartment Building in Present Day Russia: The Continued Importance of Soviet Norms and Regulations


Oliver Carr Planning Lore: A Historical Institutionalist Analysis of the Role of the Common Law System in the Evolution of Planning Practice and Theory


Kerri Culhane Potential and Precarity: You Don’t Know What You’ve Got Till It’s Gone


Elin Eyborg Attending Spaces: Movement Performances as Activators in the Architectural Process


Fernando P. Ferreira Factory of Stories: Weaving to (De)code Surveillance in the Assembly Line


Clemency Gibbs Façadism in London: Navigating Distance between Past and Present


Naomi Gibson Speaking to Design: Verbal Interpretations and Architectural Invention


Nina Jotanovic Biogenic Architecture: Augmenting Materials through Growth of Biomineralized Micro-crusts


Nikolett Puskás Collaborative Infrastructures for Just, Ecological and Transformative Urban Design


Diana Salazar Building a Collaborative Environmental History of La Guajira



34 37

Ram Shergill The Critical Posthuman Carapace: Constructing Exoskeletal Hybrid Living Systems (EHLS) Anna Wild The Building and I: Translating an Awkward Conversation

Participants’ Biographies Credits


Dr Nina Vollenbröker and Dr Sophie Read Co-ordinators, MPhil/PhD Programmes

Prof. Jonathan Hill

Director, MPhil/PhD Architectural Design

Prof. Sophia Psarra

Director, MPhil/PhD Architectural and Urban History & Theory

PhD Research Projects 2021 is the fifteenth annual conference and exhibition related to doctoral research at The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL. The event is open to the public and involves presentations by students undertaking the MPhil/PhD Architectural Design and MPhil/ PhD Architectural and Urban History & Theory. This year, we also have contributions by MPhil/PhD students from The UCL Institute for Global Prosperity and The Bartlett School of Planning. Leading to a PhD in Architecture, the Bartlett School of Architecture’s doctoral programmes encourage originality and creativity. Over 90 students are currently

of the conference and exhibition is to encourage productive discussions between presenters, exhibitors, staff, students, critics and the audience. Organised and curated by Dr Nina Vollenbröker and Dr Sophie Read, PhD Research Projects 2021 has six invited critics: Prof. Phil Ayres, Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts; Prof. Irene Cheng, California College of the Arts; Prof. Ayona Datta, UCL Department of Geography; Prof. Amy Kulper, Rhode Island School of Design; Dr Huda Tayob, University of Johannesburg and Dr Tim Waterman, The Bartlett School of Architecture. Participating this year are: Alena

enrolled and the range of research subjects undertaken is broad. However, each annual PhD conference and exhibition focuses on a smaller selection of presentations from students who are developing or concluding their research. The purpose

Agafonova, Oliver Carr, Kerri Culhane, Elin Eyborg, Fernando P. Ferreira, Clemency Gibbs, Naomi Gibson, Nina Jotanovic, Nikolett Puskás, Diana Salazar, Ram Shergill and Anna Wild


Zoë Quick and Saptarshi Sanyal

Dancing Distance

For the first time, this PhD Research Projects Conference materialises ‘at a distance’, in a world and a frame, a space, that is as real as it is not. Distance has been recalibrated by the events of the past year: marked by separation and loss, controlled in expressions of power, revealed in inequalities and injustice, challenged by protest and navigated in a disconcerting simultaneity of digital disembodiment and visceral emotion. We have collectively traversed nearly a full year in a state of ‘derealisation’ – a feeling of being distanced but not delusional … where the environment appears unfamiliar and people populating it appear as actors; the world is two-dimensional. Yet as we stare into the perpetual glow of our screens, a flicker of love catches the light, travels the distance… But derealisation is immanently spatial. Each piece of research at this conference situates and resituates itself between a lived reality and a projective dream… variably travelling distances in space, time and knowledge. …and perhaps more than ever, we feel, really feel, that distance connects us just as it separates us: Distance is desire, both prospective and inward, that choreographs our research journeys, and our relations.


The presenters at this conference traverse myriad, interweaving paths, amongst, with-in and between each other, concepts and projects, real and virtual worlds. Body, time. Loss. Home. Image, matter. Senses. Behaviour. Community. Culture, border. And indeed, anthropologist Tim Ingold reminds us: we must attend to the path, listen tenderly, negotiate, feel our way, ‘knowing as we go’. For as Hélène Cixous heeds, distance is loaded with an ethics of relationship. While distance is travelled, challenged, tested and embraced differently along every researcher’s path, each project presented on the following pages is also enacted between love for, proximity to and insights into its subject(s) and the critical distance that the very performance of research demands. Our research is a relational dance – an embodied, spatial, material, sensual translation. Testing the potential of translation and collaboration, these projects cross geographic, cultural, linguistic and more-thanhuman borders; connecting local struggles to international networks of solidarity, working through informal knowledge transfer or challenging cultural notions of home between habitus and habitat. Some of our participants explicitly dance with time. They address cultural and material loss, through the multi-scalar power of an archive, attempt to bridge a value-based gap by navigating the distance between past and present, form and meaning, and even reach across a lacuna, beyond law, to the lore that underpins it.


Can distance be navigated by conversation? While one piece of research might frame conversation as resistance, a poethical weaving, another might consider it in terms of the generative design value of leaving words and phrases open to interpretation. Architecture does things… to us. While gaps and interruptions of the awkward conversation with a building entail performative material relations, framing construction as a performance, and incorporating task-making as a choreographic tool, shifts the architectural design process from an intentional to an attentional practice. Our susceptibility to the other in this research dance is both ethical and ecological. Sensing interfaces between the body and its surroundings or a material’s exquisite perceptual and performative properties invites us to feel our vulnerability and to actively participate in the earth’s cycles. If derealisation is how each participant, critic, and member of the audience partakes in the extraordinary space of this conference, distance is productive, dialogic, mutable and non-negotiable. What holds us together as researchers at the Bartlett and indeed, in this moment, is our freedom to get lost in a process of, relationally, finding our way. Dancing distances together, between real and imagined, fear and desire, our research is perhaps, as Anna Tsing advises, loving in a time of extinction.


Conference Participants

Conference Participants

Alena Agafonova The Bartlett School of Architecture Supervisors: Professor Iain Borden • Dr Michal Murawski

High-rise Apartment Building in Present Day Russia: The Continued Importance of Soviet Norms and Regulations

My research broadly explores the field of Soviet and Post-Soviet mass housing. After World War II, mass prefabricated construction was aimed at solving the housing problem; it ‘made the strongest impact on the urban scene, changing the whole character’ of cities. In my research I focus on two aspects of this phenomenon, and the intersection between them, based on the example of Moscow: firstly, housing norms and regulations, according to which this built environment was and is still being created; secondly, the perception of home, which is in part determined by these norms, and its place in the mentality of Soviet and Post-Soviet people.

– all buildings were designed according to highly defined norms and regulations, which produced an extremely standardized built environment. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, these standards continued to work in the new Russia with minor amendments until recently, when new guidelines were issued. However, these amendments did not affect the typology of the Muscovite home, which is still an apartment in a multi-storey block. Bachelard wrote poetically about how the house where a person grows up is engraved within him or her by the hierarchy of the various functions of inhabiting, and all other houses are but

Around 75% of Russians live in cities. In the Soviet Union individual housing construction was prohibited in big cities from 1948. The State built all housing as apartment blocks, thus making an apartment within a multi-storey building the Soviet model of home. The Soviet housing system was highly centralized

variations on this fundamental theme. Bourdieu later showed how the habitus is formed through the structure of the habitat. These observations lead me to the hypothesis that people who grew up in the Soviet-built environment perceive it subconsciously as the norm, and so, continue to reproduce it


Conference Participants

Oliver Carr The Bartlett School of Planning Supervisors: Dr Ben Clifford • Professor Yvonne Rydin

Planning Lore: A Historical Institutionalist Analysis of the Role of the Common Law System in the Evolution of Planning Practice and Theory The common law system in the jurisdiction of England and Wales is the law as it is declared and interpreted by judges, based on customs and precedent. In the context of planning, the effect of a century of jurisprudence on the development of the land use planning system presents a lacuna from which to investigate the impacts of legal institutions on the institutions of planning. For example, a major piece of planning case law that interprets a piece of ‘flagship’ planning legislation can be seen as a strict exercise in textual interpretation, using customs and precedent as an interpretative aid. Alternatively, viewed from the perspective of social science,

country planning, using the first dedicated piece of planning legislation, The Housing, Town Planning, &c Act 1909 (c.44) as its starting point. The institutions of planning law, practice and theory serve as the setting for a historical institutionalist analysis of the timeline of the development of the British land use planning system. Historical institutionalism is used as the theoretical framework to conduct this study, due to this framework’s propensity to elucidate how timing, path dependence and sequences affect institutions and shape social, political and economic behaviour and change. It is concluded that the customs and precedents which make up

such cases are seen as critical junctures that set planning practice and theory upon paths that are both reflections of the wider planning field and manifestations of external legal and governmental interests. This research sets out to examine the contribution of the common law system to the practice and theory of town and

the common law as it pertains to planning create perceptible actions and reactions in the wider planning field. These directly shape planning practice and theory, demonstrating that planning law is not the separate, value neutral, activity it has traditionally been framed as.

George Edmund Street, New Law Courts: Interior of Public Hall (1867), © Royal Academy of Arts.


Conference Participants

Kerri Culhane The Bartlett School of Architecture Supervisors: Professor Edward Denison • Dr Tania Sengupta

Potential and Precarity: You Don’t Know What You’ve Got Till It’s Gone

Chinese American historical research has long encountered asymmetries within its primary source materials, which privilege Chinese elites and non-Chinese – often Orientalist – perspectives. Reacting to the lack of a more inclusive and credible archive of Asian American experience, scholars and activists formed the New York Chinatown History Project in the mid-1970s to document and collect stories and artefacts from the community. This effort liberated Chinese Americans from the constraints of dominant and racialised narratives and generated an archive which grew into the Museum of Chinese in America’s (MOCA’s) collection of over

man, but of a previously undocumented transcultural architectural exchange. From the life and career of a seemingly obscure Chinese American architect unfolds a transnational history of diaspora, modernity, and political expression through architecture in the twentieth century. This is the multi-scalar power of an archive. Lee’s papers were collected by MOCA in 2015 and, stored in the fortress-like former school in the centre of Chinatown, where Lee received his elementary education. About half of the papers had been catalogued when, in January 2020, the historic building went up in flames.

85,000 items. A seven-year quest for information about a Chinese American architect, Poy Gum Lee, whose name kept recurring in my research on New York City’s Chinatown, led to San Francisco, where his papers were in the care of his grandson. The rich trove of letters, photos, drawings, and personal effects would, I hoped, help me assemble a portrait, not just of this

With the full extent of damage and loss still unknown – but loss of access a certainty – my research has been reoriented in scope and scale, an obligatory recalibration from biography to political history that manages to make the study more comprehensive and yet less specific. Paradoxically, the loss of an archive points more forcefully to its significance.

Poy Gum Lee’s professional credentials from his time in Shanghai were among the documents in his personal papers. (Photograph: Kerri Culhane)


Conference Participants

Elin Eyborg The Bartlett School of Architecture Supervisors: Professor Nat Chard • Professor Yeoryia Manolopoulou

Attending Spaces: Movement Performances as Activators in the Architectural Process

There is increasing interest in using sitespecific movement performances as a way to inform architectural design and education. This practice-based research aims to advance the relationship between site-specific movement performances and the architectural design process. It seeks to do this by turning construction sites into public performance spaces, incorporating task-making as a choreographic tool, in response to issues of waste and sustainability. Conventionally, an intentional approach dominates the architectural design process, as opposed to an attentional approach. This project argues that an intentional

evolve from the ability, in gesture and movements, to respond sensitively to the surrounding environment. Furthermore, movement performances can augment the designer’s ability to communicate ideas to a range of stakeholders, thereby offering new opportunities for financing building projects. Construction sites, with their access to materials, offer a pragmatic solution for an artist on a budget. Performing on these sites, however, also raises attention to material flow, construction waste and the circular economy, and involves consideration of disposable elements which support structures during construction,

approach reduces the scope of design opportunities available and eliminates those with latent and hidden value. Movement performance has the potential to change the designer’s emphasis from an intentional concept to an attentional practice by moving into specific situations and places. A richer and multifaceted process of architectural design can then

and the recycling of materials once a structure has depreciated. By drawing attention to connections normally hidden in the construction phase, through choreographed task-making, site-specific movement performance can help stimulate the early ideas that conceive a building project, just as they can predict unforeseen results of the completed structure.

Elin Eyborg,‘2,500 Bricks’, 2019. Photograph by Laurence J. Moss. Sculptors: Teeraporn Khuankhwaisap and Pongsakorn Srimuang.


Conference Participants

Fernando P. Ferreira The Bartlett School of Architecture Supervisors: Professor Yeoryia Manolopoulou • Dr Nina Vollenbröker

Factory of Stories: Weaving to (De)code Surveillance in the Assembly Line

The history of crises in textile industries of the Vale do Ave region in Portugal is cyclical (Alves 1999), one remembered through nostalgic and paradoxical stories. My practice-based research draws on the relationship between stories, place and architecture to critically collect, understand, and represent human and architectural evidence within processes of industrial transformation in Vale do Ave and its effects on social and spatial relations. The research focuses on Coelima – an industrial complex founded in 1922, which has been undergoing gradual change and socio-spatial dismantlement since 1991. It creates a live collection project

upon an intimate conversation with four women, former workers in Coelima, it analyses two contrasting discourses on surveillance operated by human and mechanical means within the weaving department (Giedion, 1948). I investigate weaving capacities of coding and decoding hidden meanings (Kruger, 2001; Albers, 1959), particularly in the workers’ subjective references to surveillance, through the design of a woven artefact that recreates the ‘Window of the Foreman’. This is developed as a piece of architectural evidence that wishes to dialogue with characters from an uncertain posterity.

where the architect experiments with storytelling and archives across practices of weaving, writing and architecture to gather, produce and preserve site-specific evidence. In this project, institutional archives, working-class oral stories and found artefacts are experienced, designed and performed ‘inside’, ‘around’, ‘in-between’ and ‘beyond’ the factory. This paper explores one such practice developed for the collection project – ‘(de)code’ – through weaving. Building

‘(De)code’ is part of an on-going and site-specific collection that aspires to become a social and ‘poethical’ architectural approach (Retallack, 2004). It denounces social power relations in Coelima’s workspaces and reimagines ways of protecting its social buildings from architectural alienation. It wishes to influence architects, historians and industrial agents to act differently and ethically in the service of human needs.

Walk-in the Assembly Line: Intimate Counter-Stories (Photograph: Liliana Fontoura, 2020)


Conference Participants

Clemency Gibbs The Bartlett School of Architecture Supervisors: Dr Clare Melhuish • Professor Ben Campkin

Façadism in London: Navigating Distance between Past and Present

This research examines the architectural practices encompassed by the term ‘façadism’ as they relate to historic buildings, focusing on examples in London since 1970. Although its suffix deceptively implies a coherent set of criteria, façadism is a wide-reaching term that is used to describe a variety of urban development projects that privilege the façade of a building above other elements. The research project uses façadism case studies to explore the hypothesis that there currently exists a gap between critical heritage theory and conservation practice. Within the field of critical heritage studies, heritage enjoys acceptance as

on heritage as a discursive process of production rather than an entity to be consumed. Façadism practices reduce a historic building to a visual and material stimulus suggesting, therefore, that conservation practice continues to be rooted in a values-based system of assessment that privileges historical and aesthetic qualities over more transitory qualities such as use and association. This research looks to identify the reasons behind the introduction and ongoing evolution of modern façadism practices, examining the principles that inform the decision-making process at a policy level and their impact on the discursive potential

denoting more than a physical monument, or a monument’s physicality, focusing

of built urban heritage.

Former American Embassy in Grosvenor Square, London: A section of the retained façade of the Grade II listed building (Photograph: Clemency Gibbs, 2020)


Conference Participants

Naomi Gibson The Bartlett School of Architecture Supervisors: Professor Sophia Psarra • Professor Jane Rendell

Speaking to Design: Verbal Interpretations and Architectural Invention

This practice-led research aims to shed light on how speech relates to drawing in the development of architectural ideas, and asks ‘how are architectural design ideas conjured through speech, and how do these conceptions complement and contrast with those communicated through drawing’? The research takes its cue from conversations between architects, and those between architects and clients in the early stages of a building project. It creates a dialogue between the design meetings of contemporary architectural practice and the development of a creative practice that foregrounds speech. Following the philosopher and semiotician Umberto

2012; Cuff 1991) have focused instead upon the culture and social rules of these events. For this project, the study and practice of speech is placed at the interdisciplinary junction of ethnography, sound arts practice and architecture. Alongside Structuralist and PostStructuralist theories of language, the study considers work by cognitive linguists and philosophers concerned with the voice (Dolar 2006; Cavarero 2005). London-based architects and their clients are being interviewed, and their design workshops observed, for this research. Subsequently, the creative practice developed through this research

Eco’s work on translation, interpretation and natural language, the study pays attention to the tension between a desire for verbal clarity as well as the generative design value of leaving words and phrases open to interpretation. There has been limited research into the content and performance of speech as a design tool in architecture. Studies of design workshop conversations (Luck

makes use of and reinterprets material collected from ethnographic fieldwork to create works which – through translations between speech and drawing, audio-visual juxtapositions and the performance of verbal variations – stretch and reveal the architectural design potential of speech. The project aims to provide insight into the role of speech for seeing, conceiving and sharing thoughts for future buildings.

Naomi Gibson, Setting the Scene: The Lead Architect Draws and Talks (Composite drawing, 2020)


Conference Participants

Nina Jotanovic The Bartlett School of Architecture Supervisors: Professor Marcos Cruz • Professor Marc-Olivier Coppens

Biogenic Architecture: Augmenting Materials through Growth of Biomineralized Micro-crusts

The influence of materials on advances in architecture has been profound. This spans from physical properties and mechanical performance to the experience and perception of built spaces. The last century ushered in significant advances in material science. While a vast array of synthetic materials for architectural use was created as a result, a majority of these materials also brought forth limitations that now need to be urgently addressed. Firstly, their industrialised manufacturing processes entailed harsh conditions – extreme pH levels and high pressure and/or temperature – which are highly unsustainable. At the present moment, as

creation in order to mitigate some of these effects and consequences. Additionally, a majority of synthetic materials exhibit a lack of ‘character’ when compared to natural ones, undermining meaningful ways to experience spaces sensorially. New processes of material creation are crucial to address both these challenges. In nature, a process of biomineralization creates solid materials with exquisite perceptual and performative properties, at ambient temperature. This research explores how adopting principles of biomineralization in the lab offers methods to shift from manufacturing to growing, while creating a new generation of materials able to

the consequences of such processes are progressively becoming tangible, it is a critical time to find novel routes of material

actively participate in the earth’s cycles and, concurrently, enhance perceptual stimulation.


Conference Participants

Nikolett Puskás The UCL Institute for Global Prosperity Supervisors: Professor Henrietta Moore • Professor Elaine Chase • Professor Yaser Abunnasr

Collaborative Infrastructures for Just, Ecological and Transformative Urban Design

This transdisciplinary research explores possibilities of establishing placebased values for wellbeing and a good quality of life (QoL) in urban public spaces. It co-defines infrastructural challenges (water, waste, energy, food) and investigates how these could be addressed via nature-based solutions and ecosystem services which, in turn, contribute to increasing wellbeing and QoL in an inclusive, diverse and ecological manner. The study’s approach employs participatory methods and gamification in its research framework, within two case study neighbourhoods in Budapest and Beirut, allowing for comparative analysis

Goals via local actions linked to the global level. At its core, the research engages with local communities, whose neighbourhoods its case studies constitute, enables them to vote on the infrastructural topic they want to focus on and, with them, co-constructs the notions of wellbeing and ideas of ‘the good life’. This builds upon participants’ knowledge and experiences of their own respective neighbourhood. The gamification element of the study operates as the means to: facilitate informal knowledge transfer; provide a sense of ownership; enable people to make their own connections between nature and their

and concept refinement. Ultimately, the research aims to contribute to realising the United Nations’ Sustainable Development

wellbeing; and, co-construct pathways to urban prosperity in their public spaces.

Community engagement via street parade with the Zayraqoun Collective in Burj Hammoud, Lebanon. (Photograph: Mauricio Yazbek, 2020)


Conference Participants

Diana Salazar The Bartlett School of Architecture Supervisors: Professor Jane Rendell • Dr Liza Griffin • Professor Robert Biel

Building a Collaborative Environmental History of La Guajira

This presentation is the result of working collaboratively and remotely with indigenous Wayuu people and Africandescent communities in La Guajira, Colombia, as part of an international network of solidarity. My research aims to build an environmental history of La Guajira, which connects the local struggles of ethnic groups affected by the Cerrejon coal mine to international networks of solidarity. Three artefacts are presented, of which, two videos represent current and pressing social and environmental issues for the people living in this area, which narrate the environmental history of the place. These videos were used by the networks

The third artefact is a comic that reflects on the diversion of the Bruno stream to give way for the expansion of the mine. The comic mixes cultural traditions from Wayuu people with a discourse of technical expertise from the mine. These artefacts were made in collaboration with community members and NGOs through the exchange of ideas and files. For the videos, Misael and Edgar used mobile phones that filmed one-minute clips expressing the most important issue for them at that moment. This was enhanced by the exchange of sound files with the word Wüin, water in Wayuunaiki, the language of the Wayuu people

of solidarity to voice people’s demands and as a tool for popular education to build solidarities in the UK. The issues raised by the communities became questions during the Annual General Meeting of Anglo American, one of the companies owning the mine, along with BHP and Glencore.

and the sound of a Turompa, a Wayuu instrument. For the comic, a dead Ocelot found on the old bed of a diverted river, triggers this story of power asymmetry between communities and companies and provides a testimony of an environmental catastrophe.

Diana Salazar, representation of Puloüi, spirit of water in the Wayuu culture, with a dead ocelot on the old bed of the Bruno Stream (Composition, pencil, inker: DR. 2020)


Conference Participants

Ram Shergill The Bartlett School of Architecture Supervisors: Professor Marcos Cruz • Dr Brenda Parker

The Critical Posthuman Carapace: Constructing Exoskeletal Hybrid Living Systems (EHLS) to the Design of Traditions

In the 21st century, consequences of anthropogenic climate change threaten human survival, challenging the human body’s capacity to cope with severe environmental conditions. It is not known how our bodies will need to adapt to the harsh extremities being faced as a result of ecological and environmental changes. However, it will be necessary to protect the human body from the imminent changes. The purpose of this research is to create novel forms of architecture that act as a carapace, shielding the body. Using architectural design in combination with biochemical engineering, forms of bioregenerative architectural outputs

hybrid bioregenerative life-support systems. These systems will be pertinent on Earth, as well as for space exploration and inhabitation beyond Low Earth Orbit (LEO) in the future. This research explores the present-day body from a new, uncharted viewpoint, through the use of advanced apparatus and technologies, examining forms of sympoietic relationality, and challenging the perception of the body as a singular cultural agent. Methodologically, the systemic approaches in creating a carapace function as a set of biologically integrated interfaces between the body and its surroundings.

are created, combining human with nonhuman organisms to explicate a mode of critical posthuman practice. The thesis and the interconnected research by design inform a response to anthropocentrism, speciesism and biopolitics. The analysis and applications of experimentation with living organisms, in combination with novel use of photographic methods, will be paramount in constructing

In principle, this research sets out to reimagine and redefine the body in the context of an environmentally fragile planet — ­achieving new aesthetics, evidencing novel systems and materials which respond to internal and external transformations relating to the human body, through the construction of Exoskeletal Hybrid Living Systems (EHLS).

Ram Shergill, Quorom Sensing Sympoiesis (Chromogenic type print, 2020)


Conference Participants

Anna Wild The Bartlett School of Planning Supervisors: Professor Nat Chard • Dr Jane Gilbert • Dr Caroline Rabourdin

The Building and I: Translating an Awkward Conversation

This research delves into the reciprocal relationship that we share with buildings around us. Architecture does things, not just for us, but also to us: communicating at different levels, taking hold of us – physically, emotionally – capturing memories and reshaping them, speaking to our senses. Both consciously and unconsciously, we relate to ideas embodied in the spaces around us. The totality of such interactions emerges as a form of ‘conversation’. It is a conversation, however, that cannot flow without interruptions and misunderstandings; the obstacles in our understanding and relational capacities are too great. To engage with these

and their content. In this research, I ask if translation could be a means of engaging with, and understanding, the gaps and interruptions of this awkward conversation. My research is informed by specific works of narrative literature, the foremost being W. G. Sebald’s novels. Discussing the reciprocal relationship with our lived-in environments and, forming a bridge for questions about language and bilingualism, these works become a base to approach such a relationship through translation. Sebald’s stories construct narrative spaces hinged between fiction and reality that prove fertile for analysis to untangle

difficulties, I borrow ideas and concepts of linguistic translation to animate the understanding of building and inhabitant ‘in conversation’, with both being equally active and communicative participants. Translation carries with it an awareness of differences and interruptions, sudden transformations in meaning and the tangled relationship between containers

the different layers of conversation. I then interweave the findings with my own surroundings, going through a series of linguistic and intermedial translations. Narratives in images, texts and films thus open up a vast playing field for architecture and things to reveal themselves as active players in a lively relationship.

Anna Wild, Hand Hare (Film stills, 2020)


Conference Participants’ Biographies

Alena Agafonova graduated as an architect in

the Architecture of Poy Gum Lee, 1900-1968 for the Museum of Chinese in America, an exhibition on the life and career of the first Chinese American architect in the city’s Chinatown. In 2019, she examined housing, immigration, and public health policy at the turn of the twentieth century in The Lung Block: A New York City Slum & Its Forgotten Italian Immigrant Community (co-curator Stefano Morello). Her forthcoming doctoral thesis at The Bartlett explores a socio-spatial history of Chinatown since 1882.

Moscow. After 20 years of running a successful retail business for architects and designers while performing her own architecture and design projects, she returned to academia and received her master’s degree in Architectural History and Theory from The Bartlett in 2017. Alena’s interest in mass fabricated housing is connected to her personal and professional experience, which took place alongside a period of massive social and economic changes in Post-Soviet Moscow.

Oliver Carr holds an MA(Hons) in Philosophy

Elin Eyborg is an architect and performance maker based in London. In 2011 she graduated as an architect from The Royal

from the University of St. Andrews and an MSc in Spatial Planning from UCL. He qualified as a

Danish Academy of Fine Art in Copenhagen, and in 2015 completed a Performance Making MA at Goldsmiths, University of London. She has worked for a range of design companies in London including Ab Rogers Design and Foster + Partners. She is currently lecturing at The University of Greenwich and The Bartlett School of Architecture. In her own performance practice, Elin functions as director and dancer, collaborating with architects, engineers, contractors, developers and filmmakers. Her work has developed the notion of task-making as a choreographic tool.

barrister in 2015 before working as a planner in the private sector. Oliver has a particular interest in the intersections between planning practice and planning law, having worked in both fields. He is currently an MPhil/PhD student at the Bartlett School of Planning, assisting teaching on a course on Planning and Property Law whilst studying the history of common law and how it has impacted planning, both as a socio-political practice and an academic discipline.

Architectural historian Kerri Culhane documents urban immigrant neighbourhoods on New York’s Lower East Side. In 2015, she curated Rediscovering


Fernando P. Ferreira is a Portuguese architect,

Naomi Gibson is an architect and PhD

artist and researcher. His practice interacts

candidate at The Bartlett School of

with art and urban research, social activism,

Architecture, where she also obtained her

storytelling and experimental practices. He

undergraduate degree and masters. As a

has collaborated with architectural practices

researcher she is interested in speech as a

based in Porto (Portugal) and London (UK) while

design tool, the social complexities of designing

teaching and researching urban studies at

public spaces and the role of the architect.

EAUM – School of Architecture at the University

Previously, her professional practice has

of Minho. Fernando is co-founder and director

involved work with masterplans and building

of Space Transcribers, an international

projects for schools. She currently teaches

non-profit organization that works through

within the architecture departments at the

ethical spatial practices of communication

University of Greenwich and Central Saint

and mediation. Here, he has been producing

Martins and has been a visiting critic for

socially-engaged architectural and artistic

several schools of architecture. She has

research projects, curating exhibitions and

also taught architectural design at Oxford

editing publications in partnership with

Brookes University.

Portuguese public institutions.

Nina Jotanovic is an architectural designer Clemency Gibbs is in the second year of the Architectural History and Theory PhD, working towards her upgrade later this year. Her PhD research is funded by the London Arts & Humanities Partnership. Having studied classics at undergraduate level, Clemency completed a Master’s in Cultural Heritage Studies at the Institute of Archaeology, UCL, where her thesis focused on the role of the historic built environment within the Kings Cross Central development. Prior to starting her PhD, Clemency worked as a heritage consultant at Alan Baxter and as a research assistant at Foster + Partners.

who works at the intersection of design and chemical and biochemical engineering, with an expertise in biomineralization and the perceptual effects of grown materials. Nina is an interdisciplinary design tutor in Bio-Integrated Design at the Bartlett School of Architecture. She is investigating the growth of microscopically thin, yet three-dimensional materials of biogenic origin as an EPSRC-funded PhD candidate at the Bartlett School of Architecture and the Centre for Nature Inspired Engineering at UCL. Her work has been published in Paisajes and exhibited at Construmat Barcelona, Biofabricate New York, Open Cell London and Ars Electronica Festival.


Nikolett Puskás has a BSc in Light Industrial Engineering, an MA in Sustainable Design and an MSc in Leadership for Global Sustainable Cities. After previously working in Product Design and Making and, Interior Architecture, she has been working as a researcher of urban spaces for the past five years with a focus on creating sustainable environments via participatory approaches, renewable energy engineering and naturebased solutions. Niki’s ethos takes a holistic approach aiming at transformative and regenerative design for a more prosperous future. She has also been contributing author to several journals, where she seeks to disseminate knowledge in a more inclusive and accessible manner.

In her research, Anna Wild explores translation as a way to navigate the ‘conversations’ between buildings and people. Interested in multilingual design practice, she has worked as architectural and graphic designer in Trondheim, Cape Town, and Dornbirn, prior to embarking on her present PhD research in Architectural Design. She completed a postgraduate certificate in Advanced Architectural Research at the Bartlett and holds a MSc in Architecture from ETH Zurich. Anna is currently preparing a course related to her research for The Brilliant Club’s Scholars Programme and is also a Senior Postgraduate Teaching Assistant at the Bartlett.

Diana Salazar is an ecologist from Javeriana University in Colombia and holds an MSc in Environment and Sustainable Development from The Development Planning Unit at UCL. She is currently a PhD candidate at The Bartlett School of Architecture and a Senior Teaching Fellow for a Landscape Architecture seminar. She has several years of experience working in universities and with communities on issues of environmental justice. Her research links postcolonial theory with political ecology, history, extractivism and activism. Diana is funded by the UBEL DTP and ESRC for her research. She is a trustee of the London Mining Network. Ram Shergill captures a kaleidoscope of different cultures through his photography. Internationally recognised for his contribution to the industry, Ram remains at the forefront of his field, using photography and design to create a discussion that questions the notion of identity, dress and the power of performance. Ram was awarded the Arts Culture and Theatre Award (ACTA) in 2016 for his contribution to photography. His work has been shown in exhibitions worldwide including Sotheby’s, The Wallace Collection, Somerset House, and the Whitechapel Gallery. Ram’s portraits are now in the permanent collection of the National Portrait Gallery.



MPhil/PhD supervisors:

East European Studies), Professor Sharon

Dr Allen Abramson (Anthropology), Professor

Morris (Slade), Dr Brenda Parker (Biochemical

Nadia Luisa Berthouze (UCL Interaction

Engineering), Professor Alan Penn (Bartlett),

Centre), Professor Robert Biel (Bartlett),

Professor Barbara Penner (Bartlett), Professor

Professor Peter Bishop (Bartlett), Professor Iain

Ioannis Papakonstantinou, (Electronic and

Borden (Bartlett), Roberto Bottazzi (Bartlett),

Electrical Engineering), Professor Sophia Psarra

Professor Victor Buchli (UCL Anthropology),

(Bartlett), Dr Caroline Rabourdin (University

Professor Ben Campkin (Bartlett), Professor

of Greenwich), Professor Peg Rawes (Bartlett),

Mario Carpo (Bartlett), Professor Nat Chard

Professor Jane Rendell (Bartlett), Harriet

(Bartlett), Professor Marjan Colletti (Bartlett),

Richardson (Bartlett), Professor Lara Schrijver

Professor Marc-Olivier Coppens (UCL Chemical

(University of Antwerp), Dr Tania Sengupta

Engineering), Professor Marcos Cruz (Bartlett),

(Bartlett), Professor Bob Sheil (Bartlett),

Professor Edward Denison (Bartlett), Dr Simon

Professor Mark Smout (Bartlett), Colin Thom

Donger (Royal Central School of Speech and

(Bartlett), Dr Nina Vollenbröker (Bartlett), Dr Tim

Drama), Professor Adrian Forty (Bartlett),

Waterman (Bartlett), Dr Robin Wilson (Bartlett),

Professor Murray Fraser (Bartlett), Professor

Dr Fiona Zisch (Bartlett).

Stephen Gage (Bartlett), Dr Jane Gilbert (SELCS), Dr Ruairi Glynn (Bartlett), Dr Liza

MPhil/PhD Architectural Design Students

Griffin (Bartlett), Dr Sam Griffiths (Bartlett),

Abdullah Al-Dabbous, Ava Aghakouchak, Lena

Peter Guillery (Bartlett), Professor Sean Hanna

Asai, Paul Bavister, Richard Beckett, Olivier

(Bartlett), Professor Penelope Haralambidou

Bellflamme, Jhono Bennett, Giulio Brugnaro,

(Bartlett), Professor Neil Heyde (Royal Academy

Matthew Butcher, William Victor Camilleri,

of Music), Professor Jonathan Hill (Bartlett),

Niccolo Casas, Ting Ding, Killian Doherty,

Dr Jan Kattein (Bartlett), Professor Susanne

Daniyal Farhani, Judit Ferencz, Fernando

Kuechler (UCL Anthropology), Dr Guan Lee

P. Ferreira, Naomi Gibson, Felix Graf, Colin

(Bartlett), Dr Chris Leung (Bartlett), Dr Jerome

Herperger, Danielle Hewitt, Bill Hodgson,

Lewis (UCL Anthropology), Professor CJ Lim

Nina Jotanovic, Nikoletta Karastathi, Paul

(Bartlett), Dr Barbara Lipietz (Bartlett), Professor

King, Dionysia Kypraiou, Alexandra Lacatusu,

Yeoryia Manolopoulou (Bartlett), Dr Clare

Ifigeneia Liangi, Rebecca Loewen, Elin Eyborg

Melhuish (UCL Urban Lab), Professor Mark

Lund, Shneel Malik, Emma Kate Matthews,

Miodownik (UCL Mechanical Engineering),

Hamish Muir, Chi Nguyen, Phuong-Trâm Nguyen,

Dr Michal Murawski (School of Slavonic and

Aisling O’Carroll, Annarita Papeschi, Thomas


Pearce, Arthur Prior, Zoe Quick, Sarah Riviere,

This catalogue has been produced to accompany

Ramandeep Shergill, Alexandru Senciuc, Wiltrud

PhD Research Projects 2021, the fifteenth annual

Simbuerger, Sayan Skandarajah, Eva Sopeoglou,

conference and exhibition devoted to doctoral

Dimitrie Stefanescu, Johan Steenberg, Quynh

research at The Bartlett School of Architecture,

Vantu, Cindy Walters, Anna Wild, Daniel

UCL, 23–25 February 2021.

Wilkinson, Henrietta Williams, Seda Zirek. Edited by Nina Vollenbröker, Sophie Read,

MPhil/PhD Architectural and Urban History & Theory Students

Zoë Quick and Saptarshi Sanyal. Designed by Avni Patel |

Alena Agafonova, Atheer Al Mullar, Vasileios Aronidis, Ruth Bernatek, Sebastian Buser,

Copyright © 2021 the Bartlett School of

Thomas Callan-Rilley, Paola Camasso, Chin-

Architecture, UCL.

Wei Chang, Mollie Claypool, Miranda Critchley, Kerri Culhane, Sally Cummings, Olivia Duncan,

All rights reserved. No part of this publication

Pol Esteve, Christiane Felber, Stephanie Fell,

may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or

Harry Foley, Clemency Gibbs, Thomas Keeley,

by any means, electronic or mechanic, including

Marc Levinson, Xiuzheng Li, Kieran Mahon,

photocopy, recording, or any information storage

Ana Mayoral Moratilla, Carlo Menon, Soledad

and retrieval system without permission in writing

Perez Martinez, Papavarnavas Michail, Matthew

from the publisher.

Poulter, Anthony Presland, Diana Paola Salazar

Morales, Saptarshi Sanyal, Petra Seitz, Amy

PhD Research Projects 2021 is supported by

Spencer, Lina Sun, Alessandro Toti, Claire

The Bartlett Faculty of the Built Environment, UCL.

Tunnacliffe, Maria Venegas Raba, Adam Walls, Azadeh Zaferani, Katerina Zaharopoulou.

Submitted and/or completed doctorates 2019-20 Gregorio Astengo, Ines Dantas Ribeiro Bernardes, Sevcan Ercan, Nadia Gobova, Susan Fitzgerald, Isabel Gutierrez Sanchez, Sheng-Yang Huang, Merijn Royaards, Freya Wigzell, Fiona Zisch.


PhD Research Projects Conference and Exhibition 2020


Cover: Elin Eyborg,‘2,500 Bricks’, 2019. Photograph by Laurence J. Moss. Sculptors: Teeraporn Khuankhwaisap and Pongsakorn Srimuang.

Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.