20 January 2020
CALL FOR PAPERS
Fabrications: The Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, Australia and New Zealand invites papers for a special issue (volume 31, no.1) on Writing Automobile Histories edited by Marianna Charitonidou, ETH Zürich, National Technical University of Athens and Athens School of Fine Arts. Papers are due by 1 June 2020.
The point of departure for this special issue is the hypothesis that the view from the car has established a new epistemology of the urban landscape. Focusing on the views from the car produced by architects will help us better understand how this epistemological shift influenced architectural thinking and practice. The automobile reshaped our conceptions of space revolutionizing the way architects perceive the urban environment and contributing significantly to the transformation of the relationship between architecture and the city. Automobiles transformed the ways in which we access and move around in cities, but also the city’s own relation to its territory. No other factor changed the city so drastically during the twentieth century. Many architects and architectural critics and theorists have been attracted to ‘automobile vision’. But in the field of history and theory of urban design many questions concerning the impact of the automobile on our perception of the city and its territory have not been explored in depth.
This issue of Fabrications intends to explore the theories and methods most suitable for understanding how the automobile has transformed our perception of urban conditions. It will investigate which visual means and artefacts are most significant for the way we comprehend the snapshot aesthetics which is related to car travel. Journeys have always been a source of inspiration for architects, playing a significant role in shaping their design strategies. The issue aims to grasp the specificity of car travel as a new episteme. Using the writings of Donald Appleyard, Kevin Lynch, John Myer, Reyner Banham, Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown as a key reference and also considering John Lautner, Alison and Peter Smithson, Denise Scott Brown and Aldo Rossi’s practice of taking photographs from cars, the issue aims to establish a broader conceptual framework for tackling issues related to the impact of the automobile on architectural and urban thought. Papers that treat the different aspects of architects and urban designers’ automobile vision as expressions of the emergence of a new episteme are especially encouraged. Papers might also address, for example, the different ways that photography and film capture the snapshot aesthetics related to the automobile. The issue seeks papers aiming to address issues related to the emergence of the new perceptual regimes that emerged thanks to the automobile, focusing on a wide range of geographical and cultural contexts. To this end the issue, encourages articles that address places and perspectives from beyond the Euro-American context, such as those concerning the feral auto-tectonics of ‘Mad-Max’, or the great road trips and peripatetic architectures of Australasian grey nomads, referring to thephenomenon of retired people who take long – sometimes permanent – road trips.
For more info check this link
8 January 2020
I am very delighted that my proposal for an article entitled “Gottfried Semper’s Perplexity Before the Crystal Palace: Stoffwechsel as Osmosis between Decorative Objects and Architecture” has been selected by the committee of the journal FACES. My article will be published in the forthcoming 77th issue of FACES! https://www.facesmagazine.ch/numeros/
Gottfried Semper’s Perplexity Before the Crystal Palace: Stoffwechsel as Osmosis between Decorative Objects and Architecture
This paper examines how Gottfried Semper’s approach triggered the shift from an understanding of ornament as artefact to an experimental model. In parallel, it reveals the implications of such a reorienta- tion of the concept of ornament for both design and architecture. Pivotal for this shift was Semper’s “On the Formal Principles of Adornment and its Meaning as a Symbol in Art” (1856), which marks, firstly, a relocation of the quest for demonstration to theorisation, and, secondly, an intensification of the interaction between graphic illustration and abstract speculation. What is argued here is that Semper’s cosmological inquiries on ornamentation enacted a comprehension of ornaments as non-autonomous objects, upgrading them into reflective devices.
Semper was in exile in London between 1850 and 1855, after his escape from Dresden on 9 May 1849 when Prussian and Saxon troops defeated the revolt in which he had participated in support of democratic rights and the unity of the German state. The presentation will focus on Semper’s comments on the 1851 Great London Exhibition, and especially on his critical remarks regarding Sir Joseph Paxton’s Crystal Palace whose design for the Great Exhibition had been accepted in the summer of 1850. Some months later, in February 1951, Semper drafted a school programme including lessons for engineers and architects. In March of the same year, Edwin Chadwick invited Semper, on behalf of Paxton, to become an assistant of the latter while working on the Crystal Palace. Semper rejected this offer, presenting as an excuse his involvement in the establishment of a school for architects in London, which, as he stated, had garnered publicity in the German and Swiss newspapers. Despite the fact that Semper interpreted the Great London Exhibition as a “world phenomenon” representing contemporary cultural conditions, he described the sentiments that a walk through it provoked as a “Babylonian confusion”, claiming that the perplexity it induced prevented an intelligible perception of the exhibited objects, making the impression they instigated non-compatible with his aspiration for a “practical heuristics” system.
My objective is to examine whether the questions that arose in Semper’s mind when experiencing the Crystal Palace pushed him to question the understanding of architecture that he had previously developed in The Four Elements of Architecture , which was published shortly before his arrival in London, according to a distinction into four elements: the hearth, the roof, the enclosure and the mound. Additionally, I will investigate the extent to which his encounter with the Crystal Palace played a role in his use of the concept of stoffwechsel, which Semper introduced from biology in order to describe the material transformation of artistic forms. The elaboration of this notion allowed Semper to argue for replacing the conception of ornament as artefact by its understanding as architectural element. In other words, it is through this concept that Semper defended his integration of the decorative object into the history of architecture. These questions will be discussed in relation to an analysis of why Practical Art in Metal and Hard Materials (1852) was pivotal for the re-invention of decorative objects’ meaning.
26 December 2019
19 December 2019
I am really honoured and happy that the Editorial Board of the Society of Architectural Historians, Australia and New Zealand has selected my proposal for a guest-edited issue of its journal, Fabrications: The Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, Australia and New Zealand to be published in January 2021 (volume 31, no. 1) on the topic “Writing Automobile Histories”. I will be the editor of this issue! Stay tuned for more details!
11 December 2019
Below you can see some of the slides of my presentation “Bernard Tschumi’s Manhattan Transcripts as an Exploration of Unlikely Confrontations: Spatial Praxis as a Dispositif Agencing Spaces and Events” at the third international conference on Deleuze and Artistic Research “MACHINIC ASSEMBLAGES OF DESIRE” at the Orpheus Institute in Ghent:
10 December 2019
I am very happy to have in my hands this freshly printed volume that included a piece I have written on the Greek composer Iannis Xenakis, the role of Le Corbusier’s Modulor in his thought and the relationship between architecture, music and mathematics:
8 December 2019
I am very happy to present a paper entitled “Bernard Tschumi’s Manhattan Transcripts as an Exploration of Unlikely Confrontations: Spatial Praxis as a Dispositif Agencing Spaces and Events” in the framework of the third international conference on Deleuze and Artistic Research “MACHINIC ASSEMBLAGES OF DESIRE” at the Orpheus Institute in Ghent this Wednesday at 15:00 (11 December)
20 November 2019
I am presenting a paper titled “From Harlem to New Haven: The Emergence of the Advocacy Planning Movement in the late 1960s” at around 10:30 (20 November) am at TU Delft. The topic of the conference is “Architecture and Democracy 1965-1989: Urban Renewal, Populism and the Welfare State”:
Link to TU Delft announcement
Some of the slides of my presentation:
19 November 2019
14 November 2019
I am happy to work on the manuscript of a single author book entitled The Travelling Architect’s Eye: Photography and Automobile Vision.
I will be organising more collective projects, such as conferences, symposiums and colloquiums, closely connected to this project as well soon. Stay tuned!
10 October 2019
I am very happy to have contributed with a chapter on Xenakis to this forthcoming volume by KU Leuven Press.
22 August 2019
I am excited to have contributed with a chapter entitled “Music as a Reservoir of Thought’s Materialization: Between Metastasis and Modulor,” in Paulo de Assis, Paolo Giudici, eds., Aberrant Nuptials: Deleuze and Artistic Research 2. Leuven: Leuven University Press, 2019.
Thank you Paulo de Assis and Paolo Giudici and looking forward to meeting you soon in Ghent! 😁
20 May 2019
My essay entitled “Music as a Reservoir of Thought’s Materialisation: Between Metastaseis and Modulor?” will be published in the edited volume Aberrant Nuptials: Deleuze and Artistic Research 2, edited by Paulo de Assis and Paolo Giudici. Leuven: Leuven University Press, 2019.
17 May 2019
I am happy to have just been informed that my proposal to chair a session entitled “Migration as a Gendered Process: Redefining Domesticity and Displacement” at the 15th Conference on Urban History in Antwerp in September 2020 has been selected
30 March 2019
I am very happy to have had the chance to design this poster for the international conference “Bauhaus and Greece: The New Ideas of Synthesis in Art and Architecture”, which will be held at Benaki Museum (Peiraios Str.) and the Athens School of Fine Arts between 30 May and 1 June 2019. Conference conveners: Andreas Giacumacatos and Sokratis Georgiadis. Looking forward to it.
11-14 September 2019 Μy paper “The Travelling Architect’s Eye: Photography and the Automobile Vision” has been selected to be presented at the IX Aisu Congress of the Associazione Italiana di Storia Urbana “The Global City. The Urban Condition as a Pervasive Phenomenon”, which will be hled at the University of Bologna. My paper will be part of the Session “The photographic experience of the city” coordinated by Federica Muzzarelli and Claudio Marra
I am happy to participate to the journée d’étude “Les Leçons de Rome”, which will be held at the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon on March 22. My talk is entitled “Suburbanization and ugliness: the aesthetic appropriation of the postwar urban reality in the work of Aldo Rossi, Bruno Zevi and Ludovico Quaroni” and will be part of the session “Ville et architecture, entre mémoire et projet” coordinated by Federico Ferrari (eNSA Paris-Malaquais). Benjamin Chavardes, thank you for the organisation of this journée d’étude
12 February 2019
Forthcoming Publication of my article “The Immediacy of Urban Reality in Postwar Italy: Between Neorealism and Tendenza’s Instrumentalization of Ugliness,” in Architecture and Ugliness. Anti-Aesthetics in Postmodern Architecture, edited by Thomas Mical and Wouter van Acker, London and New York: Bloomsbury Visual Arts, 2019.
5 February 2019
I am very glad to get informed that my paper “Suburbanization and Ugliness: The Aesthetic Appropriation of the Postwar Urban Reality in the Work of Aldo Rossi, Bruno Zevi and Ludovico Quaroni” has been selected to be presented at the fourth edition of the Leçons de Rome, which will be held at the musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon on March 22, 2019
The Lessons of Rome aim at providing a space for reflection for anyone who grasps Italy as an architectural, urban and landscape research laboratory. Defining Italy as a laboratory involves analyzing contexts of urban policies but also as design expériences, theories as well as practices, legacies, mutations and prospects. It means building knowledge and culture, but also learning and developing tools to conceive the present and enrich contemporary practices. The Lessons of Rome provide the opportunity to be kept up to date on current and upcoming researches, to share existing and generate new knowledge and dialogues with Italy.
Στο νέο μου άρθρο που μπορείτε να βρείτε στο #Archetype παρουσιάζω πως το αρχιτεκτονικό σχέδιο λειτουργεί ως μηχανισμός διερεύνησης των επιστημολογικών μεταλλαγών της αρχιτεκτονικής. Σημείο εκκίνησης της προβληματικής που αναπτύσσεται σε αυτό το άρθρο είναι η υπόθεση ότι οι μέθοδοι αρχιτεκτονικής αναπαράστασης αποτελούν ένα γόνιμο πεδίο, εντός του οποίου μπορεί να διαγνώσει κανείς πώς μετασχηματίζεται η έννοια του παρατηρητή και του χρήστη στην αρχιτεκτονική. Ο κύριος στόχος του άρθρου είναι να παρουσιάσει τους μετασχηματισμούς της έννοιας του αποδέκτη της αρχιτεκτονικής σε έναν διαχρονικό άξονα #Architecture #Tschumi #Eisenman #AldoRossi #drawing #exhibitions#architecturalhistory #architecturaltheory
We are embarking on a new research project entitled “The Fictional Addressee of Architecture as a Device for Exploring Postcolonial Culture: The Transformations of the Helleno-centric Approaches”!