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Prof Yeoryia Manolopoulou

Prof Yeoryia Manolopoulou

Professor of Architecture and Experimental Practice

The Bartlett School of Architecture

Faculty of the Built Environment

Joined UCL
1st Aug 2003

Research summary

I seek to make connections between architecture and experience. I am interested in the innate capacity of architecture to construct a felt reality (drawn or built).

Since 1998 I have explored the potential of chance as an architectural idea and form of practice, firstly through my PhD (UCL, 2003) and later my book Architectures of Chance (Routledge, 2013). Other texts that I have written concern spatial perception, performative drawing, collaboration and the architectural score, and building for pedagogic settings. I advocate for the value of practice and design in architectural research through my own work and, also, as Founder and Series Editor of the Bartlett Design Research Folios.

Work by my practice AY Architects, co-directed with Anthony Boulanger, includes award-winning educational and residential buildings demonstrating an emphasis on craft, economy and sustainability; designs and installations for public squares and art organisations; and several research-based and yet unrealised proposals such as a recent collaboration focusing on the climate, anthropology and materiality of a Unesco World Heritage Site in the Arabian Desert.

In 2016 I co-authored Losing Myself with Niall McLaughlin, representing the Irish Pavilion at the International Architecture Exhibition of the Venice Biennale with a work that brought together research on dementia, spatial cognition and architectural representation. 

As research supervisor, I welcome PhD candidates who wish to explore histories, theories and methods of architectural design; dialogism and chance; drawing across disciplines; performative and score-based design and ensembles; embodiment and space; material practices; public and pedagogic settings. 

Teaching summary

Currently, I am working towards a new pedagogic method that uses architectural scores and ensembles to create embodied and social forms of practice. Related workshops have taken place in Canada, the UK and France. 

My PhD students have researched topics such as site drawing; casting and photography; the body-in-motion; poiesis and perception; leftover urbanism; architectural pedagogy as active citizenship; spatiosonic practice; polyvocal design; indigenous understandings of dwelling; ecological theatre; weaving and coding.

I lead Unit 17 (MArch Architecture) which I have co-taught since 1999. We are an experience-based learning studio which fosters equally the role of autonomy and collaboration in architecture. For us, the connection between architecture and experience not only exists in the relationship between building and life but is also played out within the process of design itself. Unit 17 has been distinguished with a number of awards including two RIBA President's Silver Medal Winners, eight other student RIBA awards and two RIBA teaching awards.

Between 2004-11 I was coordinator and acting director (2008-09) of the MPhil/PhD Architectural Design programme. Between 2004 and 2009 I taught Project X, the design component of BSc Architectural and Interdisciplinary Studies.

Education

University College London
Doctorate, Doctor of Philosophy | 2003
University College London
Other higher degree, Master of Architecture | 1997
National Technical University of Athens
Other qualification, Architect Engineer | 1994

Biography

Yeoryia Manolopoulou is an architect and design researcher working from two parallel positions: as Professor of Architecture and Experimental Practice at the Bartlett School of Architecture and as founder and co-director of AY Architects. She has produced internationally recognised designs, buildings and texts, and in 2014 she was nominated for the Emerging Woman Architect Award.

Manolopoulou is interested in architecture’s relation to experience, aleatoricism and environment. She has written the book Architectures of Chance (Routledge 2013) and has played a leading role in the definition and promotion of design research in architecture. This is demonstrated in her own methods as well as in the pioneering series Bartlett Design Research Folios that she has founded.

Distinctions in practice include two RIBA National Awards, three RIBA London Awards, being twice Shortlisted for the Stephen Lawrence Prize and once its Winner, and being Mid-listed for the RIBA Stirling Prize. 

Her work has been exhibited widely: for example, at the Venice Biennale, the Royal Academy, and Storefront for Art and Architecture. During the 2012 Olympics, AY Architects’ innovative pavilion House of Flags was extraordinarily erected on Parliament Square in front of the Palace of Westminster.

She has served as member of the AHRC Peer Review College, in validation panels for the Open University, and award juries for the RIBA. She has been invited to lecture and assess activities in institutions like TU Delft, the Danish Academy of Fine Arts, University of Hong Kong, University of Johannesburg and University of Melbourne. 

She lives in London with Anthony Boulanger and their three children. 

Publications