The Bartlett School of Architecture


The Bartlett Research Conversations

30 October 2018, 4:00 pm–8:00 pm

The Grande Salle at La Vedette

MPhil/PhD students Adam Walls and Aisling O'Carroll discuss their research in an open seminar

Event Information

Open to

UCL staff | UCL students




Jakub Owczarek – Teaching and Learning
020 3108 9336


22 Gordon Street
United Kingdom

Research summaries 

Adam Walls 
Twilight Spaces: topographic literary analyses of the London lightscape, 1878-1930s

The emergence of electric lighting in London towards the end of the nineteenth century had a fundamental effect on both the built environment and urban subjectivity. Competing interests, technologies and aesthetics combined to form a variegated and contested lightscape: one composed of hybrid, mutable and intersecting atmospheres or “twilight spaces”. These environments constituted and were constituted through the diverse subjects who inhabited them, forming the objects and settings, both real and imagined, for processes as varied as slum clearance, smoke abatement, colonialism, anarchist bombings, women’s suffrage and aerial warfare.

Adam's thesis proposes a jointly cultural, political and material history of light and vision in London during the period of Britain’s “electrification”. 

“The Symbol”, in John Morrison and Harold Burdekin’s London Night
Image: “The Symbol”, in John Morrison and Harold Burdekin’s London Night (1934). 

Aisling O'Carroll
Critical preservation as design: representing history and meaning in landscape

Since its emergence in the eighteenth century, preservation in landscape has evolved as a largely specialised, bureaucratic practice, wholly separate from design. Aisling's research challenges the siloing of preservation and design by repositioning the practice of preservation in landscape as a critical design tool that encompasses cultural, historical, and material processes.  

As a primary case study, her research examines the work of French architect Eugène Viollet-le-Duc (1814–1879), with a focus on his lesser-known work on Mont Blanc. Working through historical research and speculative design studies, this doctoral research examines his hybrid approach to architecture and landscape, restoration and design, and representation and history, in order to develop new models of practice based on critical ideas of history, sensation, and interpretation. Furthermore, the work contributes a new shared historical narrative for landscape and architecture.

Image [lead image]: The Grande Salle at La Vedette, photograph by Jean-Eugène Durand. ©Ministère de la Culture (France), Médiathèque de l’architecture et du patrimoine, diffusion RMN-GP

About The Bartlett Research Conversations

The Bartlett School of Architecture’s Research Conversations seminars comprise work-in-progress and upgrade presentations by students undertaking the MPhil/PhD Architectural Design and MPhil/PhD Architectural and Urban History and Theory. All current UCL staff and students are welcome to attend.

Held regularly throughout the academic year, the seminars are attended by the programme directors, Professor Jonathan Hill and Professor Ben Campkin, PhD Coordinators, Dr. Nina Vollenbröker and Dr Sophie Read, and other PhD supervisors.