The Bartlett School of Architecture


Alison Brooks – Bartlett International Lecture Series

23 October 2019, 6:30 pm–8:00 pm

Exeter College Cohen Quad, Oxford

This event is free.

Event Information

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The Bartlett School of Architecture


Christopher Ingold Auditorium
22 Gordon Street
United Kingdom

This event is free and open to all. No booking is required, but please arrive early to guarantee your place.

This is not a Fake

Lecturer's Abstract

In the context of a contemporary culture saturated with the virtual and the illusory, Alison Brooks discusses both the agency of the architect and the role of architecture as a critical grounding force. She describes the ways in which memory, conscious and sub-conscious experiences of ‘real’ places contribute to instinctive creativity (a fundamental human characteristic and critical form of authorship in architecture).

To illustrate this principle, Alison discusses some of her recent projects, including the Quadrangle for Exeter College, Oxford, cultural projects in Cambridge and York, and the soon to be launched Taunton Maggie’s Centre.


Alison Brooks is a leading architect, whose projects encompass urban design, housing, education and buildings for the arts. Alison has become a public voice for the profession, advocating the role of housing as civic building, the resurgence of building craft and the use of timber in architecture. She is the only British architect to have won all three of the UK’s most prestigious awards for architecture: the RIBA Stirling Prize, the Manser Medal and the Stephen Lawrence Prize.

Alison's work has attracted international acclaim for its conceptual rigour, sculptural quality and ingenious detailing, exemplified by the new Cohen Quadrangle for Exeter College, Oxford. In 2016 she received an Honorary Doctorate of Engineering from the University of Waterloo, Canada. In 2018 Alison was appointed as the John T. Dunlop Design Critic in Architecture at Harvard GSD and taught a Masters in Collective Housing at ETSAM, Universidad Politécnica of Madrid.

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Image: Exeter College Cohen Quad, Oxford, by Alison Brooks Architects.