The Bartlett School of Architecture


Bartlett Research Conversations: Katerina Zacharopoulou

27 April 2021, 4:00 pm–5:30 pm

Image: Staatsgalerie, Stuttgart, Germany: Elevation (1977−1984), James Stirling/Michael Wilford Fonds, Canadian Centre for Architecture.

MPhil/PhD student Katerina Zacharopoulou discusses her research.

This event is free.

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The Bartlett School of Architecture

Designing for Amusement: Expressions and Repressions of Humour in Postmodern Architectural Culture (Britain, 1977-1990)

Speaker: Katerina Zacharopoulou
SupervisorsRobin Wilson, Dr Sophia Psarra


Humour is often seen as a quality designed to provoke amusement in an artwork, such as a novel or a painting. This aspect of humour has been researched in several arts, but not yet in architecture.

Katerina’s research explores this literature gap, asking how humour has been used by architects in design and how it has been received in architectural criticism. The thesis discusses the historical conditions that influenced the rejection of humour in Western architectural history and theory, and argues that the discourse on architectural Postmodernism, especially in Britain, allowed a rudimentary acceptance of humour, albeit still in a suppressed manner.

Through a close reading of specific buildings, reviews of architectural media, archival research and interviews, Katerina’s study aims to explore issues which are not addressed in the existing discussion on architectural humour; what its value is, and how it constitutes a distinct category of meaning.

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 Sophia Psarra, PhD Coordinators, Dr. Nina Vollenbröker and Dr Sophie Read, and other PhD supervisors.

Image: Staatsgalerie, Stuttgart, Germany: Elevation (1977−1984), James Stirling/Michael Wilford Fonds, Canadian Centre for Architecture.