The Bartlett School of Architecture


Book Launch - Designs on History: The Architect as Physical Historian

03 March 2022, 6:00 pm–7:30 pm

Orkney Drawing, 2018

Join Professor Jonathan Hill as he discusses 'Designs on History' with contributors from the book.

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Designs on History: The Architect as Physical Historian 

Editor: Professor Jonathan Hill

Each architectural design is a new history. To identify what is novel or innovative, we need to consider the present, past and future: we need to think historically. We expect historical narratives to be written in words, but they can also be delineated in drawing, cast in concrete, or seeded in soil.

The aim of this book is to understand each design as a visible and physical history. Historical understanding is investigated as a stimulus to the creative process, highlighting how architects learn from each other and other disciplines. This encourages us to consider the stories about history that architects fabricate.

Published by RIBA Publishing in the ‘Design Studio’ series, Designs on History is edited by Jonathan Hill and includes contributions from Elizabeth Dow, Pezo von Ellrichshausen, Terunobu Fujimori, Perry Kulper, Lesley Lokko, Yeoryia Manolopoulou, Níall McLaughlin, Aisling O’Carroll, Arinjoy Sen, Amin Taha and Sumayya Vally.

This book talk will be a conversation among Designs on History’s editor and contributors. 

This is a free event. Please register to attend on Zoom. 

Jonathan Hill

Jonathan Hill is Professor of Architecture and Visual Theory at The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL, where he directs the MPhil/PhD Architectural Design programme and tutors MArch Unit 12 with Elizabeth Dow. Jonathan is the author of The Illegal Architect (1998), Actions of Architecture (2003), Immaterial Architecture (2006), Weather Architecture (2012), A Landscape of Architecture, History and Fiction (2016), and The Architecture of Ruins (2019); editor of Occupying Architecture (1998), Architecture—the Subject is Matter (2001) and Designs on History: The Architect as Physical Historian (2021); and co-editor of Critical Architecture (2007).

Perry Kulper

Perry Kulper is an architect and Associate Professor of Architecture at the University of Michigan. He previously taught at SCI-Arc for 17 years. His interests include the generative potential of architectural drawing; the spatial opportunities offered by utilising diverse design methods; and broadening the conceptual range by which architecture contributes to our cultural imagination. In 2013 he published Pamphlet Architecture 34, Fathoming the Unfathomable: Archival Ghosts and Paradoxical Shadows with Nat Chard.

Lesley Lokko

Lesley Lokko is an architectural academic and the author of eleven best-selling novels. She holds a PhD in Architecture from The Bartlett. Lesley was the founder and director of the Graduate School of Architecture, University of Johannesburg, and subsequently Dean of Architecture at the Spitzer School of Architecture, CCNY. Lesley is the founder and director of the African Futures Institute (AFI) in Accra, Ghana. She is the recipient of the 2020 RIBA Annie Spink Award for Excellence in Architectural Education and the 2021 Ada Louise Huxtable Prize for Contribution to Architecture, and Curator of the 2023 Venice Architecture Biennale.

Niall McLaughlin 

Niall McLaughlin is an architect. He was born in Geneva and brought up in Dublin, where he studied architecture at University College Dublin. He is principal of Niall McLaughlin Architects and Professor of Architectural Practice at The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL.

Yeoryia Manolopoulou

Yeoryia Manolopoulou is an architect, co-founder of the studio AY Architects, and Professor of Architecture and Experimental Practice at The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL. She is the author of Architectures of Chance (2013), and lead editor of the Bartlett Design Research Folios. In 2014 she was nominated for the Emerging Woman Architect of the Year award.

Pezo von Ellrichshausen

Pezo von Ellrichshausen is an art and architecture studio founded in 2002, in the southern Chilean city of Concepción, by Mauricio Pezo and Sofia von Ellrichshausen. They are Associate Professors of Practice at AAP Cornell University and have been Visiting Professors at GSD Harvard University and Illinois Institute of Technology. Their work has been distinguished with the Mies Crown Hall Americas Emerge Prize, the Rice Design Alliance Prize, the Iberoamerican Architecture Biennial Award and the Chilean Architecture Biennial Award. Among other venues, their work has been exhibited at the Royal Academy of Arts in London, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and at the Venice Biennale, where they also were the curators of the Chilean Pavilion in 2008.

Amin Taha

Amin Taha was born in East Berlin to an Iraqi mother and a Sudanese father who, marooned after their respective countries underwent counter revolutions, settled in the UK where Amin studied architecture in Edinburgh before working for Zaha Hadid and setting up an independent studio from which Groupwork developed as an employee ownership trust.

Sumayya Vally

Sumayya Vally is the Principal of Counterspace and has lead Unit 12 at the Graduate School of Architecture, University of Johannesburg. She is searching for design expressions for hybrid identities and territories. Her work is often forensic, and draws on performance, the supernatural, the wayward and the overlooked as generative places of histories and works. She is the architect of the 2021 Serpentine Pavilion.

Image: Nathan Back-Chamness, Luke Bryant, Eleni Efstathia Eforakopoulou, Ossama Elkholy, Grace Fletcher, George Goldsmith, Kaiser Hud, Hanrui Jiang, Rikard Kahn, Cheuk Ko, Alkisti Anastasia Mikelatou Tselenti, Veljko Mladenovic, Iman Mohd Hadzhalie, Andreas Müllertz, Philip Springall and Harriet Walton with Yeoryia Manolopoulou and Níall McLaughlin, Orkney Drawing, 2018.