The Bartlett School of Architecture


CRUNCH: The Source of the Everyday

05 December 2023, 6:30 pm–8:00 pm

South Asia Gallery - Gareth Gardner Photography

A panel discussion about the experience of home, identity and the everyday in relation to the annual theme of ‘Resource’.

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to







The Bartlett School of Architecture


G.12 - BSA
22 Gordon Street
United Kingdom

Please note this event has been rescheduled from 2 November. 

Join us for a discussion with Jayden Ali, (JA Projects), Aleema Gray (Museum of London), Manijeh Verghese (Architectural Association), and Chee-Kit Lai from The Bartlett School of Architecture. This event will be chaired by Bartlett Lecturer, Neba Sere.

The discipline of architecture often considers British postwar architecture and its relation to sociology to think about design shaped by material cultures of the everyday. However, art movements and architecture collectives in Britain in the 1970s and 1980s celebrated a sense of belonging and everyday practice in intimate, domestic, community, and public space, and contemporary practices demonstrate that the everyday is an inexhaustible field for architectural creation.  

This year, many landmark exhibitions — 'Dancing Before The Moon' in the British Pavilion of the Venice Biennale 2023,  the South Asia Gallery in Manchester Museum, 'A Home is not a Place' at the Photographers Gallery, and 'Feeding Black: Community, Power & Place' at the Museum of London — have turned to material culture and practices of the everyday to explore diasporic senses of home, roots, and identity in the UK. This panel addresses the annual theme of ‘Resource’ as the construction of one’s home or as a return to the resilient source of the everyday.

This event is part of the inaugural CRUNCH Series at The Bartlett School of Architecture, replacing the International Lecture Series. Please note this event is first-come, first-served and is limited capacity. 

Speaker Biographies

Jayden Ali is an architect, artist and filmmaker, whose interdisciplinary practice JA Projects works internationally on public facing, cultural projects that strengthen communities and actively reflect on society. He is a lecturer at Central Saint Martins, is a trustee of Open City, and a Design Advocate for the Mayor of London. He has been recognised by numerous publications as a key voice shaping the life of cities, and is on the Architects’ Journal’s prestigious ’40 Under 40’ list. He is part of the Hackney Regeneration Design Advisory Group and sits on the London Legacy Development Corporation Quality Review Panel. Jayden is the co-curator of the British Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2023. He is an alumni of the Architecture Association, The Cass and the University of East London.

Dr Aleema Gray is a Jamaican-born curator, researcher and public historian based in London. She was awarded the Yesu Persaud Scholarship for her PhD entitled Bun Babylon; A community-engaged history of Rastafari in Britain. Aleema’s work focuses on documenting Black history in Britain through the perspective of lived experiences. Her practice is driven by a concern for more historically contingent ways of understanding the present, especially in relation to notions of belonging, memory, and contested heritage. She is the founding member of the Young Historians Project and is the Lead Curator for Beyond the Bassline at the British Library. 

Chee-Kit Lai runs Mobile Studio Architects, which in 2016 was awarded The ARUP Prize for Emerging Talent in Architecture at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition and his practice focuses on public engagement and sustainability with an extensive portfolio of exhibitions using sustainable modular systems. He is Director of Exhibitions and an Associate Professor at The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL where he co-runs Architecture BSc Unit 9. He co-led led the reinvention of The Bartlett Summer Show in 2020 launching a bespoke new digital platform which was awarded the Staff-Student Partnership UCL Education Award. Last year he implemented The Spatial Equity, Public Engagement, Retrofit and Activism inter programme awards at the Summer Show, to celebrate socially driven design work at The Bartlett with the aim of encouraging cross pollination and the breaking down of barriers between programmes.

Neba Sere is an architect, a lecturer at The Bartlett, UCL and a co-director of Black Females in Architecture. She led on design & construction projects with young people at Build Up Foundation, and was formally one of six young trustees of the Architecture Foundation. Her interest lies in understanding the process of decolonising the architecture profession and thus the built environment, specifically looking at how citizen-led initiatives can have a long term impact on the spaces we inhabit, and involving young communities in the regeneration process of their city through advocacy and outreach.

Manijeh Verghese is the Head of Public Engagement at the Architectural Association (AA) School of Architecture, where she also teaches the design studio Diploma Unit 12 and is a member of the Senior Management Team. She was co-curator of The Garden of Privatised Delights, the 2021 British Pavilion at the 17th International Venice Architecture Biennale, and was the interpretation specialist for the new South Asia Gallery for Manchester Museum in partnership with the British Museum that was co-curated by a collective of over 30 local experts. She is currently one of the Mayor of London’s Design Advocates and a member of the Festival Committee steering group for London Festival of Architecture.

More information

Image: South Asia Gallery - Gareth Gardner Photography