The Bartlett School of Architecture


Book Launch - Animal Architecture: Beasts, Buildings and Us

23 March 2023, 6:30 pm–8:00 pm

animal architecture

A conversation with author Paul Dobraszczyk to launch his new book, Animal Architecture, which explores how we might design with animals and the other lives that share our spaces.

This event is free.

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The Bartlett School of Architecture


Room G.12
The Bartlett School of Architecture
22 Gordon Street
United Kingdom


Any building can be inhabited by nonhumans. We’ve seen spiders spinning their webs in dark corners, and perhaps sparrows nesting under roof tiles. But how do architects think about animals in their designs? How do we factor them into our use of the built environment? Do we think about how selective we are in choosing which animals to keep in and which to keep out?

Paul Dobraszczyk has written a book that imagines new ways of thinking about architecture and the more-than-human. Constructing what one reviewer describes as “an architecture of astonishment”, he shows how we might design with animals and the other lives that share our spaces. Animal Architecture is a provocative exploration of how to think about building in a world where humans and other animals are already entangled, whether we acknowledge it or not.

In this conversation, co-organized with ISRF, Dr Dobraszczyk will explain the thinking behind his new book. He will be joined by two panellists: Tom Dyckhoff, a historian, writer and broadcaster on architecture, geographies, design and cities who teaches the history and theory of cities & architecture at University College London & Central Saint Martins; and Professor Nathalie Pettorelli, a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Zoology, Zoological Society of London. A Q&A follows, moderated by Professor Christopher Newfield, ISRF Director of Research.



Paul Dobraszczyk is a lecturer at the Bartlett School of Architecture. His research focuses on the links between architecture, cities and the imagination and he’s published many books including: Architecture and Anarchism: Building Without Authority (2021); Manchester: Something Rich and Strange (2020); Future Cities: Architecture and the Imagination (2019); The Dead City: Urban Ruins and the Spectacle of Decay (2017), and Global Undergrounds: Exploring Cities Within (2016). He lives in Manchester and built the photographic website www.stonesofmanchester.com in 2018. He is currently completing a book about plants and architecture, provisionally titled Botanical Architecture, to be published in 2024.


Tom Dyckhoff is a lecturer at University College London and Central St Martins, University of the Arts, London. He is a historian, writer, teacher and broadcaster about architecture, geographies, design and cities. He is the author of The Age of Spectacle (2017) and the official guide to the architecture of 2012’s Olympic Games, The Architecture of London 2012 (2012). He has written and presented many series and documentaries for television, including: the new design-and-making series Handmade, for Channel 4/All4, four seasons of Netflix/BBC’s The Great Interior Design Challenge, Channel 4’s The Secret Life of Buildings and BBC’s The Culture Show and Saving Britain’s Past. He’s also written and presented many radio documentaries, podcasts and series, including BBC Radio 4’s The Design Dimension.

Nathalie Pettorelli is a professor at the institute of Zoology, the research branch of the Zoological Society of London. Her expertise includes conservation biology, climate-change biology, population and ecosystem dynamics as well as remote sensing. Her current research interests focus on rewilding, nature-based solutions and mitigating the impacts of climate change on wildlife. She is the co-chair of the IUCN rewilding working group, and recently led the publication of a report on urban rewilding, which discussed how increased urban rewilding efforts could boost wildlife and buffer city dwellers from the worst impacts of climate change.


Christopher Newfield is ISRF Director of Research and was Distinguished Professor of Literature and American Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. His academic work has focused on critical university studies, American literature since 1990, California culture and society, quantification studies, and the status of literary knowledge. His publications include Ivy and Industry: Business and the Making of the American University, 1880-1980 (2003); Unmaking the Public University: The Forty Year Assault on the Middle Class (2008); and The Great Mistake: How We Wrecked Public Universities and How We Can Fix Them (2016).

Image: Stairs for Dogs, house in Ho Chi Minh City by architecture studio 07beach, photo courtesy Hiroyuki Oki / Decon Photo Studio

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