The Bartlett School of Architecture


End Time: Reflections on Design, Modernities, and the Anthropocene

15 March 2023, 6:30 pm–8:00 pm

Temporal Confluence, Shanghai (2004)

Prof Edward Denison delivers his inaugural lecture as a part of The Bartlett International Lecture Series, examining the interrelationships between design, modernities, and the Anthropocene, and their impact on the planetary future of the built environment.

This event is free.

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The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL


Christopher Ingold Auditorium
22 Gordon Street


Speaker Edward Denison joins host Christoph Lindner, as part of The Bartlett International Lectures Spring 2023. This year, the International Lectures return to an in-person format, with lectures taking place at the school's Bloomsbury campus, in the Christopher Ingold Auditorium, 22 Gordon Street, at 18:30 GMT on Wednesdays throughout the 2022/23 academic year. Advance registration is not required unless specifically stated.


We are living an age of planetary crisis. For students, whose lives and careers will be consumed by the existential challenges this poses, this is the unwelcome inheritance of an age of modernity, whose roots extend deep into the past and effects will extend far further into the future. Despite the optimism, allure and promise of modernity, we are today living, breathing, and experiencing its effects and its inequities - racially, spatially, socially, and environmentally. Reflecting on experiences from an independent and intentionally international career bridging academia and practice over the last 25 years, this talk will contemplate the interrelationships between design, modernities, and the Anthropocene, and their impact on the planetary future of the built environment.


Edward Denison is an independent practitioner and a Professor of Architecture and Global Modernities and Director of the MA Architecture and Historic Urban Environments at the Bartlett School of Architecture. His research is motivated by historiographical inequity and sustainability, particularly through modernity and decoloniality. Over the last 25 years, he has published and photographed over 20 books and his written and photographic work has regularly appeared in newspapers and journals internationally. He has twice been awarded the RIBA President’s Medal for Research, first in 2016 for the successful UNESCO World Heritage Nomination of Asmara (Eritrea) and in 2017 for research on Japan’s imperialist Ultra-Modernism in Manchuria. In 2018 he was shortlisted for his research on Chinese architectural modernities. In 2020, he cofounded the global collaborative: MoHoA (Modern Heritage of Africa / Modern Heritage in the Anthropocene) and is currently collaborating on a decentred guide to architectural drawing based on the RIBA Drawings Collection for RIBA Publishing.

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Image: Temporal Confluence, Shanghai (2004); Edward Denison