The Hawksmoor International Lecture Series 2017-2018 :: Tamara Trodd :: ‘A Thing That Would Gladly Be Cheerful’: Speech, Gesture and High Spirits in the Work of Ryan Trecartin

  • Thursday 16th November 2017, 6.30pm
  • Tessa Blackstone Lecture Theatre [11_0003]

The high-speed, fast-talking videos of Ryan Trecartin (b.1981) have captured artworld attention since around 2006, when he exhibited in the Whitney Biennial. Critical writing about the work celebrates the inventiveness with which Trecartin visualizes the impact of the internet and social media on characters’ appearance and behavior, but little attempt has been made to link Trecartin to any longer history, or to examine the questions his work raises about our contemporary lives. In tonight’s lecture, Dr Tamara Trodd will examine in what ways Trecartin puts the question of ‘life’ today at stake; in particular, focusing on the significance of humour and ‘high spirits’ in contemporary art.

Dr Tamara Trodd is Senior Lecturer in Modern and Contemporary Art at the University of Edinburgh. Her recent book, The Art of Mechanical Reproduction: Technology and Aesthetics from Duchamp to the Digital (University of Chicago Press 2015), examines the history of the idea of a ‘medium’ in artistic practice from the 1920s to the present day. Tonight’s talk forms part of her current project, on ‘Forms of Life in Modern and Contemporary Art’.


The Hawksmoor International Lecture Series 2017-2018 :: Owen Hopkins :: Nicholas Hawksmoor: The Man and the Myth

  • Thursday 9th November 2017, 6.30pm
  • Tessa Blackstone Lecture Theatre [11_0003]

Nicholas Hawksmoor (1662–1736) is considered one of Britain’s greatest architects. He was involved in the grandest architectural projects of his age and today is best known for his London churches – six idiosyncratic edifices of white Portland stone that remain standing today, proud and tall in the otherwise radically changed cityscape. Until comparatively recently, however, Hawksmoor was thought to be, at best, a second-rate talent: merely Sir Christopher Wren’s slightly odd apprentice, or the practically minded assistant to Sir John Vanbrugh. In this lecture, Owen Hopkins brings to life the dramatic story of Hawksmoor’s resurrection from the margins of history, charting how his architecture came to inspire observers as diverse as T. S. Eliot, James Stirling, Robert Venturi and Peter Ackroyd, and continues to catch the eye of architects today.

Owen Hopkins is a writer, historian and curator of architecture. He is Senior Curator of Exhibitions and Education at Sir John Soane’s Museum. Prior to that he was Architecture Programme Curator at the Royal Academy of Arts. A frequent contributor to the architectural press, Hopkins is author of five books, including From the Shadows: The Architecture and Afterlife of Nicholas Hawksmoor (2015). His most recent book is Lost Futures: The Disappearing Architecture of Post-War Britain (2017).

The Hawksmoor International Lecture Series 2017-2018 :: Brendan Neiland :: Drawing on Life

  • Thursday 2nd November 2017, 6.30pm
  • Tessa Blackstone Lecture Theatre [11_0003

This lecture will trace Brendan Neiland’s journey in painting from the early days in the Seminary, to Birmingham and its art school, onto the Royal College. He will discuss the influence of the architecture of major cities in relation to the development of his work.

Brendan Neiland is a painter. He is represented by the Redfern Gallery, London, and his work is in collections of major museums and galleries worldwide, including in the Victoria and Albert museum London, the Tate Gallery London, and the Collections of the British Council and the Arts Council of Great Britain.

Image:‘Escalier’ (Acrylic on canvas, 6ft x 4ft), 2017.

The Hawksmoor International Lecture Series 2017-2018 :: Bryan Cantley :: Classificationing

Please note this lecture will take place on a TUESDAY, not Thursday as usual

  • Tuesday 24th October 2017, 6.30pm
  • Tessa Blackstone Lecture Theatre [11_0003]

“Classificationing” will be a survey of Cantley’s recent experimental works, using the idea of the investigational drawing as a source code for emergent ideas. The lecture will explore technology as a generator for new social space[s]; the palimpsest as a vehicle to challenge architectural and quasi-religious structure; the prototype of the SwarmDraw, an inhabitable drawing concept; and the advent of the Taxonometric Drawing as an architectural typology. Cantley will discuss the categorizing of his work as an internal tool for dissecting content and finding new ways to produce further inventions. The idea of the drawing experiment is an underlying tenant of his studio, Form:uLA, as is the notion of the importance of internal inquiry.

Bryan Cantley is founder of Form:uLA, an experimental design practice that attempts to blur the indeterminate zone between architecture and its representation. An alumnus of UCLA, Cantley has lectured at a number of architecture schools internationally, and has been visiting faculty at SCI-ARC and Woodbury. The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art purchased eleven of his models/drawings in 2001 as a part of their permanent collection, and he was the recipient of a Graham Foundation Grant in 2002. His celebrated solo exhibition “Dirty Geometries + Mechanical Imperfections” premiered at SCI-ARC in 2014. His first monograph, Mechudzu, was published in 2011.

The Hawksmoor International Lecture Series 2017-2018 :: CJ Lim :: Inhabitable Infrastructures: Science fiction or urban future?

  • Thursday 19th October 2017, 6.30pm
  • Tessa Blackstone Lecture Theatre [11_0003]

‘Inhabitable Infrastructures: Science fiction or urban future?’ – the follow up to ‘Food City’ and ‘Smartcities and Eco-Warriors’ – explores the potential of climate change-related multi-use infrastructures that address the fundamental human requirements to protect, to provide and to participate. The stimulus for the infrastructures of resilience derives from postulated scenarios and processes gleaned from science fiction and futurology as well as current bodies of scientific knowledge regarding the changing impacts on cities. JG Ballard has written that the psychological realm of science fiction is most valuable in its predictive function, and in projecting emotions into the future. 

CJ Lim is the Professor of Architecture and Urbanism at The Bartlett, UCL and the founder of Studio 8 Architects. His teaching and designs focus on multi-disciplinary innovative interpretations of social, political, and environmental sustainability programs. He is the recipient of the Royal Academy of Arts London ‘Grand Architecture Prize’. He has authored 12 books including ‘Virtually Venice’ (2006), ‘Smartcities + Eco-warriors’ (2010), ‘Short Stories: London in two-and-a-half dimensions’ (2011) and ‘Food City’ (2014).

Books for Sale at lecture:

£20 (normal retail price £29.99) – cash sale only.

The Hawksmoor International Lecture Series 2017-2018 :: Andrew Hugill :: Creative Computing

  • Thursday 12th October 2017, 6.30pm
  • Tessa Blackstone Lecture Theatre [11_0003]

Creative Computing is a transdisciplinary field that combines tacit and explicit knowledge in order to improve human creativity. Its processes are intentionally divergent and convoluted, resulting from encounters between the objective precisions of computer systems and the subjective ambiguities of human beings. Hugill considers some specific examples of creative attempts to misuse digital technologies in both music and computing. The common thread is ’Pataphysics, a set of ideas which have grown steadily from their inception in the energetic mind of Alfred Jarry (1873-1907) to become a prevalent and energetic force in both science and art today. Professor Hugill will consequently discuss such key ideas as creativity, style, logic, flow, exceptions, contradictions, and the pataphysical ‘clinamen’.

Andrew Hugill is a composer and musicologist, computer scientist and literary scholar. He is director of the Centre for Creative Computing at Bath Spa University. He is a panel member of several research councils in Europe and the UK. He is a reviewer for MIT Press, Routledge, and other publishers. He is co-editor of the International Journal of Creative Computing and the Cultural Computing book series. His publications include ‘Pataphysics: A Useless Guide’ (2012) and ‘The Digital Musician’ (2008/2012).

The Hawksmoor International Lecture Series 2017-2018 :: Phyllis Richardson :: Architecture and Fiction

  • Thursday 5th October 2017, 6.30pm
  • Tessa Blackstone Lecture Theatre [11_0003]

What happens when man-made buildings intersect with structures of the imagination? For centuries, fiction writers have used architecture to give shape and focus to narrative that in turn tells us something about their vision of the world. Most of the novels that have really gripped readers of the English canon convey feelings about buildings that are part of our built heritage, from the physicality of old stone in the novels of Thomas Hardy, to the mysticism of the Gothic style and its ghostly presence in genre novels from The Castle of Otranto, to Jane Eyre to Harry Potter. Architecture matters to fiction, but how has this relationship evolved and how will it affect the fiction of the digital age?

Phyllis Richardson is the author of several books on architecture and design, including the highly successful XS series, Nano House, and the forthcoming Superlight, published in the UK by Thames and Hudson. She has written on architecture, urban development and travel for the Financial Times, The Observer and DWELL magazine in the US. She has an M.A. in Anglo-American Literature and has published many reviews of literary fiction in the TLS, the now-defunct Los Angeles Times Book Review and other journals. She teaches English literature on the Integrated Degree programme at Goldsmiths, University of London, and blogs about architecture and occasional literary topics on Archetcetera.

Urban Futures of the Recent Past :: A Department of Architecture & Landscape Conference

  • Friday 22nd September 2017 – 10.30am start
  • Drinks Reception – 5pm
  • Lecture Theatre 11_0003


Dagmar Motycka Weston

University of Edinburgh


Neil Spiller

University of Greenwich


Marko Jobst

University of Greenwich


Rahesh Ram & Sarah Allan Sinclair

University of Greenwich / urbanvistas


Simon Withers

University of Greenwich / Architectural Association


Nic Clear

University of Greenwich



Mark Morris

Architectural Association




The Hawksmoor International Lecture Series 2016-2017 :: Michael Hansmeyer Digital Grotesque II: Tools of Imagination

  • Thursday 17th May 2017, 6.30pm
  • Tessa Blackstone Lecture Theatre [11_0003]

The Digital Grotesque II project is a human-scale, highly ornamental grotto that was specifically designed to fully exploit the potentials of large-scale binderjet sand printing. It was guided by the search for new design instruments, and by a redefinition of the role of the computer vis-à-vis the architect. A new type of topological subdivision algorithm was devised that allowed not only the deformation and articulation of surfaces, but also the successive refinement of solid volumes. An orientable surface with genus 0 can evolve into a form with a genus of thousands – a single input volume can spawn millions of branches, with hundreds of metres of surface being compressed into a 3.5m high block that forms a landscape between the man-made and the natural.

Michael Hansmeyer is an architect and programmer who explores the use of computation to generate and fabricate architectural form. Recent projects include the Sixth Order’ installation of columns at the Gwangju Design Biennale, the ‘Platonic Solids’ series, and the fabrication of full-scale 3D printed grottos for FRAC’s Archilab exhibition as well as for Centre Pompidou. Michael most recently taught as a visiting professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. He previously taught at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich and Southeast University in Nanjing. Prior to this, he worked at Herzog & de Meuron architects and in the consulting and financial industries at McKinsey & Company and J.P. Morgan respectively.

The Hawksmoor International Lecture Series 2016-2017 Roger Cardinal Building Without a Blueprint: Outsider Environments and ‘Making Special’

  • Thursday 16th March 2017, 6.30pm
  • Tessa Blackstone Lecture Theatre [11_0003]

The results of that untutored, self-reliant form of artmaking known as ‘Outsider Art’ have been widely collected and admired in recent years. No less intriguing is its cousin, Outsider Architecture (the production of art environments), which is concerned with the solo efforts of individuals keen to enhance their living-space and thus to ‘make special’. Their choice of outlandish materials and their challenging messages can provoke wonderment and awe, and open onto the discussion of moral and political issues.

Roger Cardinal is an international authority on Outsider Art and Outsider Architecture and has written widely on the unlikely work of dedicated individuals ignorant of academic ideals. His book Outsider Art (1972) defined a field of interest in the light of Hans Prinzhorn’s and Jean Dubuffet’s pioneering art collections, and led to his involvement with numerous creative mavericks. Cardinal taught modern French literature for many years at the University of Kent and wrote a book about modern European poetry, Figures of Reality (1981). He is Emeritus Professor of Literary and Visual Studies.