Upcoming Seminars

A Guidebook to Berlin: Excavating Voids, Ruins and Flows‘ – Dr Penny Travlou, lecturer in Cultural Geography and Theory at ESALA

Date and Venue: 5pm Tuesday the 4th of November, Minto House, PG Common Room

Presentation followed by Q & A, with refreshments.

Dr Penny Travlou is a Lecturer in Cultural Geography and Theory at the Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, University of Edinburgh. Her research is interdisciplinary, focusing on the politics of public space, urban theory, visual & digital culture, transdisciplinarity and ethnography. She has been Co-Investigator at the EU-funded (HERA JRP) project “Electronic Literature as a Model of Creativity and Innovation in Practice”. Through her ethnographic fieldwork, she has looked at how creative networked communities of digital practitioners form within transnational and transcultural contexts in a globalised and distributed communications environment. Penny has also been Principal Investigator on the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council funded project “Creation and Publication of the Digital Manual: authority, authorship and voice” 

Guidebook to Berlin 1 Guidebook to Berlin 2

Abstract: For literary critic, Adreas Huyssen (1997), Berlin is a city text that has been “written, erased, and rewritten” so intensely throughout the twentieth century that there are visible markers of this violent history both in its architecture and urban space. For many, Berlin is a large architectural exhibition where each and every year things change. This is a palimpsest city that has reinvented its present numerous times in a frenzy of future projections; obsessed with architectural and planning issues as coverage to the city’s ‘terrain vagues’, ruinous past and historical absences. Even as the contemporary city has been given a radiant material form through buildings and districts designed by world-famous architects, Berlin remains distinctive for its haunted geographies.

In a five-day intensive workshop at the Berlin Unlimited Festival in early October,an interdisciplinary group of students, academics and architects created an experimental urban lab to look at Berlin as a text where haunted geographies and voids are narrated constructing spatial stories on the city’s urban fabric. Through collaborative work, the workshop team co-created an open source alternative guidebook to Berlin with narratives of “erased” and “invisible” urban (hi)stories of the city.

The seminar will focus on the making of the guidebook both as a design and pedagogical toolkit.


‘Privatised Atmosphere: Personal Bubbles’ – Professor Sandra Kaji- O’Grady, Dean and Head of Architecture at The University of Queensland 

Date and Venue: 5pm Tuesday the 18th of November, Minto House, PG Common Room

Presentation followed by Q & A, with refreshments

Professor Sandra Kaji-O’Grady is Dean and Head of Architecture at the University of Queensland. She researches in the architectural humanities, with a focus on the transfer of ideas and techniques between contemporary fine arts and architecture, and architecture and the experimental sciences.  Her work has been published in leading journals including the Journal of ArchitectureThe Journal of Architectural EducationArchitecture &, Architecture Research Quarterly and le Journal Spéciale’Z.  She has won several competitive external research grants from the Australian Research Council, including a Discovery Grant for ‘From Alchemist’s Den to Science City: Architecture and the Expression of Experimental Science’.

ABSTRACT: From his birth in 1971, to his death in 1984, a child born without a functioning immune system lived in a sealed isolator, his life immortalised in the term ‘Bubble Boy’. This paper follows the inhabitable sterile bubble from medical peculiarity, through to filmic fantasy, and on to its current status as a commercially available, mass-produced retreat. It is proposed that the conditions—technological, environmental and social—are now in place for a further iteration—the widespread uptake of lighter-weight, personal, wearable air bubbles that secure against airborne toxins. Arguing the entanglement of the self, immunity and air, this paper examines the conditions under which the adoption of privatised air is likely and with what effect to public space and the social body.

Professor Sandra Kaji-O'Grady. 'Balloon for 2' Image by permission of Gunter Zamp Kelp

Professor Sandra Kaji-O’Grady. ‘Balloon for 2’ Image by permission of Gunter Zamp Kelp







Historic British books about construction (17th and 18th century): Have they been useful?

Sonsoles Puntos

PhD Student in School of Architecture of Barcelona (ETSAB)


Date and Venue:

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

1-2:30 pm ( presentation followed by Q+A )

Common Room, Minto House (20 Chamber Street)