Portrait of Professor Gordana Fontana-Giusti

Professor Gordana Fontana-Giusti

Associate Dean: Graduate Studies
CHASE Kent Academic Lead
Professor of Architecture and Urban Design


Qualifications: PhD, MArch, Dip Arch, FRSA

Gordana Fontana-Giusti is an architect, theoretician and urban designer engaged in promoting arts and humanities for contemporary sustainable urban environments.

Fontana-Giusti is the Professor of Architecture and Urban Regeneration and Associate Dean for Graduate Studies at the Faculty of Humanities where she is the academic lead for CHASE – AHRC Consortium of Arts and Humanities of South East of England (www.chase.ac.uk).

She began her career at the Architectural Association, London (1986-2000), where she completed her doctorate and was involved in running of the Histories and Theories Programme. She took part in setting up of the London Consortium Doctoral Programme - comprising the AA, Tate, Birkbeck College, British Film Institute and the ICA (1994-2000).

Fontana-Giusti led the urban design unit at Central Saint Martin’s College of Art and Design, London (2004-07) where she coordinated Agora Cities for People - the FP5 European Commission research project in urban design.

Fontana-Giusti is the author of the Complete Works of Zaha Hadid (with Patrik Schumacher 2004, Thames & Hudson), Foucault for Architects(2013, Routledge) and co-editor and author of Scale: Imagination, perception and practice in architecture(2011, Routledge). Her scholarly articles have been published in AA-Files, ARQ, The Journal of Architecture, Architecture and Culture etc.

Fontana-Giusti lectured widely in the UK and abroad and has been involved in collaborative regeneration and urban design projects in Beijing organised by the Architectural Society of China.

Professor Fontana-Giusti has lectured at Chinese University of Hong Kong, Tsinghua University, Beijing, Beijing University of Civil Engineering and Architecture, UNESCO Paris, UIA Istanbul, Walk 21 Zurich, and at universities in Utrecht, Barcelona, Novi Sad and others.

Her recent research involves study of spaces in maps, prints and drawings and their role in the formation of urban and landscape design. This included the exhibition on Christopher Packe’s Philosophico-Chorographic Chart of East Kent held in Canterbury Cathedral as part of Questions of Space (June 2016) and a book chapter on Albrecht Dürer and Venice published in the volume on Architecture and the Unconscious (2016, Ashgate).

Fontana-Giusti is a Fellow of Royal Society of Arts and actively collaborates with institutions such as the British Library, RIBA, V&A, Canterbury Heritage Museum, Canterbury Cathedral, Turner Contemporary and others.

Fontana-Giusti has supervised many PhD students and welcomes candidates with interest in contemporary architectural theory; architecture’s relationship to philosophy; art and architecture; technologies of art and architectural representation including the digital; history of architectural drawings; sustainable urban design and regeneration, ecological urbanism, psychological and social sustainability, theatre and architecture, public spaces, water and cities.

Research interests

  • Contemporary architectural theory
  • Architecture's relationship to philosophy
  • Art and architecture
  • Technologies of art and architectural representation
  • History of architectural drawings
  • Sustainable urban design and regeneration
  • Ecological urbanism
  • Psychological and social sustainability
  • Architecture and theatre
  • Public spaces
  • Water and cities

Current projects include:

  • Designing Cities for People - A monograph in urban design
  • The role of theatre drama in urban design
  • The relationship of water and cities



As reviewer / examiner:

  • Crit panels throughout School (BA and MArch programmes)


MPhil and PhD Research Seminars - Convenor of weekly research seminars involving reading of theoretical texts, research methodology discussions and presentations by candidates.

PhD Examiner

  • PhD Examiner for European PhD degree Politecnico, Turin, Italy


PhD Supervision

Post-PhD Supervision

  • On Psycho-Social Quality of Dwelling and its improvement within Urban Context - Beria Bayizitlioglu


  • AHRA representative, Kent School of Architecture and Planning, University of Kent
  • Member of KIASH Steering Committee
  • Member of SILBA Societe Leon Battista Alberti, Paris
  • AA London
  • Visiting Professor - PhD in Architecture - Technical University, Novi Sad



  • Fontana-Giusti, G. (2016). The Landscape of the Mind: A Conversation with Bernard Tschumi. Architecture and Culture [Online] 4:263-280. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/20507828.2016.1176432.
    Bernard Tschumi, a world-leading architect, author and theorist is in discussion with Gordana Korolija Fontana-Giusti. The conversation that took place in Tschumi ‘s Manhattan office explores the nature and various aspects of contemporary cities in Europe and America focusing on the reasons why they are still different, despite appearances and global tendencies. The collocutors acknowledge the role of different histories and contexts, and the effects of distinct urban and transient spaces. They highlight the roles of diverse phenomena such as the conceptual art, the writings of radical thinkers, 1960s student protests and other events. They revisit the interplay between architecture and philosophy in the work of Michel Foucault and Jacques Derrida among others, focusing on the concepts such as ‘space’, ‘event’, ‘programme’, ‘power’ and ‘deconstruction’. During the course of their dialogue various landscapes of the mind emerge.
  • Fontana-Giusti, G. (2011). ’Walling and the city: the effects of walls and walling within the city space’. Journal of Architecture [Online] 16:309-345. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13602365.2011.570056.
    This paper focuses on the effects of walls and walling within the city’s history. It aims to contribute to the knowledge of the underlying dynamics of public space within the city, whereby the visible physicality of walls contains and sometimes belies the invisible logic of their effects. The argument opens up by taking the analysis of city walls from Mumford’s 'City in History' into the framework of contemporary theory about space as the extension of power. The essay proceeds by investigating these ideas within the legacy of Alberti’s treatise on architecture in respect to walls, walling and the city. The focus is on the effects of the displacement of defensive city walls in the gradual process of ‘crystallisation’ of urban space from the fifteenth century. The paper concludes with the analysis of the consequences in relation to Modernism and the metaphysics of walls and walling. The essay is a theoretical piece that refers to historical examples in order to contribute to our understanding of the deployment of walls, their lasting effects and related play of simulacra.
  • Korolija Fontana-Giusti, G. (2007). Urban Strolling as the Measure of Quality. Architectural Research Quaterly [Online] 11:255-264. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1359135500000750.
    The idea of walking is reviewed from its ancient interpretation as an opportunity for contemplation to the Situationists' idea of the derive as an opportunity for political activism.


  • Fontana-Giusti, G. (2013). Foucault for Architects. [Online]. London: Routledge. Available at: http://www.routledge.com/books/details/9780415693318/.
    From the mid-1960s onwards Michel Foucault has had a significant impact on diverse aspects of culture, knowledge and arts including architecture and its critical discourse. The implications for architecture have been wide-ranging. His archaeological and genealogical approaches to knowledge have transformed architectural history and theory, while his attitude to arts and aesthetics led to a renewed focus on the avant-garde.

    Prepared by an architect, this book offers an excellent entry point into the remarkable work of Michel Foucault, and provides a focused introduction suitable for architects, urban designers, and students of architecture.
  • Fontana-Giusti, G. and Schumacher, P. (2004). Zaha Hadid: The Complete Works. [Online]. Vol. 4. Fontana-Giusti, G. and Schumacher, P. eds. London: Thames and Hudson Ltd London /Rizzoli New York. Available at: http://www.thamesandhudson.com/books/Zaha_Hadid/9780500342008.mxs/15/0/.
    Zaha Hadid is probably the most famous woman architect in the world and the first to win the Pritzker Prize. She has achieved international recognition for her visionary images and design.

    The book offers the definitive overview of the creative trajectory of this architect and her practice.

    Zaha Hadid: The Complete Works has been judged as one of the most complex architectural monographs ever produced. The publication comprises four volumes of differing sizes that offer multiple perspectives on more than a hundred projects and over twenty years at the vanguard of architecture.

    • 'Major and Recent Projects' is a large-scale presentation of Hadid’s recently built work and famed paintings
    •'Projects Documentation' is the only book to offer detailed descriptions and illustrations of Hadid's complete buildings and projects.
    • 'Models and Sketches' is a selection of the architect’s groundbreaking exploration in perspective
    • 'Essays and References' is forwarded by Greg Lynn and features essays by international authors such as Peter Cook, Gordana Fontana-Giusti, Andreas Ruby and Patrik Schumacher, and an exhaustive reference section, which includes a bibliography and project data.

Book section

  • Fontana-Giusti, G. (2016). The Unconscious and Space: Venice and the work of Albrecht Dürer. In: Holm, L. and Hendrix, J. S. eds. Architecture and the Unconscious. Abingdon, Oxfordshire, UK: Routledge, pp. 27-44. Available at: https://dx.doi.org/10.4324/9781315567693-10.
    This chapter focuses on the unconscious and space in the work of Albrecht Dürer (1471–1528). By unearthing the layers of history and mapping the dynamics of Dürer’s spatial unconscious, it proposes a multifaceted argument of his work that considers Dürer not solely as a painter and engraver, but as a theorist of perspective, human proportions and architecture of fortifications, as evident in his treatises and commissions. The proposed analysis of Dürer’s opus examines the nature of his understanding of space and spatiality in the context of the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries. It considers relevant works by Dürer in relation to his place of birth and subsequent travels. The attention is directed to the nature of Dürer’s stay in Venice and the ways in which the city had affected him on various levels including the unconscious. The argument concludes by discussing how Dürer’s spatially innovative work was constituted in relation to melancholia imaginativa.
  • Fontana-Giusti Korolija, G. (2014). Transgression and Ekphrasis in Le Corbusier’s Journey to the East. In: Rice, L. and Littlefield, D. eds. Transgression: Towards an Expanded Field of Architecture. London: Routledge, pp. 57-75. Available at: https://www.routledge.com/Transgression-Towards-an-expanded-field-of-architecture-1st-Edition/Rice-Littlefield/p/book/9781138818927.
    Transgression and ekphrasis in Le Corbusier’s Journey to the East explores some lesser known aspects of Charles Edouard Jeanneret’s early trip to the East focusing on the role of traditional arts and architecture that he encountered in the South-East of Europe. The experience, observation and thinking about these arts that subsequently influenced and determined his approach to art and architecture are being explored as a form of transgression and ekphrasis.
  • Fontana-Giusti, G. (2012). The Urban Language of Early Constantinople: The Changing Roles of the Arts and Architecture in the Formation of the New Capital and the New Consciousness. In: Hathaway, S. L. and Kim, D. W. eds. Intercultural Transmission in the Medieval Mediterranean. London: Continuum / Bloomsbury, pp. 165 -203. Available at: http://www.bloomsbury.com/us/intercultural-transmission-in-the-medieval-mediterranean-9781441139085/.
    This book chapter addresses the emergence and early development of the city of Constantinople, Europe's largest and wealthiest city in the Middle Ages. Based on an ancient plan, the city has undergone a substantive change during Constantine’s rule in the early fourth century. The introduction of the new kind of buildings and monuments in the capital of the now Christian Roman empire had a novel impact on the shared consciousness and collective memory of the city and its citizens.

    The chapter focuses on the urban design of the city within which Constantine’s vision about religious tolerance came to life following the 313 AD Edict of Milan - legislation embracing Christianity and religious freedom. In this respect the planners of Constantinople struck the balance between the pagan and the Christian way of life in a careful disposition of buildings, monuments and public spaces.
  • Adler, G. (2012). Little Boxes. In: Adler, G., Brittain-Catlin, T. and Fontana-Giusti, G. eds. Scale : Imagination, Perception and Practice in Architecture. Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 182-193. Available at: http://www.routledge.com/books/details/9780415687126/.
  • Fontana-Giusti, G. (2012). The role of small-scale images by Wenceslaus Hollar: the rebuilding of London in the late seventeenth century. In: Adler, G., Brittain-Catlin, T. and Fontana-Giusti, G. eds. Scale: Imagination, Perception and Practice in Architecture. London: Routledge, pp. 21-42. Available at: http://www.taylorandfrancis.com/books/details/9780415687126/.
    This chapter examines the architectural work of Wenceslaus Hollar (1607- 77) in terms of its scale of representation, focusing on the role this opus has maintained in relation to architecture and the cities of the seventeenth century. It concentrates on the significance of small-scale images and argues that the craft that Hollar brought to England was critical for the development of architecture and urban design of London in the aftermath of the Great Fire. The chapter argues how early modern architectural representation brought together rich and nuanced cultural, geometric and empirical understanding of scale. The connection to late seventeenth-century urban design (and the work of Robert Hooke in particular) will be addressed, as it is still a lacuna in the architectural history of London.
  • Sayers, J. (2012). Mind-Building, Adrian Stokes, Scale and Psychoanalysis. In: Adler, G., Brittain-Catlin, T. and Fontana-Giusti, G. eds. Scale: Imagination, Perception and Practice in Architecture. Routledge. Available at: http://www.routledge.com/books/details/9780415687126/.
    Scale is a word which underlies much of architectural and urban design practice, its history and theory, and its technology. Its connotations have traditionally been linked with the humanities, in the sense of relating to human societies and to human form. ‘To build in scale’ is an aspiration that is usually taken for granted by most of those involved in architectural production, as well as by members of the public; yet in a world where value systems of all kinds are being questioned, the term has come under renewed scrutiny. The older, more particular, meanings in the humanities, pertaining to classical Western culture, are where the sense of scale often resides in cultural production.

    Scale may be traced back, ultimately, to the discovery of musical harmonies, and in the arithmetic proportional relationship of the building to its parts. One might question the continued relevance of this understanding of scale in the global world of today. What, in other words, is culturally specific about scale? And what does scale mean in a world where an intuitive, visual understanding is often undermined or superseded by other senses, or by hyper-reality? Structured thematically in three parts, this book addresses various issues of scale. The book includes an introduction which sets the scene in terms of current architectural discourse and also contains a visual essay in each section. It is of interest to undergraduate and postgraduate students, academics and practitioners in architecture and architectural theory as well as to students in a range of other disciplines including art history and theory, geography, anthropology and landscape architecture.
  • Fontana-Giusti, G. (2008). Avant-Gard Film and Its Role in Understanding the Space of the City. In: Hallam, J., Kronenburg, R., Koeck, R. and Roberts, L. eds. Cities in Film: Architecture, Urban Space and the Moving Image. Liverpool: University of Liverpool.
    This paper addresses the relationship between the city and film, by means of analysing selected examples of the avant-garde film production. It will concentrate on the work of the Constructivists in order to highlight their contribution to urban design in the twentieth century when the role of film was established.

    All representations, including film, are unstable categories and are always in a state of flux. Consequently the way we perceive and represent space in various media, including film, changes. Our visual models for negotiating space are always slightly out of time and in need of renegotiation and reconstruction. This mutation of spatial representations is therefore paramount.

    From the point of view of the subject, there is always a need for new generation of physical and mental spaces, in which creations can happen and where dichotomies, as oppositions between rival entities, may be understood as belonging to metaphysics. Film can provide such a space.

    One of the main novelties about film, had been the fact that it was apparently able to capture the forth dimension –time. In doing so, it depicted movement as it unfolded. By depicting movement, film was able to become involved in the exploration of space and its experiences in a qualitatively new fashion.

    Concerning architecture, urbanism and representation of space, major contribution is to be found in the early works of the film makers such as Dziga Vertov and Sergei Eisenstein. Their works exhibited ambition and imagination that have shown the potential creative power of the new medium. The Man with the Movie Camera, for example, could be seen as an exploration of space, cities, movements, speed, and experience of everyday life. Indeed some of its sequences became part of the seminal film syntax in the mainstream production.

    If we consider leading architects at the time such as Le Corbusier, who applauded the use of film, we notice that his utilization of moving images was rather limited - mainly to promote his own buildings.

    In relation to the contemporary condition of virtual spatiality the following questions could be raised: What are the changing geometries of our changing places and what is the role of film? What are the mechanisms of this new technological and theoretical space? Is the notion of identity challenged?
  • Korolija Fontana-Giusti, G. (2006). Cities, Water and Signification. In: Atanackovic-Jelicic, J. ed. Waterfronts in the Danube Region. Novi Sad, Serbia: Department of Architecture, Faculty of Technical Sciences, Novi Sad, Serbia, pp. 94-104.
    This paper analyses the relationship between cities and water. It explores the nature of a deeply seated phenomenon that urban developments and water always come together. Apart from the purposefulness and economic benefits of water, cities rely on its presence on another metaphorical level.
  • Korolija Fontana-Giusti, G. (2001). Reflections on the Notion of Surface in Contemporary Artchitecture. In: Bocchi, R. ed. Dal Volume all’interfaccia / From Volume to Interface. Venice, Italy: IUAV - Instituto Universitario di Architettura Venezia, pp. 99 -101.
    This article discusses the status and the attributes related to the contemporary notion of surface in architectural theory and practice.

Conference or workshop item

  • Korolija Fontana-Giusti, G. (2005). The Status of the Categories of the Virtual and the Real in Contemporary Architecture and Urban Design. In: CATH 2005 Conference "Ethics and Politics of Virtuality and Indexicality". University of Leeds, Leeds, England. Available at: http://www.leeds.ac.uk/cath/ahrc/congress/2005.
    This paper proposes a theoretical examination of the notions of the virtual, the real and the indexical in contemporary urban design within the context of the author's work that spans from architectural history and theory via contemporary critical theory to urban theory.

    The paper critically examines the status of various claims and compares this condition with the similar phenomena in the domain of representation in the past. The comparison is made with the emergence of perspectival representation and the urban theory in the fifteenth century,and their subsequent dissemination that have determined the production of architecture around Europe. These events had profoundly changed the urban landscape of Europe, by means of the 'virtual' and representational categories.
  • Korolija Fontana-Giusti, G. Mapping the Experience of the Walker: A Spatio-Dynamic Method of Designing a Responsive Environment for the 21st Century Pedestrian Culture. In: Walk 21 - "Everyday Walking Culture" - The 6th International Conference on Walking in the 21st Century. Available at: http://www.walk21.com/papers/Zurich%2005%20Fontana%20Managing%20the%20experience%20of%20the%20Walker.pdf.
    This paper discusses the experience of the pedestrians on four major pedestrain routes in the cities of London, Barcelona, Malmo and Utrecht. Building up upon the approaches established in Agora- Cities for People urban design and research project, the papers proposes relevant methodology.
  • Korolija Fontana-Giusti, G. City, Public Spaces and Urban Choreography. In: CUMULUS Conference Utrecht.
    The paper analysed the nature of public spaces in the city and how they relate to public life.
  • Korolija Fontana-Giusti, G. Water, Cities and Identity. In: Water and Civilisation Conference, UNESCO Paris. Available at: http://iwha.polaire.net/cgi-bin/2005/papers.cgi?detail=305-korolija_fontana_giusti&order=name.
    The paper aims to contribute to the overall agenda of Water and Civilisation by highlighting the concept of civilisation and the role of the city in relation to water.

    The concept of civilisation can be traced back to the concept of civitas which is term derived from civis, the citizen. They both relate to the concept of the city - as civitas refers to the society consisted of citizens. This paper aims to explore the nature of the deeply rooted phenomenon that cities and water always somehow come together and interlink on many levels.

    There are three main types of cities on water in which this intriguing relationship develops: the city on the river, the city on the lake and the city at seaside/ocean.

    At each of these instances we can observe conditions in relation to which the life and identity of the city develops. Particular case in point for this paper is to investigate the perception and comprehension of cities' identity.
  • Korolija Fontana-Giusti, G. The Importance of Good Design. In: Cityscape 2007 - Interdisciplinary Conference.
    The paper focused on the contribution of the arts to urban design. Arts' ability to capture unprecedented experiences and communicate them effectively is seen as a great potential in the pursuit of the new methods of urban design.

Edited book

  • Adler, G., Brittain-Catlin, T. and Fontana-Giusti, G. (2012). Scale Imagination, Perception and Practice in Architecture. [Online]. Vol. 7. Adler, G., Brittain-Catlin, T. and Fontana-Giusti, G. eds. Abingdon: Routledge. Available at: http://www.routledge.com/books/details/9780415687126/.
    Scale is a word which underlies much of architectural and urban design practice, its history and theory, and its technology. This book considers what is culturally specific about scale? And what does scale mean in a world where an intuitive, visual understanding is often undermined or superseded by other senses, or by hyper-reality?

    With a visual essay in each section, this book is for students, academics and practitioners in architecture and architectural theory as well as of interest to students in a range of other disciplines including art history and theory, geography, anthropology and landscape architecture.


    Introduction Gerald Adler 1.

    Scale Excursus 1: The Scale of the Detail, Natalie Rozencwaig

    Part 1: Scale Before the Twentieth Century

    The Role of Small-Scale Images by Wenceslaus Hollar: the Rebuiling of London in the Late Seventeenth Century, Gordana Fontana-Giusti
    Mildendo and Masdar: A Tale of Two Cities, Adam Sharr
    Examining the Knots…Counting the Bricks’: John Ruskin’s Innocent Eye, Stephen Kite
    The Worm’s Eye as a Measure of Man: Axonometry in Architectural Representation, Hilary Bryon

    Scale Excursus 2: Scale in Recent Projects by MVRDV, Natalie de Vries

    Part 2: Scale in Art and Perception
    Colour Scales, Fay Zika
    Scales of Interaction: Aligning the Qualitative with the Quantitative in Music and Architecture, Fiona Smyth
    Architectual Scale: Psychoanalysis and Adrian Stokes, Janet Sayers
    Sublime Indifference, Helen Mallinson
    Measuring Up: Measurement and the Redefinition of Scale in Conceptual Art, Elise Noyez
    Scaling Haptics – Haptic Scaling: Studying Scale and Scaling in the Haptic Design Process of Two Architects who Lost their Sight, Peter-Willem Vermeersch and Ann Heylighen
    Scale Adjustment in Architecture and Music, Richard Coyne

    Scale Excursus 3: Complex Ordinariness in Oxford: 'House after Two years of Living', Igea Troiani

    Part 3: Scale in the Twentieth Century

    Ethos Logos Pathos: Architects and their Chairs, Jonathan Foote
    ‘Halfway between the Electron and the Universe’: Doxiadis and the Delos Symposia, Simon Richards
    Little Boxes, Gerald Adler
    Scale and Identity in the Housing Projects of Coderch, Michael Pike
    Politics and the Deliquescence of Scale: the Columbaria of Brodsky and Utkin, Michael Ostwald

Show / exhibition

  • Korolija Fontana-Giusti, G., Kueppers, S., Mohammed, A., Koronis, N., Ciriello, W., Inga, P., Vajagic, B., Robertson, N., Woolley, M., Ben, H., Covic, M., Thomas, N., Marneur, G., Choudhary, V. and Daniels, J. (2006). London Loves the Thames. [Catalogue - London Architecture Biennale]. Available at: http://www.architectureweek.com.
    London Loves the Thames

    Bankside Gallery, London, Southbank
    June 2006

    ‘London Loves the Thames’ was an exhibition that presented the Agora: Cities for People research project focused on the planning and sustainability of urban environments and the improvement of quality of life within cities such as London. The exhibition celebrates London’s rediscovered intimacy with the Thames and it is a statement about the river’s sustainability. The project has been led by architect Gordana Fontana-Giusti, the core research team comprises Stefan Kueppers, Abdul Mohammed, Nicholas Koronis, Wendy Ciriello and Martin Woolley while the exhibition team includes artists Nicholas Robertson, Pierpaolo Inga, Claystation, Garance Marneur, Milos Covic, Boban Vajagic and Jeff Daniels.

    Coinciding with the London Architecture Biennale, Architecture Week and London Sustainability Week, running from 16-25 June 2006 in the Bankside Gallery, London.

    ‘London Loves the Thames’ was a multi-media exhibition that encouraged public participation and included interactive displays such as a Chinese-style paper scroll for sketching and recording impressions about the South bank and clay modelling inviting visitors to create their own visions for the city of London.

    The Agora London research team chose a site that stretches from the Globe Theatre along the river Thames westwards over Hungerford Bridge towards Trafalgar Square. They concentrated on this area of regeneration due to the growth of cultural institutions and consequent tourist activity.

    The results of the Agora London research have been packaged into an Urban Design research resource which can offer consultancy services in the areas of: Urban Analysis, Urban Design and Urban Sustainability. These methodologies and outputs would be beneficial to architectural practices across UK and Europe, local authorities in UK and Europe, development agencies in UK and local communities and citizens associations in UK.

    “The research does not aim to be too regimented... Agora has provided a Best Practice model that can be developed intelligently by other cities" remarked Hugo Hinsley of the AA School of Architecture.
  • Korolija Fontana-Giusti, G., Kueppers, S., Mohammed, A., Koronis, N., Ciriello, W., Richards, B., Woolley, M., Robertson, N. and Choudhary, V. (2006). Agora - Cities for People - presentation at the 11th World Triennial of Architecture, Interarch ’06 Sofia, Bulgaria. [Official Programme]. Available at: http://iaa-ngo.org.
    The two panels visually summarise the Agora - Cities for People methodology for sustainable urban design.

    Agora: Cities for People was a 3 year research project involving the European cities of London, Barcelona, Malmo and Utrecht. Each research team chose a specific site, within their city, to explore the usability of that area, examining how the nature of urban living and impact of human activity works within the spatial context, how the cityscape affects the urban flow of people and how the existing form of the urban landscape can be improved for future usage. The London site stretched from the Globe Theatre on the south bank of the River Thames westwards along Bankside, over Hungerford Bridge towards Trafalgar Square. The main focus of research concentrated on this area of regeneration due to the growth of cultural institutions within the zone and consequent tourist activity.

    London has always had the most profound relationship with its river. In its period of buoyancy and social development the capital has reinvented itself through its relationship with the Thames. This was the case in Elizabethan times, and it appears to be the case again today. After the development of the Docklands and the South bank, current debate on Thames Gateway focuses once more on London expanding along its fluvial origins.


  • Fontana-Giusti, G. (2010). Ignored by critics. Architectural Research Quaterly [Online] 14:190-191. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S135913551000093X.
    The article is the response to the essay by Nicole Sully about the strange nature of the memorials for the late Diana, Princess of Wales
  • Korolija Fontana-Giusti, G. (2010). Eric Mumford, Defining Urban Design. CIAM Architects and the Formation of a Discipline, 1937–69. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2009. Urban History [Online] 37:196-198. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0963926810000258.
    The article critically reviews the book by Eric Mumford. While acknowledging its value and significant contribution to the history of urbanism, Fontana-Giusti argues for a more profound understanding which will include the complexity of the underlining philosophies held by the CIAM architects of this period.


  • Lesser Woods, I. (2018). Literary Language As a Tool for Design: An Architectural Study of the Spaces of Mervyn Peake’s The Gormenghast Trilogy and ’Boy in Darkness’.
    The thesis discusses the relationship between the disciplines of literature and architecture. It opens up the potential of literary language to act as a design tool. In order to examine this hypothesis the literary spaces of Mervyn Peake's The Gormenghast Trilogy (1946-59) and 'Boy in Darkness' (1956) are examined as latent architectural spaces. The ensuing discussion poses questions regarding what an architectural language, practice or theory (in respect to the thesis) might be. The thesis questions traditional means of literary analysis, the importance of the author within the text and the related conventions.

    Spaces extracted from Peake's text form the basis for the analysis. This research uses architectural practice, in the form of maps, sectional drawing and model making, to analyse and render the spaces of the text and their architectural potential. The spatial renditions enable their literary counterparts to be analysed as architectural proposals. An understanding of scale and inhabitation provide the basis from which these spaces can be examined. The positions of author, character, reader and architectural-draughtsman as inhabitants of the text are used to examine the relationship between the self and the other within the text and the architecturally rendered forms.

    The concept of poetic inhabitation, derived from Bachelard, is extended to draw the apparently disparate aspects of the thesis together in order to argue for literary language to form a tool for architectural design. The thesis provides a position from which the questions are brought up and new avenues explored.
  • Berstrand, T. (2013). Splitting and Doubling: Spaces for Contemporary Living in Works by Gordon Matta-Clark, Kurt Schwitters and Gregor Schneider.
    The thesis addresses the question of dwelling as a challenge and concern in the twenty-first century. It does so on the basis of three works of art, all exercising radical spatial reconfigurations of existing residential buildings. The thesis argues that these works created in the twentieth century bring strategies forward for a contemporary living space of interest today. Furthermore, that the agency of the artistic gesture exceeds the scope of the architectural work when addressing the subject of home and house in critical ways. The importance of this engagement lies in an incompatibility observed between ideas about dwelling and the experience of the contemporary age. A prevalent desire for a permanently settled and stable living space is at odds with increasingly transient and nomadic present-day lifestyles – the thesis asks how come such concepts without application endure.

    Literary works, concerned with the process of modernisation in the twentieth century, are called upon to qualify this problem of dwelling in our time. While the texts provide insight into the dialectics of the modern, the chosen works of art unfold three living spaces settled in the moment of their making. When answering the immediate contextual setting with an environment for living beyond conventional building practices, Gordon Matta-Clark’s Splitting (1974), Kurt Schwitters’ Merzbau (1927-37) and Gregor Schneider’s HAUS u r (1985-today) give clues to the nature of the contemporary dwelling. As a living space beyond conceptualisation, this dwelling does not require a whole house to be held in place nor does it rely on walls for spatial differentiation. Instead, a framework for coexistence is articulated as a space of resistance to the forces of the modern, threatening to render all dwellers homeless. The thesis challenges the contemporary architect with the task of participating in the creation of this space.

Visual media

  • Korolija Fontana-Giusti, G., Mohammed, A., Kueppers, S., Robertson, N., Choudhary, V., Purkayastha, S. and Eno, B. (2006). London Loves the Thames - Flows and Assemblages - Movie. [film]. Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design.
    Visual represetation of flows and assemblages along London South bank
  • Fontana-Giusti, R. and Korolija Fontana-Giusti, G. (2006). Chan-Chan 2006 - Beach Lodge in LA Libertad Peru. [digital drawings]. www.arquitectum.com. Available at: http://www.arquitectum.com/concursos/chanchan_en.php.
    Landscape Competition Chan-Chan 2006 - La Libertad , Peru

    ARCHITECTUM 's initiative to organize this contest of ideas first appeared from the necessity of celebrating such an important historic site as The Chan Chan Citadel,Peru, through the construction of a Beach Lodge; a new style of accommodations which differs from the classic folkloric resort or theme hotel. The building would "celebrate" the natural scenario more than "distract" with its own facilities.

    The proposal had to show a contemporary and accurate image that represented the actual spirit of the present times, but taking into consideration the usual economics of resources and the most suitable materials. It also had to be of the lowest physical investment possible.

    Furthermore, the project needed to include issues such as an ecological conscience, as well as respect for the landscape and the environment.
Last updated