Kent School of Architecture

Writing Buildings

July 2016

Conference Registration

All the registration will take place in the foyer of the Grimond Building on the campus of the University of Kent.

Registration will take place from 16.00 on Thursday 14th July and from 9.00 on Friday 15th July.

If you would like to attend the screening and Buildings and Film session in the city centre, you are asked to let us know. If you do, you can attend these before you register. There are regular buses between the city centre and the campus. The nearest bus stop is St Dunstans, Westgate Towers. Bus UNI2 departs from this stop at 17.31 and arrives at the campus at 17.39. It is another 5-10 minutes’ walk to the Grimond Building. Click here for details.

For each of the special events, (film screening at the Curzon on Thursday 14th July, and the two guided walks in Margate on Sunday 17th July), advanced booking is required. Please email to book your place.

For further information regarding event locations, please click here.

Please have a look at our accommodation options:

If you’d like to stay on the university campus, please book here
If you’d like to stay in a Canterbury bed and breakfast, please see this site
If you’d like to stay in Margate, Broadstairs or Ramsgate, please look here

Timothy Brittain-Catlin, Catherine Richardson and Tom Wilkinson, directors
Christina Chatzipoulka, conference administrator

Enquiries to:

You can find details of all our speakers and their abstracts here.

At last we can reveal our programme for the conference.

Click here for registration.

Full conference registration, including Thursday afternoon events: £250.00
Registration for second delegate where two delegates are presenting a single paper: £120.00

This programme may be subject to change.

Thursday 14th July 2016

Launch events:

14.00: Film screening at the Curzon Cinema, Canterbury: Russian Ark

16:00-17.30: Session at the Westgate Hall, Canterbury (immediately adjacent to Curzon Cinema)

Buildings and Film:

  • Veronique Proteau. Russian Ark: A walk through Sokurov’s historical consciousness in the Hermitage
  • Semra Horuz and Gödze Şarlak. More than one ‘traveled’ for: Mobility experiences within Istanbul.
  • Liat Ben Shoshan. Brutalism and Israeli cinema in the 1960s: discovering the "Everyday"
  • Adam Nadolny. Modern architecture of the 1960s recorded in the film image as an element of creation of the architectural culture in Poland

18:00-19:00: Architectural journalism in the digital era: with Oliver Wainwright, Shumi Bose, Rob Wilson and Catherine Slessor. Grimond Lecture Theatre 1, Grimond Building

19.00: Iain Sinclair (keynote speaker), Grimond Lecture Theatre 1, Grimond Building

20.00 - 21.00 - Drinks reception in the foyer of the Grimond building

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Friday 15th July 2016

9.00 - 9.30: Tea  & Coffee in the foyer of Grimond Building​

10.00 - 12.00:  Parallel sessions, Grimond Seminar Rooms 1 - 3, Grimond Building

1:         The Recreation of Lost Spaces

  • Charlotte Berry. Domestic buildings and domestic space in the records of fifteenth-century London
  • Iuliana Gavril. Architectural criticism before an ‘era of criticism’: ‘The Voice’ Byzantine
  • Sheila Sweetinburgh. ‘Going to visit’: An imaginary tour of Sir Peter Buck’s house in seventeenth-century Rochester
  • Alan Wadsworth. Writing farm buildings: Preservation through archives

2:         Writing by Practitioners

  • Otto Saumarez Smith. Modernism in an Old Country: Lionel Brett as architect author
  • Jon Wood. The story from within
  • Xiang Ren. A right to write: Textual practice of buildings by a carpenter-architect and a barefoot-architect
  • Gillian Lambert. Messy bits - embracing the unexpected in architectural discource

3:         The Experience of the User

  • Matt Demers. Contestation and extension: ANT analysis of Nek Chand's Rock Garden in Chandigarh
  • Claire Dwyer; Nazneen Ahmed; Stephen Foley; David Gilbert. Inventing a space for faith: experiments from West London
  • Raúl Martínez. A space-time glance at Gaudi’s Palau Güell: Diagrams ofarchitectural experience
  • Edwina Attlee. Watching and Talking: Play and Other Childish Activities on the Postwar London Estate

12.00: Matthew Beaumont, UCL: keynote address. Grimond Lecture Theatre 1, Grimond Building

13.00: Lunch break

14.00 – 16.00: Parallel Sessions, Grimond Seminar Rooms 1 -3, Grimond Building

4:         Photography and Buildings    

  • Michael Abrahamson. ‘From La Tourette to Neiman Marcus’: On the disuse of images in architectural criticism
  • Ashley Mason. A coincidental plot: absent/present
  • Andy Lock. Writing buildings through and in response to photography: history and affect in autoethnographic responses to the architectural legacy of modern-movement churches by Gratton and McLean and Gillespie, Kidd and Coia.

5:         Professional Critiques of Architecture           

  • Philip Allin. Visual and textual clues to the architecture crisis: A metacritical analysis of Dutch architectural journals, 1966-2008.
  • Gabriele Neri. When satire meets architecture
  • Hans Ibelings. The marriage of building & writing
  • Paul Davies. Writing Reputations

6:         Spaces of Writing

  • Henriette Steiner. H.C. ANDERSEN WAS (not) HERE
  • Carolin Vogel. Letters from a Poet’s House: Rediscovering a forgotten place
  • Lauren Elkin. Insider/outsider modernism: women ‘write’ the Parisian maison
  • Kreider + O'Leary. Belfast Interfaces: Thirteen Points, Expanded

16.00-17.00: Coffee break 

17.00: Ian Dungavell, former director, the Victorian Society: keynote address, Grimond Lecture Theatre 1, Grimond Building

18.00: Alexandra Harris, University of Liverpool: keynote address, Grimond Lecture Theatre 1, Grimond Building

19.00: Conference dinner, Dolce Vita, Keynes College

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Saturday 16th July 2016

9.00 - 9.30: Tea  & Coffee in the foyer of Grimond Building​

10.00 – 12.00: Parallel sessions, Grimond Seminar Rooms 1 - 3, Grimond Building

7:         The Traveller

  • Gerry Adler. ‘Wien schreiben – Writing Vienna’
  • Martin Beattie. Temple tours and Daddie: The letters and architectural writings of John Stapylton Grey Pemberton from Sri Lanka and India
  • Emma Cheatle. Architecture, lying-in and literature: writing maternal building histories
  • Elena Chestnova. Architectural History and the Travelogue: Semper’s history writing and the ‘manners and customs’ genre.

8:         Literary Representations

  • Sandra Al-Saleh. Disappearances: Literary reactions to Kuwait’s built environment in the twentieth century
  • Esen Kara. Contested Spaces and the Right To the City: Representations of Los Angeles in Transnational American Literature
  • Jessica Kelly; Jason Finch. Voices from inside: Alternative perspectives and narratives of slum clearance in 1930s East London.
  • Angeliki Sioli. The bleeding Palace: a literary depiction of Hermitage over tim

9:         Site and Survey

  • Simon Bradley. Writing architecture: Pevsner and the Buildings of England
  • Samantha Martin-McAuliffe. Stone watching, wall gazing: architectural stories from the field
  • Julian Williams. Reconceptualising the estate
  • Alison Charles. Circumventing the invisible: Tracing the untold story of the ‘Dutch houses’ of east Kent

12.00: Ben Campkin, Urban Lab, UCL: keynote address, Grimond Lecture Theatre 1, Grimond Building

13.00: Lunch break

14.00 – 16.00: Parallel sessions, Grimond Seminar Rooms 1 - 3, Grimond Building

10:       Timber and Stones

  • Ross Anderson. On writings about the drawing out of stone: German late gothic Werkmeisterbücher and Baumeisterbücher in dialogue
  • Marina A. L. Mengali. The medieval invisible town: external wooden structures, balconies and footbridges of the stone façades in central Italy between the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries.
  • Owen Hopkins. The afterlives of architecture
  • James Ayres. Building Tradesmen as Writers

11:       Performance

  • Rosa Ainley. From experiment to application in Writing Alexandra Palace: Plurivocity as a method of cultural recovery of buildings
  • Ed Frith; Caroline Salem. Dancing about architecture is like writing about music
  • Peter Koch Gehlshøj. Composing buildings: Sonorous cathedrals, castles and chaos
  • Conor McCafferty. Writing the sound of the city: Analysing crowdsourced writing from urban sound maps

12:       Creative Responses

  • Alex Selenitsch. Writing new spaces
  • Nora Wendl. Pages Have a Limiting Finality: The Poetry of Dr. Edith Farnsworth
  • Hila Zaban. Once upon a time in Jerusalem: Real-data and real-fiction in the story of the former Palestinian Baka neighbourhood in Jerusalem
  • Imogen Lesser. Mervyn Peake’s literary language as an architectural mechanism

16.00-17.00: Coffee break 

17.00: Barbara Penner, UCL: keynote address, Grimond Lecture Theatre 1, Grimond Building

18.00: A discussion with Jonathan Meades, writer and Film Maker. Grimond Lecture Theatre 1, Grimond Building

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Sunday 17th Sunday 2016

Special events in Margate, Kent. These events are free for registered delegates. Advanced booking is required. Please email to book a place.

10:30 "A Journey with 'The Waste Land'" 

Meeting point: Clore Gallery, inside Turner Contemporary, Margate, Kent

In 1921 T.S Eliot wrote part of ‘The Waste Land’ in Margate whilst recuperating from a nervous breakdown. Join Turner Contemporary’s Waste Land Research Group for a multi-sited reading of the poem responding to the geography of the town. Locating the poem experimentally within the architecture of Margate, passages of ‘The Waste Land’ will be read on a walk exploring participants’ personal connections between the poem, the town and Eliot’s time here.

The Waste Land Research Group is made up of members of the Community working with Turner Contemporary to develop the gallery’s first major exhibition of 2018, A Journey with ‘The Waste Land’, which will explore the connections between the poem and the visual arts. Walking is being developed as a research method for understanding how the poem can be rooted experientially within the town.

Professor Mike Tooby will introduce the Gallery, show a few images to illustrate the unique project methodology, and reference the conference theme by alluding to why the project is titled as it is, with the metaphor of 'journey' in the working title.

11.00 A Tour of Margate's architectural highlights

Meeting point: Turner Contemporary, Margate, Kent

We are delighted to announce that the architectural historian and Margate town centre regeneration specialist Nick Dermott is offering a tour of Margate’s architectural highlights, including a rare opportunity to see the Dreamland cinema, one of the first modernistic cinemas in Britain and designed in 1933 following its architect Julian Leathart’s visit to study Erich Mendelsohn’s work in Germany. The tour will also include Cliftonville Lido, the Winter Gardens, Margate Old Town, Arlington House (by Russell Diplock, for Bernard Sunley), and Dreamland Park. The tour will start from outside the Turner Contemporary in Margate at 11 am on Sunday morning.

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Kent School of Architecture, Marlowe Building, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NR

The University of Kent, +44 (0)1227 824689 or

Last Updated: 14/07/2016