Architecture and narrative: a postscript

Carlo Scarpa, Olivetti Showroom. Photo S. Psarra In the Fall Semester 2020 I was invited to contribute to my friend and colleague John Peponis' design studio Architecture Perception Curation in the School of Architecture in Georgia Tech. Having given a lecture to John's students in October, I soon joined a stimulating programme of reviews with... Continue Reading →

Powers of Three at EPFLausanne

Featured image: Permeability and the relationship between Parliament and the public in the Houses of Parliament, United Kingdom and the German Bundestag in the Reichstag Building. Sophia Psarra and Gustavo Maldonado. 2020. ‘The Palace of Westminster and the Reichstag Building: Spatial Form and Political Culture’ Fresh from presenting at the Bartlett/UCL European Institute joint conference on... Continue Reading →

Space and Social Behaviour: An exploration of the relationship between space and patterns of use in three London libraries

The relationship between space and function has been one of the key defining questions in modernism. However, as Bill Hillier explains, ‘[o]ne scours the architectural manifestos of the twentieth century in vain for a thorough going statement of a determinism from spatial form to function, or its inverse’. Yet, there is a relationship of some... Continue Reading →

Human figures and inhabited space in 742 Evergreen Terrace: An analysis of The Simpsons’ house, popular culture and social behaviour

Can narrative expressions in mass media help us understand contemporary social behaviour in domestic spaces? Gustavo Maldonado, a student in my Architectural Phenomena module at the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL (2019-20) raised this question for his final essay in the module. He began by explaining that from ancient stone drawings to current TV-shows, humans... Continue Reading →

Parliament Buildings: The architecture of power, accountability and democracy in Europe

From Churchill’s claim ‘we shape our buildings, thereafter they shape us’ to Mitterrand’s belief that ‘there is no great politics without great architecture’, parliamentary buildings are widely recognised as the symbols and instruments of political life. Parliament buildings are the symbols and instruments of political life. They shape political culture and the space where the... Continue Reading →

Mapping Real and Representational Space – Part I

‘However abstract, however contemplative in spirit, however remote from practical application, it [geometry] must surely have arisen from, and easily translates back into, the tasks of shaping artifacts, laying out buildings, and surveying land’. Robin Evans, The Projective Cast: Architecture and its Three Geometries.     In a visually oriented culture we tend to equate... Continue Reading →

In Good Company

Delighted to see #thevenicevariations in the bookshop of the @la_Biennale Thank you to the team of @UCLpress @BartlettArchUCL @bartlettSDAC

The Venice Variations: Introduction Preview

Between authored architecture and the non-authored city "To distinguish the other cities’ qualities, I must speak of a first city that remains implicit. For me it is Venice." -Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities Three artefacts In 1972 the Italian writer Italo Calvino published his most acclaimed work of fiction, a novel about cities that made a seminal... Continue Reading →

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