(RE)Orientations Spring 2014


Architecture and Feminisms. Ecologies of Practice and Alternative Economies. AHRA (Architectural Humanities Research Association) 2016.

This pre-emptive research event proposes to gather some preliminary thoughts toward the ongoing planning of the international AHRA conference to be held in 2016 at KTHA Stockholm. AHRA 2016 will address architecture and feminisms through explorations of ecologies of practice and alternative economies at work in architecture, urban planning, and the spatial disciplines. Our small symposium will be hosted in the context of the KTHA (Re)Orientations course, which is an intensive 2 week workshop delivered to over 100 advanced level (years 4-5) architecture students. With this meeting we seek to further develop the outlines of our proposal for the AHRA 2016 conference event by discussing our relevant research.

We situate the research themes of Architecture and Feminisms: Ecologies of Practice and Alternative Economies amidst what has come to be known as the Anthropocene, a disputed term that calls for the recognition of the formation of a geologic age in which global environmental conditions have been radically altered by accelerating processes of human driven industrialization. Architecture has fully participated in these processes, and we propose that an exploration of feminist, critical, and radical methodologies and epistemologies in architecture – especially in light of the rise of practice-based research – might enable us to shift the values and habits that produce our over-pressured existential territories.

Amidst what can be deemed a generalized, world-wide exhaustion of our material resources, relations, and environments, we will invite researchers and practitioners to explore how feminist and critical concepts and design tools might offer radical and experimental approaches to creating more sustainable and resilient mental, social and environmental ecologies. We plan to use the AHRA conference event in 2016 to exchange and collectivise current research on critical, radical and feminist approaches to architecture that can be applied by all to the relay between architectural discourse and practice. We do not intend to create exclusionary places and practices, but to experiment with ways of ethically coping in a world that is becoming increasingly unstable and contested. We call for a thoroughgoing reengagement in histories and futures of feminist critical and radical practices toward reimagining our contested and precarious world. We invite participants to draw inspiration from their feminist and radically engaged precursors, existing, and reimagined, whose diverse projects, manifestos, and concepts can be reinvented in opposition to arguments that declare the approach of the end-times.

AHRA Schedule

9.30 Introduction

10.00-12.00 Conversation: Who’s Afraid of Critical Practice? How to activate your radical-feminist practices in art-architecture, urban curation and environmental activism:

  • Liza Fior, architect, muf architecture/art, London UK
  • Elke Krasny, Curator and Cultural Theorist, Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna Austria
  • Jane da Mosto, environmental scientist and activist, co-founder of We are Here Venice, Venice Italy
    Hosted by Helen Runting

12.00-13.00 Lunch

Three Intertwined Research Themes:

13.00-14.15
1. Alternative Economies:

  • Katie Lloyd Thomas, Guest Lecturer, Newcastle UK (30 Minutes)
  • Catharina Gabrielsson, Urban Theory, KTH (15 minutes)
  • Karin Bradley, Division of Urban and Regional Planning, KTH (15 minutes)
  • Helena Mattsson, Architecture Theory and History, KTH (15 minutes)
  • Discussion

14.30- 16.00
2. Ecologies of Practice:

  • Peg Rawes, Guest Lecturer, Bartlett UCL, UK (30 minutes)
  • Hélène Frichot, Critical Studies, KTH (15 minutes)
  • Meike Schalk, Critical Studies and Urban Theory, KTH (15 Minutes)
  • Ramia Maze, Interactive Institute and Urban Planning and Design KTH (15 Minutes)
  • Discussion

16.15-17.45
3. Architecture and Feminisms:

  • MYCKET (Katarina Bonnevier, Thérèse Kristiansson and Mariana Alvès) (30 Minutes)
  • Brady Burroughs, Critical Studies, KTH (15 Minutes)
  • Katja Grillner, Critical Studies, KTH (15 Minutes)
  • Discussion

17.45-18.00 Conclusion

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(RE)Orientations


Architecture in Effect at 2014 AHRA conference in Newcastle