Architecture Space and Society Centre

2021 Spring Programme

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ASSC is pleased to announce its new Spring 2021 Programme of events, with talks on postwar redevelopment, the epistemology of modern design, and the spatial control of epidemics past and present.

Thinker in Architecture Zeynep Çelik Alexander – 7 May 2021

Friday 7 May: ASSC’s Thinker in Architecture Zeynep Çelik Alexander examines the role that the Museum of Economic Geology played as a proto-database, connecting thousands of geological specimens to the world of economic activity beyond.

Pandemic Spaces: Two conversations & a workshop – 20 May 2021

Thursday 20 May: Leslie Topp and Miloš Kosec host this workshop open to participants based on two pre-recorded conversations, ‘Pandemic spaces: cordons and borders’ and ‘Pandemic spaces: homes and rooms’.

Late Gothic, Extinction & Afterlife – 28 May 2021

Friday 28 May: Robert Bork (University of Iowa) will explore both the original fate of the late Gothic tradition, and the forces behind its curiously conflicted reception.

Leslie Topp Inaugural Lecture: The Spaces We Are Reduced To – 7 June 2021

Monday 7 June: In this inaugural lecture, ‘The Spaces We Are Reduced To’, Professor Leslie Topp will explore what the pandemic has taught her about the phenomenon of spatial reduction in nineteenth-century carceral institutions.

Form, Class & Crisis at Robin Hood Gardens – 4 March 2021

Thursday 4 March: Nicholas Thoburn (University of Manchester) considers Brutalist architecture’s class dimensions, through the experimental forms, charged voids and afterlives of east London’s Robin Hood Gardens.

Boom Cities in 1960s Britain – 11 March 2021

Thursday 11 March: Otto Saumarez Smith (University of Warwick) will discuss how, around and about the pivotal date of 1963, various political cultures informed and interacted with the widespread ambition to totally reshape British city centres.


Birkbeck is offering a number of PhD scholarships that will aim to actively address under-representation at the highest level of research, and encourage BAME students to consider academic research in all disciplines. First offered in 2020/21, Diversity100 applications will be invited again for the following academic year entry and further details will be announced shortly.

Modernism and the New Man – 12 November 2020

Thursday 12 November 6pm: The creation of Soviet culture in the 1920s and the 1930s was the most radical of modernist projects. Tijana Vujosevic (University of British Columbia) discusses the ideological role of architecture as fiction and practice shaping the material environment, and with it, the modern self.

The Architecture Of Petro-urbanism – 19 November 2020

Thursday 19 November 2pm: With a looming ‘cold crunch’ caused by rampant growth in air-conditioning usage, Jiat-Hwee Chang (National University of Singapore) traces the 50-year history of how two Asian cities, Singapore and Doha, became reliant on mechanical cooling.

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