Crosswise – PhD Symposium

Double Crossing 
“This Thing Called Theory
Open Seminar Series

14:00 – 18:00
At the The Barrel Vault in The AA
Organised by  AA PhD Programme & Architectural Humanities Research Association (AHRA)
This Thing Called Theory
Stemming from the Architectural Humanities Research Association (AHRA) 2015 conference, the open seminar
series ‘This Thing Called Theory’ continues to explore the status of theory in architecture, and proposes theory as a
form of architectural practice that opposes the instrumentalization of its use.
The first open seminar ‘Architecture and Its Theories’ (AA 2017) looked at different ways of practicing theory in
architecture, through its histories (Marco De Michelis) and philosophies (Mark Cousins), as well as in curatorial
(Pippo Ciorra) and editorial (Diana Periton) practices. Issues of interpretation and betrayal in representation and
communication emerged.
Double Crossing
In this second open seminar ‘Double Crossing’, the question of fidelity is further examined, in particular in the
relation between architectural theory and practice. One important motif that emerged in previous debates is the
ability of theory to digress and transgress certain bounds of the field, insofar as to instigate disturbances that may
lead to deaths and births of particular forms of practice.
In this sense, theory in its most provocative form is to be not so much a faithful ally of practice, as that which has
the ability to love and to betray practice, for Architecture’s sake. Every act of insight, imagination and innovation
possible in architecture is a trace of such double-crossing, intentional deceit and treacherous exposure between
theory and practice. This is where what is said and not said, the visible and the hidden, the mark and its erasure,
constitute the relation of complicity behind movements of conservation and revolution that shaped what we now
know as architectural history.
Doreen Bernath (AA & Leeds Beckett University)
Mark Cousins (AA)
Sergio Figueiredo (TU Eindhoven)
Ivonne Santoyo Orozco(Iowa State University)
Douglas Spencer (AA & University of Westminster)
Teresa Stoppani (AHRA)
Andrea Dutto (Politecnico di Torino)
Will Orr (AA PhD programme)
14:00 – 14:15
Teresa Stoppani, Sergio Figueiredo, Doreen Bernath – Introduction
14:15 – 15:00
Mark Cousins – On Betrayal
Ivonne Santoyo Orozco – Liquid
Doreen Bernath – Introjection
15:00 – 15:45
Questions and Conversation
Speakers with Andrea Dutto, Will Orr, Teresa Stoppani and audience
15:45 – 16:00
Coffee Break
16:00 – 16:45
Douglas Spencer – Withdrawn
Sergio Figueiredo – Towards Big Data
Teresa Stoppani – Erasure
16:45 – 17:30
Questions and Conversation
Speakers with Andrea Dutto, Will Orr, Doreen Bernath and
17:30 – 18:00
Completed PhD Presentations
33FFB (First Floor Back)
Ricardo Ruivo Pereira
Architecture and Counter-revolution: The Ideology of the Historiography of the Soviet Avant-garde
Supervisors: Mark Cousins, Dr Pier Vittorio Aureli
The thesis produces a history of the Western historiography of Soviet architecture, looking at its trends and the evolution of its narratives. It focuses on the development of historiographical categories and their transformations, as an exercise of what Reinhart Koselleck calls conceptual history, framed as a Marxist critique of ideology. It frames a persistent link to the present from the Soviet “avant-garde” as an ideological projection of meanings the Western historiography of Soviet architecture produces over its own geo-political reality, where “the avant-garde” as a meta-category is itself constructed of legitimation of Western presents

Arturo Revilla 
Plastic. The use of everyday materials as a design tool for the understanding of contemporary urbanization.
Supervisors: Dr Marina Lathouri
Plastic is in everything we touch and see drastically affecting our day to day. This  material form has extended its influence beyond our direct experience in to areas such as infrastructure, global commerce and communication, playing a central role in the complexity of our contemporary material culture. This thesis examines the impact that the everyday use of materials such as plastic has had in the configuration of the physical environment to explore the relationships and synergies between urbanization processes and architectural design.

Nihal Al Sabbagh
Urban Design and Outdoor Thermal Comfort
Supervisors: Dr Simos Yannas, Dr Paula Cadima
The study aims to improve walkability, prolonging the distances that can be travelled by pedestrians at different times of the year. Design strategies were investigated through field studies and computational simulation with case studies for the urban communities of Greens and Jumeirah Lakes Towers in Dubai.


Crosswise: 4 Conversations

Introduction to the event by Alvaro
10.15 – 11.50 
Dissolving Boundaries
Tatjana Crossley, Elena Palacios, Sofia Krimizi

The overarching theme of this panel is ‘boundaries’, looking at this through the lens of the psychological,
the physical and the representational. Tatjana Crossley will be discussing the boundary of the body image,
looking largely at the psychological aspect of body image formation and evolution (as it relates to the
subjective and sensory experience of space and virtual space). Elena Palacios will be considering the space of
the artist studio as an inhabited boundary that exists between and merges the space of the home and the
public. And Sofia Krimizi will be examining the boundaries imposed by and generated through education
in the context of the architecture school, specifically looking into the departure from the building as a
boundary that separates the act of learning from the objects that architects are learning from.
11.50 – 13.20 
Spaces of Hybridity
Kanyaphorn Kaewprasert, Kornkamon Kaewprasert, and Damnoen Techamai
This panel will discuss the ideas of hybridity in two phenomena. Damnoen Techamai will be
using the term to explain wedding ceremonies in the current culture condition of Thailand through
wedding gowns. The productions of objects and services seem to refer to traditions in Thailand but are
basically an invented tradition. Secondly, the notion of hybridity will be discussed in traditional questions
in social science of the relationship between things which are both natural and cultural. Kornkamon
Kaewprasert will be discussing the idea of wood symbolising wood by giving the distinction of the object,
tree , and the substance, wood , which is overlaid by the distinction of culture and nature. Kanyaphorn
Kaewprasert will be examining the forest, a paradoxical object, by laying out its terms from natural to
cultural understandings, in particular, a forest in its impermeable, pure, stage to the forest in fairytales.
13.20 – 14.30 lunch
14.30 – 15.45 
Imaginary Ideals
Andrea Goh and Naina Gupta

The panel will discuss two different examples of utopian ideas. Both discussions will show the
complications where imaginary narratives affect the spatial conditions and architectural practices, effecting
the very forms of life of its people. The first presentation discusses the policies on exhumations and burials
in Singapore and reflects on the distinct spatial technologies the Singaporean state has utilised to tackle the
issues of land scarcity while at the same time, trying to create a sense of rootedness in its citizens. The
second presentation, focusing on the international zone in The Hague, argues that the deliberate projection
of neutrality – understood by its ease of integration in to the everyday, its pure functional rhetoric and lack
of any overt representation of power – is the inevitable architectural language of international
organisations, is rooted in modernism and is closely aligned with its inherent paradoxical political stance.
15.50 – 18.00 
The Politics of Planning: Conditions, Contradictions, Critiques
Ricardo Ruivo, Will Orr, Eleni Axioti, Samaneh Moafi

The panel will discuss contemporary questions surrounding the social and political character of
architectural and urban planning. In particular, attention will be paid to the historical connection between
planning, social democracy, and the welfare state, which today takes on a particular significance. The panel
will address contemporary critical perceptions of historical instances of planning, with focus on the
limitations of those critiques. The speakers will suggest different approaches to the notion of planning – a
notion which tends to condense a number of ambiguous institutional and political associations within
architectural discourse.
Constance Lau, Doreen Bernath, Jon Goodbun, Maria S. Giudici, Teresa Stoppani, Mark Campbell (tbc), Mark
Cousins, Mark Morris (tbc), Melissa Moore
* The posters have been designed and produced by Kanyaphorn Kaewprasert, Kornkamon Kaewprasert. First Year PhD candidates at The Architectural Association.