Georgios Eftaxiopoulos is an architect trained at the Architectural Association. He is currently working in London and teaching at the Royal College of Art and the Architectural Association, where he is pursuing his PhD in Architectural Design. Georgios has previously practiced in Belgium and Switzerland and taught at the Berlage and the University of Navarra.
Alvaro Velasco Perez is a PhD candidate at the Architectural Association School of Architecture where he previously studied a masters on History and Critical Thinking on Architecture. In 2012, he obtained his degree on Architecture by the University of Navarre, Spain. He has collaborated in teaching positions with First Year Design Studio at the AA School as well as participated in crits throughout the school. He has also formed part of research projects with the Design Department of the School of Architecture of the University of Navarre and associated with 4th Year design course in the same school. Alvaro has collaborated through design and theory in offices in London, Spain and New York. His current research inquires into the relevance of the iconological meaning of the desert in the political involvement of architecture during the late 1960s and early 1970s.
Stefan Popa studied in Bucharest, Paris and Barcelona before joining the Architectural Association. After graduating from the Vallès School of Architecture in Barcelona in 2009, he was awarded the Caja de los Arquitectos scholarship and started practicing architecture as a design team member of the Foster + Partner Madrid office. His interest in theory of architecture in relation to the practice of architecture led him to pursue the History and Critical Thinking MA degree at the Architectural Association in 2014. After graduating from the Programme, Stefan started taking part in various competition and academic juries. His current PhD research at the Architectural Association aims at highlighting a set of relevant questions on the notion of critical ecology resulted from the interactions of the multiple agencies involved in the organization of the Winter Olympic Games held in Lillehammer in 1994.
Jingru (Cyan) Cheng obtained both PhD by Design (2018) and M.Phil Projective Cities (2014) at the Architectural Association (AA) and was the co-director of AA Wuhan Visiting School 2015-17. She is currently a postdoctoral research associate at the Royal College of Art, working on project ‘Collective Forms in China’ supported by the British Academy. She has established research and teaching collaborations between the UK and China through organising joint funding projects, visiting school programmes and academic symposia, working with stakeholders and participants from academia, industry, government and the public.
Cyan’s research interests lie in the intersections between disciplines, especially shared ideas and methods by architecture, anthropology and sociology, with a focus on socio-spatial models in China. Employing the design research method, her PhD thesis focuses on rurality as a spatial question at levels of territory, settlement and household. Cyan’s research on Care and Rebellion: The Dissolved Household in Contemporary Rural China received a commendation from RIBA President’s Awards for Research 2018.
Eleni Axioti is a researcher, writer and designer. She holds a Master (M.A.) in History and Theory of Architecture from the Architectural Association School of Architecture and a Diploma (MEng.) with honors in Civil and Structural Engineering from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. Eleni has practiced as a designer and an engineer (AKT II, Atelier One i.a.) in London and Greece, participating in international projects and competitions since 2008. Her design work has been exhibited in the galleries of RIBA and the AA. Her written and editorial work has been published in various journals and magazines (AA publications, Static, Bidoun, i.a.).
organized by AA PhD student Sofia Krimizi
Venue: New Soft Room
Lydia Kallipoliti: The curious case of the Digital Archive
Every PhD researcher, throughout the course of writing, unavoidably becomes an obsessive collector. Our computers are libraries of data clouds that operate sideways to our main projects. Stories, drawings, unfinished videos, incomplete ideas and sketches are stored; they may or may not become part the main PhD document. What is the role of these by-product archives in the development of architectural theory and discourse? The idea of the archive as a closeted guarded artifact is no longer viable, as the digital archive is a materialized condensation of memory and eventually becomes part of other bigger archives. In many cases, our archives offspring parallel stories that appear as side effects in the history of ideas, rather than being allied with the normative course of what we premeditate as of core historical significance. As Walter Benjamin would say, research occurs in a moment of active distracted perception. Similarly, Robin Evans used the graphic language of electrical circuits to describe the notion of interference in the transference of energy in creative processes, as a type of successful derailment of human actions and as a metaphor for the design process. Deviation helped derail a system from its normative end goal and therefore unveil a “surrogate goal,” which would open new paths of investigation. In the talk, I intend to present two archival research projects Closed Worlds (http://storefrontnews.org/programming/ closed-worlds/) and EcoRedux (www.ecoredux.com), which were byproducts of my PhD. Both projects have engaged different media and digital platforms in order to address a broader and more diverse audience, which was in synch with scholarly writing. In both cases, my intention was to expand academic scholarship to a format of display that broadens the scope of peer-reviewed publications, while at the same time offering different types of engagement with historical material. As exhibitions, publications, conferences, live activities, online digital media platforms, pedagogical experiments and other platforms, Closed Worlds and EcoRedux reveal the contested territory of ideas surrounding environmental design.
Lydia Kallipoliti is an architect, engineer and scholar, currently an Assistant Professor of Architecture at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. She holds a Diploma in Architecture and Engineering from A.U.Th in Greece, a SMArchS in design and building technology from M.I.T, as well as a Master of Arts and a PhD from Princeton University. Prior to teaching at RPI, Kallipoliti was an Assistant Professor at Syracuse University and an Assistant Professor Adjunct at Columbia University [GSAPP] and at the Cooper Union. Kallipoliti teaches seminars on material culture, history of technology and theories of waste and reuse, as well as closed and self-reliant systems and urban environments. Her research focuses on recycling material experiments and the intersection of cybernetic and ecological theories in the twentieth century.