As the first phase of Everyday Urbanism: Architecture as Social Process, postgraduate students from the Centre for Research Architecture at Goldsmiths, University of London will be in residence at Arts Catalyst’s Cromer Street Centre throughout May and June. During this time, they will use the form and function of the public hearing as an aid for investigating a number of contemporary conditions.
Public hearings originated from the process of the enclosure of public lands in Britain in the 18th and 19th centuries. They were held in order to create a petition to parliament to enclose the land, and then later to hear objections to the act created by Parliament. Today, public hearings are still used when dealing with both public lands and private properties. Adopting the device of the public hearing, the Goldsmiths group will consider how diverse experiences and events are communicated through speech, vocalising, hearing and listening. Whose stories are heard and whose not? What other forms of nonhuman expression - animals, plants, industrial, atmospheric - are heard, and what new modes of sensing are needed? In short, who speaks and who listens, and with what technologies?
Through a series of hearings in June (some public, others with invited groups) and an exhibition, the students will bring together diverse participants, ideas and concerns. They will explore how the conditions of the hearing – vocalisation strategies, performance, technologies, architecture - affect how information travels from one body to an other and from one entity to many. Hearings will address local social issues, as well as more abstract themes.
Starting from Arts Catalyst’s new neighbourhood of Cromer Street in London’s Kings Cross and expanding out across the city, Everyday Urbanism: Architecture as Social Process will create a platform for international artists, urbanist collectives and research architects to link with a diverse range of local communities. Together these groups will explore and document the social, political and environmental issues affecting those who inhabit the city. Everyday Urbanism will evolve over the course of three years creating new relationships, networks, events, exhibitions and commissions.
Everyday Urbanism will be developed in collaboration with a curatorial advisory group including Arts Catalyst, Territorial Agency / John Palmesino and Ann-Sofi Rönnskog, curator Claire Louise Staunton (Flat Time House/MK Gallery) and Susan Schuppli, Deputy Director of the Centre for Research Architecture at Goldsmiths, University of London, and Cromer Street based Barrister Ousman Noor.
The Centre for Research Architecture is a pedagogical experiment and political project that sits at the intersection of many fields and disciplines from architecture and media to law and climate science. Practitioners from a wide-range of backgrounds work within new conceptual frameworks, developing cutting-edge tools for undertaking spatial research and critical analysis.
The Centre investigates the urgent political conditions of our time through practice-led research. It asks: How can architecture engage with questions of contemporary culture, politics, media, ecology, and justice? Through a combination of fieldwork, theoretical enquiry, and creative approach, spatial investigations include both practical and theoretical considerations, concentrating on a distinct issue, process or site.
Henry Bradley is an artist whose work currently centres around concepts of the rehearsal and the gesture, using performance to enact methods of estrangement, repetition and interruption to enquire into the nature of the event itself.
Dana Abbas is an architect and academic based in Jerusalem whose practice is engaged with spaces of informality, specifically in the Palestinian-Israeli geopolitical context. Her recent research investigates spaces of exclusion and the visualisation of forced disappearances.
Sophie Dyer is a designer based between London and Berlin who studied at The Glasgow School of Art. Recent group exhibitions include; Valise, Volksbühne, Berlin; The Persistence of Type, Tramway, Glasgow and The Miraculous, Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop. She also contributes to the Parallel School community and Concrete Flux magazine.
Phoebe Eustace studied Fine Art in Leeds and Lisbon. Researching modes of 'community planning' looking specifically at forms of dialogue when the conversation centers upon the infrastructure that is necessary and at the same time relates us to each other.
Alexia Giacomazzi attended the University of Sydney, Australia. While working at Project Native Informant, her own practice revolves around questions of sonic culture and environmental attunement.
Ming Lin is a writer-researcher whose activities have frequently revolved around a small distribution point, shop and exhibition space in Hong Kong. Her work examines the poetics of production and circulation, particularly the slippages that occur as synthetising new forms of agency.
Emma McCormick-Goodhart is an artist, writer and researcher whose work engages with the notion of the voice and its enunciation. Currently conceiving a radio series for Clocktower Productions, she is a co-author of concept and participant in Infinite Ear for the 2016 Bergen Assembly.
Robert Preusse studied Visual Communications at the Berlin University of the Arts and is a contributer to the Parallel School community. His current research is focused on opacities in metadata.
Blanca Pujals studied architecture at ETSAB, Barcelona, and received an MA in Critical Theory and Museum Studies at the Independent Studies Program, Macba Museum, Barcelona. Her practice merges architecture, writing, curatorial and artistic approaches through the material conditions of regimes of representation.
Laurie Robins is based in London. Currently he’s making films approximately focused on behavioral studies, scientific management, landscape and animation.
Solveig Suess is a designer working between Beijing and London. She is co-founder of Concrete Flux, a journal addressing spatial conditions in China, and is currently enquiring into aliens, alibis and the New Silk Road.
Alexandra Symons Sutcliffe is a researcher, writer and organiser based in London. Her work is currently focused on issues of uncreative production, maintenance and fidelity.
Leonie Weber studied architecture in Stuttgart, Darmstadt and Århus. She is part of different research collectives and networks, such as baladilab, Architects for Social Housing and Concrete Action. Based in London, her current research focuses on ethical notions in the field of spatial practice, housing policies and the scope of ownership.