LECTURE – Design and Computation Arts Department (U. Concordia) – "Albena Yaneva: Mapping Controversies"

« Lecture series: Design as a critical inquiry

On October 10, the Department of Design and Computation Arts of Concordia University welcomes Albena Yaneva of the University of Manchester’s School of Environment and Development and Director of the Manchester Architecture Research Centre. The lecture is co-sponsored by the Université de Montréal’s Laboratoire d’étude de l’architecture potentielle (LEAP).

Time and Place: October 10, at 5:45PM in Engineering, Computer Science and Visual Arts Integrated Complex (1515 Ste-Catherine St. W.), Room EV 6.720, Sir George Williams Campus

Albena Yaneva is an anthropologist of architecture. She completed her PhD under the supervision of Bruno Latour.  She is the director of the Manchester Architecture Research Centre. She is also currently a Visiting Professor at Princeton University. Her work spans the disciplinary boundaries of architectural theory, science and technology studies, cognitive anthropology and political philosophy. Her book The Making of a Building (Oxford: Peter Lang, 2009) provides a unique anthropological account of architecture in the making, whereas Made by the OMA: An Ethnography of Design (Rotterdam: 010 Publishers, 2009) draws on an original approach of ethnography of design and was defined by the critics as “revolutionary in analyzing the day-to-day practice of designers”. For her innovative use of ethnography in the architectural discourses Yaneva was awarded the RIBA President’s Award for Outstanding University-located Research (2010). Her most recent book is Mapping Controversies in Architecture (Farnham: Ashgate, 2012). She has contributed to many volumes, including the Oxford Handbook of the Archaeology of The Contemporary Word, Humains Non-humains, Coping with the Past, Geographies of Science, Networks of Design, Explorations in Architecture: Teaching, Design, Research, Die Realität des Imaginären, Making Things Public, and others. Her work has been published also in Perspecta, Design and Culture, Science Studies, Public Understanding of Science, Journal of Material Culture, Museum and Society. Yaneva is currently working on a new book on Politics of Urban Design that will examine how politics is enacted through the work of designers, their hybrid repertoire of actions and imaginative computational techniques.

Her lecture entitled: « Mapping Controversies », will address the following:
How can we conceptualize architectural objects and practices without falling into the divides architecture/society, nature/culture, materiality/meaning? How can we prevent these abstractions from continuing to blind architectural theory? Mapping Controversies is a research method and teaching philosophy that allows divides to be crossed. It offers a new methodology for following debates surrounding contested urban knowledge. Engaging in explorations of on-going and recent  controversies (the 2012 Olympics stadium in London, theWelsh parliament) and re-visiting some well-known debates (the Sidney Opera House), the lecture will illustrate ways of tracing and mapping the changing sets of positions triggered by design. By mobilizing digital technologies and new computational design techniques we are able to visualize the variety of factors that impinge on design and track actors¹ trajectories, changing groupings, concerns and modalities of action. Mapping controversies can be extrapolated to a wide range of complex phenomena of hybrid nature.

‘By crossing the tools of science studies with the digital techniques of mapping controversies, this book renews the critique of architecture. It offers a new way to place architecture and design as one of the most exciting ways to explore the common world because it takes controversies as the normal state of affair. With many lively examples it is a masterpiece of theory made empirical .’
– Bruno Latour, Institut d’Études Politiques de Paris, France »

For more information on the Concordia University Department of Design and Computation Arts lecture series…

To visit the Université de Montréal L.e.a.p. website…

(Source: Carmela Cucuzzella, PhD, Assistant Professor, Design and Computation Arts, Faculty of Fine Arts, Concordia University, EV- Engineering, Computer Science – Visual Arts Integrated Complex)

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