lrss masthead sem 2 2017

The Lunchtime Research Seminar Series is the Sydney School of Architecture, Design and Planning’s staff research forum. Featuring presentations from researchers across the design and planning disciplines, the series will touch on all aspects of the built environment and the ways in which we understand it. It is an opportunity to share ideas, discuss research methods and interrogate our assumptions.
This series is convened by Cameron Logan and Somwrita Sarkar.

Where: Room 557, Wilkinson Building
When: Selected Thursdays in Semester 2, 2017. New program to be announced soon.
Enquiries: Catherine Murray


31/08/2017 Dr David Kroll
Mobilising Housing Histories: Learning from London’s Past


The problem of creating affordable, adequate housing for a growing population is not a new one. David Kroll will talk about his recently published, edited book project which set out to mobilise London’s housing history. Each chapter in the book discusses aspects of London’s housing past - from around 1850 to the present – and focuses on a particular theme, period or case. The book contributes to the contemporary housing debate by providing original historical perspectives and by drawing lessons from past successes and failures. Sydney-siders will probably find many parallels to issues here.

The first part of the talk will give an overview and outline the range of perspectives that the contributors bring to the topic. The second part of the talk will focus on one of the chapters, a case study by the author of the Minet estate, an area in South London, which was built up from 1870 to 1910.

The book is edited by Peter Guillery and David Kroll. Other contributors are Owen Hatherley, Andrew Saint, Ben Campkin, Irina Davidovici, Richard Dennis, Tanis Hinchcliffe, Simon Hudspith, Simon Pepper, Sofie Pelsmakers, David Roberts, Colin Thom.

About Dr David Kroll

Born in Berlin, David Kroll qualified as an architect in London. He has a background in professional practice, academic teaching and research, and is particularly interested in housing-related topics and sustainable design. In architectural practice, David was involved in several high-profile projects including concrete prefab housing at the Athletes’ Village, the Darwin Centre Two for C.F. Moller Architects and the Brisbane airport extension for BVN. His PhD on the history of speculative housing in London was shortlisted for the RIBA President’s Research Award for Outstanding Doctoral Thesis 2015. He held lecturing positions at the University of East London, Anglia Ruskin University and the University of Kent. In 2015 he relocated to Australia, where he has lectured in architecture in the Construction and Environment stream at the University of South Australia.

Academic Profile


17/08/2017 Dr Lian Loke
Experience as Skill: Somatics, Design and Human-Computer Interaction


In Experience as Skill, Thecla Schiphorst and Lian Loke argue that in designing for human encounters with technology, we need to take into account the somatic dimension. Somatic body-based practices train awareness of self and environment through directed attention to bodily sensing, feeling and moving. This self-enquiry at the heart of somatics provides a rich experiential ground from which to understand and empathise with the experience of others, the people for whom we design.

Schiphorst and Loke make the significant shift from understanding experience as something that we live through, to understanding experience as skill, acknowledging the instrumental and skilful nature of the body. They provide a new perspective on designing for user experience, one that takes seriously the proposition that the way we experience the world and ourselves is not fixed, but can be trained like any learned skill.

They provide a practical illumination for human-computer interaction of how to incorporate somatic approaches to technology design. In the spirit of Foucault’s notion of the care of the self, with its ethical and political dimensions, they make a potent case for the transformative potential of somatics in developing personal and collective agency and accountability to make change in the world through design.

About Dr Lian Loke

Dr Lian Loke’s research is at the nexus of design, performance, somatics and technology, and explores the aesthetics of interaction with the body as a central focus. Her research interests lie in understanding the lived experience of people interacting with emerging technologies and exploring how to design future products and systems from such understandings. Her research contributes to one of the major issues confronting the built environment – its ability to foster healthy living. The relationship between creativity, movement and well-being drives the exploration of potential design solutions and methodologies. Lian is the Program Director for the Master of Interaction Design and Electronic Arts, and teaches design thinking, interaction design, somatic user experience design and the design of body-centric, wearable devices and interactive systems.

Academic Profile


10/08/2017 Professor Andrew Leach
Mannerism and Modern Architecture, Again


Taking its starting point from a reading of Manfredo Tafuri’s L’architettura del manierismo nel cinquecento europeo (1966), this seminar considers how to figure the mid-twentieth-century historiography of architectural “mannerism” into contemporary architectural debate. The seminar will introduce Tafuri’s work in order to track writing on architectural mannerism up to 1950 and the year, therefore, in which Colin Rowe published his influential essay “Mannerism and Modern Architecture”—on which such later works as Bruno Zevi’s treatment of “Michelangiolo architetto” (1964) and Robert Venturi’s embrace of mannerism in Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture (1966) one way or another rely. The seminar will consider how mannerism has been understood within the history of modern architectural culture and why that might offer something more than a passing curiosity today. The seminar will introduce Leach's small book Crisis on Crisis (forthcoming 2017) and the larger project it will inform at Harvard’s Villa I Tatti in 2018.

About Professor Andrew Leach

Andrew Leach is Professor of Architecture at the University of Sydney. He writes on contemporary issues in the fields of architectural history, theory and criticism. His books include Manfredo Tafuri (2007), What is Architectural History? (2010) and Rome (2016), and include the edited collections Shifting Views (2008), Architecture, Disciplinarity and the Arts (2009), The Baroque in Architectural Culture, 1880-1980 (2015), Off the Plan (2016) and On Discomfort (2016). He has held two fellowships the Australian Research Council, and grants from the FWO (Flanders). Current work concerns the historiography of mannerism and the baroque over the long twentieth century, the recent history of architectural theory, the architecture and infrastructure of the early colonial Tasman world, and the urban and architectural history of the Gold Coast.

Academic Profile