Critical Spatial Practice

Coming out of my time at Chelsea College of Art in the late 1990s, where I worked with Faye Carey, Katherine Clarke, Julia Dwyer, Rex Henry, Sophie Horton, Sue Ridge, Clive Sall and others, and was Course Director of the MA The Theory and Practice of Public Art and Design from 1996-8, I became interested in the potential of making temporary and live interventions as part of pedagogical practice. I continued this at the University of Nottingham, and then more recently as part of the new MA Situated Practice which I co-wrote and co-initiated at the Bartlett School of Architecture. 

Leading critical spatial practice workshops has been and continues to be a vital way of highlighting the role of architecture and urban design as forms of social art, that involve the design of artefacts that intervene into sites and change people’s lives – for better or worse. I have found it of vital importance to encouraging design students, who are usually taught through more distancing modes of drawing and modelling, to try to understand the impact their work will have on people’s experience of place, by experiencing vulnerabilities by making their own temporary live interventions into sites. 

I have conducted critical spatial practice workshops at the following places:

At the invitation of Yuriy Milevskiy, this four-day workshop on critical spatial practice, was part of Interactive Cities, a collaboration between the University of the Humanities, Moscow; the Moscow Higher School of Economics; and UCL’s Urban Lab, and took place at Strelka, Moscow in July 2012 and involved around 20 art and architecture students from across Russia and Belarus.

At the invitation of Associate Professor David Monteyne, I was a Gillmor Visiting Lecturer in 2011, and offered four seminars and workshops on critical spatial practice and site-writing at the Architecture School at the University of Calgary (2011)

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