Eurograd message

Message posted on 23/04/2019

EVENT + CALL FOR PARTICIPATION: Another Scenography for Architecture: Experience and a Renewed Empiricism


This event is free to attend and will consist of a morning lecture and
afternoon seminar with two guest speakers. We welcome PhD students and early
career scholars who are interested in participating in the afternoon seminar.
Further details about the event and how to apply for travel bursaries can be
found below.


University of Manchester, UK
Manchester Architecture Research Group (MARG)
06 June 2019
10 am - 6 pm
Rm 1.69/1.70 Humanities Bridgeford Street Building

Guest Speakers:

- Prof. Hlne Frichot - Professor of Architecture in Critical Studies and
Gender Theory, and Director of Critical Studies in Architecture at KTH
"Creative Ecologies: Environment-Worlds, Things, and Thinkables"

- Dr. Keith Murphy - Associate Professor of Anthropology at UC Irvine.
"Critical Empiricism in a World of Designed Things"

Event Description:

Experience is often cut in two: split between a brute and passive materiality
and the active subjective representations added to it. In the diagnosis of
philosopher Alfred North Whitehead, it is bifurcated between primary and
secondary qualities, whether in terms of nature and culture, mind and matter,
words and things, subject and object. Architectural and urban theory is still
stuck within this scenography: either a passive built form that reflects or
acts according to subjective representations, cultural, social, political and
economic forces; or an active built environment that determines behaviour,
structures social relations, or produces percepts. Either one or the other.
But this affords a rather anaemic understanding of architectural experience!
If, in the spirit of a renewed empiricism, we would like to learn from
experience again, it is essential to escape this dualism and engage with
another scenography. One populated with many more actors and scripts: the
surprising agency of objects and materials, with different kinds of expertise,
knowledge and activities, and set within a heterogeneous and relational
ecology of practices.

This workshop aims to explore this different scenography through a broader
concept of experience, taking inspiration from the pragmatist tradition of the
early 20th century, its revival in the methodology of Actor-Network Theory,
and in contemporary philosophy. On the one hand, this concept of experience
allows us to multiply and reconfigure the boundaries of what constitutes
architecture: from the use of space, the design practices of architects,
politics of construction, urban and infrastructural ecologies, to
architectural aesthetics and the annals of architectural history. On the other
hand, it forces us to rethink our methodological tactics for researching it,
and to re-orient the production of architectural knowledge. The aim is to
collectively experiment and discuss this difficult notion of experience by
testing it against empirics drawn from our individual investigations and its
potential for informing architectural thought and research.

How to Apply:

We welcome proposals to participate in the afternoon session from early career
/ PhD researchers on the concept of experience within architectural practice
and research. Proposals should illustrate how experience manifests in your
research (through its questions and means) and how it assists the group in
exploring this within architecture. A small number of BURSARIES for travel
are available. To apply please send an abstract (Max 250 words) by May 06 2019
to either:,,,

Organisers: Brett Mommersteeg, Ben Blackwell, David Johnson, Simon Mitchell

Brett Mommersteeg
Doctoral Researcher, Architecture
The University of Manchester
MA, Theory and Criticism
+44 07521187557
EASST's Eurograd mailing list
Eurograd (at)
Unsubscribe or edit subscription options:

Meet us via

Report abuses of this list to

view as plain text
Follow by Email