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This paper looks back at the long and sometimes difficult process of doing a ‘PhD’. It asks how certain ‘moments’ in the building of a doctoral thesis – moments of conception, of discovery, of despair, of truth, of revelation and of jouissance – inform the building of a thesis. By revisiting these moments, the paper traces the genesis of the author’s thesis on Architecture and Alchemy and explores the metaphor of construction encountered in the work of cultural theorist Walter Benjamin.
Drawing on some of the historical sources of the thesis, in particular the emblem books of seventeenth-century alchemist Michael Maier (1568-1622), the paper argues that the above-named ‘moments’ in a PhD constitute an ensemble of impassioned investment, which can be known as the PhD-pathos. This paper, then, can be read as no more, or less, than a pathological guide to the PhD, where architecture and alchemy come into play as polar opposites in the process of construction and change that thesis-building is.
Within the last two decades, the use of the term laboratory or ‘lab’, as it is often abbreviated to, has become widespread in both the profession and in education. ‘Spacelab’, ‘Arch LAB’, ‘Laboratory of Architecture’ – these are but some of the names given to architectural practices today. Also, no self-respecting academic institution today lacks a ‘research laboratory’ or ‘lab’ of some kind, often set up in parallel to the conventional studio, but sometimes also as a substitute for it. In a more recent development, the laboratory has also been adopted as a place for exploring architectural themes through writing, as exemplified by the ‘Writing Labs’ set up at the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL. This development that has seen the laboratory become the very paradigm of conceptualizations of practice and research in architecture revolves, I argue, around a renewed interest in the notion of experiment and the spaces of experimentation. The question I want to raise in this article concerns the role of the laboratory as a metaphor in constructing spaces for writerly experimentation. For, outside the domain of science, how can a laboratory be understood as anything other than a (mere) metaphor?
Recently, the studio has been revisited as a highly connected, transdisciplinary, mobile sites. They have been reconsidered as laboratories—the product of intricate networks of human/non-human relations—or as environments marked out by atmospheres of affective intensity. As such, a studio’s coherence is emotionally, as much as physically, constituted.
The studio is also, for many artists, a temporary arrangement whose sense of integrity is always in question. In those practices which involve the shared use of spaces, collaborative practices or location-based work, the matter and materials of artistic practices are put away; temporarily stored in physical or digital form in whilst the site of production is turned over to other activities. This paper argues that whilst the immediacy of studio activities might be constituted as an event rather than a fixed environment, its coherence as a studio is shaped by ‘structures of feeling’. Drawing on writers such as Ben Anderson, and on personal accounts of packing and unpacking studio materials for related art projects, I address how temporally dispersed activities taking place in different spaces may emerge as collective affects that condition the way that the studio’s emotional coherence is felt.
A chapter that considers the material geographies of temporary studio spaces.
Boyd, C., & Edwardes, C. (eds.) (forthcoming) Non-Representational Theory and the Creative Arts. London; Melbourne: Palgrave Macmillan.
This book jointly examines the impact of non-representational theory on contemporary art practice and geographical research methods. It presents distinct perspectives from both geographically-oriented creative practices and geographers working with arts-based processes. In so doing, it fills a significant gap in the already sizeable body of non-representational discourse by bringing together images, theatre scripts, reflections on performances, artistic practices or music production alongside academic texts that consider both how art-making is shaped by these approaches to spatial enquiry, and how geographic research has been influenced by artistic practice.
A display of artefacts and text created for the 2017 ‘Be My… Valentine’ exhibition at the Priest’s House Museum and Gardens, Wimborne, was displayed as part of the inaugural AUB Knowledge Exchange exhibition at Arts University University. The display evidenced the collaborative work of a creative projects that involved students and staff from 5 specialist courses at AUB and an external client and local companies.
The NTF Regional writing workshop
Following on from the ‘Inspiring Educator’ regional NTF symposium in June last year, Bournemouth University hosted the National Brieifing event for the 2018 NTFnominations. The event was co-organised by Professor Debbie Holley and Dr Kirsten Hardie with Professor Stephen Tee (BU) and Dr Jenny Hill (UWE).
Co-organiser and workshop facilitator of the International Federation of National Teaching Fellows (IFNTF) 2nd World Summit, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada 3- 5 May
Presented paper on staff and student partnership at the International Society for the Scholarship of Learning and Teaching annual conference, Calgary, Canada, Nov 2017.
How will Dazed Media remain an agenda-setting publishing powerhouse by 2028?
Gloverall- Brand Perspectives in a Global and Digital World