As the Landscape Urbanism programme continues to develop and refine its own transdisciplinary approach it invites, each year, an international and diverse range of speakers to offer new perspectives on the issues that concern its practice. These lectures are open to the public and are offered as means to engage the tutors and students of the LU programme in a productive dialogue with other practitioners, theorists and researchers within an open forum.

New Economics and the production of space with Julian Siravo and Common Wealth, Winter 2019

The seminar is a new attempt to raise the stakes of the profession and establish a meaningful dialogue and discussions with other disciplines specially Economics. The seminar aimed at linking policy making and how this produce space.  We think that the understanding on political economic policies will help designers understand the potential of its profession and the skills they have.

The seminar is divided in 8 sessions and each will be run by a political economic expert who is actively engage in the design of new economic policies in the UK as alternatives to the Neoliberal system preponderant in UK.   Each session will be moderated by Julian Siravo and myself to make a link between the interest of the profession and the economic knowledge of each expert. Julian is an architect working at various think tanks and with experience linking economy and design in various fronts. A full intro with Julian will happen on the first session. 

A crucial aspect of the seminar will be a common thread that will run throughout. The thread will be a Green New Deal (GND). A GND is an alternative to the neoliberal economic system that links environmental and social concerns into a new economic model that aims to decarbonise the economy as quick as possible. The seminar will serve as a bridge between the GND and the potential design and production of alternative urban environments that can emerge if a Green New Deal is successfully established soon.

SESSION 1: Ownership Models for the Democratic Economy – Adrienne Bollard, 13th Jan

              SESSION 2: Who Owns Our Carbon? – Guy Shrubsole, 20th Jan

              SESSION 3: Rewilding – Simon Lewis, 27th Jan

              SESSION 4: Post-Carbon Transportation – Leo Murray, 10th feb

              SESSION 5: Asset Management and Investment – Grace Blakeley, 17th Feb

              SESSION 6: Health inequalities and the GND – Guppi Bola, 24th Feb

              SESSION 7: Ownership of Digital Assets – Miranda Hall/Hettie O’brien/Rosie Collington, 2nd March

              SESSION 8: A 32 Hour Working Week – Will Stronge/Kyle Lewis (Autonomy), 9th March


Eric Rodenbeck on Data Visualization as a Creative Practice 15th May 2018

Eric Rodenbeck on Data Visualization as a Creative Practice  at the Architectural Association 15th May 2018, Landscape Urbanism Studio 4 Morwell Street. All welcome:

It’s past time for those of us who do this work to realize that telling stories with data is not a subgenre of computer science, or of anything else for that matter, any more than movies are a subgenre of live theater or photography is a sub genre of painting. Computer science, on its own, has about as much to say about the medium of data visualization as photographic paper engineering has to say about Instagram. Computer science is the technical underpinnings of dataviz, sometimes. Dataviz is the medium.

Eric Rodenbeck is the CEO of Stamen Design, which builds beautiful, playful, technically sophisticated projects for clients from Digital Globe to the Dalai Lama to scientists around the country. Uniquely interdisciplinary, his work also intersects with the world of fine art, has been exhibited worldwide & is in the permanent collection of MoMA.

National Design Awards : at Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum

Dubravka Sekulic on How to Code Urban commons 16th March 2018

Dubravka Sekulic on How to Code Urban commons at the Architectural Association 16th March at 33 Bedford Square First Floor Back. All welcome:

Law shapes the public and common space, leading to enclosure of space or spatial dispossession. How can public space be defended and extended by learning from the protocols and social contracts of the free software culture? (Vortrag in englisch)

It should not come as surprise that laws shape space as there is a whole set of legislation in most of the countries which deals with space directly. What often come as surprise is that even those laws which do not directly engage with spatial matters have an effect on it. The impact of laws becomes visible as it usually leading to enclosure of public space or some other sort of spatial dispossession.

In the first part of the talk Dubravka Sekulić will show some of the examples of how law works against the public and common space. In the second part of the talk she will look at the field of digital commons searching for clues of what can be done to reverse the condition and to harness the power of laws for the protection of public and common space.

Dubravka Sekulić is an architect researching transformations of contemporary cities, at the nexus between production of space, laws and economy. Since September 2016 she is an assistant professor at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Tu Graz, Austria and a PhD fellow at the Institute for History and Theory of Architecture, ETH Zürich, Switzerland. Research exhibition “Three points of Support: Zoran Bojović, the architect” that she curated at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Belgrade in 2012, followed by the book in 2013, formed the basis for her PhD project “Constructing the Non-alignment: The Case of Construction Compnay Energoprojekt.” In 2012 Jan van Eyck Academie (Maastricht) published her book ‘Glotzt Nicht so Romantisch! On Extra-legal Space in Belgrade’ as well as the book “Surfing the Black Yugoslav black cinema and its transgression” that she co-edited with Gal Kirn and Žiga Testen. Together with Branko Belaćević, Marko Miletić, Srdjan Prodanović and Jelena Stefanović she made a research exhibition “Peti Park – A Struggle for Everyday”, which was followed by a publication.

An incomplete atlas of stones by Elise Hunchuck 23rd February 2018

Elise Hunnchuck, An incomplete atlas of stones 23rd February 2018 at 33 Bedford Square First Floor Floor. All welcome:

An Incomplete Atlas of Stones

In this ever changing world where mountains crumble, rivers change their course,
roads are deserted, rocks are buried, and old trees yield to young shoots, it was
something short of a miracle that this monument alone has survived the battering
of a thousand years.
— Matsuo Bashō [1]

On the sixteenth day of May in 1689, a poet named Matsuo Basho left Edo [2] on foot for a six-month journey along the shores and into the mountainous forests of northern Japan. Along the way, he wrote and sketched out what would become a Japanese literary treasure: the travel diary Narrow Road to the Deep North (Oku no hosomichi).[3] Basho’s journey from Edo to the edges of the Tohoku region would amplify his already acute awareness of the impermanence of nature, developed through a practice of closely observing, recording and reflecting upon his immediate environment.

In Japanese traditions there exists a continuity between nature and culture, in so far as the sense of a place speaks directly to the intricate interplay between human and natural forces. This continuity is most clear in the practice of naming utamakura–storied places shared through literature and art, imbued with geologic history, human history and cultural meaning.

As he journeyed north, from utamakura to utamakura, Basho was writing and drawing, weaving together fragments of literature and history, using prose to share geographic context and haikun to respond to the great Japanese poets and artists who had earlier written of each utamakura and their views. He travelled north to Hiraizumi before turning west, toward the Sea of Japan and then, returning to Edo. Five years later, after leaving home for another journey, Basho fell ill. He never recovered, but a lifetime of travelling and writing about his wanderings would inculcate future generations of writers, poets, and travelers with the value of seeing–that to name a place is to know a place, and that to do so in a place such as Japan is to call attention to the realities of everyday life in the face of knowable but unpredictable geologic forces.

A stratovolcanic land form, the island of Honshu is the largest island in the Japanese archipelago, with almost seventy percent of the island formed by steep, forested mountains and the remaining thirty percent tending toward deltaic or ria coastal landscapes. It is an island that feels alive in the most sensual of ways; temperate summers encourage exuberant flora; the ocean moves, desired and undesired, up and over the island, into the air; the earth, it shudders, from below. These movements, sometimes discernible and sometimes not, together define a precarious existence, an indelible part of Japanese life and cultural identity. It is the  geomorphology of the deltaic and coastal sites–that which makes them so desirable for human settlement which also makes them vulnerable to geologic events and their attendant effects.

On the eleventh day of March in 2011 at 14h45 local time, the Earthquake Early Warning system of Japan activated more than 1,000 seismometers throughout the island nation, sending a warning to millions of people. Sixty seconds later, a 9.0 magnitude undersea mega-thrust earthquake hit Japan, the most powerful earthquake to have hit the island in recorded history. A second warning was issued by the Japanese Meteorological Agency; a major tsunami event was likely but not certain.

As the earth moved near the convergence of the over-riding North American plate and the subducting Pacific Plate, an undersea landslide was triggered, and the immense body water we call the Pacific Ocean was displaced. Between ten to thirty minutes later–the times vary along the coastline–an earthquake tsunami event occurred. The ocean began to rise slowly, and then rapidly, into the hollowed out riatic formations along the Sanriku coast. In many locations, the swelling of the ocean was exacerbated by too-high or too-wide seawalls, and rather than dispelling incoming energy travelling in the water, the seawalls trapped the tsunami waves, intensifying the swells and currents. The height of water moving inland ranged from 5.0 metres to 40.5 metres, inundating an estimated total of 561 square kilometres of land. The tsunami would be named the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake Tsunami and, as it swept into ports along the coast, surging inland before retreating back into the sea, it would result in the death of 15,890 people, injuring 6,152, with 2,576 people still missing and presumed lost.

The catastrophic loss of human life was not the result of warning systems that did not work; seismometers and tsunami warnings worked as they had been designed to. Instead, the loss of life was the predictable result of a series of choices that were made about where to build, where to work, where to live. And, in cases of emergency, when and where to evacuate to. There were, intermittently found between the reverberations of disaster, stories of small groups, of villages, of school children who had escaped significant loss of life. Seaside villages with bustling ports claimed few to no lives lost despite 32 metre waves sweeping up and over their schools, homes, villages.

How was this possible?

Hundreds of years before, in the wake of the 869 Jogan tsunami along the Sanriku coast of Japan, communities began to erect stone tablets called tsunami stones. These stones performed a dual function; they were warnings–markers of the edges of inundation, they indicate where to build and where to flee when oceans rise; and, they are memorials, erected as part of a ritual that memorializes geologic events and those lost. Some stones have no message, like a stone from the 9th century in Matsushima, as time has worn away the inscription; some record the past and project possible futures (in this atlas, these are labeled as ‘lesson’ stones); some bear instructions for evacuation and rebuilding, such as Stone no. 31 (fig 4.0), who tells its reader that an “[e]arthquake is an omen of [a] subsequent tsunami. Watch out for at least one hour. When it comes, rush away to higher places. Never reside on submerged land again.”

There exist hundreds of these stones along the Sanriku coast, ranging in height from a few inches to a few metres. Rising from the earth, many were placed in the landscape to mark either the height of the inundation line or to mark territory above the inundation line. The messages inscribed on the stones vary from stone to stone, with each community utilising stones as a memorial, as recorded, predictive knowledge, and often times, both. In some villages, the messages not to build below the inundation line were heeded. In others, not. In some villages, the messages to evacuate after an earthquake to an elevation above the stones were heeded. In others, not. This is how some villages and towns and school children were able to survive. And, how some did not.

These tablets–ancient technologies of linear marks in stone–have a pressing current and future relevance that is too important to be dismissed as mere marker of a past event, or as memorial to human lives lost. These tablets–each like utamakura–are part of a multivalent knowledge exchange through time and space, and with another five hundred stones planned for erection in the coming years to commemorate the Great East Japan tsunami, and as Japan decides how and if to continue moving forward with an almost 14,000 kilometre long seawall, they are critical in establishing an understanding that the crisis facing coastal landscapes is an ongoing project, not limited to the aftermath of emergency.

In the summer of 2015, having been awarded the Peter Prangnell travel award, I left Toronto for Tokyo. I proposed travelling to this geographical compilation of past events–the known tsunami stones along the Sanriku coast–to explore the importance of on-site research and of bearing witness. And, through travel, research, documentation and mapping, I compiled this Incomplete Atlas of Stones, a visual document as a way to see – and potentially develop a response to – the archipelagos unstable mineral base. The beginnings of an attempt to illustrate the dynamics of the coastline as a place.

What, we might ask, is the epistemological status of these markers? What kind of knowledge do they produce? What is the effect of these markers on the way communities and governments understand the always present risk of an earthquake or tsunami? The intention is not to offer an explicit response–yet. This incomplete atlas shares the stories of seventy fives places, each without a definitive beginning or end.

Earthquakes, rubble and memories by Patricio Mora/Proyecta Memoria Foundation 12th February 2018

Earthquakes, rubble and memories.
In preserving urban memories, what we have commonly considered to be a weakness may become our main tool. Symbolic rubble can be reinterpreted from its current identity as waste, and instead be considered as useful material to be used in projects. These are filled with memories, but where / how / when can these be reused?
Patricio Mora, co-founder and executive director of Proyecta Memoria Foundation, will talk about a new form of damaged heritage conservation. Occupying squares, parks and pedestrian areas as sites for these projects, he will discuss educational approaches to creating resilient communities, and show recent work in Mexico responding to the September 2017 earthquake, creating “Rubble Hospitals”.
Mora is a Chilean architect. Co-author of the publication “Symbolic Rubble and Public Space” winner of the 2nd International Prize for Criticism and History of Architecture at the Pan-American Architecture Biennial 2014. He was one of 100 Young Leaders of Chile 2013. He has exhibited in Spain, Germany, Japan, Mexico and XII Venice Architecture Biennale with Proyecta Memoria. Currently in charge of Communities and Education at the Council of National Monuments of Chile.
Projective Sandscapes by Elena Longhin 25th January 2018

Projective Sandscapes is an AA Landscape Urbanism Design thesis by Elena Longhin, Chris Lo and Howe Chan which delves into questions related to ongoing desertification processes and remote landscape influences. Recent times have seen the rise of claims about the overuse of land and unsuitable agricultural processes that provoke droughts and desertification, leading to increasing competition over environmental resources, therefore instability, large-scale migrations and human conflicts. ‘Projetctive Sandscapes’ project the designers intervene within the urbanized area of Nukus in Uzbekistan, part of the desiccated Aral Sea region, where shifting sands are moving over cities and productive grounds. The project attempts to negotiate and choreograph dunes formations as a way to re-sew preserved urban clusters and transforming their morphological conditions in landscape spatial qualities. This approach may be further applied to similar cases across Europe undergoing desertification.
Blue New Deal and New Economics Foundation by Fernada Balata 22nd January 2018

There has never been a greater need for a new economy or a more important moment to act than right now, because a storm that has been gathering for decades is firmly upon us.

Millions of people feel they have lost control over their lives and are now being left behind by changes in the economy, technology and climate, even while being promised a parody of control that threatens to make matters worse.

Yet, in the midst of all this upheaval, a surge of energy is being generated that can crack open new possibilities for change now, not at some distant point in the future.

The New Economics Foundation exists to drive this change and help give people the tools they need to take real control.

Mapping in the midst by Emma Mcnally 22th March 2017

Seminar: Mapping in the midst
Location: 33 Bedford Square, First Floor Back
time: 2 pm
All welcome

Emma McNally’s drawings suggest maps or charts of things as complex and various as seas, the night sky, military bases, computer circuit boards, data-flow, flight paths.
They also evoke aerial photographs, radar screens and experimental musical scores. Yet though her drawings chime with both the real and the virtual world, they all come from the imagination. If they were charts, they could map a mindscape.

McNally’s recent body of work ‘Choral Fields’ (exhibited at Hayward Gallery, London and Biennale of Sydney) were made in a studio by the river Thames at London’s West India Dock, a place where water, boats, traffic, planes, telecommunications, banking, and glass-and-steel skyscrapers converge. The drawings echo the pulsing rhythms of the city and reflect the river’s ebb and flow. They are created from carbon – basic ‘matter’ which, like water, is vital for our existence.

The title, Choral Fields, suggests both music and a field of activity or vision. It also relates to the philosophical idea of the ‘chora’, a peripheral space in which forms materialise.

In these drawings, McNally covers vast expanses of empty space with tracks, traces, ruled lines, hammered dots, smudges, scratches, scribbling – thousands of marks that swarm,
buzz, vibrate, hum, clump together and drift apart. Her mark-making can be percussive or gestural, violent or quietly lyrical. She invents new ways of using graphite and carbon, and uses sandpaper as an eraser, sometimes simultaneously applying graphite with one hand and rubbing the markings away with the other. She describes how in Choral Field 6 she was trying
to make a ‘grey area’ between form and formlessness: ‘it ended up looking like dark water or cloudscape’

McNally’s work has been used to help visualise space across the categories of physics, geography, music, philosophy, politics, literature and science fiction cinema.

For the seminar I’ll talk about ‘mapping in the midst’

On Maps by Stephen Walter 1st March 2017

Architectural Association, 01 March, 33 First Floor Back, 2pm
All welcome

Stephen Walter: I will discuss the motivation, process and reasoning behind my making of maps and the way in which we all need to re-interpret our spiritual and physical relationship with Earth in order to survive.

The maps, depicting both real and made up places, are a series of arrangements and constellations of natural, physical and artificial features. They are a tangle of words, symbols, graphic forms, concepts, histories, epithets and autobiographical references – where cultural residues inhabit certain locations. These in turn – make up a complex of hidden meanings, associations and wider contradictions.

Data visualisation and computational design by Marc Ignac 22nd February 2017

All welcome to AA LAndscape Urbanism lecture by Marcin Ignac on data visualization and computational design, at AA 33 First Floor Back, 22nd February 2:00 pm:

Marcin finds beauty and inspiration in nature, structures of biological organisms, in patterns emerging from data and complexity of computer algorithms. He believes in applying these concepts to shape our understading of technology mediated creativity. In 2012 Marcin combined his background in Computer Science, New Media Art and Interaction Design to start Variable and fulfil this vision.

The Sandmotor project by Jaap Flikweert from Royal HaskoningDHV 21st February 2017

All welcome to AA Landscape Urbanism lecture by Jaap Flikweert from Royal HaskoningDHV lecture on The Sandmotor project. Today 21st February AA 38 Bedford Square Basement @ 2:00 pm:

The sandmotor is one of this interventions somewhere between geoengineering and civil works where natural forces are used to deliver landscapes which are evolving and fully integrated in the local economy.

On drawing with GPS by Jeremy Woods 15th February 2017

Jeremy Wood on Drawing with GPS at the Architectural Association tomorrow 15th February at 33 Bedford Square First Floor Back. All welcome:

Jeremy Wood pioneered drawing with GPS to explore the expressive qualities of using his body as a geodesic pencil. His work responds to the ways in which maps can both inform and mislead us through their ability to state ideas that cannot be articulated by words alone.
Featured in The New York Times’ 2003: Year in Ideas, his personal cartographies have been exhibited in over fifty exhibitions in the UK and abroad, and is currently held in private and public collections including the London Transport Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum.
He has presented numerous public talks and delivered map reading/making master classes in schools and universities, which have attracted hundreds of participants of all ages.

Taking Control Back by Fernanda Balata 29th November 2016

All Welcome to the second Landscape Urbanism Lecture of 2016-17 titled TAKING CONTROL AND THE UK COAST, details as follow:

Presenter: Fernanda Balata
Series: Landscape Urbanism Open Lecture
Date: 29th November 2016
Time: 12:00
Venue: 33 Bedford Square, First Floor Back
Talk by Fernanda Balata, Senior Programme Lead, Coastal Economies, New Economics Foundation
The New Economics Foundation is the UK’s only people-powered think tank, working to build a new economy where people really take control. Putting people in control means building their capabilities, and supporting them in taking ownership of their places, their local resources, and their working lives; helping them build resilient economies, through healthier and more productive ecosystems, that can withstand external shocks; and enabling them to deliver on shared goals. These principles would broadly apply anywhere. But this talk will focus on what that means for coastal communities in the UK, by drawing on the work developed by the Foundation, through the Blue New Deal initiative. Read a summary of the ‘Turning back to the sea’ report here<> or visit the full report online here<>. To find out more about the New Economics Foundation, visit<> and read ‘An agenda for change’ here<>. 
Agroecology and the future of cities by Chris Smaje 11th November 2016

All Welcome to the first Landscape Urbanism Lecture of 2016-17



Presenter: Chris Smaje

Series: Landscape Urbanism Open Lecture

Date: 11th November 2016

Time: 14:00

Venue: 32 Bedford Square, First Floor Front

Our present urbanising world is heavily reliant on a high input cereal agriculture from the world’s continental grasslands, but its sustainability is questionable. Do agroecological approaches provide a better long-term model for agriculture – and if so, what are the implications for current residential and occupational patterns?

Chris Smaje runs Vallis Veg, a small farm in the southwest of England. It aims to explore in an engaged but open-minded way the case for small-scale farming, both in the richer and the poorer parts of the world. Chris is a social scientist by training, with degrees in anthropology, health planning and sociology. He is an occasional writer and researcher on farming and environmental issues, but is now a full-time grower/farmer at Vallis Veg where he has discovered that it’s a lot harder to do farming than to write about it, but probably more important and more rewarding (at least in a non-economic sense…).

Landscape as Urbanism by Charles Waldheim 27th May 2016

Charles Waldheim

Landscape as Urbanism

Series: Book Launch 
Date: Friday 27 May 2016 
Time: 18:30 
Venue: AA Bookshop
Running time: 0 mins

Charles Waldheim traces the roots of landscape as a form of urbanism from its origins in the Renaissance through the twentieth century. Growing out of progressive architectural culture and populist environmentalism, the concept was further informed by the nineteenth-century invention of landscape architecture as a new art charged with reconciling the design of the industrial city with its ecological and social conditions. In the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, as urban planning shifted from design to social science and as urban design committed to neo-traditional models of town planning, landscape urbanism emerged to fill a void at the heart of the contemporary urban project. The book examines works from around the world, including projects by Ludwig Hilberseimer, Andrea Branzi, Frank Lloyd Wright, James Corner, Adriaan Geuze and Michael Van Valkenburgh.
Join us for a drinks reception and presentation with Charles Waldheim, introduced by Alfredo Ramirez, to celebrate the launch of this new publication. The book will be sold at a special launch price of £30 (RRP £34.95)

Kiruna 4-ever, How to move a city by White Architects 7th March 2016

Kiruna 4-Ever, How to move a City?

Presenters: Geoff Denton and Linda Thiel from White arkitekter AB
Series: Landscape Urbanism Open Lecture Series
Date: 7th March 2016
Time: 14:00
Venue: Soft room


Kiruna is an industrial town in the Arctic north of Sweden where the sun never sets in the height of summer and never rises in the depths of winter. A region with reindeer husbandry, snow, Sami people, and the Aurora Borealis overhead to further set the filmic scene. Kiruna, with 18,000 inhabitants, was created by the world’s largest underground iron ore mine, Kirunavaara, on the city’s western border. The city has a symbiotic relationship with the mine as its primary economic resource, but as it digs ever deeper into the earth it is encroaching towards the city. The scenario shares similarities with a dystopian science fiction tale. Either the digging must stop – creating mass unemployment – or the city’s inhabitants must move and allow their homes to fall into the uninhabitable deformation zone.

Geoff Denton and Linda Thiel from White arkitekter AB will present the winning international competition proposal Kiruna 4 ever, providing a future for the relocated mining town of Kiruna.

Archaeology as driver for development by Richard Hughes 29th February 2015

Series: Landscape Urbanism Open Lecture Series

All welcome to Ruchard Hughes Lecture part of Landscape Urbanism Lecture Series at AA Software 29th February 2 pm.

Richard Hughes is an archaeologist from ARUP and will present:
Culture and Cultural Heritage as key drivers for development.

In this session at the AA Richard Hughes, Vice President of ICOMOS-UK and Arup Consultant will explore the concepts, principles and ethics of conservation and illustrate the many tools, technologies and types of data that can be brought into play in conservation and also in development master planning, detailed scheme design and in place-making. Examples of the approaches will be presented.

Images of Archeologia Aerea of an ancient Roman Farm and its vineyard re-emerging.

Learning from Water by Fabio Vanin 22nd February 2015

Series: Landscape Urbanism Open Lecture Series

Date: 22th Februaryr 2015
Time: 14:00
Venue: Soft room


Water management, hydrogeological dysfunctions, cultural ​​and identity values related to water, are just some key cross-scale and interlinked issues that are increasingly present both in academic studies and professional assignments that deal with the territory. When coping with water, designers and researchers are often forced to rethink their learning and creative approach, moving towards complex outputs such as long-term visions, scenarios, process planning as well as specific technical solutions.

Designing our way into the doughnut by Kate Raworth 1st February 2015

Series: Landscape Urbanism Open Lecture Series
Date: 1st February 2015
Time: 14:00-15:30
Venue: Soft room

Humanity’s challenge in the 21st century is to meet the human rights of over 10 billion people, while safeguarding the planetary life-support systems on which all of our wellbeing depends. In other words: to get into the Doughnut – the safe and just space in which all of humanity can thrive.

What are the key drivers that determine whether or not we will succeed? How can we transition from an economy that is degenerative and divisive by default to one that is regenerative and distributive by design? This talk will explore how design – be it industrial, architectural or economic – is critical to our ability to make this transformation happen.

Kate Raworth is a renegade economist focused on the rewriting of economics to make it fit for addressing this century’s realities. She is the creator of the Doughnut of social and planetary boundaries which has gained widespread traction in international policy debates on sustainable development. Kate is a senior visiting research associate and lecturer at Oxford University’s Environmental Change Institute, and a senior associate of the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership. In 2014 she was named by The Guardian as “one of the top ten tweeters on economic transformation”. She blogs about Doughnut Economics at and tweets @KateRaworth.

Geomorphology and Lanscapes by Andrew Goudie 7th October 2014

Geomorphology and Landscapes
Andrew Goudie (Emeritus Professor of Geography at University of Oxford)
07 October 2014 14:00 PM
Soft Room
Architectural Association

What were the landscapes of the past like? What will landscapes look like in the future? Landscapes are all around us, but most of us know very little about how they have developed, what goes on in them, and how they react to changing climates, tectonics and human activities. Examining what landscape is, and how we use a range of ideas and techniques to study it, Andrew Goudie a demonstrate how geomorphologists have built on classic methods pioneered by some great 19th century scientists to examine our Earth.

Landscapes Evolution by Andrew Barkwith 27th October 2015

Presenters: Andrew Barkwith
‘Simulating landscape evolution and the impacts of human intervention’
Series: Landscape Urbanism Open Lecture Series
Date: 27th October 2015
Time: 14:00
Venue: Soft room, Architectural Association, Bedford Square


The Earth’s land surface is home to over 7 billion people and we rely on it for food, water, shelter, energy and general prosperity. This surface is constantly evolving, its dynamics driven by a suite of hydrological and geomorphic processes that vary with climate and human induced change. We have been trying to understand these processes for millennia and, in the past, have used drawings, classifications and maps to analyse the changes that we see. A natural development of these tools over recent decades has been numerical modelling, which let us not only further develop our understanding of the Earth’s land surface, but also quantitatively test this understanding and make predictions about its future evolution. In this lecture we will examine some of the natural processes that influence landscape evolution, explore methods for simulating the dynamic landscape and investigate how these can be used to analyse the impacts that humans are having on the Earth’s land surface.

Liquid Power by Erik Swyngedouw 18th May 2015

Erik Swyngedouw

Liquid Power

Series: Book Launch 
Date: Monday 18 May 2015 
Time: 18:30 
Venue: AA Bookshop
Running time: 0 mins

In this book, Erik Swyngedouw explores how water becomes part of the tumultuous processes of modernization and development. Using the experience of Spain as a lens to view the interplay of modernity and environmental transformation, Swyngedouw shows that every political project is also an environmental project.

In 1898, Spain lost its last overseas colony, triggering a period of post-imperialist turmoil still referred to as El Disastre. Turning inward, the nation embarked on “regeneration” and modernization. Water played a central role in this; during a turbulent period from the twentieth century into the twenty-first—through the Franco years and into the new era of liberal democracy—Spain’s waterscapes were completely transformed, with large-scale projects that ranged from dam construction to irrigation to desalinization. Swyngedouw describes the contested political-ecological process that marked this transformation, showing that the Spain’s diverse and contested paths to modernization were predicated on particular trajectories of environmental transformation.

After laying out his theoretical perspectives, Swyngedouw analyzes three periods of Spain’s political-ecological modernization: the aspirations and stalled modernization of the early twentieth century; the accelerated efforts under the authoritarian Franco regime—which included six hundred dams, expanded hydroelectricity, and massive irrigation; and the changing hydro-social landscape under social democracy. Offering an innovative perspective on the relationship of nature and society, Liquid Powerilluminates the political nature of nature.

Erik Swyngedouw is Professor of Geography at the University of Manchester. He is the author of Social Power and the Urbanization of Water: Flows of Power.

Littoral Negotiations by Liam Mouritz 20th October 2015

Presenters: Liam Mouritz, Chang Ting Fu, Xiabin Hu
‘Littoral Negotiations’
Series: Landscape Urbanism Open Lecture Series
Date: 20 October 2015
Time: 14:00
Venue: Soft room


The lecture will present the Littoral Negotiations project thesis part of the AA Landscape urbanism programme:
This project explores the blurred interface between the land and the sea known as the littoral zone. The very matter from which this condition is constructed is wet sand or sediment. This is the material from which we begin to envision alternative design scenarios for the littoral zone of the Mediterranean Sea. 

It is often claimed we live in a new geological era known as the Anthropocene; in which human influences characterize a distinct layer of the geologic record. In this new era, humans have the capacity to hack the environmental processes which govern the form of the earth’s surface. In our case, the processes of interest are those which mould the planets shifting, sedimentary coastal zones. 
In the Mediterranean Sea, sediment is in short supply, largely due to the damming of its many rivers. The sediment that does make it the ocean flows via littoral cells along the coast, crossing the borders of 25 different nations and affecting almost half a billion people that live along the Mediterranean Coast. This cross-political situation has forced numerous conflicts and cooperation’s, in which any sand extraction or intervention within the coast will invariably have some impact on the downstream region. Despite this, there exists no Mediterranean Scale action plan, framework, or precedents in how to manage sediment, as exists with other important resources and issues such as the management of fisheries, or the management of pollution on a Mediterranean Scale, as dictated by multi-national agreements such as the Barcelona Convention. 

Focusing on the erosive littoral zone of Lake Manzala, situated between the mouths of the Nile and the Suez Canal, we have begun to envision scenarios of sediment negotiation and redistribution in which land expansion begins to reconfigure new territory. 

Critical Cartographies by Teresa Stoppani March 2014

Simryn Gill_Four Atlases of the World and One of Stars_2009

Critical Cartographies

Teresa Stoppani , 20th March 2014, Soft Room, 6 PM

Architectural Association

[M]apmaking conventions are based not only on a sensible view of the world but on themselves, on their own historical sense of what counts as a legitimate view of the world. As the geographer J. Wreford Watson writes, “The geography of the land is in the last resort the geography of the mind.”

Catherine Ingraham, Architecture and the Burdens of Linearity, 1998.

The use of the grid in mapmaking offers a rational instrument that is based on conventions in order to fix and to communicate information. At the same time the cartographic grid produces an intentional opacity that can reveal the “project” of mapmaking, otherwise concealed in its apparently objective and impartial presentation. From the impossible bird’s eye views of cities presented as city portraits, to the measured space of the map, the conventions and the “lies” of cartographic representation reveal that the map is in fact a project, that is, the production of a never-neutral critical space. Always partial, mapmaking establishes a relation of difference and of excess with the territory that it re-presents, thus becoming a generative system that is able to produce and incorporate those interpretations, intentionality and transformations that characterize the process of the project. Examples, stories and images drawn from architecture and the visual arts accompany this exploration of critical cartographies.

On the Record by Gabriela Garcia de Cortazar March 2014

Sanson - geographie

Gabriela García de Cortázar

On the Record

Series: Landscape Urbanism Lecture Series
Date: 6/3/2014
Time: 17:30:00
Venue: New Soft Room
Catalogues, lists, inventories, indexes; atlases, models, maps, plans, diagrams, charts, graphs are all ways of recording what is out there, what cannot be seen with our insufficient vision, and what cannot be kept with our restricted memory. Maps are the preferred tool for recording things in space, and just as any other register, they act through selection, editions and naming – basically, description.
This kind of linguistic capture necessarily encounters problems, and the talk will focus on three: issues of scope (what to capture, parts or wholes; what to describe, surfaces or structures), time (between eternal instant and fickle sequence) and projection (from points of view to the short distance between description and prescription).
Gabriela García de Cortázar is a current PhD candidate at the AA.
Making Maps by Marti Peran February 2014


MAKING MAPS (in real time)
Marti Peran, 05 February 2014, Soft Room,
Architectural Association

Understanding cartography as a model within the logic of representation. This lecture considers, in the context of the crisis of representation, (that is to say, in the context of the crisis of traditional cartography) the need to establish a fresh foundation for cartography. The task of becoming cartographers implies a return to the possibility of deducing the value of territory and the ways of establishing a discourse with it, on the basis of experience. In this way, contemporary art could be a model.

'Geomorphology and Landscapes' by Andrew Goudie October 2013


Geomorphology and Landscapes

Andrew Goudie (Emeritus Professor of Geography at University of Oxford)

15 October 14:30 PM

Studio 2
Architectural Association

What were the landscapes of the past like? What will landscapes look like in the future? Landscapes are all around us, but most of us know very little about how they have developed, what goes on in them, and how they react to changing climates, tectonics and human activities. Examining what landscape is, and how we use a range of ideas and techniques to study it, Andrew Goudie a demonstrate how geomorphologists have built on classic methods pioneered by some great 19th century scientists to examine our Earth.

Urban Prototypes: Mentalities and Perspectives by Clara Oloriz and Douglas Spencer March 2013

Clara Oloriz and Douglas Spencer Urban Prototypes

Clara Oloriz and Douglas Spencer (AA Landscape Urbanism) lecture at the AA lecture hall on “Urban Prototypes: Mentalities and Perspectives” . Part of the ongoing Research Cluster on Urban Prototypes:

Rahul Mehrotra in conversation with AALU February 2013


7th February 2013 @ 3:00 PM
New Soft Room
Architectural Association
All welcomed

This Thursday 7th February 2013 Rahul Mehrotra will be in conversation with AA Landscape Urbanism Programme in the New Soft Room at the Architectural Association. Rahul Menhrotra is a prominent architect and urban planner who practices and teaches in Mumbai and Boston (Harvard GSD). He will discuss the AALU brief from this year based in India, specifically along the  Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor and the rise of private townships developments  and other rapid urbanism dynamics happening in the region.

A Typology of Contemporary Urbanism by Francois Fromonot October 2012


Françoise Fromonot

Storks, Cabbages and Beakers: A Typology of Contemporary Urbanism

Date: 16/10/2012
Time: 18:00:00
Venue: Lecture Hall
Running time: 118 mins
Half a century has passed since the publication of Françoise Choay’s threefold typology of urbanism (progressist, culturalist, naturalist). In light of the economical and ideological mutations of the post-1970s western world, perhaps it is necessary to assess the contemporary panorama of urban design. This lecture will propose a new classification of urbanism and question how an updated classification might help construct an alternative position for defining trends.
Françoise Fromonot, an architect by training, is currently Professor of History, Theory and Design at the ENSA Paris and a lecturer at Sciences-Po Paris. As a critic she is the author of numerous articles and several books on contemporary architecture and urbanism. She is a co-founder and editor of the French critical journal criticat.
Students please visit video archive to view this lecture. This lecture is not available online.
Materialist Postions by Peter Trummer October 2012


Peter Trummer

Landscape Urbanism Lecture Series
Date: 8/10/2012
Time: 18:00:00
Venue: Lecture Hall
Running time: 1hr 38mins mins
This lecture will address the materialist position as an urban design practice through recent examples, international case studies and a manifesto.
Peter Trummer is Professor for Urban Design and head of IOUD: the Institute of Urban Design & Planning at the University of Innsbruck. Currently, he is a visiting professor at SCI-Arc in Los Angeles and at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.
Land/Scape/Architecture by eelco Hooftman October 2012

photo (1)

Eelco Hooftman
Date: 1/10/2012
Time: 18:00:00
Venue: Lecture Hall
Organised by the AA Graduate School Landscape Urbanism Programme. Open to all.
Landscape Architecture interacts in a complex continuum between man and nature, town and country, land and architecture. We no longer reconcile the duality of opposite forces but orchestrate and choreograph a multitude of dynamic and hybrid interactions. How to turn towards a new landscape architecture of sustainable optimism; a potent mix of artificial intelligence and natural instinct?
Eelco Hooftman is a founding partner with Bridget Baines of GROSS. MAX. Landscape Architects. He integrates theory and practice of landscape architecture in an extensive output of projects that combines a Dutch sense of experimentation with a British sense of humor and a German sense of rigour. Hooftman has regularly visited as a critic at the AA School and is the first landscape architect to be selected as member of the Royal Society of the Arts in Scotland. In 2010, Building Designrecognised GROSS. MAX. as Public Realm Architect of the Year. The studio’s collaborators include Zaha Hadid, David Chipperfield, Amanda Levete Architects, Piet Oudolf and artist Mark Dion. Current projects include Tempelhof Freiheit, the transformation of the former Tempelhof Airport in Berlin and a linear park for the Central Business District in Beijing.
The Urban Surface: Public, glorious, urgent by Alex Wall May 2010


Alex Wall
The Urban Surface: Public, glorious, urgent
Date: 26/06/2010
Time: 18:00:00
Venue: Lecture Hall
The Urban Surface – public, glorious, urgent”Programming the Urban Surface” is the title of an article Alex Wall contributed to Recovering Landscape, edited by James Corner and published in 1999. In the early days of landscape urbanism, the article looked at the emergence of projects, nascent theories and the potential significance of an “extensive” design of the urban landscape. Since its publication, the twin forces of urbanization and climate change bring a far more urgent focus on the performance of public space and the public realm. The lecture will consider the design of the urban surface with respect to the city as a context “as found,” to questions of density, social equity, and as Philippe Rahm has put it, “public space becomes the place where the quality of air is defined..

Past speakers include:

Andrew Goudy,Rahul Mehrotra, Peter Trummer, Graham Shane, Francoise Fromonot, Lars Lerup, Jon Goodbun, Eelco Hoffman, Alejandro Zaera-Polo, Erik Swyngedouw, Chris Reed, Steve Graham, Alex Wall, Alberto Clementi, Mike Hodson, Simon Marvin, Charles Waldheim, Andreas Ruby, Kelly Shannon, Richard Weller, David Cunningham, Matthew Gandy and Gareth Doherty