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Newport Street Gallery © Helene Binet

Newport Street Gallery © Helene Binet

Events - Talks

Architecture in Conversation

Architecture and the Social

13 Sep 2018

The series 'Architecture in Conversation' questions what are the current debates in architecture planning and its social functions. Our guest speakers will explore contemporary debates in architecture linked to both our shows. Through different approaches, both exhibitions pose questions about the current role of architecture in neoliberal cities, as well as the role of spatial practices in imagining new sociabilities.
Architecture and the Social explores ideas surrounding the politics of architecture and its social function.
Speakers on the panel discussion include: Samaneh Moafi (Forensic Architecture) and Akil Scafe Smith (Resolve Collective). Chaired by Marie Bak Mortensen (Royal Institute of British Architects). 
Free. Booking required.
The Space
Speakers' Bios:
Samaneh Moafi is an architect and researcher based at UK and Iran. She has received her Doctorate in Philosophy from the Architectural Association (AA) School of Architecture. Her PhD research examines struggle and resistance from the space of the home with a particular focus on Marxist feminist theory. Since 2015, Samaneh has acted as a Project Coordinator at Forensic Architecture, a research agency in Goldsmiths University of London, working on investigations that concern environmental violence and climate change (such as Ecocide in Indonesia, Center for Contemporary Nature and Scorched Earth). Previously, Samaneh has led design studios at the Bartlett School of Architecture, University College of London (2014-15) and the University of Technology Sydney (2012-13), as well as teaching a number of technical courses and workshops at the Royal College of Arts and the Architectural Association.

Akil Scafe Smith runs RESOLVE slongside his colleagues Gameli Ladzekpo and Seth Scafe-Smith. RESOLVE is an interdisciplinary design collective that aims to address social challenges by combining architecture, art, technology and engineering. RESOLVE’s inaugural project was the Rebel Space Pavilion, a temporary event space in the heart of Brixton for the London Design Festival 2016. They have since gone on to deliver a series of projects, workshops, and talks, as well as working with UCL Engineering Outreach to pilot projects that introduce young people from under-represented backgrounds to STEM subjects and concepts in interdisciplinary design. This year they are working on a number of projects domestically, with the Brixton Design Trail and Khidr Collective, and abroad, with the Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin, POLIS University in Tirana, and the Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon.
In 2018, Akil became an associate in the first cohort of Public Practice, an initiative supported by the Mayor of London that places a new generation of urban practitioners within local government to shape places for the public good. Under this initiative he is currently working as a Project Officer for ‘placemaking’ in the London Borough of Croydon’s Spatial Planning team.
Marie Bak Mortensen is Head of Exhibitions at the Royal Institute of British Architects, where she has commissioned installations by Assemble, Pablo Bronstein and Giles Round and curated a number of survey shows, including Mies van der Rohe & James Stirling: Circling the Square. From 2009 to 2014, she was responsible for national programming at Tate. Before relocating to the UK, she researched the regeneration of post-war, mass-scale social housing developments in Europe and the US on behalf of the Danish government, performing a critical survey of the principles of CIAM. The result of the research has been disseminated widely through international conferences, articles and a publication.