A vibrant research culture of inquiry and investigation runs through ESALA’s various subject areas.  Our seminar series supports this by bringing scholars engaged in important research to ESALA in order to present their work and discuss it with the school community. 

Recognising the rich interdisciplinarity of research interests across ESALA, the series welcomes speakers from a wide range of fields. Recent presentations range across topics that include: the etchings of Alexander Brodsky; the geological turn in contemporary art and philosophy; site-specific robotic fabrication; building materials and national identities; the urban photography of Thomas Struth; architectural globalisation in the late Cold War; time, space and the infrastructure of high-frequency trading; underwater architectures; the neoliberal baroque; and cinema and boredom.

Previous seminar series

2019/20 seminars

Wed 25 Sep 2019Dr Moa Carlsson, ESALA, Edinburgh College of Art | ‘The Data Gaze: Design, Automation, and Politics of Aesthetics in Postwar Britain’ | Adam House Lecture Theatre | 1pm - 2pm

Wed 2 Oct 2019Luke Pearson, Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL | ‘Toward a Videogame Urbanism’ | Adam House Lecture Theatre | 1pm - 2pm

Wed 9 Oct 2019 | Dr Ray Lucas, University of Manchester | ‘Drawing Parallels: Knowledge Production in Axonometric, Isometric and Oblique Drawings’ | Adam House Lecture Theatre | 1pm - 2pm

Fri 11 Oct 2019 | Sam Barclay, Case Design, Mumbai | ‘The House to Collect Water’ | Adam House Lecture Theatre | 1-2pm

Wed 16 Oct 2019 | Killian Doherty, ESALA, Edinburgh College of Art | ‘Extracts from a West African Utopia’ | Adam House Lecture Theatre | 1pm - 2pm

Wed 23 Oct 2019 | Professor Adam Sharr and Dr Sam Austin, Newcastle University | ‘The University of Non-Stop Society’ | Adam House Lecture Theatre | 1pm - 2pm

Wed 30 Oct 2019 | Laura Harty, ESALA, Edinburgh College of Art | ‘Butter Paper: Drawings Under the Surface’ | Adam House Lecture Theatre | 1pm - 2pm

Wed 6 Nov 2019 | Elizabeth Deans Romariz, University of York | ‘Architects’ Books’ | Adam House Lecture Theatre | 1pm - 2pm

Wed 13 Nov 2019 | Dr David Cunningham, University of Westminster | Planetary Urbanisation and the Problem of Form: from Marx to Aureli’ | Adam House Lecture Theatre | 1pm - 2pm

Wed 20 Nov 2019 | Simone Ferracina, ESALA, Edinburgh College of Art | ‘Towards a Glossary of Exaptive Design' | Adam House Lecture Theatre | 1pm - 2pm

Wed 27 Nov 2019 | Dr Nicholas Boyarsky, Oxford Brookes University / RMIT | ‘Bogdan Bogdanovich’s Mostar Partisans Necropolis’ | Adam House Lecture Theatre | 1pm - 2pm


19 Sep 2018 | Ventilating Politics and The Politics of Ventilation, Henrik Schoenefeldt | Elliot Room, Minto House, Chambers Street | 1pm - 2pm

25 Sep 2018 | Harun Farocki on Technical and Virtual Images, Adam Jasper | Adam House Lecture Theatre, 3 Chambers Street | 1pm - 2pm

3 Oct 2018 | Making Streamlines, Vortices and Plumes: Environmental Model Prototypes, Lisa Moffitt | Adam House Lecture Theatre, 3 Chambers Street | 1pm - 2pm 

10 Oct 2018 | Order & Disorder in Urban Spatial FormHarry Smith | Adam House Lecture Theatre, 3 Chambers Street | 1pm - 2pm 

17 Oct 2018 | Worlding the Factory: A case study from Ahmedabad, Gujarat, 1948-2018, Megha Chand Inglis | Adam House Lecture Theatre, 3 Chambers Street | 1pm - 2pm 

24 Oct 2018 | Legislative Architectures - Instituting Art, Law and Property, Lucy Finchett-Maddock | Adam House Lecture Theatre, 3 Chambers Street | 1pm - 2pm 

31 Oct 2018 | Thermal Performances: A method for interrogating the technical in architecture, Claudia Dutson | Adam House Lecture Theatre, 3 Chambers Street | 1pm - 2pm

7 Nov 2018 | Is Architecture Turning Toward Production?, Katie Lloyd Thomas, Nick Beech & Tilo Amhof | Adam House Lecture Theatre, 3 Chambers Street | 1pm - 2pm

14 Nov 2018 | Crowd to Cloud and Contract to Commons: Curating Control, Anne Bottomley | Adam House Lecture Theatre, 3 Chambers Street | 1pm - 2pm

21 Nov 2018 | Crafting History: Archiving and the quest for architectural legacy, Albena Yaneva | Adam House Lecture Theatre, 3 Chambers Street | 1pm - 2pm 

28 Nov 2018 | Precision in Architectural Production: A 7-page specification for an unfinished ceiling, Mhairi Mcvicar | Adam House Lecture Theatre, 3 Chambers Street | 1pm - 2pm 

5 Dec 2018 | The Work of the Architect In Self-Managed Industrialisation, Tijana Stevanovic | Adam House Lecture Theatre, 3 Chambers Street | 1pm - 2pm

23 Jan 2019 | Curating Derive (Geddes Visiting Fellow Seminar), Tina Di Carlo | Adam House Lecture Theatre, 3 Chambers Street | 1pm 

30 Jan 2019 | Sketching Practice (Geddes Visiting Fellow Seminar), Tina Di Carlo | Adam House Lecture Theatre, 3 Chambers Street | 1pm 

6 Feb 2019 | Writing in Space: Curatorial exercises in architectural drawing, Sophia Banou | Adam House Lecture Theatre, 3 Chambers Street | 1pm

13 Feb 2019 | Light Passes: Thinking the architectural exhibition geologically, Tiago Torres Campos | Adam House Lecture Theatre, 3 Chambers Street | 1pm

27 Feb 2019 | Objects and fields (George Simpson Visiting Professor Seminar), Stan Allen | Adam House Lecture Theatre, 3 Chambers Street | 1pm

28 Feb 2019 | Exhibiting Brutalism: Raw architecture in an untamed world, Ben Highmore | Adam House Lecture Theatre, 3 Chambers Street | 1pm

5 March 2019 | Space in photographs: A renaissance cure for present-day ills, Frank Doring | Adam House Lecture Theatre, 3 Chambers Street | 6:45pm - 7:45pm

6 March 2019 | Strange Bedfellows: An exhibition and its catalogue, Wallis Miller | Adam House Lecture Theatre, 3 Chambers Street | 1pm

13 March 2019 | Photographs of photographs: Disruptions and juxtapositions at the Miles Van Der Rohe Exhibition at Moma (1947 - 48), Catalina Mejia Moreno | Adam House Lecture Theatre, 3 Chambers Street | 1pm

20 March 2019 | Editing Inventions (Geddes Visiting Fellow Seminar), Tina Di Carlo | Adam House Lecture Theatre, 3 Chambers Street | 1pm

27 March 2019 | Fashioning the idle gaze (Geddes Visiting Fellow Seminar), Nicholas De Monchaux | Adam House Lecture Theatre, 3 Chambers Street | 1pm

3 April 2019 | Exhibiting on the surface, Mark Dorrian | Adam House Lecture Theatre, 3 Chambers Street | 1pm



20 Sep | Liam Ross | Spectres of Edo Castle: Fire safety and "enforced cosmopolitanism" in Tokyo 

27 Sep | Aikaterini AntonopoulouThe Online Presence of Golden Dawn and the Athenian Realities It Brings Forward 

2 Oct | Richard WellerLandscape Works 

4 Oct | Mark Dorrian | On Michael Webb's Sin Centre and the Drawing of Mobility 

11 Oct | Ana Bonet MiroOn Playgrounds and the Archive: Joan Littlewood’s Stratford Fair, 1967-1975 

18 Oct | Catherine Ingraham | Place (rule) vs Space (actions) 

25 Oct | Cristina Nan | Digital Ecologies and the Posthuman 

1 Nov | Giorgio Ponzo | Architecture without End 

15 Nov | Margaret Stewart and Peter HagisAnimating architecture - an experiment in accessibility? 

16 Nov | David Turnbull | Six images - six questions and one project" 

22 Nov | Michael Webb | In conversation 

29 Nov | Tahl Kaminer | Planning Appeals, Clandestine Policy Making, and Student Housing

6 Dec | Ella ChmielewskaCover Stories: Blind Spots in Theory 



28 September | Douglas Spencer Affect and Individuation: Architecture and Experience in the Culture of Neoliberalism

5 October | Adam Bobbette Cultures of Forecasting, Nature, and the Uncertainty of the Future

12 October | Glyn Davis Waiting for something to happen: cinema and endurance

19 October | Isabelle DoucetArchitecture and Resistance: Within or against?

26 October | Anthony AuerbachReading Material: inscription, erasure, reconnaissance

2 November | Pablo MartinezAndrea Branzi and the "Città senza Architettura": From the No-Stop City to Weak Urbanization Models

9 November | Linda MatthewsPixel Versus Line: From the Digital Image to the Architectural Surface

16 November | Philip Goad | Marks on the Land, Crossing Currents: Identity and Australian Architecture

18 January | Andreas Philippopoulos-MihalopoulosSpatial Justice: the violence of space

25 January | Nick DunnDark Futures: the loss of night in the contemporary city?

1 February | Nat ChardDevices of Indeterminacy

15 February | Stephen GrahamVertical noir: Histories of the future in urban science fiction

16 February | Wang Shu | Lu Wenyu | In conversation

1 March | Sukanya KrishnamurthyPublic spaces and urban collective cultures

15 March | Andrew HerscherBlack and Blight

22 March | Luis Callejas | Title tbc

24 March | Tina Di CarloExhibiting Architecture

29 March | Marc SchoonderbeekArchitectural Adjacencies: the dérive, mapping and 2.5D

5 April | Peter SalterWalmer Yard: Housing

6 April | Maria TheodorouThe Enchantment of Things: Architects (dis)engagement with Space

3 May | Hugo Hinsley | Title tbc

10 May | Niall Hobhouse Collections: Buildings and Drawings



Emily Brady | The Natural Sublime and the Self

Tom Weaver | This Has Killed That

Monika Bakke | Geologizing With Art: How to make kin among mineral species

Guan Lee | Clay Robotics at Grymsdke Farm

Aliki Economides | On Collective Memory and its Edification

Barry Bergdoll | Reading Mile High: Frank Lloyd Wright takes on Chicago, Co-hosted with the Architectural History and Theory Seminar Series

Francesca Hughes | The Architecture of Error: Matter, Measure, and the Misadventures of Precision

Robin Wilson | Generic expectations and intermediary space: a reflexive architectural photography

Adrian Forty | On Nations and Materials: a nineteenth-century question revisited in the twenty-first century

Stefano Corbo | Archaeology of Infrastructures: a conceptual cartography

David Sorfa | Touch and History: The Body in Czech Phenomenology and 1960s Cinema

Hugh Campbell | Unconscious Places: Thomas Struth and the Architecture of the City

Lorens Holm | The City is a Thinking Machine - Or What We Might Call Spatial Consciousness

Dilip Da Cunha and Anuradha Mathur | Where does Design begin?

Mark West | The Control Question

Peg Rawes | Architectural Ecologies and Ratios

Simona Salvo | After the Ordeal: The Pirelli Tower in Milan and the conservation of metal and glass curtain walls

Katja Grillner | Enacting the Past, the Distant (or What is Not Here, But There): Performing Material Fictions (2013-2015)

Samantha Hardingham | Cedric Price Works - 1952-2003: A Forward-Minded Retrospective

Phillip Meuser | Seismic Modernism: Architecture and Housing in Soviet Tashkent

Jonathan Hill | A Landscape of Architecture, History and Fiction

Esther Leslie | Those in Glass Houses



Assemble Architects | Work in Progress

Nic Beech | Stuart Hall and the New Left: rethinking and reworking the metropole in the mid-1950s

Mark Dudek | Play Architecture

Harry Smith | Planning Issues

Film screening | How Much Does Your Building Weigh, Mr. Foster?

Johanna Blocker | The Reconstruction of Architectural Monuments and Historic Townscapes

Fiona McLachlan | Colour and Contingency: Theory into Practice

David Cunningham | Architecture, Modernity and Acceleration(ism)

Stavros Stavides | On Urban Commoning: The City Shapes Institutions of Sharing

Tim Ingold | Knots and Joints …. / Atmosphere

Thomas Oles | Better: Toward a History of Dangerous Idea

Łukasz Stanek | Architectural Globalization in the Late Cold War: From Socialist Poland to Kuwait and Back

Stephen Walker | The Architecture of the Travelling Street Fair: Assembly, Apparatus, and a Guidebook

Perry Kulper | Madness in the Methods

Donald Mackenzie | History, Materiality, Morals: 'Futures Lag' in high-frequency trading

William Firebrace | Memo for Nemo

Katie Lloyd Thomas | The New Synthesist, Proprietary Specification, Ripolin and Elizabeth Benjamin’s East Wall

Paul Jones | Imagining Capitalist Futures: the architectural modelling of an urban development

Jonathan Mills | Revisiting the Memory Theatre of Giulio Camillo - a proposal for an installation

Robin Moore | Interdisciplinary, evidence-based design education: reflecting on decades of ‘Human Use of the Urban Landscape’

Yue Zhuang | Liberty, Fear and the City of Sensations: Sir William Chambers’ Dissertation on Oriental Gardening (1772)

David Cunningham | Architecture, modernity and the idea of socialism