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Architectural History and Theory Seminar Series: Matthew Wells

Modelling the Metropolis: The Architectural Model in Victorian London

This event is hybrid and will take place in person and online.


Matthew Wells, Lecturer in Architectural History, University of Manchester

Speaker bio

Matthew Wells is a lecturer in architectural history at the University of Manchester. His research uses design to examine society, institutions, and individuals in the long nineteenth century, sites explored in his two monographs Modelling the Metropolis: The Architectural Model in Victorian London (gta Verlag, 2023) and Survey: Architecture Iconographies (Park Books, 2021).

Lecture abstract

Architectural models made nineteenth-century London. As the city expanded, was rebuilt, and reconfigured, new buildings, new urban spaces, and new networks of infrastructure were demanded and constructed. Models allowed the city’s buildings and spaces to become conceivable, operating as a conduit between architects, politicians, and the wider public. Based on extensive research in archives and museum collections, as well as from the contemporary press, this talk will address architectural models as a cultural technique through an eclectic range of images and objects – from technical products to sculptures, diagrams to engravings, maps to photographs – that expand our understanding of both the nineteenth-century built environment and the politics of design today.

Event details

19 Mar '24
In-person and online, open to all
Minto House, Elliot Room, 20-22 Chambers Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1JZ
Matthew Wells