Mon 27 Nov 2017, 6.30pm
Cass Research Seminars:
Making/Drawing as Research Method


Room GSG-15
The Cass School of Art, Architecture and Design
London E1 7TP


Cass Research Seminar 2 is a PechaKucha Night on knowledge through praxis: five speakers, six minutes. Making/Drawing as Research Method is the second in a series of public conversations which enable researchers to test and present their ideas in conversation with peers and a broader audience.

Ektoras Arkomanis is a filmmaker and a Senior Lecturer in History and Theory of Architecture at the Cass. His presentation will discuss primitive gestures of making, such as placing things together or writing lists.

Jane McAllister is course leader for BA Architecture at The Cass and her PhD concerns a study of a city farm in Oxfordshire. Her research involves practices of the architectural tourist; watching people in their environment, musing on their behaviour and using this to reflect on aspects of living that might normally be buried by the ordinariness of life. She explore these themes through methods of representation and techniques used by the architect such as photography, drawing and models – often not knowing where they might go – exploring relationships which bring the occupation of architecture into sharp focus.

Amara Roca Iglesias is an architect and design tutor who has been part of the Architecture of Rapid Change and Scarce Resources research cluster for the last three years. Her research responds to the problems of food scarcity and lack of opportunities for civic engagement in the Kathmandu Valley. It investigates whether the physical and institutional topography of the valley could be adapted and transformed to include more productive urban landscapes whilst providing a new civic realm for residents (including landless citizens) to contribute to the making of the city. Amara uses drawings to discover existing farming assemblages and to engage in conversations with those involved in them. These detailed surveys of the existing landscapes are a rich resource and form the basis for propositions introducing ‘civic farming rooms’ in the city and to provoke conversations at different levels. Through small scale interventions, making is understood as another tool for gaining access to existing institutions as well as an opportunity to explore material and socio-political resistances brought about by the act of making itself.

Maurice MitchellTwo Examples of an Architectural Approach to Change Architect as Drawing Detective and Architect as Maker. Maurice’s talk will cover interpretative drawing methods and making as research process enabling change from the bottom up. Maurice Mitchell is author of The Lemonade Stand (1998), and with Dr Bo Tang Learning from Delhi (2010) and Loose Fit City (2018). He has practised in the slums of Ghana and Southern Sudan and as both architect and carpenter, upgraded the Victorian slums of south London. He is Professor of Architecture of Rapid Change and Scarce Resources at the CASS and leader of Diploma Unit 6 which since 2000 has sought to unlock the huge physical and cultural reserve trapped within informal urban settlements in Kosovo, India, Sierra Leone and Nepal. Currently he is bringing these methods to bear on the refugee crisis in Athens.

Torange Khonsari has been a senior lecturer in architecture at London Metropolitan University since 2000. From 2004–2007 she was the course leader for BA Architecture. Torange has been a keynote speaker for UN Habitat conferences. She has lectured widely and run numerous workshops internationally. She engages with notions of the civic in an interdisciplinary practice at the threshold of participation, performative art, architecture and anthropology. Her public space projects are socially/politically motivated.

Chi Roberts started at North London Polytechnic using her furniture making/design experience to run the workshops used by architecture students. She then branched out into teaching, lecturing and leading architecture undergraduate courses; 26 years later she has left the architecture school is now head of CASS Foundation. Beginning with reference to Gropius’ diagram of 1919 which wraps the Basic/Preliminary course around the subjects of the following years at the Bauhaus, she is exploring how to draw and make ‘a Foundation course for the 21st Century’.

About Cass Research Seminars

Cass Research Seminars are a series of public conversations which enable researchers to test and present their ideas in conversation with peers and a broader audience. The sessions seek cross-fertilisation of ideas and provoke discussion. Typically, they consist of two to three presentations of 15 minutes each followed by chaired discussion.

We had a productive year in 2017/18. Presenters found that the session deepened their work and added unexpected avenues to their thinking. All are welcome at Cass Research Seminars, both from inside and outside The Cass. For more information email and follow us on Twitter for the latest information @CassResearch

Other events in this series