Architecture on the Couch: Psychoanalysis and the Environment

'Unfinished Buildings' is a research project being undertaken in the School of Architecture at Oxford Brookes University. Begun in 2014, it is lead by Dr Igea Troiani and Andrew Dawson, founding directors of Original Field of Architecture in Oxford. It is practice-based design research that began through their final year MArchD (Part II) postgraduate design studio (DS1). It has evolved into an international network of ex-graduate architect students and external researchers working across the disciplines of architecture, urban design and planning, history, sociology/social geography, arts practice/social sculpture and healthcare with NGOs and local communities. The research builds upon the work of Jane Jacobs, David Harvey, Michel Foucault and Wendy Brown - scholars who are all critical of the way in which social and cultural capital are comprised by the economic imperatives of neoliberalism.

The aim of the research on 'Unfinished buildings' is to:

  1. Locate, photograph and film unfinished buildings worldwide as part of a collaborative research project;
  2. Research through architectural design, the potential for reuse of unfinished concrete frame buildings for social and cultural betterment involving local community groups and unemployed construction workers living in that city;
  3. Consider alternative modes of architectural design practice for impermanent/short term rather than always permanent/long term solutions with reuse as a primary strategy;
  4. Redefine architectural practice to challenge the current model of prescribed architectural labour and production to include unconventional modes of rapid design intervention and;
  5. Question the model of neoliberal architectural practice that perpetuates a boom-bust construction cycle that creates the by-products of unfinished concrete building carcasses and use those buildings to create a more sustainable, on-going more steady building industry.

Invitation to participate

  1. Photographic archive: This is an international project that we invite people to participate in. If you find an unfinished building in Greece, Spain or Cuba, or in fact anywhere in the world, note its address, Google map coordinates and send us some photographs. We would like to undertake an international mapping project to locate all the unfinished buildings in the world. You will be credited in any forthcoming publications as the photographer. Please send details and high res. jpg images (dated and with a caption title) to Igea Troiani. Any film footage should be sent to Igea Troiani c/WeTransfer.
  2. International Research Network: If you are already working in this field and would like to join our network please write to Igea Troiani to register your interest. We run workshops in different countries and are keen to build an interdisciplinary group of international researchers.
  3. Undertaking a practice-based research PhD on unfinished buildings as part of the Design Theory Practice research group: please contact Igea Troiani.

Research activites to date

September 2014-May 2015 'Unfinished Athens' architectural design studio (Year 2 postgraduate MArch D (Part 2)) led by Troiani and Dawson.

29 May - 10 June 2015 'Unfinished Athens' exhibition in Glass Tank at Oxford Brookes University. Curated by Troiani, Dawson and DS1 students.

12-19 June 2015 'Unfinished Athens' exhibition at 43 Gransden Avenue, London E8 3QA.

September 2015- May 2016 'Unfinished Madrid' architectural design studio (Year 2 postgraduate MArch D (Part 2)) led by Troiani and Dawson.

28 May-8 June 2016 'Unfinished Madrid' exhibition, 3rd floor of Abercrombie building, Oxford Brookes University. Curated by Troiani, Dawson and DS1 students.

17-26 June 2016 'Unfinished Athens' exhibition at the Spyropouleio Cultural Centre, 1 Agias Sofias Street, Faros Psychikou, 154 51 Neo Psychiko, Attica, Athens. Curated by Troiani and Konstantinos Papidimitriou (former DS1 student). http://architecture.brookes.ac.uk/news/items/170416-unfinished-athens.html

September 2016- May 2017 'Unfinished Cuba' architectural design studio (Year 2 postgraduate MArch D (Part 2)) led by Troiani, Dawson and Hannah Durham.

28 September 2016 Invited speaker: The free public lecture, part of the annual lecture series for the 'Place Culture Identity' research group was entitled "Unfinished Buildings: Design Activism in Athens", in the Hub, Abercrombie Building (3rd floor), OBU. https://www.brookes.ac.uk/about-brookes/events/unfinished-buildings--design-activism-in-athens/

27 January 2017 'Unfinished Athens' workshop run in Oxford. Attendees: Andrew Dawson, Mando Moreti and Philip Baker

2 March 2017 Introduction to film screening of Unfinished Spaces and interviewer for Q&A with the Cuban Ambassador to the United Kingdom, Her Excellency Comrade Teresita Vincente Sotolongo in the John Henry Brookes Lecture Theatre, OBU.

20 April 2017 'Revitalising Unfinished Athens' workshop run in Athens at the George Zongolopoulos Foundation, 49, Dimokratias Street, 154 52 Psychiko ATHENS. Attendees: Igea Troiani; Andrew Dawson; Nicholas Anastasopoulous (Lecturer, Architecture, National Technical University of Athens); Thanos Andritsos (Architect, urban planner, CPD consultants); Nishat Awan (PhD, Lecturer, School of Architecture, the University of Sheffield, UK); Dimitris Bairaktaris (Structural Engineer); Alexandra Bounia (Vice-Rector of Academic Affairs and Quality Assurance at University of the Aegean, President of the International Council of Museums ICOM in Greece); Elpiniki Delaporta (Archivist and museologist of George Zongolopoulos Foundation); Giannis Evmolpidis (Urban planner and consultant to the Mayor of Athens); Nelly Lavda (City councillor of municipality of Filothei-Psychiko); Matthieu Prat (Architect, designer and founder of Diplomates) Giannis Moralis (Mayor of Peraias) Mando Moreti (Graduate architect, member of George Zongolopoulos Foundation); Angelos Moretis (General Director, George Zongolopoulos Foundation); Marina Moretti (PhD, Assistant Professor Civil Engineering, School of Architecture, National Technical University of Athens); Lilly E. Peppou (University Mental Health Research Institute, Athens and Health Policy Institute, Athens); Ioanna Pertsinidou (Social worker, coordinator of ‘A Plus to Minus’ programme, PRAKSIS NGO); Kyriakos Souliotis (PhD, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Peloponnese, Corinth, Greece and Health Policy Institute, Athens); Nikos Theodoridis (President, George Zongolopoulos Foundation); Katerina Zisimopoulou (architect).

Some of the attendees gave lectures in three themes:

  • Theme 1: Collaborative Artist-Architectural practice and unfinished buildings;
  • Theme 2: Health, wellbeing and the construction industry and unfinished buildings;
  • Theme 3: Collaborative community activism, Politics and unfinished building.

June 2017 Publication of the book, Unfinished Athens edited by Troiani. Unfinished Athens was compiled by Konstantina Faltaka, Geoffrey Lan Hun Kuen, Mando Moreti and Troiani. The book can be purchased from Blurb. Log into Blurb, go to bookshop.

June 2017 Publication of the book, Unfinished Cuba edited by Troiani. This book was compiled by Harriet Ward. The book can be purchased from Blurb. Log into Blurb, go to bookshop.

June 2017 Publication of the book, [Espacios] Inacabados or Unfinished [Spaces] edited by Joshua Aylett and Sebastian Munday. Joshua was a student in the 'Unfinished Madrid' architectural design studio run in 2015-2016. The book and individual prints can be purchased from the website www.espaciosinacabados.com, or submit an enquiry to espacios.inacabados@gmail.com

21 June 2017 Panel member discussing Jane Jacobs documentary Citizen Jane at the Ultimate Picture Palace (UPP), Oxford. Other panel members include: Sue Brownill (Urban designer), Annie Skinner (historian) and Rachel Barbaresi (artist).


Forthcoming

2017 (tbc) Publication of the edited book, Unfinished Madrid edited by Troiani, Dawson. The book was compiled by Joshua Aylett and Dawson.

2018 (tbc) Book chapter: Troiani I., “Regenerating Unfinished Athens”, in A. Orbasli and M. Vellinga eds. Architectural Regeneration, Oxford: Wiley (chapter accepted - in production).


Unfinished Buildings

RESEARCH STAFF

  • Igea Troiani
    Senior Lecturer, OBU and founder of Original Field of Architecture lead
  • Andrew Dawson
    Founder, Original Field of Architecture, Oxford
  • Nicholas Anastasopoulous
    Lecturer, Architecture, National Technical University of Athens
  • Joshua Aylett
    Graduate architect, Madrid/ US
  • Hannah Durham
    Partner and Part 2 Assistant at Cullinan Studio, London
  • Mando Moreti
    Graduate architect, member of George Zongolopoulos Foundation
  • Marina Moretti
    Assistant Professor Civil Engineering, School of Architecture, National Technical University of Athens
  • Konstantinos Papidimitriou
    Graduate architect, Athens
  • Lilly E. Peppou
    University Mental Health Research Institute, Athens and Health Policy Institute, Athens
  • Ioanna Pertsinidou
    Social worker, coordinator of ‘A Plus to Minus’ programme, PRAKSIS NGO
  • Katerina Zisimopoulou
    Architect, Athens

CONTACT DETAILS

Dr Igea Troiani

Place, Culture & Identity Group
Unfinished Buildings

School of Architecture
Oxford Brookes University
Headington Campus
Gipsy Lane
Oxford, OX3 0BP

itroiani@brookes.ac.uk

UPCOMING EVENT

  • TBC