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Beyond buildings: performance and architecture

Architecture Awards Week


Friday 17 May 2019
6.30 — 8pm

This event has now ended

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The Rotary Notary and His Hot Plate by Susan Mosakowski, set design by Diller + Scofidio, 1987

Performance view, La Mama E.T.C., New York, June 3, 1987. Produced by Creation Production Company.

Photo: J. Vezuzzo

Join us for a panel discussion looking at the performative side of architecture – learn more about how an active arts practice can develop and drive spatial ideas.

Inspired by the work of Elizabeth Diller and Ricardo Scofidio, the winners of this year’s Royal Academy Architecture Prize, we take the opportunity to view architecture as a field of performative research.

In this panel discussion, practitioners will present critical work that pushes the boundaries of what is normally perceived as architecture and demonstrates how experimental practice can help uncover new strategies for addressing the challenges facing contemporary society.

The conversation will include both architects who use performance as a research tool that informs their buildings, and individuals who use performance as a medium for exploring architectural ideas in their own right.

How can architects use performance to explore spatial qualities? Can the knowledge gained from this provide productive and tangible advantages to designing the built environment? What are the benefits of understanding architecture as the physical manifestation of social relationships? Join us and find out how architecture can channel a relationship with performance to generate a deeper understanding of the spaces we navigate on a daily basis.


Dr. Adesola Akinleye is an artist-scholar. She is a Senior Lecturer at Middlesex University in the Faculty of Arts and Creative Industries. She began her career as a dancer with Dance Theatre of Harlem, USA she later worked with Green Candle Dance UK and Union Dance UK. Her company DancingStrong, currently creates interdisciplinary-performance work touring UK and North America. Her teaching, writing and choreography weave together to inform her creative practice which centres on exploring the lived experience as embodied, and “bodily” knowledge as central to meaning making.

Dr. Ruairi Glynn is Director of the Interactive Architecture Lab at the Bartlett, University College London. In 2017 he established the MArch Design for Performance and Interaction masters programme at the Bartlett developing new interdisciplinary spatial practices drawing upon fields of performing arts, digital media, robotics and architecture. As a practicing installation artist, he has been exhibited internationally including the Centre Pompidou Paris, the National Art Museum of China Beijing, Ars Electronica Linz and Tate Modern London.

Elizabeth Lynch is an arts producer, consultant and coach. She has recently worked as Special Advisory to GLA London Borough of Culture, Creative People and Places, LAMDA, National Trust, Kew Gardens, Bush Theatre, Poetry Society, Kinetika (Associate artist for UK/India programme). She established Roundhouse Studios as Director 2001-8 and Tower Hamlets Summer University as Director 1996-2001. As a theatre director, she has worked for companies in the UK, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Chiara Stephenson is an International Stage and Costume designer working across Theatre, Ballet, Live Music Performance, Exhibition design, Retail and Installation. Recent clients include The xx Festival Headline Show, Selfridges’ immersive exhibition The Flip Side at the Old Selfridges Hotel and the 2018 West End Production of Glengarry Glen Ross. Chiara was Associate to Es Devlin between 2010 – 2017 and trained under Christopher Oram and Michael Grandage at the Donmar Warehouse between 2008 –2010.

● Fully booked

● Cancelled

Friday 17 May 2019

6.30 — 8pm

The Benjamin West Lecture Theatre, Burlington Gardens, Royal Academy of Arts, Piccadilly

£15, £9