InterVIEWS/Listen: Episodes 9-10 explore doctoral programs at HKU in Hong Kong and The Bartlett in London
May 16, 2023
The InterVIEWS/Listen podcast series, presented by the Carleton Research | Practice of Teaching | Collaborative of the Azrieli School of Architecture & Urbanism (ASAU, Carleton University), surveys doctoral programs and documents the range of research approaches in architecture, urbanism, conservation, design research and creative practices worldwide.
Two interviews took place in the Fall 2022, in the PhD Colloquium organized by Professor Federica Goﬃ. She is co-chair of the PhD and MAS programs and chair of Carleton Research | Practice of Teaching | Collaborative (CR|PT|C).
Dr. Eunice Seng Chair of the Departmental Research Postgraduate Committee in Architecture at the Faculty of Architecture of the University of Hong Kong (HKU) discussed some of the key initiatives that she has implemented in the program since starting in this role and the relevance and currency of criticism today, the methodological approaches and some of the research outcomes in the PhD program at HKU as well as the limitations and opportunities encountered when working at a distance from a research site.
In the second part of the interview, Dr. Seng oﬀered insights into her research work, addressing questions about her recent publications and, in particular, her book Resistant City: Histories, Maps and the Architecture of Development, published in 2020 by World Scientific Publishing Co. The book maps contested spaces in Hong Kong through field observations, analytical drawings, archival research and film studies. She also discussed her work with SKEW collaborative and how she operates between practice, research and teaching.
Most recently, Dr. Seng has been a speaker at the Spring 2023 Discussion Lecture Series on Feminist Architectural Histories of Migration held at HKU. Her article “Working women and architectural work: Hong Kong 1945-1985” is part of the international collection of articles on migration and architecture curated by Dr. Anooradha Iyer Siddiqi, Barnard College, Columbia University and Dr. Rachel Lee TU Delft. She is also co-editor of a special issue of the Architectural Theory Review titled Cosmopolitanism’s Others: Forgotten Histories of Transnational Architectural Practice (2022, 26, 3).
The interviewers are Dr. Federica Goﬃ and PhD students michelle liu, Adila Mehjebin, Ushma Thakrar, Sena Kurcenli Koyunlu.
Dr. Sophia Psarra is Director of the Architectural and Urban History and Theory PhD Programme at the Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London (UCL) in the UK, where she is a Professor of Architecture and Spatial Design. In her interview Dr. Psarra oﬀered an overview of the five doctoral programs at the Bartlett School of Architecture, explaining how they are diﬀerentiated from each other. Next, she discussed her role as PhD Program Director of the Architectural and Urban History and Theory PhD Programme, defining the uniqueness of the interdisciplinary program in which students can collaborate with other departments within UCL. The interview includes a discussion on the research media and methods students undertake to define emerging questions and arrive at their contributions to knowledge, defining the inherent agency and originality of their work. Finally, she discussed the role of the supervisor and the advisory committee.
Dr. Psarra spoke about the fruitful interaction between the Architectural and Urban History and Theory PhD and the PhD by Design Program, which share a critical engagement with history, theory, contemporary issues and the role of the architect in society. All the seminars are shared between the two programs, and there is an annual conference and exhibition on which the programs collaborate. Dr. Psarra also commented on emerging Doctoral Training Centres (DTC) in the UK that rely on funding from the UK Research Councils (RCUK) to develop specific disciplinary and interdisciplinary questions. Schools can apply to host a DTC program based on calls launched by the UK Research Council.
In the second part of the interview, Dr. Psarra oﬀered insights into her research work addressing questions of authorship, narrative plurality, and architecture as an instrument of power, based on a number of her writings, including her book, Architecture and Narrative, published by Routledge in 2009, which deals with architecture as a semi-autonomous object. Finally, the interview concluded with reflections on her latest book, The Venice Variations, published by UCL Press 2018, also available in open access.
Find InterVIEW/Listen 10 HERE.
The interviewers are Dr. Federica Goﬃ and the PhD students Simone Fallica and Sharmeen Dafedar as well as MAS students Mahsa Esmailpour and Stephanie Murray.