Domestic Frontiers Symposium, 30 November

A Symposium Organised by the City/Architecture PhD programme
Friday 30 November 2018
AA Lecture Hall, 36 Bedford Square

The overarching premise of this symposium is to re-frame the domestic space as a battlefield of practices of planning and counter-planning. Its frontiers, those separating the space of inside from the outside, the space for production from reproduction and the space for privacy from intimacy, all of which have historically pushed, pulled and redrawn. The shifts in the frontiers of this battlefield correspond to the shifts in the contours of the larger society, its different and differing gender roles, conceptions of labours, relations of care and practices of everyday life.
Existing scholarship generally views domesticity as a site of oppression and exploitation of women and the working classes. This symposium however sets to examine the home and its associated habits of dwelling as armatures deployed by a wide range of actors including the states, the market, the architects, developers, bankers and advertising agencies as well as the dwellers. In doing so, it sets to bring together historical and contemporary precedents that contribute to the current discourses around the question of housing across the globe. Precedents presented in the symposium range from Middle East to Japan, China and Brazil and are organised in four panels according to the field of their enquiry.


10 -10.30
Pier Vittorio Aureli (AA)

10:30 – 12:00
Intimate Battlefields: Planning New Gender roles, Habits and Rituals of Dwelling in MIddle East
Dalal Musaed Alsayer (University of Pennsylvania), Samaneh Moafi (AA)
Moderated by Gili Merin (AA)

12:00 – 1:30
The House as a Work of Art: Producing Domestic Space in Japan
Thomas Daniell (Kyoto University), Brendon N Carlin (AA)
Moderated by Ioanna Piniara (AA)

2:30- 4:00
Care and Rebellion in Rural China
Stephan Petermann (OMA); Jingru Cyan Cheng (AA)
Moderated by Doreen Bernath (AA)

4:15- 5:45
Producing a Form of Life in Brazil: House, Labour and the Collective
Davide Sacconi (AA), Pedro Fiori Arantes (Universidade Federal de São Paulo)
Moderated by Olivia Marra (AA)

Epilogue & Roundtable
Maria S. Giudici (AA) with Thomas Daniell, Pedro Fiori Arantes, Stephan Petermann, Dalal Musaed.


Pedro Fiori Arantes is adjunct professor at the Federal University of Sao Paulo (Unifesp). He gained a PhD from the Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning of Sao Paulo University for his research work on the transformations in form and the productive processes in contemporary architecture. He is the author of Arquitetura Nova (2002) and Arquitetura na era digital financeira (2012) and since 1999 he has been a member of Usina, a non-profit body that provides technical consulting to citizen movements in the areas of housing and urban regeneration.

Thomas Daniell Thomas Daniell is is Professor of Architectural Theory and Criticism at Kyoto University, Visiting Professor at Kyoto Seika University and the University of Saint Joseph, Macau, and Adjunct Faculty at SCI-Arc. Widely published and a frequent contributor to AA Files, his latest book is An Anatomy of Influence (AA Publications, 2018). His previous books include FOBA: Buildings (Princeton Architectural Press, 2005), After the Crash: Architecture in Post-Bubble Japan (Princeton Architectural Press, 2008), Houses and Gardens of Kyoto (Tuttle, 2010), Kiyoshi Sey Takeyama + Amorphe (Equal Books, 2011), and Kansai 6 (Equal Books, 2011).

Stephan Petermann holds a Master’s degree in the History of Architecture and the Theory of Building Preservation from the University of Utrecht (2001-2007) and studied Architecture at the Technical University of Eindhoven (2001-2005). He worked for architecture magazine VOLUME in 2005 and joined OMA in 2006 assisting OMA’s founder Rem Koolhaas with lectures, texts and research. He was one of the associates in charge of Koolhaas’ Fundamentals’ Architecture Biennale in Venice in 2014 where he coordinated the 65 national pavilions and was one of the principals working on the ‘Elements of Architecture’ exhibition and publication. He was a VELUX guest professor at the Arkitektskolen in Aarhus, Denmark in the Summer / Fall of 2016 creating a new student driven temporary research consultancy about the history and future of the office. He is currently working on two research projects: one about the metabolism of workspaces with the Ohio State University, the other on the future of the countryside in collaboration with Harvard Graduate School of Design and the Chinese Academy for Fine Arts.

Dalal Musaed Alsayer is a PhD Candidate in History and Theory of Architecture at the University of Pennsylvania, where her interests are at the intersection of modernization, development aid and environmentalism in the context of the Middle East and North Africa. Dalal holds a Bachelor of Architecture from Kuwait University, a Master of Science in Architecture and Urban Design from Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, Columbia University, and a Master in Design Studies concentrating in Urbanism, Landscape, Ecology, from the Graduate School of Design, Harvard University. She has taught at Kuwait University and University of Pennsylvania, practiced professionally in Kuwait and her work is featured in Metropolis and MONU.

Pier Vittorio Aureli is an architect and educator. His work focuses on the relationship between architecture, politics, and urban history. Aureli teaches at the Architectural Association where he is Diploma Unit Master, lecturer in the History & Theory Programme and Director of the “City/Architecture” PhD Programme.

Maria S. Giudici is Diploma Unit Master and PhD supervisor at the Architectural Association, the coordinator of the history and theory course at the School of Architecture of the Royal College of Art, and the founder of the publishing and educational platform Black Square. She holds a PhD from TU Delft with a thesis on the construction of modern subjectivity through the project of public space.

Samaneh Moafi is a researcher and project coordinator at Forensic Architecture, Goldsmiths University of London. She received her PhD from the Architectural Association (AA) with a thesis titled “Home Rebellion”, on struggle and resistance from the space of the home with a particular focus on gender roles and class identities in Iran.

Brendon Carlin is a tutor leading Intermediate Unit 6 at the Architectural Association since 2011, is currently a PhD candidate with the AA’s PhD by Design programme, and a contributor to The City as a Project. His thesis is titled Non-Typological Housing: Architecture and Reproduction in Contemporary Japan.

Jingru (Cyan) Cheng obtained both PhD by Design and M.Phil Projective Cities at the Architectural Association, and is currently a postdoctoral research associate at the Royal College of Art. Her PhD thesis focuses on rurality as a spatial question at levels of territory, settlement and household. Her research interests lie in shared ideas and methods by architecture, anthropology and sociology, with a focus on socio-spatial models in China.

Davide Sacconi is an architect, Senior Lecturer at the Syracuse University London Program, Visiting Lecturer at the Royal College of Art, PhD Candidate at the Architectural Association and cofounder of CAMPO, a space for architecture in Rome.