Algorithmic Controversies Symposium

Dialogues towards an unveiling of architectural agency: a one-day symposium organised by the AA PhD Candidates
Friday, November 26, 2021
Governmentality, an expression originally formulated by the 20th-century French philosopher Michel Foucault, combines the terms ‘government” and “rationality”. Government in this sense refers to an activity meant to shape, guide, or affect the conduct of people. In architecture, its early practical application can already be found in Ildefons Cerdà’s 1860 proposal for the redevelopment of Barcelona, a work grounded in an in-depth socio-statistical study transforming population in numbers. Here the possibility emerges to define a given social reality as a calculable, measurable object, thus transforming the paradigm of town-planning into a series of mathematical actions, no longer based on ‘natural’ life but on numbers, measurements, and calculated predictions.
The contemporary extrapolation of this new digital truth regime reframes the concept of sovereignty through the implementation of Big Data, evaluating and reproducing life through algorithmic uses of statistics through a – supposedly – objective point of view. These techniques of data collection and application – finding their roots in the Enlightenment conception of the human subject as a rational, calculable entity – have often been maligned by post-war theorists as oppressive, controlling, even carceral. Algorithmic Controversies seeks instead to frame a series of panels that attempt to forge critical perspectives that can allow for the emancipatory potentials of data collection and algorithmic governance to emerge in an opposition to these malcontents.
Register for free on Eventbrite:…/algorithmic…
09:00 – Introduction
Pier Vittorio Aureli
Aylin Tarlan
Biopolitics of data
Introduction by Claudia Nitschze
09:30 – Georg Vrachliotis
10:20 – George Jepson
10:10 – Aylin Tarlan
Round Table
12:30 – Lunch break
Technologies of production
Introduction by George Jepson
14:00 – Mollie Claypool & Gilles Retsin
14:50 – Alessandro Bava
Round Table
16:00 – Coffee break
Digital infrastructures
Introduction by Mathilde Redouté
16:15 – Felix Stalder
17:20 – Evgeny Morozov
Round Table
Georg Vrachliotis
Georg Vrachliotis is Full Professor and Head of the Theory of Architecture and Digital Culture Group at TU Delft. From 2016 Georg was dean of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) Faculty of Architecture and Chair for Architecture Theory (2014-2020). Previously he conducted research at the Institute for the History and Theory of Architecture at ETH Zürich, among others. Georg is a member of the advisory board of the magazine ARCH+, external examiner at Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL London, and academic advisory board member of the Jaap Bakema Study Centre at The Het Nieuwe Instituut, Museum for Architecture, Design and Digital Culture in Rotterdam.
George Jepson
George Jepson is a writer and researcher currently completing PhD studies at the Architectural Association, funded by the Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain, researching factory design in Manchester, c. 1760-1915. His writing has been published in Volume, Mute, and Kajet, amongst others. Previous editorial work includes Volume Magazine and AARC #1 (IF Publications, 2020). Currently, he tutors History and Theory at both the Architectural Association and the Royal College of Art, London.
Aylin Tarlan
Ayse Aylin Tarlan is an architect, writer and researcher currently completing her PhD studies at the Architectural Association. She studied architecture in Florence, Paris and New York and has worked at Peter Macapia studio in NYC, Tabanlioglu Architects and Arup in Istanbul. She has her own practice since 2012 and here writings were published in different magazines such as Tasarim, Design and The Guide. She has taught both theory and design studio courses at Pratt, Parsons and Bilgi University and is currently lecturing at the archeological preservation society in Istanbul.
Mollie Claypool
Mollie is a architecture theorist focused on issues of social
justice highlighted by increasing automation in architecture and design production, and the potential of automation in architecture and the built environment to provide more socially engaged and environmentally sustainable ways of designing and building. She is Co-Founder and CEO of Automated Architecture Ltd (AUAR) and Associate Professor in Architecture at The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL where she is Co-Director of AUAR Labs and History & Theory Coordinator in MArch Architectural Design. She is the Managing Editor of Prospectives, an open access peer reviewed journal supported by The Bartlett.
Gilles Retsin
Originally from Belgium, Gilles Retsin is an architect and designer living in London. He studied architecture in Belgium, Chile and the UK, where he graduated from the Architectural Association. His design work and critical discourse has been internationally recognised through awards, lectures and exhibitions at major cultural institutions such as the Museum of Art and Design in New York, the Royal Academy in London and the Centre Pompidou in Paris. He recently edited an issue of Architectural Design (AD) on the Discrete and has co-edited Robotic Building: Architecture in the Age of Automation, with Detail Verlag. Gilles Retsin is Programme Director of the M.Arch Architectural Design at UCL, the Bartlett School of Architecture. He is co-founder of AUAR ltd, a technology start-up working towards an automated platform for affordable housing.
Alessandro Bava
Alessandro Bava (b.1988) is an architect based in Milan. Currently he runs BB a collaborative architectural practice with Fabrizio Ballabio. After graduating from the Architectural Association he was part of åyr a collective making research on the sharing economy and domesticity and was the editor of Ecocore, an ecology magazine. He has taught a cluster on computational architecture at Bartlett B-Pro in the academic year 2020/21 and previously a history and theory course in the same program. His work has been exhibited at the Venice Biennale, the Berlin Biennale, the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, the Ludwig Museum in Cologne, Fondation Cartier in Paris, Moderna Museet in Stockholm and recently at the Quadriennale in Rome.
Felix Stalder
Felix Stalder is a professor teaching Digital Culture at the Zurich
University of the Arts. His work focuses on the intersection of
cultural, political and technological dynamics, in particular on new
modes of commons-based production, copyright, datafication,
surveillance, and transformation of subjectivity. He not only works as
an academic, but also as a cultural producer, being a moderator of the
mailing list <nettime>, a crucial nexus of critical net culture, a
member of the World Information Institute and the Technopolitics Working
Group, both based in Vienna. He is the author/editor of numerous books,
among others Manuel Castells and the Theory of the Network Society
(Polity Press, 2006), Deep Search. The Politics of Search Beyond Google
(Transaction Publishers, 2009), Digital Solidarity (PML & Mute, 2014),
Kultur der Digitalität / Digital Condition (Suhrkamp, 2016/Polity Press,
2018), Aesthetics of the Commons (Diaphanes, 2021) and Digital
Unconscious (Autonomedia, 2021)
Evgeny Morozov
Evgeny Morozov is a writer and thinker on the social and political implications of information technology. He is the author of The Net Delusion (2011) and To Save Everything, Click Here (2013). He holds a PhD in History of Science from Harvard University and has been a visiting scholar at Georgetown and Stanford universities. He is also the founder of The Syllabus, a media project that seeks to make serious and academic knowledge more accessible to the general public.