“The Travel of Iconic Architecture” Roundtable with Ola Soderstrom, Jane M. Jacobs, and Tim Simpson

Date: December 12, Monday

Time: 2-4 PM

Venue: AS7 Auditorium

Organizers: FASS Cities Research Cluster and ARI Asian Urbanisms Cluster

RSVP: to me with name, title, organization, email

Refreshments: Refreshments will be provided.

About the Event

Urban scholars have long been interested in architecture. However, while architecture itself is a highly mobile and networked practice, urban form has rarely been studied for its connections with places beyond its physical locale. This is starting to change. Recent themes of movement/stasis in the social sciences have led to a surge of interest in how urban architecture can be said to ‘travel’ (Guggenheim & Söderström, 2010). These travels are not necessarily literal ones where a building is taken apart and pieced together in another place. Rather, buildings more often circulate as representational forms – from tourist paraphernalia to scaled models at international urban design conventions, and from architectural magazines to the diffusion of images across the Internet. In other words, the ‘building in place’ has now been re-imagined as a ‘building on the move’. This workshop takes the mobility of urban form as a starting point for examination of the travel of iconic architecture. The recent completion of the Marina Bay Sands (MBS) Integrated Resorts in Singapore is of particular interest to us. In the run in to its official opening in 2010, this spectacular superstructure attracted a significant amount of attention around the world. International newspapers described Moshe Safdie’s creation as an architectural marvel that will transform the skyline of Singapore. Its sheer size also meant that it featured in television documentary series, including Discovery Channel’s Extreme Engineering and National Geographic Channel’s MegaStructures. Today, this highly recognizable landmark continues to circulate through the ongoing publicity of Marina Bay in high-level urban planning events, and as a must-see site in local tourism marketing. Indeed, the travels of Marina Bay Sands have indirectly become the travels of Singapore.

The ways in which Marina Bay Sands is travelling are by no means unique, but are common to iconic architecture worldwide. This roundtable workshop will assemble a diverse range of speakers to address questions including:

–          Why does iconic architecture travel and what are the politics that surround its travels?

–          How does iconic architecture travel? What forms and routes does it take, what spaces does it pass through or journey to, and who are the actors that enable such travels?

–          In what ways does iconic architecture change as it travels? What different forms or meanings does it take on through its travels? What are the implications of associated re-imaginations and re-interpretations?

–          What kinds of methodological strategies or innovations are required in seeking to understand the travels of iconic architecture?

One thought on ““The Travel of Iconic Architecture” Roundtable with Ola Soderstrom, Jane M. Jacobs, and Tim Simpson

  1. I am working on a book around the theme of The Architecture of Globalization and came across your seminar on iconic architecture on the move. I’d be very interested to find out more about this project.
    please note that I am on holiday and using my wife’s laptop (doro.marden@zen.co.uk) so best to reply to my LSE e-mail.
    thanks, leslie sklair

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