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Material Gestures: Anne Holtrop with Beth Hughes

20 January 2022 | 6.30pm – 8pm


Register to attend via Zoom

Departing from a geological understanding of material extraction and production to its consequent and irreversible effect on the environment, 'Material Gesture' focuses on the conception of architecture as a close examination of the relationship between making and materials. Anne Holtrop will guide us through projects that are shaped by material affordances: of their properties and 'property-relations': how they are procured, crafted, used, and felt, as well their contextual significance at a range of scales. Anne Holtrop is an architect and an associate professor at the Department of Architecture, ETH Zurich. Winner of Prince Bernhard Cultural Foundation’s Charlotte Köhler Prize for Architecture and the Iakov Chernikov International Prize, Holtrop founded Studio Anne Holtrop in 2009 which has been operating since 2015 from Muharraq, Bahrain and Amsterdam, Netherlands. The Studio has completed a series of projects including Museum Fort Vechten, the National Pavilion of the Kingdom of Bahrain, Murad Boutique Hotel, and the Qaysariya Suq. Anne Holtrop will be joined in conversation by Beth Hughes, Head of MA Architecture Programme whose recent work has been examining physical models as an instrument for spatial thinking. 


This lecture is the fourth in the RE-POSSESSION International Lecture Series presented by the School of Architecture. ‘Un Mundo Donde Quepan Muchos Mundos’ ‘For a world in which many worlds fit’ – Zapatista Army of National Liberation Carrying the common wind of last year’s Co-liberation series, this year we look to inhabit and expand the idea of “Re-possession”. We see possession as relating to oneself and one's place. It is both material and ethereal. It can be reclaimed and reoriented. In the spirit of social movements that seek to both take back and push forward, we refer to repossession as the struggle for an emancipated ownership: an object, state or practice of (re)produced belonging, felt as equally outward and inward, reciprocally individual and collective. It is a challenge to property : permeable and responsive to both belonging and unbelonging. Over the course of the series we will reach into and out from the earth and the body. We will begin by excavating the relationships between geological, decolonial, and architectural practices, before exploring corporeal acts and atmospheres, somatic limitations and horizons, and the embodiment and enactment of emancipated selves and spaces. We will trace the lines that are drawn to oppress, extract and eliminate, but we will also outline the interdependencies that can unsettle colonial logic. With these discussions we seek a practice that can harness the moments and movements that both shape space and strengthen struggle. We also nurture an intentional community, situated in the affordances of now and grasping towards a possible future. By mapping emancipatory routes between ground and horizon, we aim to 'get to the heart of the matter' : to stretch out and open up where it meets, holds, and forms us, and to foreground the ideas and artefacts that build memory, militancy, solidarity, imagination, and action otherwise. Speakers in the series include : Forensic Oceanography/Border Forensics, Fred Moten and Stephano Harney, Charmaine Chua, Anupama Kundoo, Dread Scott and Imani Jacqueline Brown, Anne Holtrop, Jinwar Women’s Village and the University of Rojava. The series is curated by Charlotte Grace and Dubravka Sekulić in collaboration with Adrian Lahoud. 

Upcoming Events

Thursday 3 February, 6.30pm
Making Stateless Space: Rojava Solidarity Lecture
 Sardar Saadi (Rojava University), Janet Bhiel, Dilar Dirik, Jinwar Womens Village, and Jonas Staal.

Thursday 10 February, 6.30pm
Enacting Emancipatory Atmospheres Dread Scott and Imani Jacqueline Brown.