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Emily Richardson

MPhil work

Modern Architectural Space in Artists’ Film and Video

Using an archeological methodology to research and document particular examples of Modernism that are neglected or in a state of transition such as architect H.T (Jim) Cadbury Brown's abandoned Suffolk home, housing projects like Park Hill in Sheffield and Bishopsfield in Harlow, the new town architecture of Milton Keynes and Le Corbusier's city, Chandigarh, in India, this project will look at how a sense of place is created through the medium of film. A series of film/video works - reflections on architectural space - will re-examine utopian ideas about the future embedded in these examples of Modernist architecture ranging in scale from the house to the city.

Eisentein links montage to architecture, editing to walking and Giuliana Bruno describes the film spectator not as a voyeur but as a voyageur. This theoretical shift from optic to haptic, from sight to site will inform both the practice and thesis elements of the project. Works by filmmakers who use an observational approach to their subject but employ particular theoretical angles to transform architecture and the urban environment into film, such as Moholy-Nagy, Patrick Keiller, William Raban and Heinz Emigholz, will be discussed. Transforming space and our relationship to space are issues for filmmakers and architects alike. The film medium allows for an exploration of the many narratives contained within a building that can, perhaps, reveal previously unseen aspects or phenomena. Being a spatio-temporal medium gives film the ability to create place, change perceptions of particular landscapes, environments or buildings and allows interrogation and discovery of new relationships to existing environments. Through montage as a way of writing and an archeological approach to making film, my intention is to assemble, analyse and critically evaluate fragments, details and views on and of texts and films to examine how place is created in artists’ film and video works.


  • Emily Richardson
  • MPhil


    School of Communication


    Visual Communication, 2013–

  • Emily Richardson is a filmmaker and MPhil/PhD candidate at the RCA, researching Modern Architectural Space in Artists' Film and Video.