Congratulations to Helen Stratford who has been awarded the prestigious 2013 LKE Ozolins PhD Studentship for her research on ‘Performative Architectures’ at SSoA. She describes her research below:
‘Architecture produces certain ways of behaving, yet requires movement and interaction with the body to be understood. In this inter-relationship, buildings and public space are perhaps better understood as “performative conditions” – “acting on us and activated by us.” (Petrescu-2007) This PhD research asks: what new spatial knowledge can performative research bring to the understanding and production of architecture and urban politics in public space? Going beyond an examination of works and practices, it proposes a research-based architectural practice that uses performance-based methodologies and practices to research and produce space, asking, how does such practice differ from conventional architectural practice and what kind of space does it produce?
I have an established research-based architectural practice involving site-specific, collaborative and performance-based practices. This practice-led PhD research will develop this practice, while establishing an original theoretical and practical framework for considering Performative Architectures in relation to spatial production. Research methods will include researching other artists and practices, establishing a theoretical framework and developing practice-based ‘tools,’ focusing on Performative Architectures as design practice. Drawing on models from practice-led research in art practice and concepts of performativity from performance studies and feminist theories, Performative Architectures will investigate implications for alternate models of practice-based knowledge production in architecture.
In visual and live-art, growing numbers of people and groups are working between concepts of art, architecture and performance. Simultaneously, within architectural practice and theory, the idea of the performative has become prevalent. However, whilst prevalent, the term is still readily conflated with performance, formal design, or material technologies, rather than architecture as a social-space. Few examples exist of foregrounding performativity, and architecture, through active terms that “foreground performance as a site of group co-ordination in space over time.” (Jackson 2011) The research will offer significant and original insights for architecture, art, geography and researchers/practitioners working within participatory and socially-engaged practices. Ultimately it will bring a rigorous conceptual framework to an otherwise poorly articulated area, while opening up significant dialogues between social sciences, performance studies, live/visual art and architecture.’
(taken from the RIBA website)