17th February/Designing with Nature: Michael Pawlyn Lecture/The Architecture Foundation/London

Exploration Architecture Founder and Director Michael Pawlyn will deliver a lecture presenting his working philosophy and latest projects featured in the exhibition, including the Sahara Forest Project, designs for a Biomimetic Office Building and two new, previously unpublished schemes for the BioRock pavilion and the Mountain Data Centre. The lecture will be followed by a question and answer session moderated by Noemi Blager, Acting Director, The Architecture Foundation, and will include a discussion with a group of multi-disciplinary respondents comprised of Graham Dodd, engineer and design leader of materials and making, ARUP, Nick Baker, physicist and lecturer, Architectural Association School, and Mike Tonkin, architect and director, Tonkin Liu.

Michael Pawlyn established Exploration in 2007 to focus exclusively on biomimicry. In 2008 Exploration was short-listed for the Young Architect of the Year Award and the internationally renowned Buckminster Fuller Challenge. Prior to setting up the company Michael Pawlyn worked with Grimshaw architects for ten years and was central to the team that radically re-invented horticultural architecture for the Eden Project. He was responsible for leading the design of the Warm Temperate and Humid Tropics Biomes and the subsequent phases that included proposals for a third Biome for plants from dry tropical regions. Pawlyn has lectured widely on the subject of sustainable design in the UK and abroad, and in May 2005 delivered a talk at the Royal Society of Arts with Ray Anderson, CEO of Interface. In 2007 he delivered a talk at Google’s annual ‘Zeitgeist’ conference and in 2011, became one of only a small handful of architects to have a talk posted on TED.com. In the same year, his book Biomimicry in Architecture was published by the Royal Institute of British Architects. He is currently working on a range of biomimicry-based architectural projects and a book commissioned by TED (planned for completion/release early 2014).

More info on:

Until 16 March/Only in England: Photographs by Tony Ray-Jones and Martin Parr/Science Museum/London

Fascinated by the eccentricities of English social customs, Tony Ray-Jones spent the latter half of the 1960s travelling across England, photographing what he saw as a disappearing way of life. Humorous yet melancholy, these works had a profound influence on photographer Martin Parr, who has now made a new selection including over 50 previously unseen works from the National Media Museum's Ray-Jones archive. Shown alongside The Non-Conformists, Parr's rarely seen work from the 1970s, this selection forms a major new exhibition which demonstrates the close relationships between the work of these two important photographers.

Absolutely to see!

More info:


12 and 14 February / Symposium "WHAT CRITICISM?" / Graduate School of Design, Harvard University / Cambridge Massachusetts

Cynthia Davidson, "The Care and Feeding of Criticism"
Wednesday, February 12 
06:30pm - 08:00pm  
Piper Auditorium, Gund Hall, 48 Quincy Street, Cambridge, MA
Free and open to the public

Cynthia Davidson is an architecture editor and critic based in New York City. She is the founding editor of Log: Observations on Architecture and the Contemporary City, a tri-annual journal begun in 2003, and editor of the Writing Architecture Series books published by MIT Press. The books and Log are projects of the Anyone Corporation, a nonprofit, architecture think tank she has directed since 1991. She was the founding editor of the architecture tabloid magazine ANY (1993–2000) and of the “Any” book series, which documented ten international architecture conferences that she organized in the 1990s on the cultural condition of architecture at the end of the 20th century. Previously she was editor of Inland Architect magazine in Chicago. Ms. Davidson has also written for a number of periodicals, including Architectural Record and Artforum in New York and Arquitectura Viva in Madrid. She was a Loeb Fellow at Harvard in 1988–89.

Symposium: "What Criticism?"
Friday, February 14
09:30am - 06:00pm
Stubbins (Room 112), Gund Hall, 48 Quincy Street, Cambridge, MA
Free and open to the public

The title of this series intends to confront the idea of just one way of practicing or understanding criticism nowadays, as well as to shamelessly suggest a refuting of its supposed pure existence. As Foucault pointed out already in 1978, critique is by nature “condemned to dispersion, dependency and pure heteronomy,” and its contemporary forms emphasize those conditions in many aspects that urge for conscious reflections and a renewed vocabulary.

As we know, critique was originally born in the century of systematization, legitimatization and organization of facts of the modern times. It offered a mode of thought to relate rationally to its present, making philosophy and the critical attitude the abstract construct of the also modern being. This attitude was meant to work as the alert, the B-side of a political and social order, its denunciative Other that exposed a determined kind of relationship to what exists.

We might say that at this point of history, that reductive and dialectic method has been proven to have failed and become obsolete. The extreme changes of communication that took place during the last decades and the ones we cannot yet predict, the shift from continuity to iteration, our devices, and the entire set of things and skills that define our existence, all necessarily challenge us with questions about mostly every preset concept. At the same time, as we know, these new platforms amplified audiences and multiplied voices, putting criticism’s roles and actions into discussion again, live and globally.

Dispersion and dissolution are not at all equivalent to disappearance or the cease of existence, but on the contrary; they imply a spilling, dissemination, and distribution.

This conceptual sprawl, this revolution from a contained discourse towards a collective formation, poses new questions such as: How to embrace this new properties and opportunities without losing significance? Do we need to achieve some constitutions to give sense to this intellectual practice? What are its new possible forms? Where does the difference between simple dissemination and the active distribution and commitment to the transformation of our environment rely? Are there that many forms of criticism? Can we think critically about architecture and cities without the aim for sense and virtue? Does criticism need to be useful?

Presentation and keynotes

Florencia Rodríguez


The Impossible Friendship

Participants: Felicity Scott, Iker Gil, Jiminez Lai

Moderator: TBD


Forms of the Uncertain

Participants: Uriel Fogué, Andres Lepik, Michael Kubo, Inga Saffron

Moderator: TBD




Criticism = Love

Participants: Troy Payne, Urtzi Grau, Ciro Najle

Moderator: Alexandra Lange


Dissemination vs Cultivation

Participants: Meredith Tenhoor, Anthony Acciavatti, Michael Abrahamson

Moderator: TBD


Closing Remarks
Florencia Rodríguez

More Info: