Pier Vittorio Aurelli – The Theology of Tabula Rasa: Walter Benjamin and Architecture

Event Dates: 26 – 28 February 2013
University of Westminster
35 Marylebone Road
London NW1 5LS
and
115 New Cavendish Street
London W1W 6UW

Scarcity and Creativity in the Built Environment (SCIBE) presents:

Within the Limits of Scarcity: Rethinking Space, City and Practices
SCIBE PhD Conference 2013

Scarcity is often considered as a fundamental condition of human societies. On the one hand, the state of not having enough has been at the bottom of a variety of strategies and techniques to overcome it; on the other, it has served as an explanatory argument for social order, for distribution or for conflict. Scarcity has accompanied the becoming of the urban condition. Repeatedly, (im-)mate- rial shortage has been at the core of the city’s struggles. More recently, global economic uncertainty, widespread urban inequality and pressing environmental questions in both North and South, are posing acute challenges to all involved in producing the built environment. Within this scenario, different actors, from architects and other built environment professionals to local authorities and community based organisations, will be increasingly pressured to deploy strategies to work within or against the limits of scarcity.

This conference seeks to investigate the processes through which scarcity is constructed in specific urban settings, shedding light on its setting, emergence and production in the built environment. Moreover, it seeks to understand how the challenges posed by this condition can shape alternative ways of investigating, conceptualising and theorizing city and space so as to inform innovative strategies and challenge the existing normative practices.

Pier Vittorio Aurelli (Architectural Association and Yale University) – The Theology of Tabula Rasa: Walter Benjamin and Architecture

Pier Vittorio Aureli is an architect and educator. At the Berlage he is responsible for the “City as a Project” PhD Program and for the Research Unit “Labour, City, Architecture.” His projects, researches, writings, and teaching focus on the relationship between architectural form, political theory, and urban history. He is the author of publications including The Possibility of an Absolute Architecture and The Project of Autonomy: Politics and Architecture Within and Against Capitalism. Aureli studied at the Istituto di Architettura di Venezia (IUAV), before obtaining his PhD from the Delft University of Technology. He teaches at the Architectural Association and has taught at Columbia University, the Barcelona Institute of Architecture, and Delft University of Technology. Together with Martino Tattara, Aureli is the co-founder of DOGMA, an office focused on the project of the city. In 2006 they received the Iakv Chernikov Prize, and in 2005 Dogma shared a first prize at an international competition for a new administrative city for 500,000 inhabitants in Korea.

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