Architecture in Time: The Temporal Conditions of Design

A colloquium organised by Dr Lesley McFadyen, Department of History, Classics and Archaeology, Birkbeck, and co-hosted with the Birkbeck Institute for Social Research

Friday, 23 October 2015, 10am-5pm

The concept of architectural design is accounted for on separate terms to the world in which it emerges – it is not socially dependent. Yet, there are building projects where the past plays a creative part in the design process.

In archaeology, an exploration of temporal details can unsettle the sequence of design followed by occupation and instead reveal how people design with living.
In between these two disciplines, ethnographic accounts of making demonstrate how design emerges through routine practices of reiteration and alteration. Architecture in time considers the social complexity of buildings, it brings to the fore time as a creative force in design, and makes architecture depend on society.

Key themes: the production of architecture, architecture and participation, the temporality involved in the mediation between matter and form, and the relation between design and occupation.


Ayla Lepine (University of Essex), 'Revivalism and Meaning in Architecture: Three Case Studies'
Tim Flohr Sørensen (University of Copenhagen), 'Architecture after People: Emergence, Emergency and Unexpected Buildings'
Freddie Phillipson (WWMArchitects and London Metropolitan University), 'Endless: Topography, Temporality, Architecture'
Albena Yaneva (University of Manchester), 'Slowing Down: Temporality in Building Renovation and the Escape from Perspective'
Lesley McFadyen (Birkbeck, University of London), 'Buildings within Time: Inhabitation as a Part of Design Practice'
Thomas Yarrow (University of Durham), 'Working from the Past: Towards an Understanding of the Temporal Technologies of Heritage Practice'

Full programme and link for registration.

This event is open to all, but registration and payment are essential.

£35 Standard | £25 Birkbeck Staff | £15 All Students & Unwaged

(If you cannot afford the fee, please get in touch with the BISR Manager, Reina Goodwin-van der Wiel, on

You may be interested in a talk on the evening of 23 October, 6pm, hosted by BIRMAC. Timothy Edensor, 'Ruins are Everywhere'. For more information and to book: 


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