RESEARCH ARCHITECTURE: A Laboratory for Critical Spatial Practices

Paradoxically perhaps, the Centre for Research Architecture sets out to question the two separate terms that make up its given title. It seeks to open up the discipline and praxis of 'architecture' – understood as the production of rarefied buildings and urban structures – into shifting network of 'spatial practices' that includes various other forms of intervention. It contests as well the utilitarian, applied, means-to-ends relation between knowledge and action that is evoked by the term 'research' and the artificial opposition between theory and practice it implies. Drawing on the vocabularies of urbanism, architecture, art, media, politics and philosophy the centre’s mode of operation seeks to use spatial practices for an open ended form of critical inquiry. The centre has brought together a group of leading international practitioners – architects, artists, activists, urbanists, filmmakers and curators – to work collectively in a roundtable mode on individual projects. This network of global practitioners engage in a unique and robust set of critical interventions in the fields of spatial and cultural politics; they look for enhanced political impact using critical theory and aesthetics startegies, dealing with the built environment through documentary filmmaking, media activism, art and curating in various places worldwide; as such the centre is a horizontal platform to develop ideas and projects among peers. It is an experimental form of pedagogy that capitalises on the knowledge-basis of the group member themselves as well as on guest seminars by leading thinkers and practitioners. The programmes recruit graduates of a range of fields as well as non-academic practitioners of distinctions wishing to pursue critical spatial practice in the context of theoretical work. http://www.goldsmiths.ac.uk/architecture