The Architecture of Autonomy

The Architecture of Autonomy: Threats and Opportunities in Industrial Places.

The Architecture of Autonomy: Threats and Opportunities in Industrial Places

The two presentations at this week's Cass Research Seminar examine the relationship between architecture and autonomy through the example of workspace on and around the Old Kent Road. Ben Colburn is head of philosophy at the University of Glasgow. He is a moral and political philosopher, working on the ideal of autonomy and its relationship with individual responsibility and state neutrality. Jane Clossick is the Lecturer in Urban Design at The Cass, and is head of MA Architecture and Urbanism. She explores urban depth, London industrial accommodation and high streets with the Cass Cities team.

Ben Colburn (Department of Philosophy, Glasgow University) will speak about autonomy and authoring our own lives. The autonomous citizen decides for herself what is valuable and lives her life in accordance with that decision. This liberal ideal – an ideal of "self-authorship", to use Joseph Raz’s suggestive phrase – is put to extensive use in contemporary political philosophy, but comparatively underused outside that domain. This talk begins the task of extending its usage, with the hopes eventually of providing useful conceptual tools in architecture and urban design, and of enrichening the philosophical theory through application to an important and (in analytic philosophy) undertheorised area. Ben will start by explaining the ideal of autonomy, discussing its components and their interrelations. He will then explore the various different threats implied by this internally complex ideal. This gives us a diagnostic tool for identifying ways that arrangements (political, economic and spatial) might hinder citizens in enjoying this important good. He will conclude by sketching how this might apply in architecture and urban design, and what positive lessons we might draw if we want to design spaces and places which support people in being the authors of their own lives. Ben is head of philosophy at the University of Glasgow. He previously worked and studied at Cambridge. He is primarily a moral and political philosopher, working on the ideal of autonomy and its relationship with individual responsibility and state neutrality. His recent work has explored the application of some of these ideas, especially in the domains of education, refugee policy and end-of-life care.

Jane Clossick (Cass Cities) will discuss the autonomous lives of the Old Kent Road. The industrial and employment accommodation available (size, shape, location, tenure length and cost) affects the type of businesses that can exist and the capacity entrepreneurs and business owners have to live autonomous lives: to decide for themselves what is valuable and live in accordance with that decision. Large-scale erasure of industrial land and accommodation is taking place in London. The Old Kent Road is undergoing such changes, driven by planning policy. It is important to find a way to discuss whether the London Plan and local planning policy will better people’s lives, or not: to open the discussion beyond the well-rehearsed narrative of solutions to the housing crisis. The Old Kent Road is a useful example which represents many others, as de-designation of protected industrial land plays out in many similar locations across London. In this talk, Jane will explore what type of businesses and what type of working lives exist in the industrial sheds of the Old Kent Road. Cass Cities has spent two years conducting a social and economic audit of every address in the Old Kent Road Opportunity Area and Jane has mined this data to find examples of people exercising their autonomy, and examples of people having their autonomy stifled. She will argue that reducing the available business accommodation raises ethical questions. If individual autonomy is a valuable ideal, should our planning policy be restricting it for business owners?

Details

Date/time Monday 12 March 2018, 6.30pm
Book now Register
Location London Metropolitan University
GSG-15A, Goulston Street
On Twitter @CassCities
@CassResearch
Website casscities.co.uk
Contact Jane Clossick

Cass Research Seminar series

Dr Agustina Martire

Wednesday 1 November, 2pm

The Death and Life of Public Streets, a lecture by Dr Agustina Martire.

StreetSpace Workshop

Thursday 2 and Friday 3 November, 10am-6pm

What makes a good mixed use street? How can good streets be represented beyond the usual tools?

Cass Research Seminar

Organised by Dr Jane Clossick

Cass Research Seminars are a series of public conversations which enable researchers to test and present their ideas in conversation with peers and a broader audience.

Cass Research Seminar One

Monday 20 November 2017 at 6.30pm, in GSG-15A

Matthew Barac and Paulo Moreira will speak on the topic of informal architecture in African cities.

Cass Research Seminar Two

Monday 27 November 2017 at 6.30pm, in GSG-15A

A PechaKucha night on the topic of Making/Drawing as Research Method.

Cass Research Seminar Three

Monday 4 December 2017 at 6.30pm, in GSG-15A

PechaKucha night: Picking a Research Topic.

Cass Research Seminar Four

Monday 22 January 2018 at 6.30pm, in GSG-15A

Networks of Making and Habitation, two presentations from Lewis Jones and Mikey Baldwin.

Cass Research Seminar – An Architecture of Relationships

Monday 29 January 2018 at 6.30pm, in GSG-15A

An Architecture of Relationships, a presentation by Unit 10 leader and Head of School of Architecture Signy Svalastoga.

Cass Research Seminar – Regeneration and London's Lost Industry

Monday 5 February 2018 at 6.30pm, in GSG-15A

Urban planning and architectural historian Juliet Davis will be discussing issues of regeneration relating to industrial areas of London with Cass Cities’ Jane Clossick.

Invisible Business: Frances Holliss and Mark Brearley

Monday 12 February 2018 at 6.30pm, in GSG-15A

Businesses can reside in all types of buildings, both Frances Holliss and Mark Brearley research the accommodation needed by businesses of different types.

Torange Khonsari and Marie Brenneis

Monday 26 February 2018 at 6.30pm, in room GSG-15A

PhD students Torange Khonsari (Architecture) and Marie Brenneis (Art), speaking about An Alternative to Globalised Austere Architecture.

Pedagogy Panel: Teaching, Research, Architecture

Monday 5 March 2018 at 6.30pm, in GSG-15A

J Benedict Brown, S Denicke-Polcher, M Barac and D Warren will each give a short presentation on their ideas about education, pedagogy and research, with a focus on architecture.

The Architecture of Autonomy

Monday 12 March 2018 at 6.30pm, in GSG-15A

The Architecture of Autonomy: Threats and Opportunities in Industrial Places.

Asif Din and Annisa Jabbour

Monday 19 March 2018 at 6.30pm, in GSG-15A

Cass PhD students’ progress submission presentations by Asif Din (Architecture) Annisa Jabbour (Architecture).

Bobby Supatira, Jane McAllister and Mary-Jane Opie

Monday 16 April 2018 at 6.30pm, in GSG-15A

Cass PhD students’ progress submission presentations Bobby Supatira (Architecture), Jane McAllister (Architecture) and Mary-Jane Opie (Art)

Lynch and Luxemburg

Monday 9 April 2018 at 6.30pm, in GSG-15A

In this twelfth Cass Research Seminar Rut Blees Luxemburg and Patrick Lynch will consider the problems of dwelling, aesthetic value and city participation.

City Making from the Bottom Up

Monday 23 April 2018 at 6.30pm, in GSG-15A

'Drawing as an investigative' tool by Maurice Mitchell.

Infrastuctures

Monday 30 April 2018 at 6.30pm, in GSG-15A

Three short talks about infrastuctures by Florian Beigel and Philip Christou, Lucy Pritchard, and Pau Bajet.