Visual and Verbal Research Symposium


We will be presenting work at a research symposium entitled The Visual and the Verbal at the University of Brighton on Wednesday 17 June, 2015. The symposium is organised by Catalina Mejia Moreno and Dr Emma Cheatle, Architecture Programme. Keynote Speakers include Professor Jonathan Hill (Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL) and Professor Julieanna Preston (College of Creative Arts, Massey University, New Zealand)

‘It is not the voice that commands the story but the ear’
- Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities

Lectures and presentations in architectural theory and design settings are almost always constructed through combinations of the visual and the verbal. The lecture is spoken against or around a backdrop of visual images, usually slides; the design presentation consists of verbal explanations to a set of drawings. Ensuing discussions evolve through visual and textual relations.

Many practitioners from various fields use or have used ‘voiced’ forms: Luce Irigaray looks closely at the voice as a haptic presence; Laura Mulvey at the politics of the image; Jane Rendell the positioning of the author; Roland Barthes at the rhetoric of the image; Peggy Phelan at the ontology of performance; Julia Kristeva at the use of oral language Shoshana Felman at the nature of speech; and Walter Benjamin used radio broadcast as a dissemination tactic.

We are architectural academics and teachers who both use and analyse relationships between the visual and the verbal in our writing, practice and teaching. From ideas and discussions around the intersections between visual, spoken and written media, we propose this symposium as a generator of new questions and forms. We will examine both the format of the spoken – whether lecture, conversation or presentation – and the integration or status of the visual within it, drawing out their particularity, structure, politics and poetics. Although expressly interested in the role of drawing, we will also consider the relations of other complementary media such as photography and film.

Speakers: Anne Hultzsch (OCCAS, Oslo) / Ben Sweeting (University of Brighton) / George Themistocleous (Leeds Beckett) / Rosa Ainley (Royal College of Arts) / Sophie Read (Bartlett School of Architecture) /Tom Wilkinson (Architectural Review, UCL) / Kristen Kreider (Royal Holloway) / Duncan Bullen (University of Brighton) / Claire Hoskin (University of Brighton) / Adriana Cobo (Central Saint Martins)

In collaboration with: Drawing Research Interest Group (DRIG), University of Brighton and the Word & Image Interest Group, European Architectural History Network (EAHN)

Title picture: Photograph composite by Julieanna Preston