Frances Holliss is director of the WorkHome Project, a research unit that investigates design for home-based work and has received funding from the DAIWA Anglo-Japanese Foundation, EPSRC, AHRC and Newlon Housing Trust. Frances Holliss was a member of the advisory group to Lord Whitty’s 2011 independent inquiry into the Affordable Housing Crisis, was a Trustee with arts charity [SPACE] from 2007 to 2011 and contributed to the 2014 Farrell Review of Architecture and the Built Environment. Holliss is widely published and speaks internationally on the subject of the architecture of home-based work. Her book Beyond Live/Work: the Architecture of Home-based Work was published by Routledge in 2015. In 2016 she was invited to contribute to both the British Pavilion at the Venice Architectural Biennale and the International Architectural Biennale of Rotterdam.
Mary-Jane Opie — I want explore and question our relationship with our pet dogs. Previous generations regarded dogs as a worker, entertainment or food. The last thing to be considered was the idea of ‘friend’. Should a dog that once had such a defined area of use be allowed into the house and sit on the sofa? Have we elevated a servant to an equal? Do we now define our dog’s work as fulfilling our need to be needed? Cute representations of dogs are not what the work is about, nor do they celebrate the mighty mystic power of wild animals. While knowledge of Old Masterpieces might be an advantage it is not necessary in order to enjoy my work. I hope to lull the viewer into a false sense of security by providing an aura that reeks of the classics, religious icons and museums. However, in contradiction with the rarefied atmosphere of museums, I use photography, familiar objects, settings and poses to reconstruct everyday scenes, based on resemblances and inferences that come from my experience as an antique print dealer and gundog trainer. The ‘Hoover Dog’, ‘My Fucking Dogs’ and ‘Crappy Cocker’ still deals with the dirty reality of dog ownership; Hoover Dog is a vacuum cleaner bag filled to bursting with dog hair and issuing a ‘wet dog’ odour, while ‘My Fucking Dogs’ and ‘Crappy Cocker’, is made simply from ‘used’ matted dog hair.
William Longden is a charities founder and co-director and a professional multimedia artist, exhibitor, researcher, workshop designer and facilitator. Having initiated a folio of successful arts for Wellbeing projects, exhibitions and public events with particular interested in inclusive participatory systems, co-creative process, community development and participant led practices, William is a committed expert by experience and energetic advocate for the Arts as a universally accessible, versatile and potent medium towards personal and social change and wellbeing. — ‘All creative activity is playful by virtue of its inquisitive and exploratory nature. Play is subversive in that it seeks beyond the known to discover anew. Artists are not artists if they are not subversive. The art of improvisation brings together these elements into a moment of creation. Teach and encourage people how too improvise as a lifelong-learning skill, and they will enhance their ability to survive and to flourish in any given circumstance.’ William’s PhD thesis is titled: Inclusive participatory design of bespoke music instruments and auxiliary equipment as emancipatory arts interventions that advocate for equality, personal and social wellbeing.
Bobby M. Supatira — Towards Multicultural London: Urban Spaces of Thai Cosmopolitanism. Bobby is a PhD student in Architecture at London Metropolitan University. His research focuses on the Thai immigrant currently living in London, with a view to understanding the spatial and social practices involved in the creation of their cosmopolitan identity with in a migratory setting. Globalised urban contexts for everyday life, in cities such as London, have raised significant concerns about how the city is able to handle multiculturalism as well as preparing for the integration of ever-widening spectrum of inhabitants. Such changes put demands upon both migrant and local urbanities, challenging us all to continually re-establish our sense of place in order to navigate the physical and cultural distance of our living experiences. In keeping with today proliferation of multiple identities, his research argues that the techniques of cosmopolitanism require further examination to the question of how intercultural interaction in cities should be addressed, as well as greater awareness of the strategies of allegiance, participation and belonging that allow environments like London to flourish.
Annisa Jabbour — The Role of Cultural Memory in the Recent Architectural History of Dubai. What role has cultural memory played in the creation of civic culture, as part of the recent history of architectural development in Dubai? Annisa’s research aims to establish and understand ‘civic culture’ — the connections between Dubaians, their cultures and histories, and the architectural development of Dubai; and to define Dubai’s diverse civic culture as distinct from other cities of the Gulf, and to understand the origins of this within context of living memories of the city.
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.