paper : the complexity of containment

My paper ‘The complexity of containment’ has been published in the first issue of the journal IE:Studio, published by Interior Educators — the peak body for interior design education in the UK.

Co-authored with Olivia Hamilton and Andy Miller, the paper discusses a ‘integrated teaching model’ that we have developed through teaching and restructuring the first year interior design curriculum at RMIT University.

The full paper is available to read here.

paper : notes for atmospheric–making

My paper Notes for Atmospheric–Making has been published in Leonardo Electronic Almanac 22, no. 1, edited by Lanfranco Aceti, Paul Thomas, and Edward Colless and published by MIT Press. The full paper is available to read here.

Abstract: Taking turbulence as both a conceptual driver and organizational strategy, this paper examines the coming together of particular ideas, materials, and processes in a collection of recent drawings, installations, and performative works. These projects were developed through an experimental practice of ‘atmospheric-making,’ which involves reciprocal capacities of affecting and being affected by atmospheres. Within this two-way dynamic between the particular and the atmospheric, new qualities emerge from the interplay between particles and systems.

Three modes of crossing between the particular and the atmospheric will be discussed. The first involves developing relations between material and immaterial media in order to inhabit a threshold position between the two. In the second, these (im)materials are used to activate spaces of ‘betweenness,’ drawing attention to these liminal zones. The final crossing-between is a series of bodily practices that open up relationally in order to embrace uncertainty, vagueness, and changefulness. These three approaches privilege a bodily process of ‘figuring out,’ requiring immersion and active participation in making sense of atmospheric conditions. This bodily engagement results in a blurring of the distinct sense of self, and challenges participants to take part in a process of co-formation between environmental surroundings and distributed presence.

paper : interior turbulence


‘Interior Turbulence and the Thresholding of Atmospheres’, my paper on the installation project Cloud Sound has been published in the Interstices issue ‘Atmospheres and Affect’ edited by Andrew Douglas. The full paper is available here.

Abstract: Turbulence, understood as a disruptive process of coming together, offers a productive metaphor for making sense of the complex dynamics involved in the formation and design of atmospheres. This paper extends the idea of turbulence to spatial, material, experiential and disciplinary registers, and examines the varied and sometimes contradictory forces that exist between them, with reference to an architectural installation project, Cloud Sound.

An understanding of atmospheres as always in negotiation across a region of turbulence, rather than a static well-defined boundary, is developed. Cloud Sound sustains this uncertainty by keeping things unfixed and in play, part of an active process that I call thresholding. This concept is supported by a discussion of the ambiguity of atmospheres and how they disrupt distinctions between organisms and their environments, something that has implications for expanded disciplinary practises.


Collaborative writing project with Scott Andrew Elliott.

With this experimental writing project we are trying to write between, and around, and extend, an idea of tentativeness, and develop this experience through writing and reading. We are doing this by writing together, either simultaneously into the same document, or cutting and editing two separate texts together using a variety of strategies. These texts are then re-worked and re-edited to draw out new and unexpected concepts, and to creatively generate uncertainty.

paper : kissing the sky

A recently completed journal article, submitted for publication in the IDEA Journal issue ‘Writing/Drawing: Negotiating the Pleasures and Perils of Interiority. Edited by Sarah Treadwell.
Image courtesy of kalevkevad via flickr.

Abstract: Interiority typically constructs an ambience, or atmosphere, distinct from the unruly weather–atmosphere of the exterior. But this relationship is more complicated than mere separation; the exterior and interior are held together in a dynamic interplay of atmospheres, surfaces, materials and perceptions. This interplay is foregrounded in the work of James Turrell, whose projects engage in the complexity of this relationship, and embrace ambiguous and oscillating readings of inside and outside. Drawing attention to these inter–connections disrupts our habitual attention and invites a reconsideration of the categories we employ that allow us to make useful sense of the world.

This paper will discuss an installation by Turrell called Meeting, in reference to Sylvia Lavin’s notion of kissing, an extended metaphor which uses the term in both its bodily and geometric senses. Kissing will be used to think through the relationships present in an experience of Turrell’s work. I will examine how combinations of our bodies, atmosphere–weathers, and atmosphere–ambiences, intermix to create new, durationally dependent definitions of threshold, which complicate the interior and distinguish it from the discipline of architecture.