March 22, 2017

Homeless by Design

Image credit: Jim Rayfield @mockneybynature
Image credit: Jim Rayfield @mockneybynature

Homeless by Design

When: Wednesday 22 March 2017, 7pm – 8.30pm
Where: Lecture Theatre 1, Royal College of Art, Kensington
Speaker: Craig Willse
Panel: Francesca Albanese, Amica Dall, Alpa Depani
Chair: Adam Kaasa 

Tickets are free. Registration required here

Co-hosted by Theatrum Mundi and the
RCA School of Architecture

We commonly assume that social sciences and social services respond after the fact to the problem of homelessness, but what if homelessness is an effect of these very systems? In this discussion, Craig Willse will engage with the way social sciences and services produce and circulate racialized housing insecurity in the contemporary city. A panel of UK-based researchers and designers will discuss these issues and the role of design in the context of homelessness in the UK.

Craig Willse is assistant professor of cultural studies at George Mason University, where he teaches courses on geography, social movements, and biopolitics. He is the author of The Value of Homelessness: Managing Surplus Life in the United States (University of Minnesota Press, 2015) and co-editor with Patricia Clough of Beyond Biopolitics: Essays on the Governance of Life and Death (Duke University Press, 2011). He is co-editor with Soniya Munshi of a special issue of the Scholar and Feminist Online, “Navigating Neoliberalism in the Academy, Nonprofits, and Beyond” (2016) and, with Dean Spade, of Women and Performance on the film Born in Flames (2013). His other work has been published in a variety of journals and edited collections, including Economy and Society, Widener Law Review, Against Equality, QED: A Journal of Queer Worldmaking, and The Affective Turn.

Francesca Albanese is Head of Research and Evaluation at Crisis. Previously, Albanese was Research Manager at Homeless Link, and research and policy officer at Shelter. She completed her PhD at Sheffield Hallam University in 2007 on the topic of ‘Understanding decision-making in the housing association sector: The case of asset management’, and holds an MA in Urban Regeneration from Leeds Beckett University.

Amica Dall is part of Assemble, an design & architecture collective based in London. At the heart of Assemble’s working practice is a belief in the importance of addressing the typical disconnection between the public and the process by which spaces are made. Assemble champion a working practice that is interdependent and collaborative, seeking to actively involve the public as both participant and accomplice in the on-going realisation of the work.

Alpa Depani is an architect, artist and urban activist. Alpa is a design tutor at London Metropolitan and Brighton University and has recently been awarded a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Travel Fellowship for a comparative study of public realm in New York, Tokyo and Hong Kong, due to commence in July. In 2015 she was joint-winner of ‘Designing the Urban Commons’ ideas challenge for Theatrum Mundi looking at a design for distributive services for the homeless population.

Adam Kaasa is an interdisciplinary scholar who specialises in the politics of the city, foregrounding the role of media, architecture and design. He is co-founder and Director of Theatrum Mundi at the London School of Economics and a Research Fellow in Architecture at the Royal College of Art