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In this house the walls will teach

Julia Heslop

The National Library of Belarus, Minsk

Most architecture and urban design is shaped by social and physical constraints, and much of my research has centred around the inherent propaganda (or politics) of architecture. However, I would like to argue in this talk that the design of the spaces that we live and work in should be shaped more fully by human experience.

With reference to the highly political nature of architecture, I will examine the ‘setting’ of architecture founded on public policy since the dawn of the modernism. I will give particular focus to how architecture was used in Communist Albania, and how it continues to be used as a driving force for the propaganda of the current government in Belarus.

I will then discuss how architecture can be built with the human, (instead of the government or the architect), in mind: urban design which takes into account how architecture shapes the everyday experiences of its users. As a first hand example, and also as a departure point, I will look at bottom up development as exemplified in the conversion of Albanian factories into homes since the fall of Communism.

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Wolfgang Weileder
Fine Art, School of Arts and Cultures
Tel: 0191 261 2962

Toby Lloyd
Fine Art, School of Arts and Cultures

Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom, NE1 7RU
Culture Lab forms part of an evolving network of artists, researchers and scientists 
  at Newcastle University looking at new ways of working across traditional academic 
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