Politics of Small Places | Preview + In Conversation

13 Sep 2018

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10:00 – 17:00

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Cooper Gallery

Dundee, United Kingdom


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To celebrate the opening of the exhibition Politics of Small Places, join us for an in-conversation discussing relationships between architecture, urban planning, sustainability, collective consciousness and contemporary art.


The conversation will take place between preeminent contemporary artist Paul Noble, Lorens Holm, Director of Geddes Institute for Urban Research at the University of Dundee and Dr. Louise Reid, researcher in Sustainable Development and Geography at the University of St Andrews and will explore current debates on urbanisation alongside ideas of  social and environmental justice in relation to Noble’s dystopian fictionalised cityscapes, Geddes’ 20th Century work on city planning and Reid’s contemporary research on Human Geography and domestic constructs.

The In-conversation will start at 5.30pm followed by the exhibition preview until 7.30pm.

Tickets are free. Please register via Eventbrite.


Dr. Lorens Holm is Reader in Architecture and Director of the Geddes Institute for Urban Research at the University of Dundee. At Dundee he runs the Rooms+Cities design research unit, which uses architectural theory to open up a space for designing new forms of city and social life. He has taught at the Architectural Association, the Bartlett, the Mackintosh, and Washington University in St. Louis. He is a registered architect in the UK and the State of Massachusetts. His teaching/research focuses on the thought threads that link architecture to philosophy, history, psychoanalysis, and machines. Publications include Brunelleschi Lacan Le Corbusier: architecture space and the construction of subjectivity (Routledge 2010) and, with John Hendrix, Architecture and the Unconscious (Routledge 2016). His papers have appeared in The Journal of ArchitecturePerspectaCritical QuarterlyArchitecture Theory Review, and Assemblage. He is currently organizing an international interdisciplinary conference on cities and the collective social formations that inhabit them. 

In 2015 the Geddes Institute for Urban Research curated The City is a Thinking Machinean exhibition and associated events that sought to evaluate the relevance of Geddes’ thought for today by situating it alongside the work of contemporary practice.

Paul Noble is a contemporary artist forging a unique and maverick path in the ebullient British art scene. He received widespread international recognition for his vast and monumental drawing project, Nobson Newtown,which he began in 1996. Drawing image after image, story after story—at once architect and town planner, archaeologist and cartographer, social historian and activist, creator and destroyer—Noble has invented and described a melancholy urban vision somewhere between Le Doux’s revolutionary utopias, Sim City, and the post-holocaust wastelands pictured in the daily media. A meticulous and dedicated draftsman, Noble creates dizzyingly elaborate encrypted schemes, drawing from inspirations as diverse as ancient Chinese scrolls and Japanese sculptures, Fabergé eggs and brick walls, eighteenth-century pornography and animal rights, Hieronymous Bosch and Oyvind Fahlstrom. The sheer level of detail in his drawings defies the capacity of the eye to see and the mind to fully grasp them.

Recent solo museum exhibitions include Paul Noble: New Works, Gagosian San Francisco, USA (2017); Paul Noble: Nobson, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen Rotterdam, Netherlands (2014); Paul Noble: The Gates, Gagosian Gallery Athens, Greece (2013); Paul Noble Marble Hall, Laing Art Gallery Newcastle, UK (2011) and TENT, Cooper Gallery Dundee, UK (2011). Noble currently lives and works in London. He was nominated for the Turner Prize in 2012.

Dr. Louise Reid is a social scientist interested in what and why people do what they do, and the impact of these activities on the environment. As a human geographer, she explores how these activities are organised across time and space with a focus on the everyday domestic setting. Louise is currently based at the University of St Andrews in the School of Geography and Sustainable Development where she contributes to the successful MA/BSc Sustainable Development, MA/BSc Geography, and MSc/MRes Sustainable Development programmes. Louise is also Director of the University’s Centre for Housing Research. Louise moved to St Andrews from the University of Aberdeen in 2010, initially taking up a research fellowship with CHR, before moving into a Lectureship in 2011. Louise completed her PhD in 2010 and also has an MSc in Sustainable Rural Development (2004) and an MA (Hons) in Environmental Geography (2003).


Sophia Yadong Hao

Exhibiting artistsToggle

Paul Noble

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