Architect as host

In this keynote lecture from the Experimental Cities conference in 2017, Torange Khonsari explores the role of an architect or city maker as host, and how that lead to methods, for a self governed neighbourhood, using a case study ‘Roman Road public living room”. It takes on Derrida’s theories of conditional and absolute hospitality to describe settings in the city where guest – host relations play out.

Torange Khonsari co founded and is the director of the art and architecture practice Public Works (2004), an inter- disciplinary practice working in the threshold of participatory and performative art, architecture, anthropology and politics always engaged with notions of civic in the city. Her projects are socially motivated and directly impacts public space, working with local organisations, communities, government bodies and stakeholders.

It is research based as a practice which tests and implements the academic research undertaken within her university teaching and research. The direct two -way communication between academia and practice has enabled and enriched an exploratory environment within the research field of participatory urbanism and architecture where she is now specialised in.

Khonsari is a Consultant on Specialist Assistant Team (SAT) Greater London Authority: Mayor of London on community development and Cultural curation in regeneration. She is senior lecturer at London metropolitan university where she runs MA: Design for cultural commons and ran an MA program at UMA school of architecture in Sweden. She has also been consultant to UN Habitat on sustainable urban development.

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