Professor Lindsay Bremner

Professor

+44 20 7911 5000 ext 66848
35 Marylebone Road London NW1 5LS

I am Director of Architectural Research in the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment at the University of Westminster. I was previously Professor of Architecture and Chair in the Tyler School of Art at Temple University in Philadelphia (2006 - 2011) and Chair of Architecture at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg (1998 - 2004). I am an award-winning architect and writer and published, lectured and exhibited widely on the transformation of Johannesburg after the end of apartheid. My published work on the city include The Politics of Rising Acid Mine Water(2013), Writing the City into Being: Essays on Johannesburg 1998 - 2008(2010), chapters in Johannesburg - the Elusive Metropolis(2008), The Endless City (2008), Desire Lines: Space, Memory and Identity in the Post-Apartheid City (2007), Future City (2005), and contributions to Environment and Planning A and D, Domus, Public Culture, Social Identities, Social Dynamics, Cities and Urban Forum. In my design work, I take on projects with social or cultural agendas such as my third placed entry for a Cyclone Shelter in Bangladesh (with Jeremy Voorhees, 2011), award winning Sans Souci Cinema project in Kliptown, Soweto (with 26'10 South Architects, 2004 - 2007) and second placed entry to the Freedom Square Competition (with Mashabane Rose Architects, 2002). My current work is exploring ways of thinking about architecture as geology, and the ocean as architecture. I hold M. Arch and DSc. Arch degrees from the University of the Witwatersrand, and a B.Arch degree from the University of Cape Town.

I have taught architectural design and theory of design at all levels, from the first year of the undergraduate degree to the final year of the graduate degree, at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, (1983-2004) Temple University in Philadelphia (2006-2011) and the University of Westminster in London (2012,2013). I was a visiting professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where I taught an advanced graduate design studio (2005). Since being at the University of Westminster, I have contributed to the Contemporary Issues in Architecture and Urbanism and Extended Essay modules in the Architecture BAHons and the History and Theory and Dissertation modules in the MArch. In addition, in 2012/13, I taught the Design Practice module and contributed to Thesis Development and Thesis Modules in the MArch. I currently teach DS18 in the MArch programme with Boberto Bottazzi, where we are investigating architecture as matter and energy. I supervise 9 PHD students, as Director of Studies for 5 and Co-supervisor for 4.

I have been invited as a visiting lecturer or design critic to many institutions in the world, including the Berlage Institute, Rotterdam; the Centre of Contemporary Culture, Barcelona; Columbia University, New York; Cornell University, Ithaca NY; Documenta Platform 11, Lagos; Harvard University, Boston MA; House of World Cultures, Berlin; International Architecture Symposium Pontresina, Switzerland; Quito Architecture Biennale, Ecuador; University of California, Berkeley, CA; University of Cape Town; University of Cordoba, Argentina; University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MI; University of Pavia, Italy; University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia PA; University of Princeton, NJ; Universita della Svizzera Italiana, Mendrisio, Switzerland and elsewhere.

Current research

My ongoing research is in two areas: thinking about architecture as geology, and the ocean as architecture. Geoarchitecture is research into intersections between architecture, geology and politics. It is being undertaken through investigative research, writing and design studios and has been presented conferences and has a number of published outputs. My 2012 MA Arch studio, London Geological Lab explored iconic London buildings as geological formations. Since 2013, I have been teaching DS18 with Ronerto Bottazzi, where we are investigating shale gas fracking as an urban and an architectural proposition. Folded Ocean is researching the organisational and spatial logics of the Indian Ocean world. It approaches this from the perspective of the ocean, a fluid, anti-geographical space where many energies, practices and imaginaries (human and more-than-human) intersect, overlap and compete. It identifies and maps these, following their itineraries as they fold into spatial and architectural products on land, figuring both sea and land based logics. To date, five case studies have been undertaken: the Ganges / Brahmaputra / Meghna delta in India and Bangladesh; the ship breaking yards of Chittagong; Diego Garcia in the Chagos Archipelago, Lamu in Kenya and the disappearance of MH370 into the southern Indian ocean. The project is conducted through investigative research, writing, mapping and design. It has a number of published outputs and a third placed entry in an International design competition (with Jeremy Voorhees) (arch daily, 27 Jan 2012). 

Research Group

I am Director of Architectural Research in the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment and co-ordinate the Expanded Territories Research Group. 

Research Appointments

I am a Commissioning Editor for the Journal of Architecture, on the Advisory Board for the Contested Territories Series, Open Humanities Press and the Editorial Board of UR Journal, terreform center for advanced urban research. I have also served as a reviewer for the International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Cities, City and Society, Building Research & Information, Social Dynamics, Architectural Histories and as a member of the Scientific Committee for the Colonial and Postcolonial Urban Planning in Africa Conference, University of Lisbon, 2013 and the African Perspectives Conference, University of Pretoria and the Delft University of Technology, 2009. I was London School of Economics and Political Science Urban Age Programme Advisor, 2006-2009 and continue to serve as a South African Research Foundation (NRF) Research Rating Referee. 

Research Students

I am Director of Studies for: 

  • Izis Salvador Pinto: Study of moveable and deployable structures using EFT Cushions (2014)
  • May Aljamea: Socio-cultural Needs and the Design of the Saudi House (2017)
  • Lilit Mnatsakanyan: Armenia: Working with Stone (2017)
  • John Walter: Alien Sex Club (2017)
  • Annarita Papeschi: Adaptive Masterplanning (P/T, 2021)
  • and on the Supervisory Committee for: Noha Alhamadi: Voice of the Vernacular: Forgotten Buildings of Saudi Arabia (2016)
  • Samra Kahn: Development of the Sethi Havelis, Peshawar 1810-1890 (2017)
  • Sarah Milne: The Draper's company dinner book as a map of the City of London (2016)
  • Nabil Ahmed: Radical Meteorology (Goldsmiths College, UCL, 2014)

2017

Observations on the concept of the aquapelago occasioned by researching the Maldives (2017)
Bremner, L. 2017. Observations on the concept of the aquapelago occasioned by researching the Maldives. Shima. 11 (1), pp. 18-29.

2016

Thinking Architecture with an Indian Ocean Aquapelago (2016)
Bremner, L. 2016. Thinking Architecture with an Indian Ocean Aquapelago . GeoHumanities. 2 (2), pp. 284-310.

2015

Fluid Ontologies in the Search for MH370 (2015)
Bremner, L. 2015. Fluid Ontologies in the Search for MH370. Journal of the Indian Ocean Region. 11 (1), pp. 8-29.

2014

Folded ocean: the spatial transformation of the Indian Ocean world (2014)
Bremner, L. 2014. Folded ocean: the spatial transformation of the Indian Ocean world. Journal of the Indian Ocean Region. 10 (1), pp. 18-45.

2013

The political life of rising acid mine water (2013)
Bremner, L. 2013. The political life of rising acid mine water. Urban Forum. 24 (4), pp. 463-483.
Book review: A cracking read. Review of J. Stoner: Toward a minor architecture (2013)
Bremner, L. and Till, J. 2013. Book review: A cracking read. Review of J. Stoner: Toward a minor architecture. Architectural Review. 232
, pp. 90-91.
Towards a minor global architecture at Lamu, Kenya (2013)
Bremner, L. 2013. Towards a minor global architecture at Lamu, Kenya. Social Dynamics. 39 (3), pp. 397-413.
Featured graphic: Taxi hand signals in Johannesburg (2013)
Bremner, L. 2013. Featured graphic: Taxi hand signals in Johannesburg. Environment and Planning A. 45 (6), pp. 1260-1261.
Book review: Refugee cities: under the sheltering sky. Review of Herz, M. From Camp to City: refugee camps of the Western Sahara (2013)
Bremner, L. 2013. Book review: Refugee cities: under the sheltering sky. Review of Herz, M. From Camp to City: refugee camps of the Western Sahara. Architectural Review. 233
, pp. 113-114.

2012

Book review: Forensic architecture. Review of Weizman, E. The least of all possible evils. Humanitarian violence from Arendt to Gaza (2012)
Bremner, L. 2012. Book review: Forensic architecture. Review of Weizman, E. The least of all possible evils. Humanitarian violence from Arendt to Gaza. Architectural Review. 232
, pp. 96-97.

2010

Book review: Taming the disorderly city: the spatial landscape of Johannesburg after apartheid (2010)
Bremner, L. 2010. Book review: Taming the disorderly city: the spatial landscape of Johannesburg after apartheid. The Professional Geographer. 62 (1), pp. 143-144.

2007

Book review: Beningfield, J. The Frightened Land. Land, landscape and politics in South Africa in the twentieth century (2007)
Bremner, L. 2007. Book review: Beningfield, J. The Frightened Land. Land, landscape and politics in South Africa in the twentieth century. The Journal of Architecture. 12 (5), pp. 559-561.

2004

Thabo Mbeki: the geography of exile (2004)
Bremner, L. 2004. Thabo Mbeki: the geography of exile. Domus. 874, pp. 126-131.
Reframing township space: the Kliptown project (2004)
Bremner, L. 2004. Reframing township space: the Kliptown project. Public Culture: society for transnational cultural studies. 16 (3), pp. 521-531.
Bounded spaces: democratic anxieties in post-apartheid Johannesburg (2004)
Bremner, L. 2004. Bounded spaces: democratic anxieties in post-apartheid Johannesburg. Social Identities: journal for the study of race, nation and culture. 10 (4), pp. 455-468.

2003

Book review: Neil Leach, The hieroglyphics of space: reading and experiencing the modern metropolis (2003)
Bremner, L. 2003. Book review: Neil Leach, The hieroglyphics of space: reading and experiencing the modern metropolis. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. 27 (2), pp. 471-482.

2002

The shape of memory: the Apartheid Museum at Gold Reef city (2002)
Bremner, L. 2002. The shape of memory: the Apartheid Museum at Gold Reef city. Architecture South Africa. Nov/Dec, pp. 34-43.

2001

Engaging difference (2001)
Bremner, L. and Low, I. 2001. Engaging difference. SA Architect. Nov/Dec, pp. 43-48.
Book review: Marschall, S. and Kearney, B. (2000). Opportunities for relevance: architecture in the new South Africa (2001)
Bremner, L. 2001. Book review: Marschall, S. and Kearney, B.
. Opportunities for relevance: architecture in the new South Africa. Transformation: critical perspectives on Southern Africa. 46, pp. 97-99.

2000

Reinventing the Johannesburg inner city (2000)
Bremner, L. 2000. Reinventing the Johannesburg inner city. Cities. 17 (3), pp. 185-193.
Post-apartheid urban geography: a case study of Greater Johannesburg's rapid land development programme (2000)
Bremner, L. 2000. Post-apartheid urban geography: a case study of Greater Johannesburg's rapid land development programme. Development Southern Africa. 17 (1), pp. 87-104.
Book review: Saitowitz’s words echoed. Review of Stanley Saitowitz Architecture at Rice 33 (2000)
Bremner, L. 2000. Book review: Saitowitz’s words echoed. Review of Stanley Saitowitz Architecture at Rice 33. SA Architect. Nov/Dec, p. 59.

1998

Participatory planning: models of urban governance. Porto Alegre and Greater Johannesburg (1998)
Bremner, L. 1998. Participatory planning: models of urban governance. Porto Alegre and Greater Johannesburg. Urban Forum. 9 (1), pp. 111-119.

1997

Johannesburg facing democracy (1997)
Bremner, L. 1997. Johannesburg facing democracy. Spazio e Societa. 77, pp. 64-71.

1994

Development and resistance: the lessons for planners of Phola Park (1994)
Bremner, L. 1994. Development and resistance: the lessons for planners of Phola Park. Urban Forum. 5 (1), pp. 23-44.
Space and the nation: three texts on Aldo Rossi (1994)
Bremner, L. 1994. Space and the nation: three texts on Aldo Rossi. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space. 12 (3), pp. 287-300.

1990

Book review: Harvey, D. (1989). The condition of postmodernity (1990)
Bremner, L. 1990. Book review: Harvey, D.
. The condition of postmodernity. Urban Forum. 2, pp. 122-124.

2016

Thinking Architecture with an Indian Ocean Aquapelago (2016)
Bremner, L. 2016. Thinking Architecture with an Indian Ocean Aquapelago. in: Al-Obaydai, H., Anderson, C., Aravena, F., Cortright, M., Critchley, M., Jennings, H. and Przywara, A. (ed.) Disputed Architectures London The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL. pp. 28-31
Filter | Funnel (2016)
Bremner, L. 2016. Filter | Funnel. in: Malaquais, D. and Khouri, N. (ed.) D’Afrique en Asie, d’Asie en Afrique Rencontres au coeur d’un monde globalisé Mont-Saint-Aignan Cedex Presses Universitaires de Rouen et du Havre. pp. 17-42

2015

Muddy Logics (2015)
Bremner, L. 2015. Muddy Logics. in: Sheppard, L. and Przybylski, M. (ed.) Bracket 3: At Extremes Barcelona Actar. pp. 199-206
Technologies of uncertainty in the search for MH370 (2015)
Bremner, L. 2015. Technologies of uncertainty in the search for MH370. in: Davis, H. and Turpin, E. (ed.) Art in the Anthropocene: encounters among aesthetics, politics, environments and epistemologies London Open Humanities Press. pp. 199-212

2014

Ponte as geological agent (2014)
Bremner, L. 2014. Ponte as geological agent. in: Vladislavic, I., Subotzky, M. and Waterhouse, P. (ed.) Ponte City Gottingen Steidl Verlag.
Muddy logics (2014)
Bremner, L. 2014. Muddy logics. in: Mathur, A. and Da Cunha, D. (ed.) Design in the terrain of water San Francisco ORO Editions. pp. 12-21

2013

Dissident water (2013)
Bremner, L. 2013. Dissident water. in: Weizman, I. (ed.) Architecture and the paradox of dissidence London Routledge. pp. 180-193

2012

On the move (2012)
Bremner, L. 2012. On the move. in: Mostafavi, M. (ed.) In the life of cities: parallel narratives of the urban Basel Lars Müller Publishers. pp. 207-221
Mobile Johannesburg (2012)
Bremner, L. 2012. Mobile Johannesburg. in: Mostafavi, M. (ed.) In the life of cities: parallel narratives of the urban Cambridge, MA Harvard University: Graduate School of Design.
6 ways of being a stranger (2012)
Bremner, L. 2012. 6 ways of being a stranger. in: Born, M., Furjan, H. and Jencks, L. (ed.) DIRT Cambridge MIT Press. pp. 40-47

2010

The Sans Souci project (2010)
Bremner, L. and 26’10 south Architects 2010. The Sans Souci project. in: Tolic, I. (ed.) Contemporary architecture | South Africa Milan 24 ORE Cultura srl. pp. 90-93

2008

The Sans Souci project (2008)
Bremner, L. and 26’10 south Architects 2008. The Sans Souci project. in: Deckler, T., Graupner, A. and Rassmus, H. (ed.) Contemporary South African architecture in a landscape of transition Cape Town Double Story. pp. 50-53
Reframing township space (2008)
Bremner, L. 2008. Reframing township space. in: Nuttall, S. and Mbembe, A. (ed.) Johannesburg: the elusive metropolis Durham Duke University Press. pp. 337-347
Recovering from apartheid (2008)
Bremner, L. 2008. Recovering from apartheid. in: Burdett, R. and Sudjic, D. (ed.) The endless city London Phaidon. pp. 202-213

2007

Johannesburg: emerging/diverging metropolis (2007)
Bremner, L. and Subiros, P. 2007. Johannesburg: emerging/diverging metropolis. in: Bremner, L. and Subiros, P. (ed.) Johannesburg: emerging/diverging metropolis Mendrisio Mendrisio Academy Press. pp. 12-17
Memory, nation building and the post-apartheid city: the apartheid museum in Johannesburg (2007)
Bremner, L. 2007. Memory, nation building and the post-apartheid city: the apartheid museum in Johannesburg. in: Murray, N., Shepherd, N. and Hall, M. (ed.) Desire lines: space, memory and identity in the post-apartheid city London Routledge. pp. 85-103
Making life public in contemporary Johannesburg (2007)
Bremner, L. 2007. Making life public in contemporary Johannesburg. in: Bremner, L. and Subiros, P. (ed.) Johannesburg: emerging/diverging metropolis Mendrisio Mendrisio Academy Press. pp. 18-25

2006

Johannesburg city portrait (2006)
Bremner, L. 2006. Johannesburg city portrait. in: Burdett, R. (ed.) Cities, architecture and society: exhibition catalogue of the 10th international Venice architecture biennale Rizzoli. pp. 168-177

2005

Remaking Johannesburg (2005)
Bremner, L. 2005. Remaking Johannesburg. in: Read, S., Rosemann, J. and van Eldijk, J. (ed.) Future city London Spon. pp. 32-47
Border/skin (2005)
Bremner, L. 2005. Border/skin. in: Sorkin, M. (ed.) Against the wall: Israel's barrier to peace New York The New Press. pp. 122-137

2003

The post-apartheid struggle for an integrated Johannesburg (2003)
Tomlinson, R., Beauregard, R.A., Bremner, L. and Mancgu, X. 2003. The post-apartheid struggle for an integrated Johannesburg. in: Tomlinson, R., Beauregard, R.A., Bremner, L. and Mancgu, X. (ed.) Emerging Johannesburg: perspectives on the post-apartheid city London Routledge. pp. 3-20
Remaking Johannesburg (German translation) (2003)
Bremner, L. 2003. Remaking Johannesburg (German translation). in: Becker, J. and Lanz, S. (ed.) Learning from* Berlin New Society for Visual Art (NGBK). pp. 227-238

2002

Reinventing the Johannesburg inner city (2002)
Bremner, L. 2002. Reinventing the Johannesburg inner city. in: Bridge, G. and Watson, S. (ed.) The Blackwell city reader Oxford Blackwell. pp. 208-218
Closure, simulation and making do (2002)
Bremner, L. 2002. Closure, simulation and making do. in: Enwezor, O. (ed.) Under siege: four African cities. Freetown, Johannesburg, Kinshasa, Lagos Kassel Documenta. pp. 153-172

1998

Crime and the emerging landscape of post-apartheid Johannesburg (1998)
Bremner, L. 1998. Crime and the emerging landscape of post-apartheid Johannesburg. in: Judin, H. and Vladislavic, I. (ed.) Blank: architecture, apartheid and after Rotterdam NAI Publishers. pp. 48-63

2016

Architecture, Energy, Matter (2016)
Bremner, L. and Bottazzi, R. 2016. Architecture, Energy, Matter. London Department of Architecture, University of Westminster.

2010

Writing the city into being: essays on Johannesburg, 1998–2008 (2010)
Bremner, L. 2010. Writing the city into being: essays on Johannesburg, 1998–2008. Johannesburg Fourthwall Books.

2007

Johannesburg: emerging/diverging metropolis (2007)
Bremner, L. and Subiros, P. (ed.) 2007. Johannesburg: emerging/diverging metropolis. Mendrisio Mendrisio Academy Press.

2003

Emerging Johannesburg: perspectives on the post-apartheid city (2003)
Tomlinson, R., Beauregard, R.A., Bremner, L. and Mancgu, X. (ed.) 2003. Emerging Johannesburg: perspectives on the post-apartheid city. London Routledge.

1998

Freedom Square: a site investigation of Freedom Square, Kliptown, Soweto (1998)
Bremner, L., Low, I. and Van der Merwe, M. (ed.) 1998. Freedom Square: a site investigation of Freedom Square, Kliptown, Soweto. Johannesburg University of the Witwatersrand: Department of Architecture.

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