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International Summer School – Architecture and Media

15.06.21-30.06.21

The International Summer School featured a series of live, virtual seminars and workshops exploring the relationship between architecture and media. We explored how architecture as culture is mediated, communicated, disseminated, represented, experienced and consumed through the diverse media of filmmaking, podcasting and critical writing.

The Summer School seminars welcomed a wide national and international audience of general public, practitioners and professionals, with unlimited places. 

The Summer School workshops were interactive, participatory sessions for creative practitioners, with limited places. 

Please note this event has now passed. If you would like to catch up on this year’s seminars please click here to watch them online.


Week 1: Architecture and Film

On Looking:  Explore how architecture and the urban realm is represented and experienced through film, with filmmaker Tapio Snellman (Finland/UK), architect, filmmaker and academic Amy Murphy (USA), and lecturer in film studies, Mark Shiel (UK/IRL). Join us for a film screening in honour of the late Paddy Cahill (IRL), followed by a live panel discussion with Gul Kacmaz Erk (UK, Ellen Rowley (IRL) and Tadhg O’Sullivan (IRL), chaired by IAF director Nathalie Weadick (IRL).


Public Seminar: Tapio Snellman, Amy Murphy & Mark Shiel:
Tuesday June 15, 18:00-19:30
Participatory Workshop: Tapio Snellman: Wednesday June 16, 15:00-17:00
Film screening & panel discussion – Paddy Cahill: Thursday June 17, 18:00-19:30


Week 2: Architecture and Podcasts

On Speaking: Delve deeper into the dynamic medium of podcasting, with architects Emmett Scanlon (IRL), host of ‘What Do Buildings Do All Day?’, Matthew Blunderfield (UK), host of ‘Scaffold’ and Grace La (USA), host of ‘Talking Practice’.

Participatory Workshop: Emmett Scanlon & Liam Geraghty: Friday June 25, 16:00-18:00
Public Seminar: Emmett Scanlon, Matthew Blunderfield & Grace La: Tuesday June 22, 18:00-19:30


Week 3: Architecture and Writing

On Writing: Focus on the mediation and dissemination of architecture as culture, through critical writing, with Pulitzer Prize-winning architecture critic Inga Saffron, architecture critic, editor and curator Mimi Zeiger (USA) and editor of Dezeen, Tom Ravenscroft (UK). Award-winning architecture critic Shane O’Toole (IRL) will facilitate a workshop on writing.

Public Seminar: Inga Saffron, Mimi Zeiger & Tom Ravenscroft: Monday June 28, 18:00-19:30
Workshop: Shane O’Toole: Wednesday June 30, 15:00-17:00


Speaker and facilitator biographies:

Dr Mark Shiel (UK/IRL) is Professor of Film, Media, and Urban Studies at King’s College London. He is the author of two books, Hollywood Cinema and the Real Los Angeles (2012) and Italian Neorealism: Rebuilding the Cinematic City (2006), and editor of three collections of essays, Architectures of Revolt: The Cinematic City circa 1968 (2018), Screening the City (2003), and Cinema and the City: Film and Urban Societies in a Global Context (2001). Originally from Dublin, he is also co-director of the Dublin-based consulting firm Media Urbanism.

Dr Amy Murphy (USA) is an associate professor at University of Southern California’s School of Architecture. She holds both a Bachelor of Architecture degree and a Bachelor of Fine Art degree from Rhode Island School of Design, as well as a Master of Fine Arts degree in film production and a Ph.D. in media studies from USC’s School of Cinematic Arts.

Amy ran her own design practice for over a decade, completing numerous projects through the LA area (including the renovation of Rudolph Schindler’s Yates Studio). She acted as director of Los Angeles Filmforum in the mid-1990s. In 2015, Amy designed an exhibit, “Haunted Screens: German Expressionist Cinema in the 1920s,” in partnership with Michael Maltzan, for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. She has published several pieces examining our cinematic post-apocalyptic imagination, and is currently completing a new book examining the independent cinemas from the marginalized geographies of the American city between 1920s and 1980s.

Tapio Snellman (Finland/UK) is a London-based film director and artist predominantly engaged in architectural and urban themes. Originally from Finland, his work includes immersive film installations, documentaries, experimental 3D animation as well as site-specific film projections for museums, theatre, dance and opera. Trained as an architect and urban designer, Tapio co-directed the creative agency Neutral over 12 years. During that time and since, he has engaged in collaborations with creators such as architects Herzog & de Meuron, Zaha Hadid, Rem Koolhaas, David Adjaye, fashion designer Hussein Chalayan and choreographer Sasha Waltz on film, animation and performance projects. Tapio’s films and installations have been exhibited internationally, at venues including the Victoria & Albert Museum and Tate Modern in London, the Guggenheim Museum in New York, Watari-um in Tokyo and frequently as part of the Architecture Biennale in Venice. He has taught filmmaking at universities including the London School of Economics, the Architectural Association, SCIARCH in LA and ETH in Zurich.

Matthew Blunderfield (UK) is the host of the podcast Scaffold. He teaches at the Kingston School of Art in London, and practices architecture at Henley Halebrown. Scaffold features interviews with emerging and established voices in the fields of architecture, art and design. It is supported in part by the Architecture Foundation, and has been celebrated by Dezeen as one of the best architecture podcasts to subscribe to. Matthew teaches a second year studio at Kingston with Nana Biamah-Ofosu, having formerly taught a Diploma unit with Simon Henley. His teaching asserts lived experience as architecture’s organising principle, with an interest in the role architects play in both reinforcing and reinventing normality through the production of everyday environments. Born and raised in Vancouver, Matthew studied English Literature at the University of British Columbia and Architecture at the University of Toronto, before completing his RIBA Part III qualification from the Bartlett, UCL. He lives in London.

Grace La (USA) is Professor of Architecture, Chair of the Practice Forum, and former Director of the Master of Architecture Programs at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design.  She is also Principal of LA DALLMAN, cofounded with James Dallman. LA DALLMAN’s work is internationally recognized for the integration of architecture, engineering and landscape. Noted for works that expand the architect’s agency in the civic recalibration of infrastructure, public space and challenging sites, LA DALLMAN was named as an Emerging Voice by the Architectural League of New York, received the Bruner Award for Urban Excellence Silver Medal, and was the first U.S. practice to receive the Spotlight Rice Design Alliance Prize. Demonstrating a unique ability to link the profession and the academy, La is the Founder and Host of Talking Practice, a podcast renowned for its discourse on the innovation of design practice.

Emmett Scanlon (IRL) is an architect, curator and writer based in Dublin. He is Assistant Professor of architecture at University College Dublin and host of the architecture and design podcast What Do Buildings Do All Day? He was Adviser to the Arts Council from 2006-2020. Current research and writing is focused on the influence of buildings on people, looking in particular at how architects enact completed buildings in new social and spatial practices. His work includes spatial practice, most recently completing production design work with theatre company This Is Pop Baby in Dublin and SkyFold, a commission by VISUAL, Carlow, made with Laurence Lord and Jeffrey Bolhuis.

Mimi Zeiger is a Los Angeles-based critic, editor, and curator. She was co-curator of the U.S. Pavilion for the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale and Soft Schindler at the MAK Center for Art and Architecture. Currently, she is curating Exhibit Columbus, entitled New Middles: From Main Street to Megalopolis, What is the Future of the Middle City? She has written for the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Architectural Review, Metropolis, and Architect and is an opinion columnist for Dezeen. Zeiger is the 2015 recipient of the Bradford Williams Medal for excellence in writing about landscape architecture. She has curated, contributed to, and collaborated on projects that have been shown at the Art Institute Chicago, Venice Architecture Biennale, the New Museum, Storefront for Art and Architecture, pinkcomma gallery, and the AA School. She co-curated Now, There: Scenes from the Post-Geographic City, which received the Bronze Dragon award at the 2015 Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture, Shenzhen. She teaches at SCI-Arc and the Media Design Practices MFA program at Art Center College of Design.

Inga Saffron is an Architecture Critic who has been writing about the design of buildings and cities for the Philadelphia Inquirer since 1999. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Criticism, the 2018 Vincent Scully Prize from the National Building Museum and a 2012 Loeb Fellowship from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design. In June 2020, Rutgers University Press published a selection of her Inquirer columns about Philadelphia’s urban recovery, Becoming Philadelphia: How an old American city made itself new again. Before becoming the Inquirer’s architecture critic, Inga spent the 1990s as a foreign correspondent for the Inquirer in Russia and the former Yugoslavia, covering the wars in Bosnia and Chechnya, and witnessing the destruction of Sarajevo and Grozny. In addition to her writing about architecture and urbanism, she is an expert on the cultural history of sturgeon. Her book, Caviar: The Strange History and Uncertain Future of the World’s Most Coveted Delicacy, appeared in 2003 to rave reviews. Although she was born in New York, and has lived in Paris, Dublin, Belgrade, Moscow
and New Jersey, she identifies as a Philadelphian.

Tom Ravenscroft is the editor of Dezeen. He holds masters in architectural history from both Edinburgh and The Bartlett, where his writing focused on the architecture of data centres. Tom has worked for several publications in architecture and construction, including the Architects’ Journal and Construction Manager. He has also contributed to RIBA Journal, Icon, BD, City Metric, Architectural Review and ArchDaily. Videos on the built environment featuring Tom have had over five million views on YouTube.

Shane O’Toole is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland, International Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects, member of the International Committee of Architecture Critics (CICA) and Adjunct Associate Professor of Architecture at University College Dublin. He has served as President of the AAI, Vice President of the RIAI, inaugural curator/director of the Irish Architecture Foundation and Ireland’s Commissioner for the Venice Biennale. He wrote for the Culture section of The Sunday Times for ten years. The International Building Press named him Architecture Writer of the Year in 2008, 2009 and 2010, and CICA awarded his criticism at their congresses in Tokyo 2011, Durban 2014, Seoul 2017 and Rio de Janeiro 2020.
The first volume of Shane’s collected essays, One Hundred & One Hosannas for Architecture, appeared in 2017. A second volume, Ninety-Nine Tesserae from Architecture, will be published later this year.


All of our events are eligible for CPD points. Please email info@architecturefoundation.ie if you wish to avail of this.


The International Summer School is curated and delivered by the Irish Architecture Foundation and supported by the Arts Council of Ireland.

The Irish Architecture Foundation endeavours to offer programmes that are accessible and inclusive to all. We will offer live closed captioning at our public seminars. Should you have additional accessibility needs please do not hesitate to contact us at production@architecturefoundation.ie.


In 2020 our International Summer School looked at different spatial foci, moving from the private space of the HOME, into PUBLIC space and beyond into VIRTUAL space. If you missed it you can catch up with our filmed recordings of these sessions – click here to learn more.