Laurence Kimmel is a Lecturer at the Faculty of Built Environment. She is an architect (MArch Ecole d'Architecture de Lyon, 1998) and a philosopher of architecture (PhD University Paris 10 Nanterre, 2006). She published her first book “Architecture as landscape” in 2010. It describes constructive experiences of architectures that are open towards the landscape. At the moment, she researching "Architecture of threshold spaces, expressing the socio-political in architecture".
‘THRESHOLDS’ expressing the socio-political in architecture.
Her research focuses on boundaries and gradients between public and private space.
Her research also addresses the notion of ‘critical practice’: interior architects, architects and urban planners that use the thinking tools of art and philosophy to underpin their practice.
The objects of research range through different countries (e.g. France, Germany and Brazil) and across different areas (architecture, interior architecture, art, landscape).
Since completing my dissertation under the supervision of Professor Maryvonne Saison (University Paris Nanterre), and having published a book under the supervision of Professor Pierre-Damien Huyghe (Emeritus Professor at University Paris I Sorbonne), my primary research focus has been on how the spatial organisation of architecture affects social interactions and orchestrates different attitudes and actions in buildings. These different attitudes and actions range from the collective to the individual. They relate to a range of spaces from the more public to the more private. My approach has been influenced by Walter Benjamin and more generally the critical philosophy of the Frankfurt school and its contemporary heirs such as Richard Sennett and Jean-Louis Déotte.
RESEARCH ACHIEVEMENTS AND CONTRIBUTIONS
My research identifies the conditions under which some contemporary ‘architectures as apparatuses’ both reveal and affect social life. According to Gilbert Simondon, a split between the public and private sphere, and between the collective sphere and the individual sphere, took place during the modern period in the Western world. This resulted in an extreme partitioning or rather homogenization in architecture. This split constrained the architectural expression of the intertwining of these spheres which existed organically before the modern era. The intertwining of spaces of different statuses is becoming topical again. The so-called ‘threshold’ approach which has been a subject of my research brings back the importance of areas of ambiguity between two statuses, and in turn the importance of the negotiation of space by visitors.
My research contributes to knowledge:
on contemporary architecture, and its capacity to have a socio-political meaning via its spatial organisation.
regarding the concept of public space in the contemporary age of social media and dialogue between diverse communities.
constraints to the expression of social dialectics in architecture, such as counter-terrorism guidelines and how to find a balance between requirements.
In entering a new tertiary research environment in Australia in 2015, I have widened my research interests and successfully redirected publication effort to Q1 journals.
Publications since 2010 :
2020 “Walter Benjamin’s Topology of Envelopes and Perspectives”, Journal of Architecture (Q1 ranked journal) (acceptance 25 March 2020)
2020 “ ‘Layered security’: keeping public space safe and open in the context of counter-terrorism guidelines”. With Mike Barnard and Jack Peacock, research assistants (in peer review process in Q1 journal)
2020 “ ‘Open to the public’: keeping interiors publicly accessible in the context of counter-terrorism guidelines”, Archnet-IJAR (Q1 ranked journal). With Mike Barnard and Aysu Kuru, research assistants. In the context of a Landcom grant. LK Chief Investigator of this grant (UNSW with UTS and University of Newcastle)
2020 “A GIS-based risk and safety analysis of entrance areas in educational buildings based on students’ experience”. Main author: Sara Shirowzhan (Peer reviewed book chapter)
September 2019 “Voxel-based visibility analysis for safety assessment of urban environments”, by ; ; ; ; ISPRS Annals of Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences (Q1 ranked journal). DOI .
August 2019 “Stygian dark: what the presence and architecture of sex clubs reveal about the politics of public and private space in a city”, in Spaces of Desires, Routledge. (Peer reviewed book chapter)
September 2018 “The Financial Crisis in Athens: An Empty House as Public Sculpture by Maria Eichhorn”, Kritische Berichte, Germany. On Scimago Journal & Country Rank: H index 2 , on Scopus until 2013 (Peer reviewed journal article)
June 2018 “Transient Computational Designed Boundaries enhancing Creativity in Workplaces”, Proceedings of the EAHN (European Architecture History Network) conference, Tallinn, Estonia (Peer reviewed conference paper)
January 2018 “Possibility of critical practice in computational design: applications on boundaries between public and private space”, online research journal Cahiers de la recherche architecturale et urbaine (Peer reviewed journal article)
2017 “Stories made spatial”, article and interview about the work of architects Peter Lonergan and Julie Cracknell, in Architecture by Hand and Mind , edited by Xing Ruan and Ainslie Murray (UNSW)
December 2014 Chapter of the book Open Sky Museum, about an open sky museum that has been built near Nantes in 2013 ; under the direction of artist Claire- Jeanne Jézéquel, Editor : Jannink
September 2014 "Echos and architecture - a non exhaustive walkway through art and architecture : - from the 1920’s and 30’s ; - from 1989 until today" (title translated from the French), In the collective book Berlin, edited by David Sanson, musician and journalist ; Editor : Robert Laffont, Paris.
April 2014 Article "Le geste appareillé" about the work of artist Marie Reinert, art newspaper Laura.
March 2014 "The ferry terminal of Yokohama by Foreign Office Architects, in relation to cognitive sciences - historial remarks on dance and its link to triangular structure in Rudolf Steiner and Rudolf Laban’s works" (title translated from the French) Proceedings of the symposium Architecture & Perceptions – New perceptive cultures, new planning strategies organised by Xavier Bonnaud and Chris Younes at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture de Clermont-Ferrand, 7 - 8 December 2010. (Peer reviewed article)
October 2013 BRAZIL - Book on Brazilian modern and contemporary architecture, English edition ; Editor : DOM (Philip Meuser), Berlin
June 2013 "Le pli dans l'architecture d'Álvaro Siza - éclairage par la théorie du pli baroque par Katarzina Kobro et Władysław Strzemiński" (title translated from the French), Three articles, Online art newspaper Exporevue
January 2013 "Le couplage horizontalité-verticalité à grande échelle – un équilibre anthropologique ? : le bâtiment CCTV de Rem Koolhaas à Beijing", in Le Salon n°4 – Questions d’échelles (Revue du Centre de recherche I.D.E.), dirigée par Sally Bonn et Alain Georges Leduc, ÉSAMM (Ecole Supérieure d’Art de Lorraine). (Peer reviewed article)
November 2012 "Expanding color", Article about two exhibitions at Centre d’art La Tôlerie, Clermont-Ferrand, online and printed art newpaper La Belle Revue, 2012
November 2012 "Réflexions sur la monumentalité architecturale" (Bâtiment CCTV à Pékin par Rem Koolhaas) [Reflections on architectural monumentality (Rem Koolhaas’s CCTV building in Beijing)] in the research revue Le Salon n°4 – Questions d’échelles (Revue du Centre de recherche I.D.E.), directed by Sally Bonn and Alain Georges Leduc, ÉSAMM (Ecole Supérieure d’Art de Lorraine). (Peer reviewed article)
October 2012 "Un bâtiment comme appareil de vision d’une multiplicité d’imagesfragments du paysage et de l’histoire de Berlin (Le sens politique de l’ambassade des Pays-Bas à Berlin de Rem Koolhaas)" [A building a visual device for a multiplicity of images as fragments : The political sense of the architecture of the Dutch Embassy in Berlin by Rem Koolhaas], Online research revue "Appareil" [device], directed by Jean-Louis Déotte, Professor in Philosophy at University Paris 8 Saint-Denis. (Peer reviewed article)
December 2011 "Fragilité des architectures ouvertes sur le paysage et développement de nouveaux modèles d’« architecture comme paysage » " [Fragility of the architecture that is open to the landscape and development of new models of « architecture as landscape »] Online research revue Inplano, directed by Marc-Antoine Durand. http://inplano.net/pdf/01
June 2011 "Ryuji Nakamura : des trames de papier à l’ère des outils numériques" [Ryuji Nakamura : paper grids in the era of numeric tools] In architecture magazine d’A
May 2011 "La perception des sculptures d’Olafur Eliasson comme montage" [Perception of Olafur Eliasson’s sculptures as montage] Proceedings of the Summer School – Cinéma et art contemporain, Université Sorbonne nouvelle Paris 3, 28th June 2010 - 9th July 2010 (Peer reviewed article)
Mai 2011 "Jean-Luc Moulène : vers un dispositif spatial par les images" [Jean-Luc Moulène : toward a spatial dispositive through images] Online revue Renversions, Revue transdisciplinaire revue under the responsability of Véronique Fabbri and Laura Aubert
April 2011 "Le spectre du fragment romantique - sur le travil de l‘artiste Didier Courbot" [Specter of the romantic fragment - about the work of artist Didier Courbot] Linked to the exhibition "Avec le pont vient l’idée de la traversée" [With the bridge comes the idea of the crossing] from the 2nd of February to the 2nd of March 2011 at the art center La Maréchalerie, Ecole d’Architecture de Versailles ; Editions de la Maréchalerie, Versailles.
February 2011 "Les paysages impressionnistes de Philippe Rahm" [Philippe Rahm’s impressionnist landscapes] in the architecture magazine L’Architecture d’Aujourd’hui n°381
January 2011 "Une architecture de cadres - sur deux jardins de sculptures de Dani Karavan" [An architecture of frames - About two sculpture gardens by Dani Karavan] in Projets de paysage, Revue en ligne du réseau de chercheurs en paysage Topia, http://www.projetsdepaysage.fr/fr/accueil (Peer reviewed article)
January 2011 "Des architectures qui cadrent le paysage : quel cadre pour les oeuvres ?" (sur le Centre Pompidou Metz) [Architecture framing the landscape: which frame for the art works? (about Centre Pompidou Metz)] in Le Salon n°3 - Musées (Revue of the research center I.D.E., directed by Sally Bonn and Alain Georges Leduc, ÉSAMM Ecole Supérieure d’Art de Metz Métropole). (Peer reviewed article)
November 2010 "De l’objet de design hybride à l’oeuvre comme monde : contemporanéité de l’artificialisation de l’environnement dans l‘oeuvre de Martin Boyce" [From the hybrid design object to the art work as a world: contemporaneity and artificiality in the environment in the work of Martin Boyce] Online proceedings of the symposium "There is no such thing as nature! - Redéfinition et devenir de l’idée de nature dans l’art contemporain", University Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, INHA, Paris. http://hicsa.univ-paris1.fr/page.php?r=18&id=415&lang=fr (Peer reviewed article)
September 2010 PUBLICATION OF THE BOOK "L’ARCHITECTURE COMME PAYSAGE - ÁLVARO SIZA" [ARCHITECTURE AS LANDSCAPE - ÁLVARO SIZA], SERIES EDITOR: PÉTRA, PARIS. COLLECTION "ESTHÉTIQUES APPLIQUÉES", DIRECTED BY PIERRE-DAMIEN HUYGHE, PROFESSOR OF PHILOSOPHY AT UNIVERSITY PARIS I PANTHÉON SORBONNE (180 PAGES - 10 PAGES GRAPHIC FOLDER) (Peer reviewed book)
July 2010 "Des jardins artificiels par d'autres stimuli que purement visuels" [Artificial gardens with other stimuli than visual ones] in Projets de paysage, Revue en ligne du réseau de chercheurs en paysage Topia. (http://www.projetsdepaysage.fr/fr/accueil) (Peer reviewed article)
Other professional activities
Before entering academia in 2007, I accumulated over a decade of project management and design experience in the public and private sectors in France. This professional foundation has proven invaluable for my subsequent research career:
1995-1998: In charge of urban design studies at the CERTU (Centre for studies in transport and urban planning). Major project on the temporality of urban project construction.
1998-2001: Urban projects coordinator. In charge of urban design studies at the Groupe d’Etudes et de Prospective (Studies and prospective group) of the Direction Départementale de l’Equipement (Departemental planning direction) of the district Hauts-de Seine.
2001-2004: Project manager in urban design at the PUCA (Plan Urbanisme Construction et Architecture), Ministry of Ecology. Major project as Coordinator of the competition ‘Villa urbaine durable‘(ecological urban housing projects).
2004-2006: Architect in practice.
• Project manager at Architecture Workshop 2 (2005 –2006)
• Project manager in the agency Platane Architecte, Paris 2004 –2005)
2012-2013: Urban Planner for the French State. Urban planning for the DRIEA des Hauts-de-Seine, a service of the French State (Département des Hauts-de-Seine, Nanterre). Major projects on urban quality of the area of the new metro stations of the Grand Paris Express and study of the architecture and urban planning implications of potential flood zones of the Seine.
Another professional activity is Exhibition Curating
For over a decade overseas and in Sydney I have contributed in curatorial roles to professional design exhibitions. Leaving aside the staple of student work, these include since 2008:
• May 2010: Curator .‘La clarté du labyrinthe’ at the Gallery Grands Bains Douches de la Plaine in Marseille.
• June-August 2015: Curator. ‘+/- 4’ (Ungefähr Vier) in the Gallery Lage Egal in Berlin, presenting works by Claire-Jeanne Jezequel, Lorraine Pellegrini and Geraldine Trubert.
• September 2016: Curator. ‘Shifting, Drifting, Dribbling’. Sheffer Gallery, Sydney, presenting works by Michael Tawa, Vesna Trobec, Samantha Donnelly, Claire-Jeanne Jezequel, Marie Reinert, Geraldine Trubert. Peer-reviewed (Project selected to be part of Sydney Design week, and supported by the Alliance Française de Sydney (Philippe Platel, cultural attaché of the French Embassy)
• April 2018. Curator. ‘Cut Insight’. Sheffer Gallery, Sydney, presenting works by Maxime Thieffine, Sarah Tritz, Eric Stephany, and Claire-Jeanne Jezequel.