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Dr Maria Theodorou


Dr Maria Theodorou
Contact Details
Dr Maria Theodorou

Senior Lecturer

School of Art, Architecture & Design

0113 81 24067 M.Theodorou@leedsbeckett.ac.uk

About Dr Maria Theodorou

Maria Theodorou holds a PhD in History and Theory of Architecture (Architectural Association), postgraduate diploma (La Sapienza, Rome), architecture professional degree (AUTH, Greece), and has been a Fulbright visiting fellow (School of Architecture Princeton USA 2005). Since August 2013 she co-ordinates the History and Theory of Architecture at the Leeds School of Architecture where she promotes the study of “architecture as apparatus” and advocates for “an intense engagement with the history and theory of architecture and a firm grasp of the contemporary conditions”. In charge of SARCHA’s research programme since 2006, she has directed the CCR Athens Gerani, a city resources reset pilot project commissioned by the Hellenic Ministry for the Environment and shortlisted at The Resourceful Architect international competition in London (Royal Society of Arts, May 2011).

She directs the development of POLYPOLIS, a role paying social game on the ‘in common’ administration of the human, natural and physical city resources, which was presented at the British Council’s International Architecture and Design Showcase at the London 2012 Festival www.polypolis.sarcha.gr.

She has been in charge of the Un-built: international programme (SARCHA –Athens Byzantine Museum 2008), Head of the Architecture Network (Athens 2001-2006), Council of Europe expert (2003), exhibition curator Athenscape (RIBA, 2003), Director, Ephemeral Structures in the city of Athens, International Architecture Competition, (Athens 2002-2003), editor of the Athens D.O.E.S. series (2003), national co-ordinator, Archimed best practice EU pilot project (1996-2001). M. Theodorou’s own professional practice includes the design/construction of 18 building projects (2002-1982).

Her current research, publications and teaching focuses on architecture and the political. Latest project: DEMOS by SARCHA presented at the London 2013 Festival of Architecture following invitation by the British Council www.demos.sarcha.gr

Current Teaching

Maria's personal commitment is to educate "architects to be", who would be able to critically assess the complex financial / political / cultural / historical /social issues interwoven with the production of architecture so that they become interested and engaged in design projects that re-shape the conditions of living in contemporary cities.

Programmatic Statement For The H&T_Architecture Context (AC)
At all levels of architecture education (undergraduate & postgraduate), the unwavering focus for the AC teaching would be: To describe accurately and exhaustively how architecture operates in producing a "Materialism of Enchantment" that is, to understand how the configuration and materials of architecture structures (historical or contemporary, buildings or cities) succeed (or have succeed in the past) in creating attachments that reinforce and stabilize the flickering living presence. This involves both an intense engagement with the history and theory of architecture and a firm grasp of the contemporary conditions. The thinking and making of architecture are not to be held apart within the AC studies.

Teaching Positions and Assignments at the Leeds School of Architecture

  • History and Theory of Architecture coordinator for undergraduate and postgraduate studies
  • Architectural Context Module leader BA_AC1, MArch1 and MA_AC
  • Architecture Module coordinator MArch2 Integrated Design Report

Module Teaching / Lecture Series

  • MArch1 and MA_ AC: Architecture and the political
  • BA1_AC: Architecture's Means and Ends: Pauses
  • BA3_AC Architecture Words, Things and Deeds Conjured: Manifestos and Manifestations

Research Interests

  1. The impact of the political (intended as the rupture of existing conditions) onto architecture and the city.
  2. The potential of independent structures that involve a multidisciplinary body of researchers, to conduct rigorous research with effects that go beyond the confines of the academia.

Research on independent structures was initially pursued at Princeton (Fulbright visiting fellow 2005) and led to the creation 2006 of School of Architecture for All (SARCHA) www.sarcha.gr. The relation of architecture and the political research is pursued mainly as a practice based activity (SARCHA research programs); it is reflected in publications and currently tested within the structure of formal teaching at the Leeds School of architecture History and Theory_Architecture Context modules.

Impact of Research Activity

  • Invited speaker at Lectures / Seminars / Workshops at national/international academic institutions and interdisciplinary settings among which: a public discussion with R. Sennett at the Onassis Foundation, key note at the Southampton Law School, workshops at CCEA-Prague and the Jan Eyck Academie -Netherlands and a discussion at the Hellenic League of Human Rights.
  • Regular participation at national / international Conferences as a speaker (Latest: the 9th International AHRA Conference, London) and member of conferences' Organising Committee.
  • Refereeing Peer-Reviewed Academic Journals (Architecture Histories EHAN and Drawing On) and Editorial Board Member "The Spaces of Democracy" journal
  • Organization of Collaborative Visiting Architecture Schools Studio & Seminars and academic involvement as Visiting Guest Critic at a national / international context among which Bartlett, Newcastle, AA (UK) University of Western (Australia), EPFL (Switzerland), Delft (Netherlands), programme in Hellenic Studies, Princeton (USA).

Wider contribution within the architectural profession: invited juror at international competitions (UIA - Italy, S. Korea, Egypt) and elected member of the board of administrators at the European Forum for Architectural Policies (EFAP)

Exhibitions and curatorial projects and events (UK, France, Japan, Cyprus, Greece, Italy) contributing to the public understanding of research on architectural and city issues at a national/international level.

Funding

Research Grant Support

  • Youth in Action EU programme 15.000 Euros for the "Athens Travellers" SARCHA project (2011)
  • Youth in Action EU programme 10.000 Euros for the "Polypolis Gerani" SARCHA project (2011)
  • Hellenic Ministry for the Environment 15.000 Euros for the "CityCommonResource (CCR) Athens Gerani", SARCHA pilot study (2010)
  • Economic and Society Research Council (ESRC) UK, through the Democracy and Space Network 3.000 GBP for the "Negotiating the Un-built Space and Democracy" SARCHA international conference (2008)

Involvement With Research Funding Bodies

  • Technical Manager
    "Resilient Urbanism: Rights and the City in the Age of Austerity (RES_URB)", FP7 SSH proposal, preparation/submission stage under the coordination of Newcastle University (Prof M Dorrian) (2013)The FP7 preparation stage was funded by the AHRC, 8,544.50 GBP (2012)
  • Project manager
    (Preparation/submission/approval stage): EU - Japan exchange Programme "ON: the Modern and the Contemporary in European and Japanese culture" 25.000 euros (2004)
    (All stages- preparation to implementation): Two ACHI-MED, EU projects: "Mapping of Historical Migrations and Preservation of their traces within the Mediterranean Area", and "Risk map of the Cultural Heritage and Mapping of cultural landscape" 600.000 Euros (1996-2001)
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