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Professor Teresa Stoppani

Professor Teresa Stoppani
Contact Details
Professor Teresa Stoppani


School of Art, Architecture & Design

0113 81 21701

About Professor Teresa Stoppani

Teresa Stoppani (DrArch IUAV, Architetto IUAV, PhD Arch&UD Florence) is an architectural theorist and critic. She has taught architectural design and theory at the IUAV in Venice, the Architectural Association in London, the University of Greenwich, RMIT University in Melbourne, the University of Technology of Sydney, and the University of Brighton. She is Professor of Architecture and Head of the Leeds School of Architecture at Leeds Beckett University, and Adjunct Professor of Architectural History and Theory at UTS Sydney.

Teresa’s research interests are the relationship between architecture theory and the design process in the urban environment, and the influence on the specifically architectural of other spatial and critical practices.

Teresa’s writings are published internationally in edited books and in academic journals, and include:

  • Considerations on G.B. Piranesi’s architectural space in relation to contemporary spatial practices (in Footprint, Haecceity Papers, The Journal of Architecture).
  • An exploration of the significance of dust in the works of W. Benjamin, G. Bataille and in the visual arts and media (Idea Journal, Log, The Journal of Architecture).
  • Essays on the grid and the map which reconsider space as apparently measured, ordered and controlled but subject to new configurations of systematisation (47 al fondo, Angelaki, ARQ).
  • A study of the complex relation of the project of architecture with the destructive event of war and terrorism; (Space & Culture, lo Squaderno).
  • Observations on the critical nature of architecture for the 13th Venice Architecture Biennale (in D. Chipperfield (ed.), Common Ground. Critical Reader, Marsilio 2012)
  • An exploration of the connection between the material and the critical in architectural representation, through a study of practices erasures (in I. Wingham (ed.), Mobility of the Line, Birkhauser, 2013).
  • Paradigm Islands: Manhattan and Venice (Routledge 2010).

Her current work proposes a critical consideration of key terms for the reconceptualization of the architecture of the city (forthcoming book X Unorthodox Ways to Rethink the City of Architecture, Routledge 2016).

Teresa is member of the editorial boards of the EAHN journal Architectural Histories and of the Cambridge Scholars book series Three Crosses: Art, Architecture, Criticism, a contributing editor of Ultima Thule: Journal of Architectural Imagination, and member of the Architectural Humanities Research Association steering group.

Areas of Expertise
Architectural History;  Architectual Theory;  Contemporary Architectual Culture; Design and the Urban Environment; Urban Paradigms;  Spatial Practices;  Manfredo Tafuri;  Giovanni Battista Piranesi; Venice; Architectural Representations and Graphic Spaces; Mapping and Critical Cartographies;  Architecture and Disaster;  Dust.

Current Teaching

Teresa is Head of Architecture at the School of Art Architecture and Design, and director of the PhD in Architecture programme. She supervises postgraduate dissertations and thesis projects, and lectures on Architectural History and Theory in the Architecture’s Cultural Context undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

Research Interests

The different strands of Teresa’s research address the issue of making and representing space in the urban context, and the role of architecture in it.

Proposes an understanding of the city and its processes beyond the reference to the urban cultural context, by drawing categories from other disciplines. It produces an open reading of the city that traverses different disciplines - the visual arts, art and architecture history, architecture theory, but also land surveying, cartography, film, philosophy and critical theory - to identify a series of interpretative ‘figures’ that are ambiguously placed between the representation and the construction of space (in the city). Publications in this area: journal article ‘Scenic Chorality and Urban Space: Radio City Music Hall and the “Daula Law”’ (2001); journal article ‘Delirium and Historical Project’ (2003); book chapter ‘The Reversible City: Exhibition(ism), Chorality and Tenderness in Manhattan and Venice’ (2006); journal article ‘Venetian Time and the Meander’ (2008); book chapter ‘The Island. Considerations for the City Without Boundaries’ (2010); journal article ‘Relational Architecture: Dense voids and violent laughters’ (2014). The book Paradigm Islands: Manhattan and Venice. Discourses on Architecture and the City (Routledge 2010) considers architecture as an intellectual and spatial process in the city and addresses the issue of an architecture of the dynamic after the crises of Modernism. The forthcoming book X Unorthodox Ways to Rethink the City of Architecture (Routledge 2016) moves away from specific urban contexts to focus on a series of abstract categories for the interpretation and representation of the city through architecture.

Reconsiders the map as a system of representation, but also as an intellectual and political project of space. From the ‘portraits’ of cities of early bird’s-eye-views to the measured space of ichnography, the conventions and the ‘lies’ of the map reveal mapmaking as a never neutral production of space. Always partial, never co-extensive with that which it maps, mapping establishes a relation of difference with its terrain.  At the same time, mapping produces also an excess to the terrain, becoming a generative tool that generates and accommodates the many possible unfoldings of the project(s). Publications: catalogue essay ‘Translations: The Map as Project. An Experiment in Venice’ (2003); journal article ‘Mapping. The Locus of the Project’ (2004); edited journal Antipodes / Measuring the World, Haecceity Papers 2/1 (2006); journal article (in Spanish) ‘Antípodas. Proyectos para una nueva cartografía’ (2007); journal article ‘Eyes that see: urban trompe-l’oeil as a critical act’ (2011); catalogue essay ‘Depiction’ in The Work of Luc Deleu – T.O.P. office (2012); book chapter ‘You are here: localizzazioni e smarrimenti cartografici’ (2012).

A series of works concerned with the critical representation and display of architecture and its paradigms. Includes: a critique of architectural typology and of the museum space (in collaboration with architect and artist Lieven De Boeck); a study of the relationship between painting, architectural space and projected image; a study of the role of the grid in structuring urban and architectural space, proposing the grid as an agent of the making of space rather than as a form or as a device for representation. Publications: journal articles ‘Europe Research Studio’ and ‘Palace for the EU President’ (with L. De Boeck, 2004); catalogue essay ‘Seven Thoughts on a Sin (Typology)’ (2005); book chapter ‘The Undoing of the Museum. The Manual, the Architect and the Millionaire’ (2005); journal article ‘Grid Effects’ (2009); journal article ‘After the First Miracle: Greenaway on “Veronese”’ (2010); journal article ‘The Architecture of the Disaster’ (2012); essay ‘Material Lines: Apocalypse, Capricci, War and Other Disasters’ (2014).

In the etchings of 18th century architect Giovanni Battista Piranesi Rome becomes a laboratory for a questioning of architecture that goes well beyond the debate on style and on the origin of architecture that dominated the discipline’s discourse in Piranesi’s time. Piranesi’s works offer visions of impossible spaces that anticipate contemporary urban congestion, the blurring of boundaries and the viral and parasitic inhabitations of the contemporary city. This study of the symptoms of modernity in Piranesi’s works is proposed as a ‘think-pad’ for contemporary architecture and theory. Publications: journal article ‘Voyaging in Piranesi’s Space. A contemporary re-reading of the beginnings of modernity’ (2006); journal article ‘Translucent and fluid: Piranesi’s impossible plan’ (2007); review ‘Piranesi in Ghent’ (2009); journal article ‘The Vague, the Viral, the Parasitic: Piranesi’s Metropolis’ (2009); exhibition and catalogue ‘Piranesi’s Carceri: Space After Representation’ (2011); book chapter ‘Material and Critical: Piranesi’s Erasures’ (2013).

Proposes the idea of dust in relation to architecture, as a material agent of the undoing of form, an index of the disruption of social conventions of gender, privacy and domesticity, and as a critical and disruptive tool to explore what remains after the explosion of architecture’s established orders. Characterized by heterogeneity, by constitutional multiplicity, by instability and change, dust opens the possibility of new assemblages: in the pulverized the fragment loses any reference to an a priori whole(ness) and form, and is rediscovered as a generative possibility for the production of space as growth (as inorganic breeding). Publications: journal article ‘Dusty Stories of Woman. Notes for a Re-Definition of Dust’ (2005); journal article ‘Dust revolutions. Dust, informe, architecture (notes for a reading of Dust in Bataille)’ (2007); journal article ‘Dust makings. On Walter Benjamin’s Passagen-Werk and some contemporary dusty makings in architecture’ (2007); journal article ‘Venetian Dusts’ (2009); journal article ‘Dustings, vacuum cleaners, (war) machines and the disappearance of the interior’ (2012); book chapter ‘Antigone’s Dissident Dustings: coatings, revolutions and the circularity of dust’ (2013).

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