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Department of Architecture


The Martin Centre Lectures - 52nd Series 


The building of architecture is often seen as a tectonic, material process - inanimate matter collected together to form fixed space. While 'life' might be seen as the contents of architecture, existing in and around it, the architecture itself can also be seen as 'alive'. Buildings breathe, consume, grow, shrink, decay, age, mature and undergo many other processes we associate with life.

Our goal for this seminar series is to draw together diverse voices from aesthetics, archaeology, heritage, material science, performance architecture and other disciplines to explore these ideas within our contemporary context of the climate emergency and the many other challenges we currently face as a society.

More about the Martin Centre Lectures

The Martin Centre Research Seminar Series is one of the longest-running in the field, with the current one being the 52nd annual series. The seminar series is hosted and supported by the Martin Centre for Architectural and Urban Studies, the research arm of the Department of Architecture at the University of Cambridge. The seminars are held every Wednesday during term time at 1.30pm UK time in the Faculty’s lecture room. They are typically well-attended by both staff and students in the department, as well as by members from the University and the wider Cambridge community. You can find out more about the Martin Centre Research Seminar Series on our website and the virtual seminars can be found on YouTube

All the seminars will be held in Lecture Room 1, Scroope Terrace and online via Zoom from 1:30-2:30pm. Register here:

Easter term 2022:

  • 25 May  Live screening: Three short films about life and buildings
  • 1 June   Transformative Spaces - Marziah Zad and Raha Ashrafi (founders of Ashrafi & Zad)
  • 8 June   Public architecture before 'the market' became a deity - Kate Macintosh, MBE (pioneering local authority architect)
  • 15 June  Cathedrals in the air: architecture in sound and memory - Dr Fiona Smyth (Trinity College, Dublin and author of 'Acoustical Sparks'

Previous Lecture Series

Previous lectures are now available on our YouTube channel:

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