Tools for Spatial Practice – workshop

23 April 2016

The White Building
Sat 23 Apr, 10am –  6pm
Tickets available here



Intensive and hands-on, theoretical and practical, this workshop will begin to triangulate three key terms: site responsive, the cognised environment and spatial imagination. These are central topics to the Estranged Space research network that explores spaces of affect and resonant agencies within architectural settings. We will interrogate the theories of Bachelard, Foucault, Massumi and the works of site responsive artists to evolve a critical practice connected to reality acquisition through installation.

This session intends to foster a reciprocal becoming of an active space featuring a circulation of internal, embodied space with the affirmation of external agencies and vice versa.

We aim to create an interactive experience where Tools for Spatial Practice enables you to become part of/or influence the world of spatial exploration. This workshop is accessible to people of all backgrounds interested in transforming frontiers of art, architecture and critical theory.

Estranged Space is a group of spatial practitioners, who deploy a wide range of tools and techniques to create site-responsive interventions within spaces that are contested, unsettling, peripheral and displaced. Through its work the group explores notions of perception, (re)interpretation, narrative and place. Dr. Mathew Emmett and David Littlefield are co-founders of Estranged Space. Their core areas of focus are:

Installation and Projection

We seek to redefine and challenge our understanding of estranged spaces through a range of experimental practices including site-specific installation, film and projection. Works include the generation of new spatial configurations that affect action, connections and meaning.

Heritage and Authenticity

Heritage and Authenticity are contested terms. Estranged Space explores and tests these concepts through the application of theory (drawn from archaeology, architecture, psychology, philosophy and cultural studies), mediated through art and design practice, to sites of historical and cultural significance.

Mapping and Perception

The study of perception not only allows us to examine the reciprocal effects of space (space acts upon the mind; the mind acts upon it). Mapping tools enable us to scrutinise and better understand these interactions, enabling us to interrogate reality’s elasticity.


Analogue equipment: General art and design supplies for 2D communication & 3D prototyping (including documentation tools i.e. camera, video recorder & sound recorders - smart phones will suffice). Sketchbooks, paper (detail paper roll - optional), pencils, colored markers, erasers, scale rulers, masking tape, glue, scissors, scrap material etc.

Digital/electronics (optional): Laptops, interactives, electronics (sensors & actuators) and any audiovisual kit. (Please note this workshop will not teach coding/circuit bending, rather the critical deployment thereof).


Dr Mathew Emmett AADipl, BSc RIBA ARB is an artist, architect and researcher in situated cognition whose work leads to new territories of spatial practice. Among other collaborations and international commissions Emmett works with Eberhard Kranemann (co founder of Kraftwerk), choreographer Adam Benjamin, Perception Lab and Charles Jencks. Emmett is the cofounder of the pan-university research group Estranged Space working on a wide range of sites including WWII bunkers, the Roman Baths and World Heritage Sites. Emmett studied architecture at the Bartlett School of Architecture, The Architectural Association, Central St Martins and in 2007 attended the Karlheinz Stockhausen sound interpretation and composition workshop, Kürten, Germany. Emmett has exhibited in Switzerland, Germany & the Royal Academy, London. The Weithorn Galerie, Düsseldorf, represents Emmett.