Dr Alexandra Stara

School: School of Art and Architecture
Position: Associate Professor & Reader in the History & Theory of Architecture

Biography

Dr Alexandra Stara directs research students and graduate history and theory in the School of Architecture & Landscape, where she was previously also course director for the MA Architecture: Thinking Building. She is a qualified architect with masters degrees in advanced architectural studies from the Bartlett UCL, and the history and philosophy of architecture from the University of Cambridge, and a doctorate in the history of art from the University of Oxford. She has lectured, examined and published internationally on the hermeneutics of art, architecture and the modern museum for the past twenty years. She was a dissertation judge for the RIBA President's Medals in 2009 and 2011, and chaired the panel from 2012 to 2014. She is currently on the RIBA Research Grants Sub-Committee, a referee for a number of international publications on art and architecture, and a member of the editorial board of The Architectural Review.

Related links

Research expertise

Stara's research revolves around the interface of architecture with the arts and the relationship of past and present in contemporary practice. She has been exploring these relationships across historical and contemporary manifestations, focusing on questions of continuity, the invention of heritage and the changing role of collecting and curating, as well as the medium of photography and ideas of place and identity. Her book on the Museum of Monuments, the first volume in two centuries on this seminal 18th century collection of architectural fragments, traces changing attitudes towards material culture through the notions of national heritage, historic monument and the quest for collective identity in emerging modernity. Questions of identity have underpinned Stara's research into contemporary art and architectural practice, focusing specifically on the role of place and its representations. Two edited volumes, on curating architecture and the city, and on explorations of trauma in art and literature, map different aspects of these questions across media. Photography as a means of investigating architecture and the urban fabric is an ongoing concern for Stara, and has so far been the focus of journal articles, conference papers and collaborative public events, as well as an Arts Council funded exhibition. Building on exploratory work developed through several book chapters and conference papers since 2010, Stara is currently working on a research project investigating ways in which architectural practice in recent years has returned to a critical engagement with historical precedent.

Teaching areas & responsibilities

Research Student's Director for the School
Director of Studies and Supervisor for PhD Students across the Faculty
Module leader for graduate history and theory of architecture
Tutor for undergraduate history and theory of architecture
Reviewer and examiner for graduate and undergraduate architecture design studio

Professional activity

  • 2016Judge for the Academy of Finland's Research Awards
  • 2015 - presentMember of the RIBA Research Grants Sub-Committee
  • 2014 - presentEditorial Board Member for The Architectural Review
  • 2014 - 2016Judge for the Queen's Anniversary Prizes for Higher and Further Education
  • 2014 - presentExternal Examiner for MA History, Theory & Interpretation, CASS, London Metropolitan University
  • 2012 - 2014Chair of the Panel for the RIBA President's Medals Dissertation Award
  • 2011Judge for the RIBA President's Medals Dissertation Award
  • 2009Judge for the RIBA President's Medals Dissertation Award
  • 1998 - presentInvited Member of the Hellenic Society for Aesthetics

Educational and professional qualifications

  • 2015SFHEA Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • 1999DPhil (PhD) Department of the History of Art, University of Oxford
  • 1993MPhil in the history & philosophy of architecture Department of Architecture, University of Cambridge
  • 1991MSc in advanced architectural studies Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London
  • 1990Technical Chamber of Greece Registered Architect
  • 1990Diploma in Architecture National Technical University of Athens

Conferences & events

Recent papers and selected events:

Invited presentation at symposium on 'Art Museum Architecture' at Gothenburg Museum of Art, Gothenburg, Sweden, 9 October 2015

'Nature and artifice in Nadav Kander's Yangtze', paper at the conference Riverine, University of Kent School of Architecture, 25-26 June 2014

Invited presentation and session chair at symposium on contemporary photography and architecture Constructing the View, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, 1-3 November 2013

'Beyond Form: The relevance of the tectonic', paper at the conference Form Finding, Form Shaping, Designing Architecture, University of Italian Switzerland, Academy of Architecture, Mendrisio, 10-11 October 2013

'Ghosts of Place: Displacement and Identity in the work of Ori Gersht', paper at the conference Migration, Memory and Place, University of Copenhagen & Arken Museum of Modern Art, 5-7 December 2012

'Architectural Fragment as Museum Object', paper at the 33rd conference of the Comité Internationale d' Histoire de l'Art, Nuremberg, 15-20 July 2012

'Architecture's Sensible Character: On the idea of the tectonic', paper at the conference Ethics and Aesthetics of Architecture & the Built Environment, Newcastle 11-13 July 2012

'Phenomenology as Architectural Praxis', refereed paper at the conference Architecture and Phenomenology, Kyoto Seika University, Kyoto, Japan, 26-29 June 2009

'Photography as Alternative Urbanism', organiser and chair of debate at the Architecture Foundation, 10 November 2009

Co-organiser and session convenor of the 4th Architecture and Humanities Research Association Conference, Architecture, Urbanism and Curatorship, Kingston University, School of Architecture and Landscape, 17-18 November 2007

Invited speaker at day symposium on photography and the city in the series Containing Culture, MIRIAD, Manchester Metropolitan University, 28 June 2007

Exhibitions

Strange Places: Urban Landscape Photography, conception & curation of exhibition with 11 international artists, Stanley Picker Gallery, Kingston, 30 Sept – 21 Nov 2009

London Orbital, invited participation in art exhibition, Stanley Picker Gallery, Kingston, 14-24 June 2006

Research groups & programmes

Research supervision


Publications

Number of items: 41.

Article

Stara, Alexandra (2013) 'Making Strange': The Photography of Steffi Klenz and Thomas Weinberger. History of Photography, 37(3), pp. 353-359. ISSN (print) 0308-7298

Stara, Alexandra (2012) Women are now on average more highly educated than men. The Architects' Journal, 235(1), pp. 30-31. ISSN (print) 0003-8466

Stara, Alexandra (2010) Planung fur Rainham Marshes Nature Reserve in Ost-London, Grossbritannien: architekt Peter Beard, London. Bauwelt, 43(10), p. 34. ISSN (print) 0005-6855

Stara, Alexandra (2009) A journey elsewhere: in search of Steffi Klenz's Dagenham Heathway. London Independent Photography, Spring(12), pp. 24-25. ISSN (print) 1746-4153

Stara, Alexandra (2009) The new Acropolis Museum. The Architectural Review, CCXXV(1348), pp. 24-26. ISSN (print) 0003-861X

Stara, Alexandra (2008) Architecture is no picture. KIOSK(2), pp. 56-59. ISSN (print) 1755-9626

Stara, Alexandra [Reviewer] (2008) Book Review of: Exit-architecture: design between war and peace by Stephan Truby, with forward by Heiner Muhlmann, translated by Robert Payne. The Architects' Journal, p. 53. ISSN (print) 0003-8466

Stara, Alexandra [Reviewer] (2008) Joseph and the amazing van Eyck. The Architects' Journal, 227(18), pp. 49-50. ISSN (print) 0003-8466

Daskalaki, Maria, Stara, Alexandra and Imas, Miguel (2008) The 'Parkour Organisation': inhabitation of corporate spaces. Culture and Organization, 14(1), pp. 49-64. ISSN (print) 1475-9551

Stara, Alexandra (2007) Madder Rose: Lynch Architects' east London gallery draws on the history of the type and the life of the street. Architecture Today, 175, pp. 40-49. ISSN (print) 0958-6407

Stara, Alexandra (2005) Re-membering. Scroope: Cambridge Architecture Journal, pp. 136-143. ISSN (print) 0966-1026

Stara, Alexandra (2003) London. AA Files, 49, pp. 14-19. ISSN (print) 0261-6823

Stara, Alexandra (2000) On the problem of history in the museum. Annals For Aesthetics, 39, pp. 163-174. ISSN (print) 1105-0462

Stara, Alexandra (1993) The museum as dialectics of distance. Scroope: Cambridge Architecture Journal(5), pp. 17-19. ISSN (print) 0966-1026

Book

Benyei, Tamas and Stara, Alexandra, eds. (2014) The edges of trauma: explorations in visual art and literature. Newcastle upon Tyne : Cambridge Scholars Publishing. 224p. ISBN 9781443853422

Stara, Alexandra (2013) The Museum of French Monuments 1795-1816: killing art to make history. Farnham, U.K. : Ashgate. 198p. (The Histories of Material Culture and Collecting, 1700-1950) ISBN 9781409437994

Chaplin, Sarah and Stara, Alexandra, eds. (2002) Curating architecture and the city. Abingdon, U.K. : Routledge. 258p. (AHRA Critiques: Critical studies in architectural humanities) ISBN 9780415489836

Book Section

Stara, Alexandra (2015) Ghosts of place: displacement and identity in the work of Ori Gersht. In: Pultz Moslund, Sten , Ring Petersen, Anne and Schramm, Moritz, (eds.) The culture of migration: politics, aesthetics and histories. London, U.K. : I. B. Tauris. pp. 257-269. ISBN 9781784533106

Stara, Alexandra (2015) The Louvre Effect. In: Kristoffer, Arvidsson, (ed.) Skiascope 7: Art, Museum, Architecture. Gothenburg, Sweden : Gothenburg Museum of Art. pp. 50-87. (Skiascope: Annual Publication of the Gothenburg Museum of Art) ISBN 9789187968921

Stara, Alexandra (2015) On mimesis and type in the work of Lynch Architects. In: Lynch Architects, , (ed.) Mimesis: Lynch Architects. London, U.K. : Artifice Books on Architecture. pp. 23-70. ISBN 9781908967664

Stara, Alexandra (2015) Rehearsals. In: Stewart, Christopher and Teichmann, Esther, (eds.) Staging Disorder. London : Black Dog Publishing. pp. 14-16. ISBN 9781910433157

Benyei, Tamas and Stara, Alexandra (2014) Introduction: the arts of trauma. In: Benyei, Tamas and Stara, Alexandra, (eds.) The edges of trauma: explorations in visual art and literature. Newcastle upon Tyne : Cambridge Scholars Publishing. pp. 1-17. ISBN 9781443853422

Stara, Alexandra (2014) Traces of trauma: the photography of Ori Gersht. In: Benyei, Tamas and Stara, Alexandra, (eds.) The edges of trauma: explorations in visual art and literature. Newcastle upon Tyne, U.K. : Cambridge Scholars Publishing. pp. 181-190. ISBN 9781443853422

Stara, Alexandra (2012) Architectural poetics in Alvaro Siza's Church of Santa Maria. In: Emmons, Paul , Lomholt, Jane and Hendrix, John, (eds.) The cultural role of architecture. Abingdon, U.K. : Routledge. pp. 123-131. ISBN 9780415783408

Stara, Alexandra (2012) National history as biography: Alexandre Lenoir's Museum of French Monuments. In: Hill, Kate, (ed.) Museums and biographies: stories, objects, identities. Woodbridge, U.K. : Boydell & Brewer. pp. 265-276. (Heritage Matters) ISBN 9781843837275

Stara, Alexandra (2010) Cultivating architects: the humanities in architectural education. In: Bandyopadhyay, Soumyen , Lomholt, Jane , Temple, Nicholas and Tobe, Renée, (eds.) The Humanities in Architectural Design: A contemporary and Historical Perspective. Oxford, U.K. : Routledge. pp. 28-35. ISBN 9780415551144

Chaplin, Sarah and Stara, Alexandra (2009) Introduction. In: Chaplin, Sarah and Stara, Alexandra, (eds.) Curating architecture and the city. Abingdon, U.K. : Routledge. pp. 1-5. (AHRA Critiques: Critical studies in architectural humanities) ISBN 9780415489836

Stara, Alexandra (2009) Urban fictions with the office for subversive architecture. In: Chaplin, Sarah and Stara, Alexandra, (eds.) Curating architecture and the city. Abingdon, U.K. : Routledge. pp. 233-245. (AHRA Critiques: Critical studies in architectural humanities) ISBN 9780415489836

Stara, Alexandra (2008) Office for subversive architecture (OSA). In: Smith, Deborah, (ed.) In the space of elsewhere. Kingston-upon-Thames, UK : Stanley Picker Gallery. pp. 35-38. ISBN 9780955474484

Conference or Workshop Item

Stara, Alexandra (2017) The radicality of mimesis : towards a proposition for contemporary architecture. In: Copycat. Dealing with Dangerous Mimesis; 23-25 Feb 2017, Weimar, Germany. (Unpublished)

Stara, Alexandra (2014) City and river in contemporary landscape photography. In: Riverine Conference 2014; 26-28 Jun 2014, Canterbury, U.K. (Unpublished)

Stara, Alexandra (2013) Beyond form: the relevance of the tectonic. In: Form Finding, Form Shaping, Designing Architecture; 10-11 Oct 2013, Mendrisio, Switzerland. (Unpublished)

Stara, Alexandra (2010) Architectural poetics in Alvaro Siza's Parochial Centre of Marco de Canaveses. In: The Cultural Role of Architecture; 23 - 25 Jun 2010, Lincoln, U.K.. (Unpublished)

Stara, Alexandra (2010) Making strange in urban landscape photography: the work of Steffi Klenz and Thomas Weinberger. In: Emerging Landscapes; 25 - 27 Jun 2010, London, U.K.. (Unpublished)

Stara, Alexandra [Organizer of meeting], Luxemburg, Rut Blees [Speaker], Collins, Hannah [Speaker], McCarthy, Tom [Speaker] and Lynch, Patrick [Speaker] (2010) Photography as alternative urbanism. In: Photography as alternative urbanism; 10 Nov 2010, London, U.K.. (Unpublished)

Stara, Alexandra (2010) Traces of trauma: the work of Ori Gersht. In: Exploring the Edge of Trauma; 13 - 16 May 2010, Chichester, U.K.. (Unpublished)

Stara, Alexandra (2009) Phenomenology as architectural praxis: two houses in East Anglia. In: Architecture + phenomenology; 26-29 Jun 2009, Kyoto, Japan. (Unpublished)

Stara, Alexandra (2008) Displacement as enchantment: the poetic potential of the museum. In: Location: the museum, the academy and the studio. 34th AAH Annual Conference; 2-4 Apr 2008, London, UK. (Unpublished)

Stara, Alexandra (2007) Cultivating architects: the humanities in architectural education. In: The Role of the Humanities in Design Creativity; 15-16 Nov 2007, University of Lincoln, Lincoln, U.K.. (Unpublished)

Stara, Alexandra (2007) The revelatory frame: curating the city through art photography. In: Architecture, urbanism & curatorship: 4th annual AHRA international conference; 17 - 18 Nov 2007, Kingston upon Thames, U.K.. (Unpublished)

Exhibition

Stara, Alexandra [Curator of an exhibition] (2009) Strange places: urban landscape photography. Strange places: urban landscape photography. , 30 Sep - 21 Nov 2009 , Kingston-upon-Thames, U.K..

This list was generated on Tue Mar 21 21:00:32 2017 GMT.
Alexandra_Stara_47F3009.jpg
The Museum of French Monuments 1795-1816 'Killing art to make history'
Alexandra_Stara_I4E2914.jpg
Curating Architecture and the City
Alexandra_Stara_DQG5847.jpg
The Edges of Trauma