r-lab team

Peter Lang  is founder and Director of R-Lab NA. This advanced research platform emerged from the cross-disciplinary, post-graduate course developed at the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm, during his tenure as Professor of Architectural Theory and History.  Previously he was Associate Professor at the College of Architecture at Texas A&M University. Lang holds a Bachelor in Architecture from Syracuse University and earned a PhD in Italian history and urbanism at New York University. He is a Fulbright recipient in Italian studies. Lang works on the history and theory of post-war Italian architecture and design, with a focus on sixties Italian experimental design, media and environments. His work also addresses global issues from sustainable development to transformations in urban culture. Lang has curated exhibitions  on the Italian Radical Design and on cities and society.  He has been a member of the Rome based urban arts research group Stalker since 1997. He is foreign correspondent for the New York based Architect’s Newspaper. 

Frances Hsu is an architect, author and educator whose research and teaching interests and expertise lie in the global histories of urban cultures in Europe. Her essays on Dutch modern and contemporary architectural discourse with a focus on the work of Rem Koolhaas appear in Journal of Architectural Education, Footprint/Delft Architecture Theory Journal, Clog, Spielraum-Walter Benjamin et L’ Architecture, A Critical History of Contemporary Architecture 1960-2010 and Arkkitehti/Finnish Architecture Review.

Hsu received a B.S. Architecture from the University of Virginia, a Master of Architecture from Harvard University and her Ph.D. from the ETH in Zürich. Hsu worked at the Office for Metropolitan Architecture in Rotterdam, for Ben van Berkel in Amsterdam and Peter Eisenman in New York City. She was a Visiting Scholar at Columbia University and received a Wheelwright Fellowship from Harvard University. She taught at Georgia Insitute of Technology, Mississippi State University, Aalto University and University of North Carolina Charlotte where she leads courses in history/theory and architectural design studios on the phenomena of urban growth.

Nicholas Boyarsky PhD, AA Dipl, BA(Hons), RIBA, ARB  trained at the Architectural Association in London, graduating in 1988. He worked for Zaha Hadid on projects in Berlin and Hamburg, for Michael Hopkins on Bracken House, and for Stefano de Martino on Chiat Day’s London offices before establishing BMA with Nicola Murphy in 1994.

Nicholas has lectured and taught at many European, North American and Far Eastern schools of architecture and contributed to conferences, symposia and workshops. He has been a Visiting Professor in the US, at Cornell, RISD and NJIT, at Bergen Architecture School in Norway, and at NCKU in Taiwan. He directed Syracuse University’s London architecture programme from 2007 to 2010. Nicholas taught a design studio at the Bartlett, London in the Masters of Urban Design course from 2010-2012. He is currently teaching a fifth year studio at Oxford Brookes with a collaborative project based in the post-socialist landscapes of the Balkans and the Baltics (the Baltikans) alongside Peter Lang, the Italian group Stalker, and schools of architecture in Stockholm and Sarajevo. Nicholas is a founding member of the Urban Flashes network. He recently completed his PhD ‘Serious Play – A Deltiology of Practice‘ as part of RMIT University’s invitational Practice Based Research (PRS) program. He is currently a Professor of Architecture, Industry Fellow at RMIT University where he teaches on the PRS PhD programmes in Ho Chi Minh City and Barcelona.

Nicola Murphy AA Dipl trained at the Architectural Association in London, graduating in 1989. She worked for OMA on Checkpoint Charlie in Berlin, for Sauerbruch Hutton on the GSW tower in Berlin, for Stefano de Martino on Chiat Day’s London offices and for Swanke Hayden Connell on Deutsche Bank’s London head quarters before establishing BMA with Nicholas Boyarsky.

Nicola has lectured and taught at many European schools of architecture. She currently teaches interior design at Chelsea College of Art & Design and she previously taught at London Metropolitan University. Her interests include exhibition design, the design of furniture and bespoke built-in elements, for which she is currently developing a number of prototypes, landscape design and the development and use of innovative and experimental materials. Nicola is a founding editor of Black Dog Publication’s Serial Books.

Nick Dines is an urban sociologist and social historian currently based at the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies at the European University Institute, Florence, Italy. He has a PhD in Italian Studies from University Colllege London and has worked at a number of UK and Italian academic institutions including Queen Mary University London, Kings College London, Middlesex University and Roma Tre University. His research cuts across the fields of urban studies, international migration and critical heritage studies. 

Among his various publications, Nick is the author of the monograph Tuff City: Urban Change and Contested Space in Central Naples (Berghahn, 2012) and the forthcoming open-access bookMigration and Cities (Springer, 2020). He is also the director of the documentary film Fuggifuggi: Memories of an Earthquake (2005). Among his present projects, he is developing research on the politics of cultural diversity in Rabat and Cape Town.

Isabel Löfgren is a Swedish-Brazilian artist, researcher, writer and educator based in Stockholm, Sweden, interested in participatory art/film/curatorial practices; digital and non-digital network cultures; the philosophy of space; and diasporic memory. Her projects often have an international approach focusing on connecting off-center geographies in the Global North and the Global South, across several platforms and disciplines. An essentially social being, her works often involves a wide range of collaborators such educators, artists, architects, filmmakers, activist/political/art collectives, and local communities.

Löfgren earned has an MFA from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro in 2007, and a PhD in Philosophy, Art and Critical Thought from the European Graduate School in Switzerland in 2015. She is currently a Senior Lecturer in Media Studies at Södertörn University in Stockholm, Sweden, where she teaches courses in critical media production, media activism and media philosophy. She has previously worked in art institutions such as Index – The Swedish Contemporary Art Foundation, and collaborates frequently with art and architectural programs as guest lecturer and guest critic, such as RIA R-Lab, KTH Masters in Urbanism, Södertörn Masters in Art History & Aesthetics, and elsewhere. 

Her PhD thesis “Satellite Cities, Satellite Subjects: Art, Media, and Migration and the Ethics of Hospitality in Divided Cities”, looks at patterns of segregation in modernist Swedish suburbs by means of philosophical inquiry into host-guest relations as they are expressed in urban design, artistic/curatorial practices, and diasporic mediascapes in divided cities. This approach extends to other geographies affected by multiple modernities and its effects on urban diasporic memory. Since 2015 she co-authors a long-term research project “Black Mother” that looks into issues of archival research, visual and urban justice movements in the context of the memorialization of slavery in Brazil. In 2016-17, she participated in R-Lab: Baltic/Balkans – The Missing Europe at the Royal Institute of Art, looking at the role of motherhood in activating public spaces and demands for war reparations. In 2016, she co-founded the Institute for the Decolonization of Art – IDA, an artistic research collective based in Stockholm (www.i-d-a.se) working on mapping and documenting artistic practices by diaspora artists in Sweden. She has recently written about art and media activism in Brazil, including a philosophical approach to critical meme cultures and political resistance. 

Matthew Ashton is an architect, designer and researcher based in Stockholm. In 2014 he co-founded the architectural practice SP-ARC together with Sofie Tolf. He was trained at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm and UMA in Umeå, as well as studying Architectural History and Theory at the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm. His research work often explores the hidden edge of architecture and the built environment, investigating sites of material production and extraction, the politics of speculative development and the large scale spatial consequences of architecture, media and technology.  

In 2015 Matthew developed and co-ordinated the workshop “Monument to the Rubble of the Future”, bringing together 13 artists and architects to the site of an abandoned limestone quarry on the outskirts of Malmö for three days to interrogate the relationship between cities and the materials they are constructed with. Matthew has exhibited work at Gallery Mejan and Mindepartementet in Stockholm, and developed the exhibition design for the “S-Space Mondial Festival “ show curated by Peter Lang, which was held at the Vancouver Art Gallery in 2016.

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