AA Dialogues: Assemble’s Jane Hall with Summer Islam


The technical and bureaucratic complexity of “making” leads to simplification, categorization and the ultimate abandonment of discourse which is left within the academic sphere. How to resist and inhabit the precious blurry lines between different fields, practice and research, design and use? Jane Hall, a member of Turner prize winning Studio Assemble in conversation with Summer Islam of 6A Architects will reflect on history of that quest, where we are and where we can be.

Assemble are a collective based in London who work across the fields of art, architecture and design. They began working together in 2010 and are comprised of 18 members. Assemble’s working practice seeks to address the typical disconnection between the public and the process by which places are made. Assemble champion a working practice that is interdependent and collaborative, seeking to actively involve the public as both participant and collaborator in the on-going realisation of the work. Assemble were awarder Turner Prize in 2015.

Jane Hall is a founding member of Assemble. She studied architecture at King’s College Cambridge and the Royal College of Art and she was the inaugural recipient of the British Council’s Lina Bo Bardi Fellowship (2013). She is currently a PhD candidate at the RCA where her research compares the work of Lina Bo Bardi and Alison and Peter Smithson, to explore the way in which postwar architecture evolved within the context of the Modern Art Movement on both sides of the Atlantic.  Her work on public space, occupation and collective action in Brazil has been published in Blueprint magazine, The Architectural Review and most recently, Matzine.

Summer Islam is an associate at 6a architects in London. Alongside practice, Summer teaches a design studio for the MA in Architecture at the London Metropolitan University. She graduated from the Architectural Association with Honours in 2014 having subsequently taught at the AA Visiting School in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Summer recently undertook research into the work of Aino Aalto as part of the Forgotten Masters series at the Royal Academy.

Please note: Priority will be given to Members and alumni of the Architectural Association. Please bring your AA Membership card. If you are not a Member of the AA but wish to attend, please e-mail events@aaschool.ac.uk.

Curated by Marko Milovanovic, AA Dialogues is about AA Members and alumni taking an active part in conversations. Come with questions, ideas and thoughts to explore how other ‘makers’ operate on the edges or outside of the architectural field to inform or challenge how we identify ourselves, work and think. Are we in fact becoming more and more collaborative and how do we handle a contemporary obsession to define who we are instead of what we do?

Image Credit: Alison and Peter Smithson © AA Photo Library