Symposium: Progressive Landscapes

Autumnal view at Newton House at Dinefwr, Llandeilo, Carmarthenshire, Wales

On 16 March, 2019 Dinefwr will begin its season of events relating to the National Trust’s public programme People’s Landscapes with a symposium entitled Progressive Landscapes: Architecture, Power, Place.

This event will bring together speakers from the worlds of architecture, art and academia to explore how creative practice can shape the experience and perception of place. A range of approaches to architecture, pedagogy, the representation of urban and rural space, co-creation and contemporary art will provide the focus for the day.

What can I expect?

One aim is to reflect how dialogues between perspectives might provide further insight into ways of living and community engagement, but also how heritage can become a more dynamic, living cultural resource.

The morning session will focus on landscapes and the communities within them, with guest speakers; Piers Taylor, Daisy Froud, Owen Griffiths, David Knight and Cristina Moneiro and Mhairi McVicar.

The afternoon session will look at how urban and rural landscapes are recorded and represented, with guest speakers; Richard King, Mike Perry, Mark Smout and Laura Allen, Iwan Bala and Kirsti Bohata.

*See the full profile of guest speakers below.

As a satellite event, symposium attendees will be invited to view and participate in a ‘The Building Project’ workshop run by Oriel Myrddyn Gallery. The workshop will be held in the ‘Old Laundry’ within the courtyard of Newton House.  More information on the ‘The Building Project’ can be found at Oriel Myrddyn Gallery in Carmarthen.

The symposium offers RIBA-RSAW members up to 6 hours of formal CPD and 1.5 hours of informal CPD. Core curriculum topics covered: 1 Architecture for social purpose; 6 Sustainable architecture; 7 Inclusive environments; 8 Places, planning and communities; 9 Building conservation and heritage.

Booking Information

Tickets: £55 per person [limited number of student/concessions: £35 available via the Visitor Information Centre at Dinewr 01558 824512]. Includes buffet lunch. *Vegetarian options are available but if you have any other dietary requirements please email

Guest Speakers

Morning Session. Exploring Engagement: Learning from our landscapes and the communities that settle in them.

Piers Taylor

Invisible Studio is an innovative and award winning architecture practice founded by Piers Taylor. He was the inaugural Studio Master at the Architectural Association for the Design & Make Programme at Hooke Park, a former Design Fellow at the University of Cambridge, and a founding director at Mitchell Taylor Workshop. Taylor has a particular interest in the rural: he lives and works in a 100 acre woodland that is managed by his practice as a place for ongoing research to inform the buildings they design and make. He runs a progressive architectural practice which designs and constructs in a collaborative fashion, often with ‘unskilled’ labour using materials grown or sources from the site.

Daisy Froud

Advisor, advocate and specialist in community engagement and participatory design, Daisy devises and implements tools to allow multiple voices space to meaningfully contribute to design and decision making processes. Since 2007 she has taught on the history and theory of spatial politics at The Bartlett School of Architecture, and in 2011 completed a visiting professorship at Yale. Co-editor of the book ‘Radical Pedagogies’ offering debate about the future of architectural education, placing the subject within its unique historic tradition and raising fundamental questions surrounding discipline and its teaching.

Owen Griffiths

Public and socially engaged artist Owen Griffiths is based between Wales and Denmark. His work and research continues to focus on edible land, architecture, urbanism, pedagogical spaces and collaboration. In partnership with National Waterfront Museum (NWM) and NTH/NYA, Owen has recently completed ‘Graft: A Soil Based Syllabus’ led by an alternative curriculum, working with communities, schools and adult learners to grow food and explore making. Such work promotes community land projects and alternative models of ownership as vital modes to re-imagining our cities and landscapes.

David Knight & Cristina Monteiro

David Knight and Cristina Monteiro established DK-CM in 2012. Their work emerges from rigorous, critical and imaginative research into the social, historical and formal context of a place, and works at many scales, from architecture to masterplanning and policy. The practice won a Special Mention in the 2016 European Prize for Urban Public Space and has exhibited at the Venice Biennale, the Shenzhen & Hong-Kong Biennale, the Berlage Institute and Barbican Art Gallery. Cristina teaches at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London and David at the Royal College of Art School of Architecture, where he also gained a PhD, ‘Making Planning Popular’, in 2018.

Mhairi McVicar

Award winning academic and Reader at the Welsh School of Architecture, Cardiff University, Mhairi is Project Lead for Cardiff University’s Community Gateway, a partnership platform with communities in Grangetown committed to building a long-term partnership with residents to help make the area an even better place to live. Mhairi’s book, ‘Precision in Architecture: Certainty, Ambiguity and Deviation’ will be published by Routledge in 2019. Her ongoing research focuses on the role and value of the architect and live teaching projects in community-led urban development, specifically community asset transfers.

Afternoon Session. The Creative Document: How urban and rural environments are pictured and recorded.

Richard King

Before his career as an author King worked in the independent music business, co-founding Planet Records and working for many years with Domino Records. He has also regularly worked as a curator, programming and producing events at The Barbican Centre, The Cultural Olympiad (London 2012) and both The Hay and Green Man Festivals. His writing has appeared in The Guardian, The Observer, Vice, Caught By The River and numerous other publications. King’s books include ‘How Soon Is Now’, which was named Sunday Times Music Book of the Year and ‘Original Rockers’, shortlisted for the Gordon Burn Prize. His new book ‘The Lark Ascending’ is a gorgeous history of Britain’s landscapes and the music that it inspires and is due for publication by Faber & Faber in May.

Mike Perry

Mike Perry is an artist who’s work engages with significant and pressing environmental issues, in particular the tension between human activity and interventions in the natural environment. Photography is central to his practice, yet always in it’s multifaceted relationship with painting and drawing, sculpture and installation art. His solo exhibition ‘Land/Sea’ sponsored by Arts Council Wales and ffotogallery toured Wales, England and France in 2018.  Work from this exhibition has also been exhibited at the 56th Venice Biennale, National Museum Wales and The Royal Academy of Arts.

Mark Smout & Laura Allen

Mark Smout (Professor of Architecture and Landscape Furtures), and Laura Allen (Professor of Architecture and Augmented Landscapes) are based at the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL. Their work focuses on the dynamic relationship between the natural and the man made and how this can be revealed to enhance the experience of the architectural landscape. Often exploring unique sites and land use in dialogue with architectures, technologies, infrastructures and ecologies, their work reaches both expert and lay audiences via regular public exhibitions and lectures at museums, galleries and venues internationally.


Kirsti Bohata

Kirsti Bohata (Professor of English at Swansea University) is a scholar of Welsh writing in English who has published on postcolonial theory, queer writing, women’s writing and disability studies. She is interested in interdisciplinary research and has worked with historians and the heritage sector on a Wellcome Trust project on disability and industrial society, with geographers and artists on an AHRC-funded digital Literary Atlas, and with artists and dramatists in the course of her work on the queer Victorian writer Amy Dillwyn (1845-1935).  Kirsti is Director of CREW, the Centre for Research into the English Literature and Language of Wales.

Iwan Bala

Iwan Bala is an established award winning artist, writer and lecturer based in Wales. He has exhibited widely and his work is to be found in many public and private collections. Iwan’s critical writings on contemporary art in Wales have been published extensively that mirror similar concerns to his art work. Core themes of recent paintings often takes the form of alternative maps of place that reveal the politics and power associated with the land they represent.