Archive Groundwork: a working seminar | Spring 2024

Asian Architectural Archive Center

Southeast University

Archive Groundwork: a working seminar

Spring 2024





This semester the AAAC (Asian Architectural Archives Center), in collaboration with the IDS (Internationalization Demonstration School), will launch a series of seminars that use materials held in the AAAC as the basis for new research and teaching. Each semester in the future we will try to have a similar series.

The aim of the meetings is to cultivate new ideas. The plan is to have this new thinking, groundwork, grow out of the study materials that have been largely overlooked, but now can be examined because they are held in the AAAC. Explorations, preliminary observations, and framing research questions will be the style and aim of the presentations and discussions. Developed and finished work can come later.

Each of the seminars will be led by a member of the IDS or School faculty and offered to other IDS and School faculty colleagues, Ph.D. students, upper-level graduate students, and invited visitors. The initial presentations will be about 45 minutes in length, followed by a discussion period of about the same length. The AAAC Director, Professor David Leatherbarrow, will host this initial series for this coming semester.


The seminars will begin at 2:00 pm, according to the following schedule this semester:

April 18

SHI Yonggao: L. Kahn and the Kimbell construction book, and the theme of Tectonics

April 25

Antonios Thodis: C. R. Cockerell’s book, and the theme of Vegetal Metaphors in Architecture

May 09

Esra Şahin Burat: Le Corbusier’s travel books, and theme of Vernacular Modernism

May 16

Sinan Burat: A. Alphand’s book on French urban parks, and the theme of Green Cities

May 23

GU Daqing: J. Guadet + A. Drexler + Princeton U., Architecture of the Ecole des Beaux-Arts











顾大庆:于连·加代 + 亚瑟·德雷克斯勒 + 普林斯顿大学,主题为“布扎学院派建筑”

Chair and Moderator: David Leatherbarrow


Prof. David Leatherbarrow is a distinguished professor and educator renowned globally for his scholarship in architectural history and theory. He received his Ph.D. in Arts from the University of Essex in 1983 under the supervision of the esteemed Professor Joseph Rykwert. He is currently the Foreign Dean and Professor of the Architecture Internationalization Demonstration School of SEU. He has also been teaching at the University of Pennsylvania, where he was a member of the Academic Committee, Associate Dean of the School of Design, Chair of the Title Committee, Chair of the Department of Architecture, Chair of the Ph.D. Division of Architecture, and a long-time bellwether in the discipline of architectural history and theory.

To date, Prof. Leatherbarrow has authored 12 scholarly books and over 160 scholarly articles. His book Surface Architecture received the prestigious Bruno Zevi Prize in 2003, the highest international recognition for historical-critical essays on architecture. His book On Weathering was honored with the International Book Award from the American Institute of Architects. Many of his publications have been translated into languages including French, German, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, Turkish, and Korean. Beyond his scholarly contributions, Prof. Leatherbarrow is revered internationally as an educator, having mentored numerous scholars who have since become influential figures in the academic community worldwide. His dedication to teaching has earned him numerous honors, including the 2020 Topaz Medallion, bestowed by AIA/ACSA, the most prestigious honor awarded to an educator in architecture.

In 2004, Prof. Leatherbarrow received his initial invitation to SEU. Shortly thereafter, he launched the graduate course "Advanced Theory of Architectural Design," which has continued for over a decade with fresh and advanced content each year. The Asian Architectural Archives Center, which was inaugurated in 2022, was jointly initiated by Prof. Leatherbarrow. This groundbreaking initiative stands as China's first international archive for architectural documentation and research, with Prof. Leatherbarrow serving as its inaugural director. The pioneering institution holds an indispensable role in the organization and research of architectural materials, poised to serve as a prominent platform for international collaboration. In recognition of the value of the archival materials, Prof. Leatherbarrow introduced a new course on "Readings in Architectural Theory" in 2023 and is now promoting the Working Seminar Series, a dynamic initiative aimed at using the archival resources for fostering discourse and collaboration.

莱瑟巴罗教授是国际建筑理论与历史领域权威教授,著名建筑教育家。1983年获得英国埃塞克斯大学艺术学博士学位,师从著名学者里克沃特教授。现任东南大学建筑国际化示范学院外籍院长和教授。此前,他曾任宾夕法尼亚大学校学术委员会委员,设计学院副院长,职称委员会主席,建筑系主任,建筑博士部主席,长期担任宾夕法尼亚大学建筑历史与理论学科带头人。迄今莱瑟巴罗教授共出版了12部学术著作和160多篇学术文章,其中代表著作《表面建筑》于2003年获国际建筑历史、理论与评论著作最高奖——国际评论家协会Bruno Zevi奖,《论风化》一书荣获美国建筑师协会颁发的国际图书奖。部分著作和论文被译成法文、德文、西班牙文、中文、日文、土耳其文、韩文等。在学术研究以外,莱瑟巴罗教授还是国际知名的教育家,培养众多博士、硕士,并已有数人成为国际学术界重要学者,曾获多个教育奖项,最近的奖项包括全美建筑教育最高奖“2020年度黄玉奖章”。莱瑟巴罗教授于2004年首次受邀访问东大,由他开设并主讲的 “建筑设计理论前沿”研究生全英文课程,已持续10余年,在建筑设计理论这一方向下,每年都讲述全新的前沿性内容。由他发起并共同推进的亚洲建筑档案中心,是我国第一个自主建设的国际建筑文献和科研中心,于2022年正式建成,他担任首任馆长。这一开创性机构对于建筑文化的整理与研究具有不可替代的作用,同时将成为又一个高水平国际合作中心。2023年,他利用档案中心资源,主持开设了“西方建筑经典文献选读”,2024年发起目前将要展开的“工作研讨”系列,这一积极倡议将进一步利用馆藏资源,促进学术交流与合作。

Lecturer: SHI Yonggao


SHI Yonggao is a Professor and doctoral supervisor at the School of Architecture, Southeast University. He is also the Assistant to the Foreign Dean of the Architecture Internationalization Demonstration School at SEU. He was a visiting scholar at the University of Pennsylvania in 2010 and 2023 and an adjunct associate professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong in 2012. His contributions were recognized with the title of "SEU Architecture Scholar" in 2015.

His research focuses on design theory and modern architectural theory, as well as contemporary Chinese architecture. He has published The Presence of Material: Research on Material’s Constructional and Spatial Properties in the 19th and 20th Century Western Architecture and Architectural Theory and Design: Tectonics; co-authored Fundamentals of Architectural Design, translated Surface Architecture and co-translated Shrinking Cities. As a member of the editorial board and contributing editor of several academic journals, he has organized special issues, with the most recent ones including “Legibility: The Meanings of Construction and the Construction of Meaning” (Architectural Journal, 2021(12)) and “Machine and Architecture” (New Architecture, 2021(06)).


Lecturer: Antonios Thodis


Antonios Thodis is an Assistant Professor at the Architectural Internationalization Demonstration School of SEU. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania and obtained master’s degrees from the Architectural Association School of Architecture and Harvard University.

Under the subject matter of design, Dr. Thodis has conducted extensive historical and theoretical research with a focus on the architectural and cultural contexts of the Classical period in Greece. His master's thesis, completed at Harvard University, attested the earliest use of the Corinthian order in the Classical Temple of Apollo Epikourios at Bassae. A revised version of the thesis was recently published at Harvard’s Classical Continuum in March 2023. His doctoral dissertation will be published by Harvard University Press in the coming months. During his Ph.D. studies, he served as a teaching fellow and assistant for theory and history of architecture and urbanism courses, and as the primary instructor in the Department of Art History in Fall 2022. He has also organized and participated in several international conferences in Leeds, UK, and Philadelphia, USA, and has been invited to deliver lectures, serve on juries, and contribute to exhibitions.


Lecturer: Esra Şahin Burat


Esra Şahin Burat is an Associate Professor of Architectural Internationalization Demonstration School of SEU. She received her Bachelor of Architecture from Middle East Technical University, Master of Architecture from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, and Ph.D. in Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania. She previously taught at University of Pennsylvania and Mersin University, where she also served as the department chair.

Her areas of interest include architectural theory and design, particularly theories of nature, habitation and representation in architecture, and the relationship between architecture and the natural/cultural environment. As a registered architect she participated in urban renewal projects for archeological sites, supervised architectural survey teams at the archeological excavations of Soli Pompeiopolis, and served as the vice president of the Mersin Chamber of Architects. She recently completed an interdisciplinary research project on shelter design for extreme climates led by the University of Bath. Her recent publications have focused on the ecological imagination of Le Corbusier’s housing projects, the reception of the notion of symmetria in architectural theory, and on the anthropological dimensions of Semper’s tectonics (forthcoming).

艾丝拉·萨赫欣·布拉特是东南大学建筑国际化示范学院副教授。她在中东技术大学(土耳其)获得建筑学学士学位,在弗吉尼亚理工学院暨州立大学(美国)获得建筑学硕士学位,并在宾夕法尼亚大学设计学院(美国)获得建筑学博士学位。她曾在宾夕法尼亚大学和梅尔辛大学任教,并担任梅尔辛大学建筑系系主任。她的兴趣领域包括建筑理论和设计,特别是自然、居所和建筑中的表现的理论,以及建筑与自然/文化环境之间的关系。作为注册建筑师,她参与了多个城市考古遗址的重建项目,指导Soli Pompeiopolis遗址考古发掘的建筑调查小组,并担任梅尔辛建筑师协会的副会长。最近,她完成了一项由巴斯大学牵头的跨学科研究项目,主题是极端气候下的住房设计。她最近的发表探讨了勒·柯布西耶住宅项目的生态学想象、建筑理论对对称性概念的接受,以及森佩尔建构学说中的人类学维度(即将出版)。

Lecturer: Sinan Burat


Sinan Burat is an Associate Professor of Architectural Internationalization Demonstration School of SEU. He earned his Master of Urban Design and PhD in City Planning from Middle East Technical University. Previously he taught at Middle East Technical University and Mersin University. Before he joined SEU, he served as the Vice Dean of the Faculty of Architecture at Mersin University.His main areas of research interest include urban green spaces and landscape, with a focus on climate adaptation, planning and designing for wildlife and biodiversity and overcoming culture/nature divide. Important publications of his include “Urban Open Spaces and Planning” and “ ‘Resting by Moving on the Greenways’: Design of the Urban Green Spaces in Jansen's Plans for the Capital and Their Implementation and Modification Process (1932-1960).” He has a number of implemented design projects, he has won awards in national urban design competitions, and served as a consultant to several municipalities. He coordinated the preparation of the Open and Green Spaces Strategic Action Plan for Mersin Metropolitan Municipality in 2021 and 2022, the first strategic plan specifical for urban green spaces in Türkiye.

斯南·布拉特现任东南大学建筑国际化示范学院副教授。他在中东技术大学获得城市设计硕士学位和城市规划博士学位。布拉特副教授曾在中东技术大学和梅尔辛大学任教,加入东南大学前,担任梅尔辛大学建筑学院副院长。斯南·布拉特的研究领域包括城市绿地和景观,重点是气候适应、野生动植物和生物多样性规划与设计,以及解决文化和自然的鸿沟。重要发表包括《城市开放空间与规划》,《“绿道上的休憩空间”:扬森的首都规划中对城市绿色空间的设计及其实施和改进过程(1932-1960)》等。他完成了多个设计项目,获多项全国城市设计竞赛奖,并在多个市政机关担任顾问。2021 年和 2022 年,他负责统筹和编制梅尔辛市政府的城市开放和绿色空间战略行动计划,这是土耳其第一个针对城市绿地的战略计划。

Lecturer: GU Daqing


Professor GU Daqing is an esteemed educator, architect, and scholar with outstanding contribution to architectural education, design teaching, and design pedagogy. His pioneering efforts in establishing a basic design curriculum in architectural education are regarded as exemplary in contemporary China. Prof. GU completed his Ph.D. at ETH Zurich in 1994 and is currently a professor at the Architectural Internationalization Demonstration School of SEU. Previously, he taught at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, where he organized the foundational design courses for freshman and chaired the School’s Teaching Committee, steering the design and the development of the undergraduate program.

Prof. GU’s scholarly contributions span over 10 books and 60 articles, including Basic Design & Design Basics, Space, Tectonics and Design, Introduction to Architectural Design, Design and Visual Perception.