TALK Arinjoy Sen. The Architect as a Storyteller: Drawing as a Medium for the Exploration of Narrative, Space and Identity

TALK Arinjoy Sen, The Architect as a Storyteller. © Arinjoy Sen & Richard Brook

Thursday 22nd February, 16.30-18.00

Faraday Lecture Theatre


Arinjoy Sen is an architect and visual artist working in multimedia. His focus ranges from the politics and aesthetics of architecture to the instrumentalisation of spatial agents in socio-cultural and political phenomena. His work and interests have an acute focus on contested landscapes, citizenship, migration, narrative and spatial justice. Drawing plays a crucial role in Arinjoy’s work, where it becomes an incubator for the exploration of narrative and space. He was the winner of the RIBA Journal’s Eye Line drawing competition, 2020.

His 2020 project, Productive Insurgence, addressed the political crisis and conflict as the Government of India revoked the special status of Indian-occupied Kashmir. The project explored this sudden state of precarity, and the possibility of an autonomy that rails against this system. Through cycles of production, Productive Insurgence looks at the way in which the people of Kashmir create their own system of production, forming a circular economy that liberates them from the state and capitalist systems. The Productive Insurgence drawings were used to illustrate the Architectural Review’s November 2020 issue’s keynote essay, by RIBA Gold Medal winner Lesley Lokko.

His installation at the 18th Venice Architecture Bienalle 2023, a triptych of interwoven threads, drawings, and narratives, was made in collaboration with marginalised artisans represented by the SHE Kantha collective in Bengal, India. The project Bengali Song imagines planetary survival by prioritising respect between diverse ecologies and peoples. The frontiers of such knowledge forms are the laboratories of this future: experiential, technical, and creative. Architecture is a product of these frontier laboratories, informed by many forms of knowledge. Bengali Song positions the architect as giving voice to marginalised peoples, reified by conceptually and physically crafting their own narrative. Inspired by the many hands involved in the making of Khudi Bari, this work involves digital drawings interpreted through artisanal practices, such as traditional kantha embroidery by female artisans from SHE Kantha, giving rise to an interwoven body of work.

In his talk for Lancaster School of Architecture, The Architect as a Storyteller: Drawing as a Medium for the Exploration of Narrative, Space and Identity, Arinjoy will explore his methods and the utility of creative spatial practice in narrating complex and contested histories. Following the talk he will be in conversation with Professor Richard Brook about his journey through and with architecture in relation to his artistic practice. The event will conclude with a Q&A.

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