Emma Filippides

Ghent, Belgium
+32 474 02 35 28


Weaving together elements of architectural historical research, publication design and cultural production, my work is driven by narrative-led material research as an approach towards architectural history, theory and criticism.


With my interest in architecture originating from inhabited interior experience, my personal research focuses on domestic space as a means to interrogate wider questions of identity, material culture, social practices and economic conditions.

Architectural History (MA, 2018)
Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL

Multidisciplinary Design (BA, 2015)
Goldsmiths, University of London

Graphic Design Foundation (2011)
London College of Communication, University of the Arts London

Current collaborations

Veldwerk Architecten, Ghent BE

NU Architectuuratelier, Ghent BE


Architecture Foundation, London UK

Islands in the City with Benjamin Rea

Modern Finsbury, a walking tour

In collaboration with architect Benjamin Rea, I regularly travel to London to run this tour for The Architecture Foundation.

This walk focuses on the urban neighbourhoods that thread between King’s Cross and Clerkenwell, encompassed largely by the former Metropolitan Borough of Finsbury until 1965. The tour uncovers a surprising patchwork of typologically ambitious, experimental inter-war and post-war social housing schemes built between the late 1920s and 1950s. Typified by the significant involvement of renowned architect Berthold Lubetkin and his office Tecton, Finsbury’s architecturally and socially progressive stance on housing is evident in the Lubetkin schemes commissioned by, and built for, the borough.

The five early-to-mid-20th-Century schemes covered by the tour offer powerful examples for anyone tackling contemporary questions around housing and citymaking in London today.

Working Papers, a publication

The Working Papers symposium, held at The Bartlett, UCL on 26 October 2018, featured presentations by the graduating student cohort alongside three keynote presentations by scholars Felicity D. Scott (Columbia University), Helen Hills (University of York), and Joy Sleeman (Slade, UCL). The associated publication was launched during the symposium, co-edited and designed with Stephannie Fell and Max Wisotsky.

The structure of the book, instead of being divided into thematic chapters, attempts to chart the collisions and divergences of subject matter and approaches. For doing so, we created a network of transversing ideas across papers, highlighted in each author’s text and gathered in an index, aimed at producing interesting and sometimes unexpected connections throughout the body of work. In this sense, Working Papers was envisioned as only one form of assemblage, subject to manifold possible future arrangements.

“The title of the symposium and this publication emphasises the writing of an academic paper as a complex unfolding process, both forward and retrospectiveley”

The script meanders over the margin of the book; dialogue on the left, unspoken stage directions on the right.

Encounters betweeen He and She within the Windowless Hotel Room.
The Windowless Hotel Room,  a playscript and artists’ book

The Windowless Hotel Room is based upon the recalled memory of three characters, shared over the duration of one night and one morning in an unidentifiable hotel room.

For the human subject, the nature of the hotel room encounter is transient and fleeting. For the hotel room subject, the nature of the human encounter is similarly forgettable; the memory itself belongs to parallel cycles of experience.

Revived in the material form of the script, the narrative and the roles enclosed await inhabitation.

75 square feet.
Contents sold after five bids, for £60.00.
Contents valued at £0.80 per square foot.
Self Storage, a body of research

A version of this work was published in the academic journal Interiority (vol. 2, n. 1) in January 2019.

In a method influenced by anthropologists Victor Buchli and Gavin Lucas in their experimental 1997 study, ‘The Archaeology of Alienation’, this study engages in a contemporary archaeology of abandoned self storage contents, based on eBay listings photographed and itemised for sale. In this detached form of material interrogation—which manifests in observational, speculative writing—subjective encounters with the self storage contents are able to be articulated. Due to the fragmentary nature of this method, interpretations of these findings are taken largely at face value, in the absence of the subject to whom the contents belonged. This method has allowed for an examination of self storage contents on both a systematic and individual scales.

The material and theoretical engagements of this thesis are situated around four ‘modes of deferral’—scale, excess, emotional, and intergenerational—that have been observed in relation to the architecture of self storage and the material contents stored within. By identifying four modes of deferral this study is able to explain the span of motivations behind the depositing of domestic contents to self storage. Articulating a meeting point between the economic and the emotional, it is through each of the four categories that the multiplicity of meaning wrapped up in the architecture of self storage, is understood.

With the floor plan for Urban Locker, a self storage facility near Old Street, London, the vast density of occupation within these sites is revealed. Hundreds of individual storage units are lined up side by side, forming tight corridors within the converted car park.

Site-Writing projects on display as part of the ‘Reconstructions’ exhibition

Reconstructions, an exhibition and event

Exhibition curation and graphic design, in addition to a performative reading of project Windowless Hotel Room. The exhibition included ten artists’ books produced as part of a ‘Site-Writing’ practice. The exhibition and performative readings of these projects was included as part of the Urban Storytelling event at The Bartlett, UCL for the 2018 Bloomsbury Festival.

The work exhibited explores a practice based approach to storytelling and criticism. As a method, site-writing invites the writer to reflect upon their subjective position—both critically and emotionally—in relation to their research. This practice of writing aims to uncover and reconstruct varying interpretations of objects, subjects, spaces and histories.

The Suburb, a body of research

Dissertation for final year project of BA Design at Goldsmiths. A critical examination of the nostalgic and fantastical origins of the American suburban typology.

Examinations of postmodern filmic representations of suburban environments, alongside my own childhood memories of having grown up within the suburban ‘American dream’ guided my explorations of this culture and its architectural typologies — squeezed between the wild bounds of fantasy and the parameters of reality.