An architect and architectural critic, Alex lectures in both Architectural Humanities and Professional Practice.
The intersection of these aspects of architectural education is a primary research interest and he publishes and participates widely in the developing field of architectural/archaeological/anthropological interdisciplinarities.
Alex publishes and participates widely in the developing field of architectural/archaeological/anthropological interdisciplinarity.
His areas of research expertise in this field include the visual and analogical foundations of design-centered disciplines, in particular understanding disciplines as borderless centres of practice which, for design, proceed through the making of visual artefacts, often afforded meaning through analogical interconnectedness.
Alex makes work – principally, but not exclusively, drawings – between the historically interconnected disciplines of architecture and archaeology. Recent collaborations with UCL’s Bartlett Drawing Research group and the Institute of Archaeology’s Archaeology-Heritage-Art network have firmly established Alex as central to this small but growing field.
Within architecture itself, Alex’s research, as well as his teaching at both undergraduate and masters levels, seeks to understand both architectural humanities and the professional practice of architecture as differences of emphasis rather than differences of category; that architecture is the product of a constant shuttling between practice and theory.
Recent and on-going collaborations with the Newcastle University Research Institute (NUHRI) investigate historical, contemporary and creative uses of urban common land.
In 2000 he co-founded Bates Zambelli Architects which he ran until 2013.
I have taught design studio, architectural humanities and professional practice at a number of schools of architecture. I currently teach into the BA(Hons) Architecture Architectural Humanities module, the MArch Architectural Humanities and Professional Studies modules and the Part 3 (professional practice) module.
My research interests, which seek to understand both architectural humanities and the professional practice of architecture as differences of emphasis rather than differences of category, are also central to my teaching ethos. I understand that the acquisition by students of key skills and their use in design (studio), the appreciation and applicability of thoughtful precedents (history and theory), an understanding of their place, as prospective architects, amongst other building professionals as well as the public (professional practice) and their place as ethical makers of the built environment (sustainable tectonics), must appear seamless to them. This interconnectedness reveals architectural practice to be an holistic collection of disciplines.
I seek to encourage proactive ‘live’ engagement with students in both humanities and professional practice teaching; emphasising that writing is no more mysterious than drawing and that just as I might sketch into or around students’ work during design tutorials I might also write into or around students’ texts during ‘coursework’ tutorials. This approach has proven particularly successful with those who consider themselves ‘reluctant’ writers.
[forthcoming book chapter], Zambelli, Alessandro. “Drawing: a materialist definition.” in The Bartlett Drawing Research Series, edited by Tayob, H., Ferencz, J., Read, S., UCL, (2016).
Zambelli, Alessandro. "Everything Is Everything." Journal of Contemporary Archaeology 2, no. 2 (2015): 248-52.
Zambelli, Alessandro. "Scandalous Artifacts: Practice between Archaeology and Architecture." Architecture and Culture 1, no. 1-2 (2013): 182-201.
Zambelli, Alessandro. "The Undisciplined Drawing." Buildings 3, no. 2 (2013): 357-79.
Zambelli, Alessandro. "Scandalous Practice: Between Architecture and Art." International Journal of the Arts in Society 5, no. 6 (2011): 163-74.
Zambelli, Alessandro. “Scandalous Artefacts.” in Visualisation in Archaeology [online project and archive]. edited by Gibbons, G., Perry, S., Smiles, S., Moser, S., James, S., Read R. University of Southampton, (2009)
Zambelli, Alessandro and Farrelly, Lorraine. “Fictional Cities: Venice.” in XXII World Congress of Architecture UIA2005Istanbul Cities: Grand Bazaar of Architectures, Abstracts, Union Internationale des Architectes, (2005).
Zambelli, Alessandro. “London Stone Reconstructed.” in Conversazione III - Fragments: Archaeologies in and of the Architectural Library, at the RIBA, (2016).
Zambelli, Alessandro. “’Period property in sought-after area’: 2,500 years of digging at St. George’s Hill.” in AHRC Common Ground Conference, at the University of York, (2016).
Zambelli, Alessandro. “Drawing Instruments and Disciplinarity: A Chronotopic Approach.” in Bartlett Drawing Research Series Conference, at The Bartlett, UCL, (2016).
Zambelli, Alessandro. “Undisciplined Drawing.” in The Visual and the Verbal Conference, at the University of Brighton, (2015).
Zambelli, Alessandro. “The Undisciplined Drawing.” in Res. Phil. for Design lecture and workshop, at Oxford Brookes University, (2015 and 2014).
Zambelli, Alessandro. “Rendering the Invisible Visible: the moves of London Stone.” in Theoretical Archaeology Group (TAG) Bournemouth, at the University of Bournemouth, (2013).
Zambelli, Alessandro. “The Moves of London Stone” [exhibition of PhD work and guided tour of related sites]. at The Bartlett, UCL and The Guildhall Library, London, (2013).
Zambelli, Alessandro. “The Undisciplined Drawing” in Theoretical Archaeology Group (TAG) Chicago, at the University of Southampton via live video feed to the University of Chicago, (2013).