The two-day symposium aims to reflect on the role and relevance of architectural
photography as a form of expression, as historical record and as spatial narrative.
Additionally, the symposium will examine the impact of collecting architectural photographs
as well as their preservation and dissemination by means of digitisation, exhibitions and
publications. The presentations and discussions will pay tribute to the late Robert Elwall,
founder of the RIBA Photographs Collection and a distinguished curator and author whose
influential international history of architectural photography Building with Light has given the
symposium its title.
Keynote speakers will include architectural photographers and academics such as Canadian
photographer Geoffrey James whose panoramic images of the built landscape explore the
relationship between society and its surroundings; Hélène Binet, a Swiss-French architectural
photographer based in London and the author of Composing Space: The Photographs of
Hélène Binet; Peter Hales, an American photographer, historian and Professor Emeritus,
University of Illinois at Chicago; and Iñaki Bergera, a Spanish architect, photographer and
The symposium’s topics will cover broad research areas such as the historical and
contemporary evocation of architectural interiors, buildings, place and landscape; forms of
photographic response to genius loci and national identity; the reciprocal influence on and
with publishing; and curatorial issues and approaches to architectural photography over time.
The Royal Institute of British Architects champions better buildings, communities and the environment through architecture and our members.
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