Culture as a concept – Kevin Fellingham, 28 July Zoom

Culture as a concept – Kevin Fellingham, 28 July Zoom

Award winning architect and UCT lecturer, Kevin Fellingham, talks about the emergence of the concept of culture, with pictures from around the world. This online talk, on one of the most complex words in the English language, spans cultures that have disappeared to ones alive and well, despite being odd and fringe. This will be underpinned by Kevin referencing two highly regarded books:

  • Invention of Culture – Roy Wagner argues that we shape our culture – it isn’t a given that shapes us (first published by University of Chicago Press in 1975)
  • The Idea of Culture – Terry Eagleton’s “magnificent reassertion of timeless cultural values” The Observer, UK (published by Wiley-Blackwell in 2000)

Kevin studied at Wits University and MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, USA) where he won the Ralph Adams Cram Prize for excellence in Interdisciplinary Research. He was Sir Isaac Newton Design Fellow at Cambridge University where he jointly led the MPhil in Environmental Design Studio. At UCT Kevin runs the Second Year Design and Theory Studio course for the Bachelor of Architectural Studies.

His architectural practice has built work in Italy, the UK, Canada and South Africa. Awards include the WAN World House of the Year. He worked at Peter Rich Architects (Joburg), Arup Associates and Rick Mather Architects (London). Some of you will know Kevin from his talks for the Friends of South African National Gallery and the brilliant, brief, architectural context he gave at Boschendal’s Culture Connect.

Thank you for those who joined us on Wednesday, 28 July 2021, 5:30pm to 6:30pm South African time, for a fascinating visual and conceptual feast, full of contemporary relevance, especially for us in South Africa with so many cultures, some already gone forever.

An edited recording can be watched on our YouTube channel for free. Architects, South African registered, can get CPD points 0.1 for watching this if you answer correctly five multiple choice questions I will send you to test if you have watched it: WhatsApp/Phone 072 377 8014

Images: Kevin and his wife, Winnie Sze, in their home he renovated, Bo-Kaap (image from Visi) | Books Kevin referenced | Morris dancers’ feet and chins (UK) | Canadian First Nations artist Brian Jungen’s artwork made from sneakers/tekkies (trash is his treasure, to quote the Smithsonian Magazine) | Haida painted cedar panel from Canada (detail) | Main image above: detail of Eagle on red cedar, Haida art