School of Architecture, CUHK

Simon Henley: Sensible Architecture

Date & Time


About the Lecture:

In his poem “Recalling War” Robert Graves wrote the lines,

‘The blinded man sees with his ears and hands

As much or more than once with both his eyes’.

Graves’ words raise a profound point for architects and their architecture which is usually evaluated by sight, and as a consequence by our desire to judge shape and form, and indeed space by eye. His words direct us to think about the other senses – to touch, hearing, smell and taste – and to the way space works in terms of experience, not simply something to be glanced at.

The talk will compare some of our early work with more recent new projects and consider the degree to which the act of adaptation – responding to found conditions –  has and continues to inform our architecture. I will talk about the role of type, weight and liminal space.

About the Speaker:

Simon combines practice with teaching, writing and research, and is the author of The Architecture of Parking (Thames & Hudson, 2007), which won the RIBA International Book Award for Construction in 2008, and Redefining Brutalism (RIBA Publications, 2017). He also writes the Beyond London column for Archdaily. He is a postgraduate MArch unit master at Kingston University, London where he has also recently embarked on a PhD by Practice.

Until 2011, Simon was a member of the CABE Schools Design Review Panel, the NHS Design Review Panel and the CABE Enabling Panel. He is now a member of the Design South East (design review) Panel, the Kingston Design Review Panel, the London Legacy Development Corporation Quality Review Panel and the GLA Specialist Assistance Team. Simon is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, an Academy of Urbanism Academician and Brother of the Art Workers Guild.

The lecture will be conducted in English. For non-CUHK participants, please register here

Click here for details of the Public Lecture Series 2021-22.


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