Colored American building, Boston c/o Colored American magazine
Media Building is a network of scholars, media practitioners, and other people interested in exploring the connections between architecture, communications, and the built environment.
What started as a series of conversations between network co-leads Carole O'Reilly and E. James West led to plans for a conference at MediaCity in Salford in July, 2020. COVID-19 scuppered those plans, but the conference was moved online and went ahead in July 2021. It featured an exciting range of talks and public events which explored the relationship between media content, media production, and media space - from the spectacle of the CN Tower in Toronto and Broacasting House in London to the production of prison zines and the material politics of the modern newsroom.
The success of that event led to the creation of this network, which aims to maintain and expand these conversations. Below are some of the topics we are most interested in exploring:
The rise and fall of the “newspaper row”e.g., Fleet Street; London; Park Row, New York City.
Media power and the modern skyscrapere.g., China Media Group HQ, Beijing; the New York Times building, New York City.
Media cities and mediated citiese.g., Meta HQ, Menlo Park; Media City Park, Dubai.
Media buildings in popular culturee.g., Superman and the Daily Planet; the Boston Globe offices in Spotlight (2015).
Liminal spaces, private architectures, media publicse.g., blogging and the coffee shop; media cultures in the ‘post-newsroom’ age.
Radicalism, marginality and media space, e.g., prison zines radical media and the built environment.
Designing media buildingse.g., media buildings and interior design; the ‘newsroom’ as a social and cultural construct; media technologies and the built environment.
Identity, community, and media buildingse.g., race and the Johnson Publishing building in Chicago, ethnicity and the Daily Forward building in New York City.
Media buildings and the end of empiree.g., the Times of Indiabuilding, Mumbai; National Media Group, Nairobi.
The afterlife of media architecture e.g., building abandonment or demolition; residential conversion; nostalgia and narratives of media decline.