EMMA DENT COAD
2006 to present
Elected local Councillor, Labour Group spokesperson for Housing, Mayoral candidate 2010. Continue writing for various publications, and editing Docomomo Newsletter, research and documentation for Docomomo International Register. Led successful campaign to save Goldfinger's Edenham Way, part of the Cheltenham Estate that includes Trellick Tower, from demolition by the Council. Initiated A Vision for Edenham (LINK) project with local people and local architecture practice, to develop a vision for the empty site in front of Trellick Tower. Pursuing training for Associate RTPI qualification. Projects with Planning students at the Bartlett, associated lectures and studies on housing and regeneration in my ward. Continue work on Modern Spanish Architecture.
All modern Spanish sections of Companion to Architecture (Oxford University Press, 2009). Tutoring PhD planning student. Recorded for Antenna Audio Guide, Gaudi's Barcelona.
Contributed Gaudi sections of Dorland Kindersley’s Eyewitness Guide to Barcelona.
Lecture on Myths of the Mies Pavilion at Docomomo International Conference, Unesco, Paris. Same lecture at Whitechapel Gallery Mies exhibition.
Regular contributions to: Building Design etc.
2000 to date
Editor of Docomomo UK Newsletter for DOCOMOMO, Modern Movement conservation group. Organised study tours on their behalf to Rotterdam, Grenoble, Barcelona and Madrid. Research with Matthew Wickens on Post-War Register. Participation in round table conference at Reina Sofia Centre with Enric Satue, …..
Contribution to exhibition book of Signos del Siglo exhibition of 100 years of Spanish graphic arts at the Reina Sofia Centre, Madrid; participation in round table conference.
Contributions to Temes de Disseny and Diseno Interior Spanish magazines.
Career break (doctorate suspended).
Contributed five essays to Introduction to Spanish Cultural Studies (Oxford University Press, 1995).
Lecture (in Spanish) as part of the Primavera de Disseny conference on Spanish design in the 80s, at Elisava Design School, Barcelona.
Contributions to Building Design and other publications. Introduction to Design History lecture at Croydon College, series of 'Looking Back' articles on design history for Design magazine.
Began doctoral research at Royal College of Art School of Architecture on subject relating to 20th century social housing, architecture and planning: student seminars; tutorials; led study tour to Barcelona. Seminars on Private and Community Space at RCA School of Architecture and on Spanish furniture for School of Furniture and Industrial Design. Moved research programme to Bartlett School of Architecture and Planning, UCL.
Paper and round table conference on Picasso’s Legacy: the Designer’s Brief during Picasso exhibition at The Tate Gallery, London. Articles for International Architecture.
Contributed Spanish essays to Contemporary Architects (St James, London, 1993), and to catalogue for Bilbao 2000 exhibition at the Royal Festival Hall.
Publication of Javier Mariscal: Designing the New Spain (Wordsearch/Fourth Estate, and Gustavo Gili, 1992). Features, television interviews and lectures at colleges of design and architecture on this and on Seville Expo and Barcelona Olympics. Reviews in all media on associated Spanish cultural issues.
Contributions to Designers’ Journal, Architects’ Journal, AA Quarterly.
Edited update of New Design Source Book.
MA Design History at the Royal College of Art/Victoria and Albert Museum. Thesis subject: Constructing a Nation; architecture and politics in Francoist Spain 1939-1949 * (designated in 2008 one of the most requested theses in the RCA Library network, selected by the British Library for digitisation).
Publication of first sole book, Spanish Design and Architecture (Studio Vista, and Rizzoli, 1990), together with curating a three-month exhibition devoted to Spanish fashion, design, architectural and reportage photography, as part of the Portobello Arts Festival. BBC Television and Radio 4 interviews, lectures and articles, led first study tour to Barcelona.
Conception and production of the Spanish issue of Design magazine, the first issue of a British magazine devoted to Spanish design. Consultant to Spanish Embassy Commercial Office. Continued freelance work, teaching and lectures.
Features editor of first UK men's fashion magazine, Unique, freelance for Arena, and subsequently of Ism, cultural magazine for men.
Went freelance. Conception of, editing, and major contributions to The Design Source Book (Macdonalds, 1986) the best selling design book of the 80s that spawned a series of Source Books. Contributions to Design, Blueprint, Design Week, Direction, Conran’s House Book and others. Visiting lecturer at University of West England for two years.
Working on Designer magazine, Chartered Society of Designers.
* My MA dissertation was Constructing a Nation: Politics and Architecture in Nationalist Spain 1939-1949. It looked at the first decade of the Franco regime, when neo-classical architecture was being used to symbolise the new role of Spain with its authority, hierarchy and order ‘restored.’ Much of the architecture was a poor pastiche of the Herrera Escorial style. Spanish friends and colleagues were appalled that I had chosen such an unattractive period. But it was the rhetoric that abounded in this period that interested me, and my thesis was based on this and the dialectical nuances of the various neo-classical languages that were under discussion. All primary sources were in Spanish or Catalan, so little known in the English-speaking world.
That period of Spanish architectural history was the result of a violent reactionary swing away from what had gone before. The victorious Nationalists hated with a passion the Modern Movement architecture of the 1920s and 30s and all that it symbolised. Their invective was surprisingly extreme, characterising Rationalism as, ‘Marxist, Semitic, and godless.’
I have a personal fascination with this period through my Spanish paternal grandmother, Lita (little granny), who was born in 1877 and died 100 years later. Her memories went back to the first car in Spain, chaperones, 17” corsetted waists, and a final escape when she married her red-headed Yorkshireman, Dr Frankland Dent. The political background to her privileged childhood in Granada, of course, was a far cry from that in contemporaneous Catalonia, and her aristocratic family were of the intellectual, conservative, and ultimately Falangist, persuasion, as was – to my eternal consternation – my father.