• Architectural Doppelgängers
    Sam Jacob and Ines Weizman
    Architectural Association

Left: Doge's Palace, Venice, 1309 / Right: Venetian Hotel & Casino, Macau, 2007.

Architectural Doppelgangers aims to explore architecture's relationship to the multivalent meanings and implications of copying. Subject to law, the idea of the copy also brings profound moral disturbance to our idea of architecture. Though the profession increasingly relies on technologies of copy, duplication, and replication, the idea of originality remains a disciplinary foundation. Beginning with public interviews and documentary research investigating examples drawn from copyright disputes as well as architectural reconstructions, reenactments, and replicas, the cluster explores two main ideas: the nature of the copy and the problem of copyright. Architectural Doppelgangers asks: does the myth of the doppelganger haunt the discipline? Is architecture’s imminent death signaled by encountering its doppelganger? Does its doubling create an evil twin? Conversely, might architecture find a productive relationship with the culture of the copy?

Sam Jacob is a founding director of London–based architecture firm FAT. He has a strong commitment to architecture as a cultural act addressing social and political concerns. This is manifested through built projects and through wider set of activities including fine art, writing, and criticism. He has taught at universities in Europe and is currently a Unit Master at the AA, London, and professor of architecture at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He has been a visiting lecturer at many institutions in Europe and the United States. Jacob is a frequent contributor to public architectural debate through exhibitions, lectures, and symposia. He writes at, is a design critic for Art Review, a contributing editor for Icon, and he writes for many other books, magazines, and journals.

Ines Weizman is an architect and theorist based in London. She was trained as an architect at the Bauhaus University Weimar and the Ecole d'Architecture de Belleville in Paris. She did graduate work at Cambridge University and completed her PhD in history and theory at the Architectural Association in 2004. She has taught design and history and theory at the Architectural Association; Goldsmiths College, London; the Berlage, Rotterdam; and Syracuse University's Architecture Program in London. Since 2005, she has directed the MA/ PhD program Cities, Design, and Urban Cultures in the Department of Architecture and Spatial Design at London Metropolitan University. In recent years, following the subject of her PhD thesis, she researched and published on the political and ideological spectacles enacted by Soviet-era architecture, particularly on the urban historiography of what was East Germany. Research and exhibition projects include Celltexts: Books and Other Works Produced in Prison (with Eyal Weizman), first exhibited in Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turino (2008).

Architectural Doppelgangers is a Research Cluster based at the Architectural Association, London (founded 1847). It aims to bring together diverse audiences, specialists, researchers in order to realise a body of focused research into the phenomenon of the copy in architecture. Through research, interviews and discussion, the cluster will develop a body of knowledge drawn from both inside and outside the discipline. This will be manifested through the production of public events, an exhibition and publication.