Born in 1959, Jonathan Charley, studied architecture in Portsmouth, London and Moscow, and subsequently worked in community architecture for seven years, completing his PhD on Soviet Architecture in 1994. He has lived in Glasgow for nearly thirty years, is currently Director of Cultural Studies in the Department of Architecture at the University of Strathclyde, and has been a lecturer and tutor across the world from Moscow, to Berlin, London, Sao Paulo and Belo Horizonte. In 2012 he was appointed as the Project Director for Scotland at the Architecture Biennale in Venice that received the Royal Scottish Academy Gold medal for Architecture. Alongside exhibitions and media projects, such as *Foreign Bodies* (2004), the award winning *GLAS project* (2006), *Critical Dialogues* (2012), and *Disappearing Moscow* (2017), he writes mainly about the political and social history of architecture and cities. Most recently the edited collection the *Routledge Companion for Architecture, Literature and The City* (2018), *Memories of Cities: Trips and Manifestos* (2013), and the co-edited *Writing the Modern City: Literature, Architecture and Modernity* (2011). He is currently working on a new book *The Monologues of City X*, (2019), that takes the reader on a journey into the heart of the capitalist city through four fictional narratives, capital, machine, nature and utopia. He has a wife, two daughters, speaks good Portuguese, adequate Russian and poor French, and has a life long passion for whisky, fish, dub-reggae and Plymouth Argyle Football Club.
“Everything always begins with a long hot summer and a confession. It was July 1975 and it was my first job on a building site as a scaffolder’s mate. It was the beginning of an accidental career in architecture and building that somehow has continued for nearly 40 years. My confession is that unlike some of my contemporaries, who swear they woke up one day at an impossibly early age with a driving ambition to redesign the world, I fell into architecture almost by default. Like the drunk labourer who, after tumbling three stories from the scaffold, landed at my feet and then got up virtually unscathed, it was a lucky fall, in that architecture rather suited my wayward and diverse engagement with the world. In true renaissance fashion, it has allowed me to play music, read, write, travel, make pictures, design, build and teach. In other words, it has been more of an immersive osmotic field rather than a professional vocation.”
From the Preface to 'Memories of Cities'
Visit Jonathan Charley for a complete list of projects, writings and visual work.