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Adam Bobbette, BA, MA, MLA, PhD

Adam Bobbette, BA, MA, MLA, PhD

PhD candidate, Department of Geography, University of Cambridge

Indonesia, South East Asia, environmental controversies, knowledge practices, envionmental disaster and uncertainty


My background is in Cultural Studies and Philosophy, Landscape, Architecture, and presently Geography. My interests range across experimental forms of landscape writing, new materialism(s), environmental disaster and ermergency in South East Asia, the history of the earth sciences, natural history and the politics of geology. I have presented research through a variety of formats including exhibitions, curation, and essays.


  • 2011-14: Assistant Professor University of Hong Kong, Faculty of Architecture, Division of Landscape Architecture
  • 2008-2010: Sessional lecturer, Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design, University of Toronto
  • 2007-2008: Assistant Curator and Researcher: Canadian Centre for Architecture


  • 2003: BA (honours) Cultural Studies, Trent University
  • 2004-2005: MA, Communication Studies, McGill University
  • 2009-2011: MLA, Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design, University of Toronto
  • 2014- present: PhD Candidate, Department of Geography, University of Cambridge


My research focuses on the intersections of human and non-human natures in vulnerable, unpredictable and volatile contexts. I have worked on the history of fire as it shaped the morphology of Manhattan and its urban imaginary since the Dutch period; the role of the Mississippi river in pushing and pulling the morphology of New Orleans, and the agency of landslides in the physical and political consolidation of territory in Hong Kong. This work has often focused on the landscape as a complex artefact of materialised memory that shapes the future.

Since 2011 my research has focused primarily on Indonesia and Southeast Asia. For example, I co-directed international architecture research studios at the University of Hong Kong on the urban politics of flooding in Jakarta which brought together students, urban authorities, designers, researchers and residents in an attempt to pluralise the actors engaged in urban environmental governance. My research methods rely heavily on field work, site based methods, archival and historical investigation and take public forms such as exhibitions and experimental writing practices in addition to scholarly avenues.

Currently my research looks at the deep entanglements between people and active volcanoes. I am interested in volcanoes as socio-material agents intersectionally constituted by anthropogenic forces and material vitality. This is focused through a detailed case study of an active urbanised volcano in Central Java seen through the lens of its gatekeepers, liminal figures who mediate between the materiality of the volcano and the diverse communities that reside on it. I follow their practices, controversies and how they build and maintain fragile orders. I am particularly concerned with how plural worlds can be fostered and cared for amidst the urgencies spurred by environmental uncertainty.


Selected publications

  • Bobbette, Adam, 'Draw, Volcano' in Landscript 5 (Berlin: Jovis Publishers, Forthcoming 2015).
  • Bobbette, Adam, 'Aberrant Architecture: Typolgies of Practice', in City: The Breakpoints (Vilnius: Vilnius University, Architecture Fund, 2015)
  • Bobbette, Adam, 'Landscape Noir and Other Contemporary Genres as Seen Through One Case and One Exhibition', in Landscape Architecture Frontiers (Beijing: Peking University and Higher Education Press, 010, 2014)
  • Bobbette, Adam, "On Unconsolidated Grounds" in Field Notes: Mapping Asia (Asia Art Archive: Hong Kong, 2014)
  • Turpin Etienne, Bobbette, Adam and Meredith Miller, eds. Jakarta: Architecture + Adaptation (Jakarta: Universitas Indonesia Press, 2013).
  • Bobbette, Adam, "A Forensics of the Future: Fire Insurance Underwriting, Contingency and Materials", Journal of Architectural Education, Volume 67, Issue 2, (Washington: Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture, 2013)
  • Bobbette, Adam, Miller Meredith, Etienne Turpin, "Jakarta: Design Research and the Future of Hypercomplexity", in Monu, University of Kassel, Department of Architecture, Issue 17 (2012).
  • Bobbette, Adam, Denizen Seth "It's All Here: Pardisan and Zoopolis", Volume, # 35, 2013. 25-29.
  • Bobbette, Adam "Episodes from a History of Scalelessness: William Jerome Harrison and Geological Photography", in Architecture and the Anthropocene: Encounters Among Design, Deep Time, Science and Philosophy (Ann Arbor: Open Humanities Press, 2013)

External activities

  • Contributor since October 2014, WDW Review (Witte de With Centre for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam).
  • Editorial board member, Scapegoat: Architecture, Landscape, Political Economy.
  • 2014-2015 - Contributor, LEAP International Art Magazine of Contemporary China (Anhui Federation of Literary and Arts Circles & Modern Media Group, Beijing).
  • Bobbette, Adam and Roggeveen Daan (curators), Contingency Plans: or, Living with Unstable Grounds, University of Hong Kong Faculty of Architecture, Shanghai Study Centre (March 29 - June 01, 2014)
  • Bobbette, Adam and Denizen Seth, Hong Kong Free School, Shenzen/Hong Kong Bi-City Biennial, Hong Kong, (January 2014 - February, 2014).
  • Bobbette, Adam and Denizen Seth, Death and Debt Cemetery, at Para|Site, Hong Kong, (15 September - 10 November, 2013.)
  • Bobbette, Adam, A Guide to Combustible City, Common Room, New York, (July 16 - August 16, 2012).