Past Events

'The Stuff of Radio: Material and Spatial Cultures of Sound in inter-war England.'

Lecture – Elizabeth Darling

  • 9 March 2016
  • 6:00 – 8:00 pm
  • Lecture Room, Paul Mellon Centre

This paper discusses the work of Serge Chermayeff, Wells Coates and Raymond McGrath, and their work for the BBC at Broadcasting House, London (1932), for which they designed the majority of the studios, and their subsequent work as wireless set designers for the electronics manufacturer, EKCO Ltd (1933 onwards). In so doing, my concern will be to explore how they resolved the challenge that the emergence of the broadcasting and wireless industry in the wake of the Great War created for architects and designers: how to give material form to something as immaterial as sound.

Black and white photograph of a building under construction

Broadcasting House under construction, 1930

All are welcome! However, places are limited, so if you would like to attend please contact our Events Manager, Ella Fleming on

The seminar will be followed by a drinks reception.

About the speaker

  • Elizabeth Darling is Reader in Architectural History in the Department of History, Philosophy & Religion at Oxford Brookes University. During 2014-15 she was one of the first Mid-Career Fellows at the PMC. Her research focuses on the emergence and nature of modernism in inter-war England, on which she has published widely, including Re-forming Britain: Narratives of Modernity before Reconstruction (2006), Wells Coates (2012) and, most recently, an article for the Journal of Architecture, ‘From cockpit to domestic interior: the Great War and Wells Coates’s Architecture.’ (vol 19, 2014).