Going on retreat


A big thank you to everyone who has contributed to the ongoing research for this project. The bizarre French academic system is giving me my ‘Easter’ holiday one week after Easter. So, with my TGV and Eurostar tickets in hand, I’m about to head off for a couple of days peace and quiet back home in England. I’ll be taking advantage of this break to prepare the first chapter submission of my dissertation for Monday 23 April, which will draw on all of the work and reading that I’ve done so far. The chapter will not necessarily be suggestive of the final submission, and I’m under no obligation to actually include it in the finished thesis. It will, however, give me a chance to chew the cud and produce a concerted statement of intent for the rest of the dissertation.

I’ll post the chapter here in pdf format on or around 23 April. Thanks again to everyone who’s helped me out, I hope you continue to find more of interest here in the coming months.


  1. Hi James, I’ve just recently come across your blog by random chance. It’s pretty fascinating to me that you are drawing the links between comics and architecture that you are. I, myself, have been long fascinated by the (perhaps more obvious) links that comics have with Graphic Design–the usage of words and pictures to create a gestalt; the use of symbols and the fact that cartooning is more to do with moving these symbols around (designing) than drawing per se; the inherent narrative in both forms; and the similarities between the language of comics and typography. There’s probably a book in it somewhere, but after my last book, it’ll be a while until I get around to writing it :)

    Anyway, just wanted to say keep up the fascinating work, and anything I can do to help, please get in touch…

  2. “just recently”

    Oops. Tautology ahoy!

  3. “There’s probably a book in it somewhere, but after my last book, it’ll be a while until I get around to writing it”

    …well watch this space, because I’m finding myself heading in so many different directions at once that I might need a longer term project than a mere 15,000 dissertation to explore all this material : )

    Thanks for the kind words, and if anything crops up I’ll drop you a line.


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    "no words no action" was an experiment in academic blogging. The blog recorded the progress of reading, research and investigations that lead to a Masters in Architecture dissertation at the University of Sheffield in autumn 2007. You can find out more about the author's interest in blogging here.

    To find out more about the thesis, download the original dissertation proposal (pdf format) from February 2007 or the semi-formal first chapter (pdf format) from April 2007.

    Further research projects are in the works, and their dependence on human interaction and networking suggests more blogging will be inevitable when the time comes.


    At the time that this blog was created, James Benedict Brown was a fifth year Masters of Architecture student at the University of Sheffield. James' personal blog is here.

    James graduated in 2008 and now lives and works in Glasgow.


    This project was supervised by Renata Tyszczuk at the University of Sheffield


    If you want to correct me on something, offer an opinion on a particular artist or building, or if you'd like to recommend someone or something to find out about, please feel free to leave a comment. Just click on 'Comments' under the headline of the relevant post...


    Click here to browse James' bookshelf, and to purchase books being used in this project.


    I've managed to miss almost half a dozen compelling conferences around the world so far this year, simply because I have no (more) money to travel and no time to escape my studies in Strasbourg and Sheffield. However, if I had a magic plane ticket and plenty of time, here's my selection of essential conferences to attend. Hopefully I'll be there for more of them next year... click here for the diary (updated every time I miss another one).

  • NOTE

    All images are used for illustrative purposes only, and the copyright remains with the artist and/or creator. Please contact me if I have misappropriated an image or incorrectly credited it. Thanks... JBB


    Creative Commons License
    The content of this blog is licenced under a Creative Commons Licence.

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