Ashley Bigham

Ashley Bigham

Yale University

  • Research topic:
    Preservation and modern adaptation of historic fortification structures in the Galicia region
    February-November 2014
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Ashley Bigham is a Fulbright Fellow in architecture currently researching historic city fortification systems near Lviv. She is a recent graduate with a Master of Architecture from the Yale University School of Architecture. In addition to her studies at Yale, Ashley's teaching experiences include a teaching fellowship with Professor Dolores Hayden at Yale University and an Adjunct Lecturer position at the University of Tennessee. Professionally, she has practised at MOS, an inter-disciplinary architecture firm based in New York and Gray Organschi Architecture in New Haven.

Her research interests include defence architecture, globalization, the theory of modern preservation and sites of memory and their immortalization.

Ashley's research in Ukraine will focus on the preservation and modern adaptation of historic fortification structures in the Galicia region. As a cultural artefact and architectural typology, the fortress embodies more than the physical aspects of strength, stability, and security; it is a symbol of cultural history. These enduring structures stand across Ukraine today in variations of their traditional forms altered by time, technology, and culture. As these structures lost their effectiveness as physical defence systems they adopted new programs such as museums, cultural centers, community meeting spaces, and tourist attractions while others remain in disrepair. The need for these structures has never faded; it has evolved. This project will include observing, documenting, and analyzing the current condition of sites such as Palanok, Uzhhorod, Olesko and Kamianets-Podilskyi. This work will focus on the cultural and architectural identity of the structures by examining their modern context.

At the Center for Urban History in spring 2014 she taught the course "Cultural Fortresses: Reconsidering Preservation and Memorial Architecture" for senior students of Lviv’s universities. During her time as a guest at the Center for Urban History, she researched castles and fortresses in what is now western Ukraine and the globalization theory of defence architecture. Her public lecture "Architectural Territories: Medieval Strategies in a Globalizing World" about her research took place at the Center in October 2014.

Selected publications:

  • Bigham, A. "The Generic Void," CLOG: World Trade Center, 2014 (forthcoming).
  • Bigham, A. and Erik Herrmann. "Maps of Miami’s Networks," CLOG: MIAMI, 2014.
  • Bigham, A. "Bigham’s Ham Company,"Retrospecta 2011-2012: Yale School of Architecture, pg. 167.
  • Bigham, A and Erik Herrmann. "Air Range, Air Fields,"Retrospecta 2011-2012: Yale School of Architecture, pg. 174.