In mid-March, Covid-19 was declared a Global Pandemic. We shifted our lives to our homes' interiority: moving from the outside to the inside. This refraction considers the opposite by inviting us to reflect from the outside to the inside of Fairfield House and Highwood House.

        The first was the residence of Ethiopian emperor Haile Selassie during his exile in Bath and now functions as a community-based facility for marginalized groups. The latter was the residence of Sir Stamford Raffles, the founder of Singapore, and currently is being refurbished by its owner as his family residence in Barnet, UK.

        Using archival material, interviews, objects, and personal reflections Keren Kuenberg and Sean Cham offer us a new gaze into the two houses by presenting new narratives while asking questions of place, identity, community, and decolonization.

        As part of the Refracted Sites, Keren and Sean present Conversations With/Out Houses. A new piece created exclusively for this online exhibition as an assemblage of the two works Welcome to the Margins by Keren Kuenberg and House on Hill by Sean Cham.                                                                                                                                                      

Curated by Enrique Cavelier


        This collaborative work is a snapshot of two pieces that reflect on Fairfield House and Highwood House. Imagined as a conversation with and without the houses, this new piece proposes a new fragmented gaze to appreciate the two sites with their similarities and differences while enquiring about roles, characters, and authority in conversations.   

Conversations With/Out Houses

by Keren Kuenberg and Sean Cham

  Keren Kuenberg is an architectural researcher and a curator. Her practice is situated at the intersection of the built environment, archives, exhibitions, and politics with an ongoing interest in shaping the outcome with various interactive formats.
Her works can be found at:

  Sean Cham is an artist and researcher based between London and Singapore. He is currently pursuing an MA in Situated Practice at the Bartlett, UCL. His current research interest is in ethical conservation, especially with regards to colonial architecture. His works can be found at: www.seancham.com

  Enrique Cavelier is an architect and researcher. He worked at the office of Giancarlo Mazzanti in Bogotá, Colombia where he collaborated on different projects, competitions, and exhibitions.  Now, he is currently finishing a master's in Situated Practice at the Bartlett School of Architecture in London. His current research interest is in communities' participation in city-making to test new models of inclusivity and involvement in the design of built environments.

On October 10th, 2020, Keren, Sean, and Enrique performed Conversations With/Out Houses by reading the piece together on ZOOM while being out of their places in London and New York.