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Events 2006:

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» AHRA Research Student Symposium
» EAAE Theory Workshop
» Bartlett Pattern Seminar
» Sheffield Theory Forum 2006

AHRA Events 2006:


The Politics of Making: Theory, Practice, Product

3rd Annual AHRA International Conference:
St. Catherine’s College, Oxford
17-18 November 2006

Link to conference website

This is the third annual international conference to be held in the United Kingdom by AHRA. The theme of the conference, The Politics of Making: Theory, practice, product builds upon the themes of the two earlier conferences, Critical Architecture and Models & Drawings: The invisible nature of architecture.

The Politics of Making focuses on the making of our cities, buildings, landscapes and written, drawn and filmic representations of such, taking a broad view of the word ‘politics’. What is the relationship between politics and the making of space? What role has theory played in reinforcing or resisting political power? What are the political difficulties associated with working relationships? Do the products of our making construct our identity or liberate us? These kinds of questions will be addressed in three conference session themes that are linked to the cycle of making: theory; practice; and product.

Is making political? The history of design theory records the story of a highly volatile and contested discourse, in which ideological positions battle for supremacy. If this is the case, how is it that any discussion of the link between design and politics/ideology has become unfashionable in contemporary discourse? This session aims firstly; to explore historical examples of ideologically driven theories of making and secondly; to ask if the terms ‘politics’ and ‘ideology’ still have resonance in the contemporary discourse of making? In a climate of disbelief in the very presence of ideological frameworks, what is the place of politics in the making of philosophies of design? Are there prevailing values in different design disciplines? If so, what are they and who is implicit in maintaining their perpetuity? Is the public denial of ideology only concealing the presence of hegemonic or private theoretical beliefs? Do we still have political antagonisms in design disciplines?

The practice of making is considered by many as fraught with political difficulty. If we reflect on the working relationships between clients or patrons and designers, the issues of enabling and compromise come to the surface. This session invites speakers to discuss what are the political conditions that favour successful design collaboration? Who dares to speak of unsuccessful collaborations or commissions represented now only as fictional models and drawings? What are the hidden politics of working relationships? Do different disciplines have more authority in working relationships than others? Does the study of the politics of the practice of making surface questions relating to authorship?

This session invites debate on two products of making: physical and narrative. In regard to the former, it asks to what extent political power is embodied in the physical products of design. In what ways if any, are our architectural and urban landscapes representations of particular political agendas? What is the relationship between built space and identity? Does space construct identity? How is space defended politically? And what of urban resistance such as the attacks on space by graffiti artists? In regard to the latter, questions such as the following might be debated. What is the political role of the writer in the production of space? What is the political role of narrative and storytelling in documenting the politics of making? Is the documentation of the politics of making restricted?

Please send a 500 word abstract plus 200 word biography - both included in the body of the email (not as attachments) - to itroiani@brookes.ac.uk by 26 June 2006. Include your name, institutional affiliation. List two recent publications. Please indicate in which strand you wish your paper to be considered. Abstracts and papers will be refereed by two academics. You will be notified as to whether your abstract has been accepted by 24 July 2006. If the abstract is accepted a full paper is then required and this is also subject to external review by two peers.

Abstracts due: 26 June
Response to abstracts by: 24 July
Full papers due: 11 September
Response to full papers by: 16 October
Conference dates: 17 and 18 November
Conference tours: 19 November

A selection of the refereed papers from the conference will be published in ARQ (Architectural Research Quarterly) in 2007. A conference proceedings book entitled The Politics of Making and edited by Professor Mark Swenarton, Dr Igea Troiani and Helena Webster will be published by Taylor & Francis.

Conference Committee: Adam Cowley, Matt Gaskin, Professor Mark Swenarton, Dr Igea Troiani, Helena Webster (Oxford Brookes University)

Link to conference website

3rd Annual AHRA Research Student Symposium:
University of Edinburgh
6–7 April, 2006

Programme - pdf

Call for Papers

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Call for Papers
EAAE-ENHSA Workshop on Architectural Theory

Content and Methods of Teaching Architectural Theory in European Schools of Architecture
School of Architecture: Department of Architecture
Provinciale Hogeschool Limburg - Campus Diepenbeek
Association of the University of Hasselt, Belgium
21-23 September 2006

This is the first sub-network workshop in the field of architectural theory. It therefore attempts to investigate and chart the various ways in which schools position courses dealing with this discipline in the curriculum. It wants to address history, contents, aims and objectives as well as the means, methods and pedagogic practices required to ensure expected learning outcomes and competences. As many European schools of architecture are faced with the challenge of establishing a more 'research based' curriculum and implementing plain research activity, the workshop will also want to deal with this aspect.

Teaching staff dealing with courses in architectural theory are invited to submit abstracts (no more than 500 words) by 15 March 2006. Authors of the selected abstracts will be asked to complete a full paper of c. 3000 words before 31 August. A poster session will also be organised. The abstract can address one, or several, of the following issues, which are organised in three groups:

1. Contents:
How does architectural theory profile itself as a discipline in the BA-MA curriculum?

Section 1 - The History of Architectural Theory and its Present Mission
This section contains contributions on the historical background of current courses in architectural theory. Do they stem from 'architectural composition' or from 'architectural history' or rather from 'design methods'? Are they taught separately from history or from design methods, and why or why not? The session furthermore explores the basics and limits of the discipline with regards to the nature and importance of architectural theory in the formation of young architects.

Section 2 - (Innovative) Approaches
In this section, schools can present their (innovative) approach towards architectural theory. Possible issues can be the desired relationship between architectural theory and architectural critique in the design studio. Another element is the function of architectural theory within the studio: is it taught independently or integrated within the studio? The session also focuses on the interdisciplinary nature of architectural theory and how this is dealt with in the curriculum.

2. Educational Model:

Section 3 - Pedagogical Aspects and Media
These contributions examine the pedagogical aspects of architectural theory. Central in this discussion is defining typical competences of the discipline. Parameters describing pedagogical aspects can relate to the methods of teaching, the instruments or means and the evaluation. The session also deals with the different media (such as texts, treatises, statistics, movies, visits to sites or museums, .) that can be relevant for teaching architectural theory. Contributions can examine the nature and quality of each medium and demonstrate this with a case-study.

3. Research:

Section 4 - Research and Design
This section can present specific and running doctoral research projects in which issues of architectural theory play an important role. This section also contains contributions that illustrate how architectural theory can become valuable for establishing research on studio level.

The Workshop will start in the late afternoon of Thursday September 21 with a key-note lecture and dinner. Friday and Saturday will be devoted to the four thematic sessions, with a concluding session late afternoon on Saturday.

Please submit your abstract to:

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Interdisciplinary Seminar
The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL
3 October 2006

Pattern is the first of a new series of Architecture & Interdisciplinarity Seminars. These events will provide an opportunity for Bartlett doctoral students and staff to take research themes derived from personal research projects and develop them into conversations across institutions and disciplines.

Event Organiser: Ana Araujo
Judith Clark (V&A, London College of Fashion)
Caroline Evans (Central St Martins College of Art and Design)
Mark Garcia (Royal College of Art)
Jonathan Hill (Bartlett School of Architecture)
Jane Rendell (Bartlett School of Architecture)

4-8 pm, Tue 3 Oct 2006
Rm G02, The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL
Wates House, 22 Gordon Street, London, WC1H 0QB

For further information please visit: http://www.bartlett.ucl.ac.uk/architecture/events/seminars/


Call for Papers
Architecture and Indeterminacy

Theory Forum 2006
School of Architecture, University of Sheffield
20-21 November 2006

We are interested in ‘indeterminacy’ as a suspension of the precise meaning of an (architectural) object, action or idea, which results from a reconsideration of its limits, contextualisation, framing. The indeterminacy (in architecture) could be physical, formal, material but also social and political; it could be both theoretical and pragmatic, cognitive and experiential.

Indeterminacy is close to concepts like uncertainty, unpredictability, lack of control, chance, openendedness, etc. The Forum proposes to investigate those moments when there is a questioning of disciplinary limits, of ways of theorising and practising architecture. We encourage not only architects but also people from related disciplines to question their uncertain encounter with architecture from their theoretical perspective or their practical experience.

The Forum will take place on 20-21 November at the School of Architecture, University of Sheffield. It is an open public event but also part of the teaching program for the MArch in architecture. The Theory Forum series has included in the past: 'Architecture and Participation', 'Architecture and Space', 'Architecture and the Body', 'Architecture and Representation'; some of which have already been published (ie. Architecture and Participation, Spon 2005)

Forum organizers: Dr. Doina Petrescu, Dr. Renata Tyszczuk and Prof. Peter Blundell Jones

Thirty minute papers or work presentations related to the topic are invited. The speakers are expected to present papers to an academic audience. They will also be invited to participate in debates and seminars involving students. Academic researchers, PhD students and practitioners from any related fields are invited.

There is no participation fee. Accomodation and travel expenses will be negotiated if required. As in previous years, we plan to publish a selection of papers from this year’s series.

Abstract submission deadline:
10th October 2006
300 word abstracts (including a few lines about the author) should be sent or emailed to Hilary Beckett:


School of Architecture
University of Sheffield
S10 2TN

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