Past Events

This page provides links and information about relevant past events.

Architectural Training and Research in the Foreign Aid-Funded Knowledge Economy, 1950s-1980s


September 09 2021 - September 10 2021

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Architectural Training and Research in the Foreign Aid-Funded Knowledge Economy, 1950s-1980s.

Two-day symposium, KTH School of Architecture, Stockholm, 9-10 September 2021.
CALL FOR PAPERS / Submission deadline: 1 April 2021.


From the 1950s to the late 1980s, the politics and economies of foreign aid – instigated by both the ‘capitalist West’ as well as the ‘communist East’ – gave rise to a whole infrastructure destined to assist the progress of ‘developing countries’ on their ‘path to development’. The various North-South exchanges that took place in the name of ‘development’ have left a deep imprint on the geopolitical landscape of postcolonial Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Largely instituted through bilateral relations between individual states, these ‘aid’ initiatives involved not only financial and material resources but also various forms of knowledge and expertise; as such, the modalities of this global, foreign aid-funded infrastructure boosted the creation and reinforcement of all sorts of institutional actors to efficiently exchange knowledge – largely through training courses, educational programs and/or research projects. In the light of widespread rural migration and intensive, rapid urbanization processes, expertise on the built environment was a particularly salient form of knowledge to the aims of foreign aid. Hence, architecture, urbanism and planning were no strangers to an emerging foreign aid-funded knowledge economy – a context in which the production and circulation of knowledge were intimately tied to the political-economic value attributed to them by foreign aid diplomacy.

How did architectural knowledge figure in foreign aid-sourced international relations, and what frameworks were set in place to efficiently exchange that knowledge? For this two-day symposium, we seek scholarly work that critically analyzes, contextualizes, or theorizes the establishment and functioning of such institutional actors, training courses, educational programs, research centers, and other infrastructures for knowledge exchange that emerged under the aegis of development and targeted ‘Third World’ clients. We welcome a wide range of methodological and creative perspectives as well as less empirical (but well-informed) theoretical approaches that interpret this phenomenon from a postcolonial or decolonizing perspective. We also encourage contributions that scrutinize the intersections of these histories with discussions of gender, race, religion and nationalism.


This two-day symposium will be held in Stockholm on 9-10 September 2021. In light of the current pandemic the event will be organized either in a hybrid format, allowing for both in-person and online attendance, or, if health regulations dictate, as a fully online event. The symposium is envisioned as one long, thematically well-focused discussion, without parallel strands, and aims to bring 12 to 15 established as well as young scholars together from every discipline that engages with the topics outlined above.

We’re happy to receive anonymized abstracts of up to 300 words and 1 optional image until 1 April 2021, submitted via email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Acceptance will be dependent on an anonymous review of the abstract by the scientific committee. If a different format than that of a presentation based on a paper would be more suitable to your work, please contact us (same deadline applies).

Scientific committee: Sebastiaan Loosen (KTH), Erik Sigge (MIT), Helena Mattsson (KTH), Viviana d’Auria (KU Leuven) and Kenny Cupers (University of Basel).

Please visit our website to find the full CFP and up-to-date information:

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Call for papers ABE Journal

Small-scale Building Enterprise and Global Home Ownership in the Age of Economic Expansion

ABE Journal

July 31 2021

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Section guest-edited by Panayotis Tournikiotis, Professor, National Technical University of Athens (NTUA), Dr. Konstantina Kalfa, Research Associate (NTUA) and Dr. Stavros Alifragkis, Research Associate (NTUA) for ABE Journal - Architecture beyond Europe.

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July 16 2021 - October 14 2021

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The etymology of competency (English), competenza (Italian), and competence (French) derives from the Latin word competentia, which means "meeting together, in agreement and symmetry.” Competens, the present participle of the Latin verb competere, has been used to describe "sufficiency of qualification" since the eighteen century. The Latin competere, from which competition also originates, is a compound of cum – "with, together," and petere, "to strive, seek, fall upon, rush at, attack." We may identify here the notions of making an effort together, achieving something with dedication, and having something that marks differences from others. In contemporary usage, competence is the quality of being competent, while competition is the act of competing. Competency is thus contingent on the conditions of competition. Yet, the overlapping of meanings is not limited to Latin roots. Competency, in Chinese translation, encompasses the meanings of the words 权限 quanxian (jurisdiction and limits of authority) 才干 caigan, 能力 nengli (ability) and 埶 yi (skillfulness and cleverness). Bruno Latour’s semiotic analyses of industrial practice at Abidjan reveal that the case for vocational training for the industrial worker is based on the production of incompetence.1 Within the governance of vocational training, workers learned the skills needed to carry out the immediate task but not enough to gain the complete competence to grasp the broader processes to enable competitiveness outside the framework of colonial industrialization and modernization.


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AHRA: Network in Precarity


July 01 2021

There is widespread recognition that researchers in the architectural humanities face entrenched and continually deteriorating working conditions on casualised contracts – whether those are defined as temporary, fixed-term, fractional (whether teaching only or otherwise), hourly, or zero-hour. This results in poor pay, lack of security, loss of employment benefits, and marginalisation in the work-place for architectural humanities researchers – affecting their livelihoods and well-being. These poor basic working conditions are compounded by structural discrimination and exploitation, and experiences of harassment and bullying. 

There has been little or no research conducted as to the composition, experiences, needs, or desires of the community of architectural humanities researchers in the UK or internationally. Nor are there any means for architectural humanities researchers to act collectively, with reference to a transparent and acknowledged set of principles and standards for employment. Establishing a Network in Precarity is a first step toward redressing these concerns. The Network is for all researchers and educators in architectural humanities who identify themselves as working in precarious or casualised conditions. 

The Network is intended to provide a forum for its members to share and discuss their working conditions, the problems and issues they face, and any demands they would like addressed – whether that be in terms of working conditions, pay, security, support for and recognition of research activities, affective and psychological labour (and damage), social and personal impacts or other. The first project of Network in Precarity would be to gather data (quantitative and qualitative) that would allow members of the network to identify demographic, geographic, and institutional patterns of precarity and casualisation. 

Ultimately, the ambition would be to formulate concrete proposals and demands by, for, and on behalf of precarious workers in the architectural humanities research community.

If you would like to join and contribute to the Network, please contact .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)


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Micro-narratives of (un)settlement

Virtual workshop

June 14 2021 - June 18 2021


 Micro-narratives of (un)settlement

is a collaborative workshop between the University of Sheffield School of Architecture and the École Nationale Supérieure d'Architecture de Paris-La Villette funded by the French Embassy in the UK and co-led by Dr Xiang Ren and Associate Professor Jim Njoo. 

The collaborative design research workshop aims to explore narrative representations and techniques which question prevailing discourses on migrant or displaced communities. More generally, it will address the current ubiquity of remote online tools and practices in shaping the identification of place and its experience in order to investigate new forms of architectural description that challenge conventional notions of “distance” and “proximity” typically associated with in situ fieldwork.


The international workshop offers 10-15 positions for Masters and Doctoral students. Creative design and/or writing skills are essential, as well as collaborative work experience and proficiency in English; interdisciplinary knowledge is welcome. 

Participation is free of charge. 

Please submit a 1-page statement outlining your motivation and your potential contribution to this workshop with a 1-page CV on a separate page to both Xiang Ren (.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)) and Jim Njoo (.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)) by 3pm 28 May 2021. Notifications will be sent to the applicants by 3pm 4 June 2021.




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Interstices: Journal of Architecture & Related Arts CFP

Interstices: Journal of Architecture & Related Arst: Issue 21 Fixing

Wellington, New Zealand

March 31 2021

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Maintenance and care might be imagined to be conservative practices, aiming at stasis or keeping something going in the same track. Yet this underestimates the dynamic nature of fixing. To repair or sustain something is to become intimately entangled in processes of decay, aging, entropy; but also, with growth, complexity and otherness, with fallow states, and with regeneration. To develop a fixation with something is to be turned implacably away from oneself. Rather than fixing in place, this issue of Interstices asks how we fix things together across and through places.

Donna Haraway contrasts poiēsis as “the activity in which a person brings something into being that did not exist before” — with sympoiēsis, a co-creation, a “making things together”. Designing space is necessarily sympoiētic, emerging from a complex collusion of the human and other-than-human. Accordingly, we are interested in shifting our view from individualised moments of creativity to bring into frame how space might be co-authored, negotiated through performances of maintenance and care. What are the spatial possibilities of this continuing dialogue between architecture and other domains? What is the agency of things beyond us? How might divergent scales—the scale of a virus say—jolt us to consider space differently?

We welcome contributions from architecture and art practice, philosophy, theory, ethnography, and geography, that speculate on questions of Fixing.  The intention is to capture a wide spectrum of disciplinary approaches and voices that chart the unanticipated directions and productive suturing of domains considering fixing, maintenance and care. Contributors are invited to submit papers, theoretical and critical reflections, and documentation of experimental creative works.

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