Past Events

This page provides links and information about relevant past events.

2017 Interstices Under Construction Symposium: Pattern/Surface

Extended deadline for abstract submissions

used echo chainsaw The University of Auckland and Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand

June 02 2017 - June 04 2017

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EXTENDED DEADLINE for submissions for “Interstices Under Construction Symposium: Pattern / Surface - a pursuit of material narratives” Auckland, 2nd - 4th June 2017. 500-word abstracts will now be accepted up to Tuesday 21st March, midnight NZST. Send to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) Abstracts submitted by this date will receive a decision by 15 April. Details about registration (fees, concessions, early bird registration) will be posted on the website by 1st April and registrations open on 15th April.

(Those who have already submitted abstracts, thank you — decisions will be sent out for these in late March.)

Please forward to colleagues, friends, and students.

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2017 Interstices 19 (Under Construction) symposium

Surface – Pattern: a pursuit of material narratives.

lego chainsaw The University of Auckland and Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand

June 02 2017 - June 04 2017

Event web site

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used echo chainsaw 2017 Interstices 19 (Under Construction) symposium

used echo chainsaw Surface – Pattern: a pursuit of material narratives.

stihl chainsaw performance parts The University of Auckland and Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand

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go site Keynote Speaker: Associate Professor Spyros Papapetros 

School of Architecture, Princeton University  

Surface and ornament have been extensively reviewed, admonished, discarded and pursued. More recently there has been a renewed interest in the writing of Aby Warburg and Alois Riegl, while numerous studies have addressed these issues relative to Semper, Adolf Loos, Hermann Muthesius, and Le Corbusier. They have been made prominent by issues of animation (see, for example, Papapetros 2012, Payne 2013, van Eck 2014) and digitation (see for example Spuybroek 2008 and Schumacher 2009).

Incrustations, protuberances, textured expressions, smoothed surfaces, surfaces enlivened as screens, are they ornament or cladding? The 2017 Interstices Under Construction Symposium, “Surface – Pattern” pursues the tension between ornament, adornment, object enlivenment, cladding, surface and pattern, and an exploration into the strange animations inherent in surface-pattern continua.

Thought in one direction, smooth surface tends towards speed and a friction-less gloss; in another, pattern stirs surfaces inciting decelerating, contemplation, and even deviation. Etymologically, ‘surface’ accords with the revealing of an upper or outward layer, but it also points to things that receive a surface through polishing or finishing. Pattern suggests the imposition of a plan or design that ultimately models or leads back to exemplars and the impact of patrons. Conjunctures of surface-patterns thus encompass rich and complex narrative effects.

This call for papers invites considerations, at a range of scales, of surface-pattern complexes like territory and landscapes, built assemblages and ‘cladding’, interior surfaces, décor and furniture, sculpture or objects of the decorative arts.

The symposium is motivated by the renewed fascination with the architectural surface and the expressive effects it mobilises – effects that both eschew and uneasily dabble in the decorative. Material mediation has become a means for experimentation, a way of teasing out smooth geometries, tessellated patterns, iconic figures and textures, which may all also perform technical functions, like joining or harmoniously accommodating incremental and differential movement. If, following Paul Virilio, the built, like the social, is inseparable from a politics of speed (in which surfaces, ways, and conduits at every scale are ‘policed’ in order to arrest impediments to an accelerating commerce of motion and passage), we might wonder what role patterning plays today.

As Giles Deleuze and Felix Guattari have argued, periodic repetition is key to encoding a milieu, founding territoriality and place-specificity. However, it is also a rhythmic vehicle running on difference, a metrical, staggered and reversible time of variable intensities, in which beginning and end are confused (Bogue 2003: 28). Performative and plastic arts in the Pacific and elsewhere use repetition not only as aesthetic device but also “to symbolise and effect relations of mana” (Tomlinson & Tengan 2015: 17), both channelling affective force and representing memory and knowledge to those who understand (Clark 2006: 12; Nepia 2013: 133, 197).

Pattern and rhythm run free of and extend beyond planar fixity, implicating faces and surfaces that may change, reverse or combine, they alter perception and architectural space. Surfaces, beyond their seconding within building hierarchies, open onto movement and shifting states (Taylor 2009: 47). Architecture, then, can be rethought in relation to an outside that is not kept out or apart, in terms of surfaces, flatness, dynamism and movement rather than stasis (Grosz 1995: 135). Patterned and patterning, surfaces provide a saturated environment rich in repetition, difference and an atmosphere by which architecture is more than a machinic structure. As the distinctions between structures and ornaments, function, form, façade and decor are reconceptualised, surfaces are no longer decorative elements but entities in themselves. Surface “turns into architecture [as the] surface becomes weighted, deep, differentiated, tartan, alternating, camouflaged, tonal, gradated, textured, branded, serial” (Bruno 2014: 93).

It is with this sense of the spatial effects potentiated by surface-pattern that we invite you to submit abstracts for the forthcoming Interstices Under Construction Symposium.

Please send a 500-word abstract and a short biographical statement of 100 words to Susan Hedges (.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)) by 28th February 2017. Abstracts will be vetted through blind peer review and, if accepted, published on the Interstices website ( Notifications will be sent out by March 2017. The symposium will be followed by a call for papers for Issue 19 of Interstices: A Journal of Architecture and Related Arts on the same topic in June 2017.


Convenors: Andrew Douglas, Tina Engles—Schwarzpaul, Susan Hedges,

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Future Passé

go to link Victoria & Albert Museum, London

June 02 2017 - June 02 2017

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How do we represent urban change and technological development in visual and textual form, historically and in the present? How has visual rhetoric been used to normalize the disruption and destruction that accompanies modern ideas of ‘progress’? And what happens when these confident predictions of future relevance fail and we are left with dead-ends and obsolete technologies, the unwanted remains of modernity?

Join academic speakers, V&A curators, artists and filmmakers as they aim to unpick how narratives of progress have been – and continue to be – established through visual and textual representations of urban change and technological development. What ends do these narratives serve? How can they be unpicked and re-presented? 

Main speakers: Historian of Technology David Edgerton, Architectural Historian Barbara Penner, Geographer Gillian Rose, Architect Liam Young
Keynote: Filmmaker Peter Greenaway   

The event is free, but online booking required.


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The Colin Rowe Lecture on architecture and photography

Royal Institute of British Architects, 66 Portland Place, London W1B 1AD

May 30 2017

Event web site

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In an informal setting and in dialogue with experienced and imaginative guests, The Colin Rowe Lectures aim to discuss the role of the image in architecture, particularly the crucial role of architectural photography. Following the success of Richard Pare’s inaugural lecture in November 2016, the panel has selected from the ‘emerging scholars / practitioners’ entries two apparently diverging proposals, both focusing on the role played by people - or their absence - in architectural imagery. In their joint paper two scholars, Angelo Maggi (Venice) and Davide Deriu (London) will talk about the critical role played by people in images - workers, passers-by and staged characters - whilst the photographer and architect Philipp Schaerer (Zurich) will reflect on the way in which technology allows us to supersede reality - what do we perceive when looking at images that do not represent anything ‘real’? Whatever the image is representing, it works in the space of our imagination and that is the territory which the lecture aims to explore.

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Architectural History Workshop

New Event for Graduate Students and Early Career Researchers

The Alan Baxter Gallery, 70 Cowcross Street, London

May 20 2017

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This new event, which replaces the hugely successful Graduate Student Research Forum, provides a venue for students and new researchers to present new research and research in progress. It also provides networking opportunities and sessions useful for career development.

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Buildings in Society International III - An interdisciplinary Approach.

Swedish History Museum, Stockholm

May 11 2017 - May 14 2017

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Building studies fall too often into the disciplinary gaps between architectural history, archaeology and social anthropology. The Buildings in Society International conference is an attempt bridge those gaps, to draw from all these approaches and examine how people have created buildings and responded to them. The forthcoming conference would like to examine how people have been creating and using buildings, how they have responded to them, and how the buildings have been perceived. It will consider a diversity of built constructions - including dwellings and public buildings, sheds and manor houses, secular and sacral structures.

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