Past Events

This page provides links and information about relevant past events.

Connecting Narratives: Film as Research

John Henry Brookes Building, Oxford Brookes University (Headington campus)

July 10 2015 - July 10 2015

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Connecting Narratives: Film as Research’ is an interdisciplinary one-day symposium to discuss the impact of film as a research tool and as a method of communicating research. Invited internationally and nationally recognised filmmaking researchers, emerging scholars in the Faculty and industry professionals working in the fields of architecture, film production, fine arts, anthropology, public health and publishing who work with filmmaking research praxis will discuss Approaches, Methods and Publication as Film. Our Guest Speakers will debate critical methodological approaches (not journalistic) to storytelling practice in research-led filmmaking, and expand our understanding of the use of film to extend knowledge transfer beyond the University.

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Architecture is Pedagogy: Call for Contributions

June 22 2015 - August 31 2015

Do you have an account of an architectural project or experience that exemplifies, questions or suggests alternatives for what the pedagogy of architecture might be?

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7th Symposium of Architecture, Culture and Spirituality

Nature and the Ordinary: Sacred Foundations of Architecture, Culture and Spirituality

Ghost Ranch, New Mexico, United States of America

June 18 2015 - June 21 2015

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The Forum for Architecture, Culture and Spirituality invites participation in its Seventh Annual Symposium. ACS 7 will take place in the serene setting of the vast and inspiring New Mexico desert in the southwest of the United States. We selected this remarkable place to invite us to contemplate and live the theme of the symposium: “Nature and the Ordinary: Sacred Foundations of Architecture, Culture and Spirituality.”  Although the symposium will focus on landscape and culture in the context of the ‘quotidian,’ we will consider submissions addressing other issues related to ACS and include them in at least one open session during ACS7. These sessions will provide a forum to present what is currently being studied, discussed, practiced, or taught in the area of architecture, culture and spirituality.

As in previous ACS meetings, the symposium will be structured around several subtopics focusing on various aspects of the general theme, and the number of attendees will be kept small on purpose to secure an atmosphere conducive to personal connections and in-depth dialogue. Optional meditation will be offered each morning and there will be some free time for connecting to oneself, other people and the surroundings.

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CfP: Dialectic IV: Architecture at Service?

– A Profession between Luxury Provision, Public Agency and Counter-Culture

Salt Lake City, UT

June 01 2015

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Deadline:
June 1st, 2015

Requirements:
Abstract (350 words)
Short CV

When defining architecture, the debate codified in mid-nineteenth century as “Architecture: Art or Profession” is far from dead. The face-off between arts and crafts architects and neo-classicists at Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) persists on partly similar and partly modified terms. The emphasis on the primacy of the program, function, and technological problem solving is still robust; though there is no consensus among its champions about the addressee of architectural design. There is little agreement if architecture should be serving the interests of the client, the users, or the vision of the architect. Should its primary duty be to the profession, the debates in the media, or the symbolic client, namely the public at large? The opponents of this faction, in turn, insist on artistic freedom from such constraints and call for the autonomy of the discipline. Art-architects as well as practitioners of architectural history, aesthetic philosophy, and semiotics dominate this faction. These questions are highly charged with political and ideological leaning, full of consequences for teaching, practice, and society, and therefore in need of dialectical interrogation.

A materialist reading of history frames architecture both as part of the superstructure (intellectual culture) and the productive base of the society. Architects are involved in matter-of-fact processes of production and organization of labor. They have a say in the distribution of goods, products, and services, and they are complicit in the reproduction of labor forces. A neo-liberal society could only create a neo-liberal architecture. There is no room for artistic agency in this position. 

Critical theorists of a slightly different persuasion, however, argue for a more dialectical relationship between culture and base. They allow vanguard architecture a degree of agency or semi-autonomy, if you will. They point to the ‘soft critique’ of Mies van der Rohe or John Hejduk, erect the worth of the ‘esoteric musings’ of Kenzo Tange or Jeffrey Bawa, and most recently, hold sacred the ‘gorilla tactics’ of rebel architects in Israel, the occupied West Bank, Pakistan, Spain, Nigeria, and elsewhere. These concrete examples create faith in the possibility of brave comment and critical practice. They enact meaningful effects in the world beyond representation and artistic intention, within the stranglehold of existing societal forces. 

And then, of course, we are reminded that there might be room for counter-culture practices within everyday spaces. The literature taught in architectural schools abounds with theories and practices of appropriation, poaching, and tactics within the city by the ubiquitous woman without qualities. 

Dialectic IV invites papers with new takes on the long-held proposition that architects are providers of design services. They service everyone from the status quo all the way to the subaltern. We know well how architects have historically fashioned themselves to be able to procure the most valued building commissions a people have to offer. There are temples, churches and shrines, palaces and private villas, and surely monuments, state institutions and corporate headquarters. But how have the members of the same profession managed to fashion themselves as the custodians of the public good? 

Are the career paths of luxury providers and community supporters mutually exclusive or mutually beneficial? Does one make the other possible? How are the careers of community architects and activist-designers sustained? What about those who traverse these boundaries? What kind of a dialogue exists or should exist between agents of the elite, public agents and producers of counter culture? Do Marxist thinkers regard these as impossible questions? 

Architects are also at the service of specific expectations – that of their peers, academia, and the media. We need to consider the kind of career choices, aspirations, and skills professional training and professional bodies (such as AIA, NCARB or RIBA) offer? Historians tell us that most of the socially and artistically progressive buildings are historical accidents. Only where the paths of talented architects have crossed the tracts of “enlightened” affluent clients, have we had progressive departures from “business as usual.” Are progressive-minded architects operating in the luxury market restricted to mute representations and subject to the whims of chance? 

Following the thematic issues of Dialectic II on architecture and economy and Dialectic III on design-build, the fourth issue of our peer-review journal will explore architecture at service – of whom, for whom, service to what ideals and realized how.

The editors value critical statements and alternative practices. We hope to include instructive case studies and exciting models for professional practice. Possible contributions may also include mapping of ongoing debates across the world, book, journal, exhibition and new media reviews. Please send abstracts of 350 words and short CVs to Ole W. Fischer .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) and Shundana Yusaf .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) by June 1st, 2015.

Accepted authors will be notified by June 15th. Photo essays with 6-8 images and full papers of 2500-3500 words must be submitted by August 15, 2015, (including visual material, endnotes, and permissions for illustrations) to undergo an external peer-review process. This issue of Dialectic is expected to be out in print by spring 2016.


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DIALECTIC a refereed journal of the School of Architecture, CA+P, University of Utah
ISSN: 2333-5440 (print)
ISSN: 2333-5459 (electronic)

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40 Years On: The Domain of Design History

Looking Back Looking Forward

Open University, Milton Keynes

May 22 2015

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2015 marks forty years since the Open University launched its pioneering course A305 History of architecture and design 1890-1939 in 1975.  The course has been widely acknowledged as a landmark in the study of modern architecture and design both in the UK and internationally.  This conference will take A305 as its starting point to trace some central themes in the history of the discipline in this country from the 1970s onwards. 

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IFW2015: Nomadic Interiors

Interiors Forum World 3th International Conference

Politecnico di Milano School of Architettura e Società

May 21 2015 - May 22 2015

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Nomadic Interiors: CALL FOR PAPER/CONFERENCE/BOOK

Identity and diversity – whether cultural, ethnic, religious or political – mark our contemporary global context on a daily basis. We live in an age that might be defined by migration, of population flow, by the movement of people, of information, of knowledge… From continent to continent, from nation to nation, from region to region, from city to city, individuals or groups of people overcome geographic borders and cultural or linguistic barriers in search of an economic comfort zone; for a new lease on life for their children; as well as for study purposes; for tourism or to experience new lifestyles and social relations.
Old and new nomads, inscribe traces, invisible or real, on the places they cross and where they stop, generating linguistic, cultural, lifestyle contaminations. They remark, delete or reconfigure their identity, absorbing or rejecting differences. By traveling and stopping – temporarily or permanently – they retrace paths followed by others or design new ones. It’s a movement of global intensification that configures ways of living, inhabiting, and being in the world.
On the other hand, the concept of the Interior has profoundly changed. It is no longer tied to the domestic and work sphere only – a dichotomy that Walter Benjamin used to tie to the capitalist society of the end of Nineteenth century – it now includes all places of associated and collective life. The metropolitan environment, specifically, is characterized by a succession of «internities», sometimes with (transient, feeble, fleeting) or mutating borders, that everyone re-owns in a more or less permanent way. “The nomadic space, a pure interior”, writes George Teyssot, underlining how the movement – of people as well information – has also changed the original meaning of Interior architecture.
Proximity, Hybridization, Multiculturalism, Mobility, Identity, Diversity seem to characterize spaces for contemporary life, culture, training, hospitality, leisure, work, commerce and social relations.

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