AHRA Newsletter:
August-September 2011

This is the latest issue of the newsletter highlighting forthcoming events, conferences, publications and other research activities.

If you would like to receive this information by e-mail, and you haven't yet signed up as a member of AHRA, please follow the link to the AHRA website for details of how to register on the database. Membership is currently free and is open to all humanities researchers working in Schools of Architecture and related disciplines both in the UK and overseas. Please also encourage colleagues to register here: http://www.ahra-architecture.org/registration/

If you are planning a research event that you would like to promote through the newsletter, please log in to the AHRA website and post the details by clicking on the 'Post Your Event' link under the 'Events' menu. These details will appear on the 'Future Events' page within a few days (subject to moderation) and will also be included in the next issue of the Newsletter. If you have not logged in to the site before, you should enter your default username ('firstnamelastname') and click on the 'forgotten your password' link for further instructions.

To promote other items of interest (new books, courses, other research resources etc) please send details by email to Stephen Walker at:

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The next newsletter will be issued in early October 2011.


New Events

Biophilic Design

Harmonious inter-relationship between built and natural context at both neighborhood and city scale

International Society of Biourbanism

August 30 2013

Call for Papers:

The new Journal of Bio Urbanism (JBU), a peer-reviewed international online journal of architecture, planning, and built environment studies, is currently considering papers for inclusion in its first issue launching in 2011.

The JBU aims at establishing a bridge between new theories and practice in the fields of design, architectural and urban planning, and built environment studies.

We invite papers which examine the latest research on biophilic approach, and focuses on harmonious inter-relationship between built and natural context at both neighborhood and city scale.

Please send your submissions to the editor (.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)), by 30 August 2011.

Participants will be notified by November 2011.

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Fri 30 August 2013

New directions in Gothic Revival studies worldwide

The 2012 A.W.N. Pugin bicentennial conference

University of Kent, Canterbury

July 13 2012 - July 14 2012

This conference will be the primary international academic event marking the bicentenary of the birth of the architect A.W.N. Pugin, bringing the field’s leading scholars worldwide to a broad-based conference in Canterbury. It will also be the first conference on the British Gothic Revival's international impact that incorporates North America, and the first significant international conference on the subject since ‘Gothic Revival: religion, architecture and style in Western Europe’ (Leuven, 1997).

There will be opportunities to visit key Pugin sites immediately before and after the conference. In association with the Pugin Society, The Victorian Society and the Landmark Trust we will offer visits to the Grange and St Augustine’s in Ramsgate. Further tours and walks will be organised over the following week to Gothic Revival sites in Birmingham and Staffordshire.

The academic sessions of the conference will be held on 13-14 July 2012 at the University of Kent in Canterbury.

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Fri 13 July 2012

Ethics & Aesthetics of Architecture & the Environment

2 0 1 2 I S P A C o n f e r e n c e

Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

July 11 2012 - July 13 2012

Call for papers

Abstracts: 28 October 2011
Notification of Acceptance: 06 January 2012
Full Papers: 30 March 2012
Early Registration: 30 April 2012

The subject of aesthetics is often taken as dealing with questions of mere beauty, where the word 'aesthetic' is colloquially interchangeable with beauty and liking. Someone might, for instance, explain their liking the look of a particular object on the basis of its 'aesthetics'. Interestingly, even within the specialised architecture discourse, the aesthetic is largely discussed on the basis of an object's appearance. Yet, the aesthetic is not limited and should not be limited merely to the way things look. Any philosophically informed aesthetician, will contest this limited view, saying something along the lines of 'the aesthetic is everything'. The aim of this conference is therefore in part to address this discursive limitation in architecture and related subjects by broadening the aesthetic discourse beyond questions relating to purely visual phenomena in order to include those derived from all facets of human experience.

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Wed 11 July 2012

European Architectural History Network

Second International Meeting

Brussels, Belgium

May 31 2012 - June 03 2012

Call for Session and Roundtable Proposals Deadline: 19 December 2010

The European Architectural History Network (EAHN) is organizing its second international meeting in Brussels in spring 2012 with twenty-three panels and four roundtables treating topics from antiquity through medieval and early modern to the present.  Panels include topics in the history of architecture, urbanism, gardens and landscape, as well as in architectural theory and historiography.  

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Thu 31 May 2012


International Urban Design Conference

University of Nottingham

April 05 2012 - April 06 2012

Abstracts due 30th September 2011 

Keynote Speakers:

Amanda Reynolds, Chair of the Urban Design Group

Ali Madanipour, Professor of Urban Design, Newcastle University


• Theoretical definitions and the conceptual components of place

• Methodological studies that suggest a form of analysis or pedagogy

• Case studies that examine the specificities of place

Contributions will be organised in thematic sessions. Selected texts will be published in an accompanying book.


Over the past twenty years, place has emerged as the key concept for urban design. The concept of place is loosely defined as the interrelationship between the formal and spatial organisation of buildings, groups of buildings, streets, spaces and landscapes; the activities taking place within it and the meaning associated with it. The agency assigned to each of these components of place varies according to different traditions of thought and design theory. By definition, the triad of space, activity and meaning cannot be captured in a fixed theoretical framework. 



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Thu 5 April 2012

4th Architecture, Culture & Spirituality Symposium

Chichen Itza, Mexico

April 03 2012 - April 07 2012

ACS 4 proposes to go to the very foundation from which all work on architecture and spirituality spring: the actual experience of an environment infused with such numinous, cultural, and place power that it holds the potential to catapult us into a ineffable, sublime state.  In order to do so, ACS 4 asks participants to voluntarily take off their cultural, religious, language, ecological, ethnic, temporal, and architectural frameworks of operation in order to engage anew in the ancient act of pilgrimage. The destination is CHICHEN ITZA (in the Yucatan peninsula, MEXICO), the urban/architectural treasure of the Mayan civilization. 

Because of its pilgrimage nature, ACS 4 deploys a very different type of scholarly and professional structure and procedure.  Based on the sound principles of rhethoric, reflection-in-action, and action research, ACS 4 asks participants to propose and then direct or deliver on-site discussion-papers, research projects, workshops/exercises, and/or performances/shows on topics germane to the spirit of this enterprise and their own expertise.  ACS 4 will organize these proposals within three Salons affording both collective and individual experiences. Given the nature of theACS 4 experience, we will limit symposium registration to the 20-24 individuals whose works have been accepted for inclusion in the program. Others interested in attending the meeting, while welcome to attend the Salons at no cost, will have to make their own travel arrangements.

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Tue 3 April 2012


Reinventing Architecture and Interiors: the past, the present and the future

Ravensbourne. London. UK

March 29 2012 - March 30 2012

An International Conference on the re-use and re-design of buildings in contemporary settings

Thursday 29th and Friday 30th March   2012    

Ravensbourne, London.

Deadline for abstracts:    01 Novemebr 2011

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Thu 29 March 2012

Pruitt Igoe Now

ideas competition

March 16 2012

Pruitt Igoe Now is an ideas competition launched by a non-profit organization of the same name. The subject is the 57-acre site of the long-mythologized Pruitt and Igoe housing projects in St. Louis, Missouri, USA -- a site whose future is intertwined with emerging ideas about urban abandonment, the legacy of modernism, brownfield redevelopment and land use strategies for shrinking cities. This competition seeks the ideas of the creative community worldwide: we invite individuals and teams of professional, academic, and student architects, landscape architects, urban planners, designers, writers, historians, and artists of every discipline to re-imagine the site and the relationship between those acres to the rest of the city.

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Fri 16 March 2012

6th Conference of the International Forum on Urbanism (IFoU)


Escola Tècnica Superior d'Arquitectura de Barcelona

January 25 2012 - January 27 2012

To strengthen the international collaboration in Urbanism, the International Forum on Urbanism develops international conferences to contribute to the international debate on Urbanism and to stimulate the exchange between academic and professional institutions. The sixth, entitled TOURbanISM-toURBANISM, will take place from January 25th to 27th, 2012, at the Catalonian Politechnic University (UPC) in Barcelona.

The conference aims to generate an exchange between the academic and the professional debate, to investigate opportunities and risks for the sustainable touristical development and to discuss visions, concepts and best practices. In this framework causes, reasons and dependencies of worldwide transformation processes will be analyzed and planning strategies and design concepts for a more sustainable development of tourism will be explored.


Deadline for abstracts submission  JUNE 17th, 2011


ANNEX: List of current member institutions of IFoU:

TU Delft / Berlage Institute Rotterdam / IUA Venetia / UPC Barcelona / Tsinghua University Beijing / Beijing University of Technology / Taiwan University Taipei / National University of Singapore / Tarumanagara University Jakarta / Chinese University of HongKong / Tongjii University Shangai / University of Tokio / Seoul National University / Chonnam National University of Korea / National Cheng Kung University of Taiwan

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Wed 25 January 2012

Modern Catholic Space

Mount Street Jesuit Centre, London

December 09 2011 - December 10 2011

Call for papers:

Modern architecture for the Roman Catholic Church in the twentieth century could be experimental, transgressive or progressive, comforting or shocking; sometimes it appeared within a culture of intense theoretical and theological dialogue between architects and clergy, and sometimes it challenged orthodoxy and innovated at the fringes of the Church’s complex structure. At various significant moments, modern architecture was either repressed and quenched, or welcomed and widely adopted. Architects could be concerned with the symbolic potential of modern architecture to evoke newly emphasised ideas in theology. In church architecture throughout the twentieth century, the liturgy was a central focus of development, as space and ritual were intimately connected. Monastic life was subject to modern interpretations of ancient ideals. Mission stations far from Rome might echo modern architecture’s development of a ‘critical regionalism’. Conventionally, the Second Vatican Council has been seen as a pivotal moment in the shift towards a modern form of church space, but increasingly scholarship is revealing the Council to have been only one marker of broader trends. More recently, architects have sought continuity and reattachment to the past instead of innovation. This symposium seeks to present new research on specific manifestations of these larger historical currents.

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Fri 9 December 2011

2011 Interstices Under Construction Symposium: Technics, Memory and the Architecture of History

Launceston, Tasmania, Australia

November 25 2011 - November 27 2011

2011 Interstices Under Construction Symposium:

Technics, Memory and the Architecture of History

Key speakers:

Prof Alessandra Ponte, Université de Montréal, Canada
Prof William Taylor, University of Western Australia
Dr Peg Rawes, Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London
Dr Karen Burns, Monash University
Prof Jeff Malpas, University of Tasmania

In the light of massive catastrophes - the earthquakes near Sendai and Christchurch, the tsunamis of Acheh and Katrina's devastation of New Orleans - the question of urban and architectural reconstruction invokes the question of remembering. What is this 'past' that we remember and on which we base our future reconstructions? What images of the past do we call upon in our decisions to build or not to build - and how do they negotiate the terrain between memory and history, nature and culture, technology and sustainability, planning and responding, tradition and innovation, foundations and interstices?

Abstracts due by 31 July 2011


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Fri 25 November 2011

Sigradi 2011 Augmented Culture

XV SIGraDi Conference

Universidad Nacional del Litoral, Santa Fe, Argentina

November 16 2011 - November 18 2011

Augmented Culture talks about a combination of interdependent cultural and technological meanings in a complex, multiple, interactive and interconnected context. It acknowledges that a new social and cultural paradigm is being developed as the old barriers of time, space and language are ruptured and transcended.

In our knowledge-based civilization, cultural expressions have been qualitatively augmented starting from their integration with information and communication technologies, which have dramatically enhanced not only their creative and reflective processes but also the realization and construction of cultural objects.

In this sense, an Augmented Culture compels us to investigate the wide and complex spectrum of the variables that express the interdisciplinary, collective and participative constructions of our present age, so strongly related to visual culture, information culture and interface culture.

SIGraDi 2011 will pay attention to the field of design in all its scales as well as to art in its multiple expressions, recovering one of the most distinctive features of SIGraDi since its origin. We invite you to contribute to this effort no matter how unique or different your area of interest or approach might be.

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Wed 16 November 2011



School of Architecture, Tianjin University, Tianjin, China

November 12 2011 - November 14 2011

Since the 1980s, reform and the opening up to the West have accelerated the rapid development of China’s economy and society.  The tide of deepening globalization has integrated China and the world more than ever before. Today China synchronously absorbs new ideas and trends in architecture from every corner of world through television, network and other modern information technology. The immensity and speed of China’s construction industry attracts world famous architects to the Chinese market. All these rapid changes profoundly influence research on world architecture historical theory and architectural design practice, both positively and negatively, and bring new challenges to the Chinese architectural education system.

How to respond to these new changes? How to find and create a new architectural future through history? These are the important questions which need to be seriously confronted and deeply thought through for research and education in world architectural history.

The School of Architecture of Tianjin University will hold the 2011 International Symposium on Teaching and Researching World Architectural History on 12th-14th November 2011, with the theme: “Change and Response ─ History and Future”, and warmly welcomes your participation.


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Sat 12 November 2011

Guerrilla Tactics 2011

RIBA's annual small practice conference

66 Portland Place, London

November 09 2011 - November 11 2011

Guerrilla Tactics provides architects with a lively programme of conference presentations and panel discussions with leading names from the profession and the commercial world. In addition, the event includes a full day of CPD training sessions as well as an exhibition market place displaying cutting edge products and materials from our sponsors. 

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Wed 9 November 2011


AHRA International Conference 2011

Queen’s University Belfast - School of Planning, Architecture & Civil Engineering (SPACE)

October 27 2011 - October 29 2011

Call for Papers 

Deadline 15 February 2011

Peripheries are increasingly considered in contemporary culture, research and practice. This shift in focus challenges the idea that the centre primarily influences the periphery, giving way to an understanding of reciprocal influences. These principles have permeated into a wide range of areas of study and practice, transforming the way we approach research and spatio-temporal relations.

The 2011 AHRA Queen's Belfast Peripheries conference will invite discussion via papers and short films on the multiple aspects  periphery represents --  temporal, spatial, intellectual, technological, cultural, pedagogical and political – with, as a foundation for development, the following themes:

Peripheral practices

Practice-based research

Urban peripheries

Non-metropolitan contexts

Peripheral positions


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Thu 27 October 2011

Symposium: Transcending Architecture

Aesthetics and Ethics of the Numinous

The Catholic University of America, School of Architecture and Planning, Washington, DC (USA)

October 06 2011 - October 08 2011

Architecture is called to do a lot more than to guarantee the public health, safety and welfare of building users. In fact, the promise of architecture begins fulfillment when such expectations have been met and transcended. At its highest, architecture has the ability to turn geometric proportions into shivers, stone into tears, rituals into revelation, light into grace, space into contemplation, and time into divine presence. A transcending architecture disappears in the very act of delivering us into the awesome and timeless nonspace of the holy. Louis Kahn called it the immeasurable, Le Corbusier the ineffable, and Rudolf Otto the numinous.

In an age obsessed with speed, consumerism, technology, immediacy, and quantity, an architecture that transcends constitutes a radical and risky act of love and compassion born out of a spiritual and cultural awakening. By providing us with a respite, such environments afford us the rare opportunity to re-discover our bearings and, in so doing, frame our existential condition within the larger matters of life and the divine. If there was a time when such an architecture was necessary, it is undoubtedly today!

This symposium will thus consider the aesthetics and ethics that move us from the ordinary to the extraordinary, from the profane to the sacred. Far from avoiding the charged issues of subjectivity, culture and intangibility, we will examine the phenomenological, symbolic, and designerly ways in which the holy gets fixed and transmitted through architecture. Confirmed speakers include Juhani Pallasmaa, honorary FAIA (Pallasmaa Architects), Karsten Harries (Philosophy, Yale University), Thomas Barrie, AIA (Architecture, North Carolina State University), Karla Britton (Architecture, Yale University), Michael Crosbie, AIA (editor, Faith & Form), Lindsay Jones (Center for the Study of Religion, Ohio State University), Rebecca Krinke (Landscape Architecture, University of Minnesota), and Maged Senbel (Community and Regional Planning, University of British Columbia).

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Thu 6 October 2011

The Classical Urban Plan:  Monumentality, Continuity and Change


September 30 2011

Call for papers: European Architectural History Network (EAHN) Conference

Brussels: 31 May-3 June, 2012

Conference Session:

The Classical Urban Plan:  Monumentality, Continuity and Change

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Fri 30 September 2011

The shrinking world

RIBA Research Symposium 2011

Wren Room, RIBA, 66 Portland Place, London W1B 1AD

September 22 2011

Globalisation and emerging markets present numerous opportunities for architects to export their skills all over the world. And given the state of the UK economy, providing architectural services overseas has become increasingly vital to commercial survival. How easy is it? What are the pitfalls? What are the ethics of globalisation?


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Thu 22 September 2011

Mobile Geographies of Art: Bodies, Technologies and Transnationality

RGS-IBG Annual Conference


August 31 2011 - September 02 2011

Call For Papers:

Deadline for abstracts is Friday 11th February.

Convenor: Amanda Rogers (Royal Holloway, University of London)
Sponsored by the Social and Cultural Geography Research Group.

Geographical research on the arts has often concentrated on place bound artistic practices and representations, examining how art responds to local environments, identities and communities. This session invites papers that loosen the relationship between art and place by focussing on multi-locational and mobile geographies of art. These spatialities can occur at a range of scales, including: the micro-geographical movements of bodies as they engage in creative practices; the expression of mobile identities and spatialities in art; and the development of art works through transnational travel or collaboration. The session is also interested in how technologies affect or reflect this artistic movement, as well as mediating the form and function of art as it travels – whether in the development of viral videos or the re-staging of theatrical plays in different locations. The session therefore seeks to bring together geographers working on art, mobility and technology in order to develop accounts of artistic geographies that demonstrate how art can reassemble place or engage with porous understandings of site and location (Morris and Cant 2006; DeSilvey 2010).

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Wed 31 August 2011


SID Research Cell, Faculty of Design, CEPT University, Ahmedabad.

August 31 2011 - September 01 2011


Deadline: 15/03/2011

di•a•logue also di•a•log (13c)
1    : a written composition in which two or more characters are represented as conversing
2 a : a conversation between two or more persons; also : a similar exchange between a person and something else (as a computer)
 b : an exchange of ideas and opinions
 c : a discussion between representatives of parties to a conflict that is aimed at resolution
3    : the conversational element of literary or dramatic composition
4    : a musical composition for two or more parts suggestive of a conversation

di•a•lo•gist (ca. 1660)
1   : a writer of dialogues
2   : one who participates in a dialogue

Samvad : Dialogue

India is often quoted to be an assimilative culture with the only homogenous character being plurality and diversity.  It surely exists simultaneously and quite comfortably in multiple time-periods, with many contradictions, bringing with it an immensely rich and varied fabric, a diversity that is integral to India. It has often in the past shown its power to negotiate variety and differences in a positive manner ably aided by its long history of the argumentative and dialogic tradition transgressing gender, caste, economic, political and religious divides, a process seen by Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen as an integral part of the development of Indian thought and ethos and an important factor for the correct reading of India’s past.  Dialogic learning as Wikipedia suggests is ‘the result of egalitarian dialogue; in other words, the consequence of a dialogue in which different people provide arguments based on validity claims and not on power claims’.

If design and understanding of design in the Indian context is to benefit from this diversity and plurality, it seems most useful to continue in the spirited tradition of Samvad or dialogue.  You are invited.

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Wed 31 August 2011

Technologies of Drawing

One-day conference

University of Huddersfield

August 26 2011 - August 26 2011

This conference will take a far-reaching view of the theme Technologies of Drawing, going beyond the opposition of hand-made and digital, and recognizing the variety of tools, techniques, devices and procedures now in circulation. This will include the differing ways in which drawing relates to three-dimensional space. Drawing will be considered from practitioner and art historical perspectives as a means of thinking, designing and making.

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Fri 26 August 2011

Architectural Education Encounters

A 2-day Research Conference and Training Workshop

Colombo, Sri Lanka

August 08 2011 - August 09 2011

Call for Papers - Deadline 29th January 2011

The vision of the University of Moratuwa is 'to be a centre of excellence of higher learning and related activities with an emphasis on national relevance, international recognition, innovation and creativity'. The challenges of the new millennium in achieving such excellenece demand that educationalists and scholars construct, share and transfer new knowlegde. The Faculty of Architecture Research Unit, with the aim of facilitating these activities is organizing a two-day Research Conference and Training Workshop on Architectural Education in August 2011 in Colombo. The areas to be focussed on are:

1. Philosophy of Architectural Education

2. Design Teaching/Tutoring

3. Assessment Criteria/Critiques & Viva Voce

4. Curriculum Management/Review/Validation

5. Readiness to Practise/Designer & Professional

These themes are expected to involve all categories of stakeholders, each one returning home having had one or more of his/her educational practices scrutinized. The educationalists, researchers and scholars of different levels are invited to send abstracts of conference papers that are designed to detail expositions of current practices and engage the listener in dialogue.

Keynote addresses will be delivered by Sir Peter Cook of the AA and Prof Juhani Pallasmaa of Helsinki University of Technology.


Conference Chair:  Prof Harsha Munasinghe, Ph.D, FIA[SL]

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Mon 8 August 2011

New Courses

MA Spatial Practices: Art, Architecture, and Performance

University College for the Creative Arts

Course web site

web site thumbnail available soon

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Thu 24 December 2009

MSc Urban Studies

University College London

Course web site

web site thumbnail available soon

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Thu 24 December 2009

The British School at Rome - Residential Awards for Research 2011-12

The British School at Rome

Course web site

web site thumbnail available soon

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Wed 15 December 2010