AHRA Newsletter:
December 2017–January 2018

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:

 .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

The next newsletter will be issued in February 2018

New Events

Smartness? between discourse and practice

15th Architectural Humanities Research Association International Conference

Department of the Built Environment, TU Eindhoven

November 15 2018 - November 17 2018

Increasingly the world around us is becoming ‘smart.’ From smart meters to smart production, from smart surfaces to smart grids, from smart phones to smart citizens. ‘Smart’ has become the catch-all term to indicate the advent of a charged technological shift that has been propelled by the promise of safer, more convenient and more efficient forms of living. When combined, all these so called ‘smart’ devices amount to a ubiquity of computing which is heralding a new technological paradigm and a fundamental shift in the way buildings and cities are both experienced and understood. Through a variety of sensors, cities and buildings are now defined not by the people that inhabit them, nor their functions, nor their identity or history, but simply as increasingly larger sets of data. Such sets are then processed to immediately adjust and alter (physical) conditions in real time. Although such large scale collection and use of (big) data has an inevitable effect on the way people live and work, there has yet to emerge a clear answer to how architecture and cities should respond and assimilate such brave new world.

Call for Papers (see website for further details and guidance: https://www.smartness-discoursepractice.org/call-for-papers/)

 

MAY 01, 2018

Permalink to this event page

Thu 15 November 2018

Urbanism @ BORDERS

Interdisciplinary Global Workshop for Research Network (Call for Papers or Documentary Films)

Aberdeen, Scotland, UK

September 05 2018 - September 08 2018

  1. Border research emphases on the discourse analysis on critical issues and connotation of separation - demarcation – segregation and conflicts and translated and theorizing these issues in various patterns of urbanism. Borders determine the degree of how regions are positioned in the global maps with the condition with which regions are valued, categorised and marked by its capacity to create individual geographical identities and unique settlement patterns. Borders define socially and economically incompatible systems that influence the nature of mobility of goods, human traffic, and economic transactions that suggest temporal, subdued, blurring socio-cultural entities defined by urban orders. Borders create these blurring urban orders along its boundaries defined by lack of cohesiveness with either sides of a border.

Borders are more than geographically defined separations, but accounts of metamorphoses and metaphors that two neighbouring states are defined by the economy, politics, culture, and religion – manifested by its typological entities.

Permalink to this event page

Wed 5 September 2018

Call for Papers: Building as Service: People, Politics and Governance

ISPA International Society for the Philosophy of Architecture 4th International Conference

Colorado Springs, USA

July 25 2018 - July 25 2018

The fact that buildings are so strongly associated with various power holding empires, nation-states and other forms of civilization is widely recognized in the study of both the history of people and their buildings. From Pericles’s Acropolis to Niemeyer’s Brasilia, architecture has long been associated with political figures and institutions. Buildings such as the British Parliament, the Russian Kremlin, and the U.S. Capitol stand out not just as iconic architecture, but also as representative of the politics, institutions, and culture of the nation. The connection between architecture and politics is evident, yet precisely how are political concepts captured in the form and function of buildings?

A strong link between the buildings and the political philosophies of a nation-state or other ruling body is the building’s use. We know that buildings serve the establishment and maintenance of a governing body, but do they contribute to maintaining a particular ideological belief system? Or is the connection more explicit, such as a wall, literally dividing two peoples whose belief system itself remains autonomous from association with buildings?

Taking the stance that buildings hold both deterministic effect and autonomous disassociation, how do architects and politicians act? Considering the contemporary context, to what extent should architects design public structures intended to capture the social and political ethos of the people? Do architects have an obligation to address the socio-political in their work? Is this kind of moral obligation misplaced? Is it rather that the work of architects is already tacitly, inextricably part of the political process? And to what extent?

On the other hand, do rulers utilize building to achieve their political goals and ideals? Is building fundamental to realizing ideological goals or a mere part of the process? Are there styles or typologies particularly conducive to establishing and maintaining power? Is the association of contemporary democracy with classical Greek and Roman architecture appropriate or warranted? And is the style’s reverence intrinsic or learned? Could the Romanesque not equally as well serve the same purpose?

Assuming that buildings are already intrinsically enmeshed within the governing body’s authority, can a single building work against that same authority? Can a building undermine an entire regime? Some may argue that the Berlin Wall marked the end of the Communist rule over Eastern Germany, but how much weight can a building hold on the integrity of a governing body? How effective, for instance, are efforts to rebuild Iraq? Considering that American contractors are building structures programmatically and aesthetically at odds with the resident socio-political climate, the very act of building in Iraq may be taken as an offense to the Iraqi nation-state. Although not all instances of international exchange are as contentious as this one, can architecture be incompatible with particular political concepts or systems?

Permalink to this event page

Wed 25 July 2018

From Building to Continent: How Architecture makes Territories

Kent School of Architecture (UK)

June 28 2018 - June 29 2018

Cultural landscape refers to landscapes shaped by humans through habitation, cultivation, exploitation and stewardship, and has influenced thinking in other fields, such as architecture. Generally, architecture has been subsumed within cultural landscape itself as a comprehensive spatial continuum. Yet standard architectural histories often analyse buildings as isolated objects, sometimes within the immediate context, but typically with minimal acknowledgement of wider spatial ramifications. However, buildings may become spatial generators, not only in the immediate vicinity, but also at larger geographic scales. ‘Buildings’ in this case include architectural works in the traditional sense, as well as roads, bridges, dams, industrial works, military installations, etc. Such structures have been grouped collectively to represent territories at varying scales.

 

Permalink to this event page

Thu 28 June 2018

Generosity

An international conference at the Welsh School of Architecture,Cardiff, UK

Cardiff, Wales, UK

June 28 2018 - June 29 2018

Generosity is associated with the act of giving or sharing more than is necessary, with bravery, with notions of a benefactor and a recipient, and with a quality of being plentiful or expansive. From a stance of celebrating and questioning architecture's potential for generosity, this call for papers invites academics and creative practitioners to explore ways in which architecture aspires to, or may be expected to, give more than is necessary. This could be considered within the current economic context of austerity or within the broader historic context of a discipline often working in frameworks focused on cost and quantitative measurement. Reflections are welcomed which critically examine themes of Generosity as related to architecture and related fields, whether they be from a conceptual or theoretical position, embedded in everyday processes and expectations of practice, or from considerations of procurement, regulation, and policy.

Permalink to this event page

Thu 28 June 2018

15th Annual AHRA PhD Student Symposium: Using History

Call for Papers

Aalto University, Helsinki

June 11 2018 - June 12 2018

Recent decades have seen several critical accounts of history, reviewing its methods and premises, questioning its narrative techniques and revealing its uses and abuses for political ends. Against becoming a refuge from the present, or a consolation, this kind of history sees its task as reminding societies and collectives of things that have been forgotten or covered up.
Additionally, architectural research has been in dialogue with different specialised fields of history: cultural and political history, but also economic history, history of media and technology, history of everyday life. Studies in conservation history have relied on technical history and history of science.
To study this multi-faceted relationship, our conference calls PhD candidates to reflect on the various uses of history and historical knowledge in architectural research and practice in the most broad sense. Speakers are also welcome to reflect on the role of history in their own research. Proposals will be welcomed from PhD candidates in the areas of theory and history of architecture and landscape, conservation and heritage, urban design and history, as well as relevant adjacent fields and interdisciplinary research.

Key Dates:

Deadline for submission of abstracts: 16 February 2018 Successful applicants informed: 13 March 2018
Submission of extended abstracts (1200 words): 1 June 2018

AHRA Symposium: 11–12 June 2018
Tour on Finnish modernism and the architecture of Alvar Aalto (optional): 12 June 2018

Key Contacts:

For enquiries relating to the student Symposium in the first place please contact:

.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
For submission of abstracts: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address); .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
For enquiries relating to the EAHN conference please contact: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Permalink to this event page

Mon 11 June 2018

Displacement and Architecture Symposium 2018 | Coral Gables, Florida hosted by ACSF

Displacement and Architecture

Coral Gables, Florida

May 22 2018 - May 25 2018

Displacement and Architecture Symposium 2018 | Miami

On May 22-25, 2018, the Architecture, Culture, and Spirituality Forum (ACSF) will host a symposium, “Displacement and Architecture,” in partnership with the School of Architecture, University of Miami; the Coral Gables Museum; AIA Miami; and The Aga Khan Award for Architecture. The symposium aims for a broad discussion among practitioners and scholars on the tangible and intangible dimensions of displacement, addressing the physical as well as spiritual ramifications of natural disaster, forced migration, or deportation. Topics may include places and cities impacted by migration, including the spatial dimensions of the shelter, camp, or religious building

 

Permalink to this event page

Tue 22 May 2018

Building Material

"Public": Call for contributions

March 02 2018

Public: The 22nd edition of Building Material seeks papers on the theme of the public in architecture.
Architecture is a public affair, its impact shared if not always evenly distributed. The vacillating boundaries of what constitutes public life, public realm or the 'public interest' are forever a contested space in which the ideologies of architecture are made explicit. A public act most commonly commissioned by private parties, the design and realisation of the built environment requires a reciprocity between collective and individual needs that often results in complex relationships of competing interests. The question, perhaps, is where does the public aspect of architecture reside and how might it be calibrated?
Building Material 22 invites submissions that explore the range of architectural possibilities inherent within the word 'public' in Ireland and elsewhere. Submitted articles must not have been published, nor be under consideration for publication, either online or in print. Written submissions should be a maximum of 4000 words and should be analytical and critical rather than descriptive. While inviting submission of academic papers, it also seeks and encourages interesting essays that fall beyond the academic pale. Shorter articles are welcome, as are graphic works. Building Material is a peer reviewed journal and all submissions shall be assessed by two independent reviewers. Submissions not intended for peer-review are also welcome. A distinction will be made between peer-reviewed research articles and other material. 

 

Permalink to this event page

Fri 2 March 2018

8th Asian Conference on Environment-Behaviour Studies, I.I.T Roorkee, India

Social Sustainability and Cultural Diversity

India

February 10 2018 - February 11 2018

8th Asian Conference on Environment-Behaviour Studies

10-11 February 2018

Co-hosted by the Department of Architecture and Planning, Indian Institute of Technology (I.I.T) Roorkee, Uttarakhand, India

 

Permalink to this event page

Sat 10 February 2018

Atmosphere: Fabrications

Symposium

University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada

February 01 2018 - February 03 2018

We invite proposals for 20-minute paper presentations and/or temporary installations exploring Fabrications via one of the following four sub-themes: Social Fabrics, Mediating Fabrics, Fabricating in situ, and Fabricating Truth.

 

 

Permalink to this event page

Thu 1 February 2018

All Ireland Architecture Research Group (AIARG) 7: res publica

Queen’s University, Belfast

January 25 2018 - January 26 2018

The seventh annual conference of the All Ireland Architecture Research Group (AIARG 7) seeks to explore the relationship between architecture and the public realm. The term res publica defines a public affair and architecture is necessarily the most public of the arts: to engage in architecture is to engage in a public discourse. The relationship between architecture and its publics is a complicated one. A public art requires reciprocity between the public and private realms but much of the built environment is designed and built for and by private individuals. Yet the process of design, even for a private commission, is also potentially a public act in that it establishes a collective forum, a sort of res publica as a thing held in common by many people. So where does the public aspect of architecture reside and how is it calibrated?

We imagine that papers could address multiple questions, including, but not limited to:

  • -  How does the contemporary culture of architecture, defined by its discourses of practice, theory and pedagogy, respond to or embody the varying public attributes of architecture?

  • -  How has the changing nature of the public sphere through history impacted on the built environment?

  • -  Can there be or has there even been a public of architects – in the meaning of a body, collective, a generality – if so what did it or does it look like and what could it do?

- How can public be defined for architecture? How can this public be constituted such that it is inclusive of minorities in society?

The conference is an opportunity to reconsider the on-going relevance and impact of architecture through its discourses and, in turn, their ability to shape the public realm not only physically but also intellectually. In this it provides a companion to some of the aspirations of Grafton Architects’ curatorial proposals for the 2018 Venice biennale.

Unlike recent years AIARG 7 commences with a call for papers rather than sessions. We welcome proposals on the theme of the architecture public from practicing architects, theoreticians, pedagogues and others. We particularly welcome proposals for alternate media, those that may step outside an academic milieu and into a public one: roundtable discussions, performances, exhibitions, etc. Please send abstracts (limited to one per individual) of not more that 350 words to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) no later than 8 September 2017. A selection of papers from the conference will be invited to submit to building material, the peer-reviewed journal of the Architectural Association of Ireland.

Permalink to this event page

Thu 25 January 2018

Call for Contributions: INTERIOR – INFERIOR – IN THEORY?

Contemporary Positions in Interior Design Theory

Berlin

January 15 2018

Abstracts for academic papers and topic proposals are sought for the international conference

INTERIOR – INFERIOR – IN THEORY? Contemporary Positions in Interior Design Theory

17-18 May 2018, Berlin

Abstract submission 15.1.2018

Notification of acceptance 15.2.2018   

Permalink to this event page

Mon 15 January 2018

Activism at Home: Architects’ own houses as sites of resistance

Call for papers

The University of Manchester, UK

January 15 2018 - January 16 2018

The event is co-organised by Isabelle Doucet (University of Manchester) and Janina Gosseye (University of Queensland).

More details can be found on the PDF, and the event website.

Paper proposals via a 300-word abstract and a one-page CV to the conference organisers:

Isabelle Doucet: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Janina Gosseye: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)



Permalink to this event page

Mon 15 January 2018

New Publications

John Ruskin and the Fabric of Architecture

Anuradha Chatterjee

Through the theoretical lenses of dress studies, gender, science, and visual studies, this volume assembles Ruskin’s theory of surface architecture, or the adorned “wall veil.” This book positions Ruskin as having proposed an unorthodox definition of architecture as surface, highlighting his major contribution to the field and an important moment in the history of architectural modernity.

John Ruskin and the Fabric of Architecture examines how the creative act in architecture, analogous to the divine act of creation, was viewed as a form of dressing. By adding aesthetic elements that had no use, and taking inspiration from the ‘veil’ of women’s clothing, Ruskin believed that buildings could be transformed into meaningful architecture. This volume presents a theory of textile analogy in architecture based on morality and gender that equals the power of Gottfried Semper’s historicist perspective. Ruskin’s textile analogy connects the realms of soul, dress, gender, and body in architecture.

This book would be beneficial to students and academics of architectural history and theory, gender studies and visual studies who wish to delve into the Ruskin’s theories and to further understand his capacity for thinking beyond the historical methods. The book will also be of interest to architectural practitioners who are keen to explore the beginnings of the contemporary phenomenon of surface architecture. 

Permalink to this publication

Mon 8 January 2018

Herb Greene’s Generations: Six Decades of Collage Art and Architecture

Herb Greene

A comprehensive account of his vast artistic projects including collage, architecture, and armatures that date back to the 1960’s. This “picture book” is organized to showcase large-scale images of Mr. Greene’s architectural work alongside his collage paintings and Armature drawings in a way that reveals the unified philosophy behind all of his work. Its purpose is to tell a story of the important interrelationships between art, science, and philosophy, which is described with simple narratives that are juxtaposed alongside these image. Based in Berkeley, California, Mr. Greene’s early work is at the forefront of placemaking architecture that has begun to sweep our urban cities.

Permalink to this publication

Mon 8 January 2018

Architecture and Feminisms Ecologies, Economies, Technologies

Edited by Hélène Frichot, Catharina Gabrielsson, Helen Runting

Set against the background of a ‘general crisis’ that is environmental, political and social, this book examines a series of specific intersections between architecture and feminisms, understood in the plural. The collected essays and projects that make up the book follow transversal trajectories that criss-cross between ecologies, economies and technologies, exploring specific cases and positions in relation to the themes of the archive, control, work and milieu. This collective intellectual labour can be located amidst a worldwide depletion of material resources, a hollowing out of political power and the degradation of constructed and natural environments. Feminist positions suggest ways of ethically coping with a world that is becoming increasingly unstable and contested. The many voices gathered here are united by the task of putting critical concepts and feminist design tools to use in order to offer experimental approaches to the creation of a more habitable world. Drawing inspiration from the active archives of feminist precursors, existing and re-imagined, and by way of a re-engagement in the histories, theories and projected futures of critical feminist projects, the book presents a collection of twenty-three essays and eight projects, with the aim of taking stock of our current condition and re-engaging in our precarious environment-worlds.

Permalink to this publication

Mon 8 January 2018

Becoming a Feminist Architect

Karin Reisinger and Meike Schalk

This issue is one of three publications subsequent to the 13th International Architectural Humanities Research Association (AHRA) Conference “Architecture & Feminisms: Ecologies, Economies, Technologies,” which was held at KTH School of Architecture, Stockholm, between the 17th to 19th November in 2016.1 The conference gathered around 200 participants and included over a hundred paper presentations and performances, as well as two exhibitions. The overwhelming interest in reviving the feminist discourse in architecture gave us the opportunity to reflect on the process of becoming feminist architects. Becoming a feminist architectis a complex process, rife with strategies, tactics, frictions, advances and retreats, that will continue to engage us in the future as it does now. This became clear through the presentations of a wide range of different feminist architectural practices, both historical and contemporary, their diverse theoretical underpinnings and methodological reflections and speculations. The present publication assembles a series of vital discussions that emerged at the event, including accounts of careful and creative ways of becoming feminist architects by “knowing and doing otherwise,”2 “practising ‘otherwise’,”3 or doing architecture in other ways,4the implication of which is a rethinking and expansion of the conventional scope of architectural practice. With these three publications – this edition of Field Journal, the Architecture and Culture issue “Styles of Queer Feminist Practices and Objects,” and the anthology Architecture and Feminisms: Ecologies, Economies, Technologies – we have made an effort to create space for as many of the voices and positions present at the conference as possible.

Permalink to this publication

Mon 8 January 2018