AHRA Newsletter:
December 2013-January 2014

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 February 2014


New Events

Industries of Architecture: Relations, Process, Production

11th International AHRA Conference

School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape, Newcastle University, UK, and various venues around Newcastle

November 13 2014 - November 15 2014

This two and a half day conference invites architectural theorists, historians, designers and others to explore the industrial, technical and socio-economic contexts in which building is constituted that are all too often sidelined within the architectural humanities. Industries of Architecture will also host a number of open-structured debate-oriented workshops with the aim of bringing into the discussion those working in building, technology, law, practice management, construction or in industry together with researchers in the architectural humanities. In addition, the opening night features public screenings of a series of artists’ films that explore the production of architecture, including the work of Harun Farocki and Allan Sekula.

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Thu 13 November 2014

Building with Light: the Legacy of Robert Elwall

An International Symposium on Architectural Photography


November 13 2014 - November 14 2014

The Royal Institute of British Architects announces an international symposium on architectural photography in conjunction with the first major retrospective of the British architectural photographer Edwin Smith (1912-1971), whose prolific work helped redefine the notion of post WW II Britishness.

The symposium will honour the legacy of Robert Elwall (1953-2012), an acclaimed British historian of architectural photography and curator, since 1976, of the RIBA's Photographs Collection that now bears his name.  With some million and a half architectural images, the Robert Elwall Photographs Collection is one of the most extensive resources for the study of the influence of photography on architecture and the creative process.

The symposium will be held 13 -14 November 2014 in London.

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Thu 13 November 2014

Autonomy Reconsidered: Ethics in Architecture, Urbanism and Landscape

ISPA 2014 Conference

Delft, Netherlands

July 09 2014 - July 11 2014

Contemporary philosophy and architecture discourse alike marginalize the ethical dimension of architecture.  Yet, it seems that the ethical dimension in both architecture and philosophy has been compromised because both disciplines have not established a clear interdisciplinary understanding of autonomy. Together, and in service to both fields of study, we must reconsider what autonomy means for both architecture and philosophy, or rather, for architecture philosophy.

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Wed 9 July 2014

Riverine: Architecture and Water

University of Kent, Canterbury, UK

June 26 2014 - June 28 2014

Human settlements may be divided broadly between inland ones often located on high ground, such as the hill towns of Urbino and Jerusalem, or those of inland plains such as Brasilia and Novosibirsk, and those located on waterways, on rivers close to the sea. We are interested in the latter, and seek to tease out and explore architectural, planning, artistic and literary backgrounds to cities as diverse as London, Rotterdam, New York, Venice and Alexandria; in other words, we are interested in human settlements whose origins depend upon rivers.


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Thu 26 June 2014

Moving Mountains:

Studies  in  Place,  Society  and  Cultural  Representation

University  of  Edinburgh  

June 18 2014

Mountains    have    been    considered    embodiments    of    higher    spiritual    goals    and    peak     experiences     since     ancient     times.          By     viewing     mountains,     climbing     and     experiencing     changing     atmospheres,     people     have     undergone     physical     and     spiritual     quests,     the     character     of     which     varies     depending     on     the     motivation     and     identity     of     the     participant(s).               The     consistent     presence     of     mountains     in     legends,     myths,     literature,     artistic     and     architectural     creations     suggests     their     cultural,     religious     and     social     significance.     Additionally,     mountains     and     their     surrounding     landscape     have     been     the     focus     of     cartographic     and     scientific     work,     mountaineering    expeditions    and    other    kinds    of    explorations.  


In    order    to    more    fully    understand    the    role    of    mountains    in    culture    and    society,    the   History   of   Art   Department   at   the   University   of   Edinburgh   and   the   Edinburgh    School    of    Architecture    and    Landscape    Architecture    are    hosting    an    inter-­‐ disciplinary    conference    and    an    exhibition    of    practice-­‐based    material.    We    invite    abstracts   of   no   more   than   300   words   addressing   questions   and   proposing   works    relevant   to   the   role   of   mountains   in   the   in   the   humanities,   arts   and   design.   As   this    is   intended   to   be   a   highly   interdisciplinary   conference,   we   welcome   submissions    from    a    wide    range    of    subject    areas,    which    include    art    history,    architecture,    anthropology,    cultural    studies,    film    studies    geography,    literature,    theology    and    philosophy,   among   others.     

Topics   may   include   but   are   not   limited   to:      

The   integration   of   mountains   into   architectural   design   and   artistic    creations  

City   and   mountains  

Mountain   landscapes,   caves   and   paths   

The   impact   of   mountains   on   religious   practices     

Memory   and   mountains  

Studies   of   Mountain   communities   

Cultural   representations   of   mountains   (cartography,   iconography,    photography)   

‘Peak’   Experiences   and   Mountain   Views     

Atmosphere   and   the   aura   of   mountains   

Religious   experiences   and   mountains   


 Confirmed   keynote   speakers   include   Professor   Veronica   della   Dora   of   the    University   of   London,   Professor   Tim   Ingold   of   the   University   of   Aberdeen   and    Eamonn   O’Carragain   of   University   College   Cork.  


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Wed 18 June 2014

British Pavilion at the 14th International Architecture Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia

open call: “Absorbing Modernity: 1914-2014”


June 07 2014

The title of the 2014 Biennale is “Fundamentals”. In an exciting change to how this biennale is organised, overall biennale director Rem Koolhaas has outlined his vision that each national pavilion will contribute to a major exhibition-research project.
We are seeking proposals that respond to Koolhaas’s theme “Absorbing Modernity: 1914-2014”. We see this as the starting point for proposals that will investigate an aspect of British architecture during in this era and which will help reveal how British architecture adapted to the condition of modernity. We anticipate that this project may help place recent British architecture in a new light, and might encourage us to look at the period in a new way.
Our brief, Koolhaas’s statement on ‘Absorbing Modernity’, and details of how to submit proposals can all be found on the British Council blog ‘Back of the Envelope’. (see link below)

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Sat 7 June 2014

The Architecture of Spirituality in a Multicultural Setting

The 6th Symposium on Architecture, Culture and Spirituality (ACS 6)

Trinity College in the University of Toronto. Toronto, CANADA.

June 06 2014 - June 08 2014

The 6th Annual Symposium on Architecture, Culture and Spirituality (ACS 6) will take place at Trinity Colege in the University of Toronto ( http://www.trinity.utoronto.ca/ ), located in the heart of Toronto’s midtown core, June 5-8, 2014.

The topic is “The Architecture of Spirituality in a Multicultural Settingand will explore the nature of spiritual expression as articulated in form and space within a multicultural framework. This objective will be pursued in paper-project-presentation sessions responding to the themes described below. As always in ACS symposia, optional meditation will be offered each morning and there will be free time for connecting to oneself, other people and the surroundings.


 IDENTITY: As global economics and conflicts accelerate intercontinental migration, many spiritual traditions find themselves striving to secure and maintain identity within a completely new and otherwise foreign context. This theme considers the dynamics of faithfully re-creating the architecture of a spiritual tradition, and/or finding expressions of form, space, and ritual that speak to their adopted landscape.

SHARING: In many cases, it has not been feasible to carry out spiritual expression with their traditional landscape.  This theme gives consideration to such possibilities as accommodations within the workplace, the creation of multi-faith worship centres, and sharing of existing religious spaces by more than one faith tradition as a means to embrace a multi-cultural environment

CONFLICT: Because sacred sites, buildings, and iconic objects represent primary manifestations of a spiritual tradition, they are often prime targets of sectarian, interfaith, and politically motivated violence.  This theme provides opportunities to explore the nature of this phenomenon.

FORGIVENESS: This theme provides opportunities to explore the question of how design and location of spiritual space and form can contribute to ameliorating tensions, diffusing misunderstandings, and resolving potential conflicts as we seek to find wholeness and peaceful co-existence.


Compelling proposals that relate to the symposium focus but which fall outside of these themes will also be considered for acceptance.

Special Events

Two special event are planned. One is a keynote lecture by McGill Architecture Professor Alberto Pérez-Gómez. The second will be a Sacred Space Tour of Toronto buildings, gardens, and urban settings.


500 words long proposals will be peer-reviewed by the symposium co-chairs and a selected group of ACS members. The deadline is January 27th, 2014. 


For more details and information, visit website: http://www.acsforum.org/symposium2014/ or email Julio Bermudez: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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Fri 6 June 2014

Creative Adjacencies, new challenges for Architecture, Design and Urbanism for updating, modernizing

Ghent, Belgium

June 03 2014 - June 07 2014

“Creative Adjacencies” will focus on unexpected phenomena of emergent liaisons,  on urban contrasts and conflicts, on unusual professional collaborations or creative joined forces as the generator of new possibilities, new strategies in a dynamic contemporary environment.  Conference themes will engage in different and divers approaches in the new curricula-development of Architecture, Design and Urbanism.  The sessions will address a range of research, design and educational reflections and strategies on creative solutions for complex situations. 


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Tue 3 June 2014

Setting Out: 11th AHRA Annual Student Research Symposium, 2014

Call for Papers

University College, Dublin

May 19 2014

The AHRA invites proposals from PhD candidates in architecture for contributions to its 11th Annual Student Research Symposium, which will be hosted by the School of Architecture, Landscape and the Built Environment, University College, Dublin, on May 19th 2014. The symposium will include a keynote presentation by Professor Anthony Vidler, Brown University.

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Mon 19 May 2014


Urban and Landscape Days XI

Tallinn, Estonia

May 08 2014 - May 11 2014

The conference aims to explore histories and geographies of socialism and post-socialism in relation to three themes: 1) architecture and urban planning, 2) land use and landscape, and 3) property rights.

Please send your abstract (300 words) and short bio (60 words) by Dec 2, 2013 to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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Thu 8 May 2014


School of Philosophy and Religious Studies Bangor University

April 07 2014 - April 08 2014

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Mon 7 April 2014

Call for Presenters: BANKRUPT

Triennial Graduate Student Conference

University of Michigan, Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning

April 04 2014 - April 05 2014

The Doctoral Programs of the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning are pleased to announce a graduate student conference: BANKRUPT.


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Fri 4 April 2014

Humanities Education and Research Association Annual Conference

Humane, Inhumane, Human

Washington D.C.

March 27 2014 - March 01 2014

In keeping with HERA’s mission of promoting the study of the humanities across a wide range of disciplines and interdisciplines, we invite presentations for the 2014 conference. The wide range of disciplines and areas of study for the conference include but are not limited to Aesthetics, Anthropology, Architecture, Art, Classics, Communication Studies, Composition, Cultural Studies, Dance, Design, Digital Technology, Education, Environmental Issues, Ethics, Ethnic Studies, Family, Film Studies, Gender Studies, Geography, Geology, Globalization, History, Languages, Literature, Media, Museum Studies, Music, Performance Studies, Philosophy, Political Science, Psychology, Religious Studies, Sexuality, Sociology, Theater and all sciences relevant to the topic. 


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Thu 27 March 2014

Mediterranean Cities in Transformation

Identity and Image of the Urban Landscape C18-20

Napoli, Italy

March 13 2014 - March 15 2014

The Conference, open to scholars from national and international circles, aims to position the historiography on the Mediterranean city during the contemporary age, with reference to its identity, structure and image from the beginning of the industrialization to post-Enlightenment and bourgeois age, up to the themes concerning the evolution/involution of the territory and of the post-industrial landscape, as well as the development of the tourist model between the 19th and 20th centuries.

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Thu 13 March 2014

Atmosphere Symposum 2014: Action

University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada

February 06 2014 - February 08 2014

Each year the University of Manitoba’s Faculty of Architecture hosts an interdisciplinary symposium entitled Atmosphere. This symposium explores the less tangible aspects of design and experience: the ephemeral, social, situational, emotional, elemental, phenomenal and epiphenomenal conditions of our shared world.

The focus of Atmosphere 2014 is Action. Action shifts attention from designed objects to design motives, agencies, conditions and effects. Action poses questions about performative and collaborative modes of making and inhabitation. Action prompts designers and researchers to reflect on their modus operandi, and on the actions and interactions of the diverse materials, circumstances, policies and people they work with. Action invites consideration of the transformative agencies of situations and situated events.

We invite PAPER PROPOSALS for 20-minute presentations exploring one of the following six sub-themes: building acts, dwelling acts, representational acts, socio-political acts, environmental acts, and research in action. Proposals should be well grounded in historical, theoretical or creative research, and develop compelling arguments and insights that contribute to interdisciplinary knowledge.

PLEASE SUBMIT 300-WORD PROPOSALS BY OCTOBER 15th to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Clearly indicate the nature of your proposal (paper and sub-theme). All proposals will be blind peer reviewed. Notice of acceptance will be emailed by November 15th. Confirmation of attendance and registration will be required by December 15th, 2013.

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Thu 6 February 2014

Atmosphere Symposium 2014: Action

Paper Proposals Due October 15th, 2013

University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada

February 06 2014 - February 08 2014

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Thu 6 February 2014

IUAES 2014 conference: Towards an architectural anthropology Panel

Dates to be confirmed

Chiba, Japan

January 16 2014

This panel seeks to investigate the possibilities of a deeper anthropological engagement with the discipline of architecture, based in but distinct from the practices developed by design anthropology, what can anthropologists learn from architects and what can architects learn from anthropologists?
The recent development of Design Anthropology (Gunn, Donovan Eds. 2013, Gunn, Otto, Smith Eds. 2013) as a distinctive sub-discipline has some lessons for collaborations with the built environment disciplines including architecture and urban design. Many of the issues raised are of interest to architecture, most notably the opportunity to integrate anthropological theory and methodology into the design process. A distinction must be drawn between the needs of a Design Anthropologist and those of an Architectural Anthropologist. This distinction is more than merely one of scale, however: most notably, the use of prototypes within design anthropology is inappropriate for architecture, and fundamental issues about our relationships with the environment and what it means to dwell are concerns shared by architecture and and anthropology.
There have been a number of studies in the mode of an 'anthropology of architecture' (Buchli 2012, Marchand 2009) or an 'ethnography of architecture' (Yaneva 2009, Houdart 2009), but what does it mean to produce anthropology by way of architecture (Ingold 2013)? It is easy to see what architects can learn from anthropology, but a greater challenge to ask anthropologists to learn from architects and designers.
Themes for the panel include but are not restricted to the following:


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Thu 16 January 2014

ASCAAD 2013 conference

Digital Crafting:Virtualizing Architecture and Delivering Real Built Environment

Effat University, Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

December 16 2013 - December 18 2013

ASCAAD 7th Conference theme is exploring the linkages among digital design process thinking, constructability, the digital manufacturing process and their impact on the practice of architecture, engineering and construction. However, through digital design computation process, one would notice that the traditional master-builder design thinking approaches are still strongly implemented in processes such as: object making, digital fabrication, design-to-fabricate, parametric technology, BIM, machining, manufacturing analysis, building performance analysis. This evolution has combined the ability of fine crafted detailing with digital design and manufacturing and put a shift towards seamless collaboration between design and construction.

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Mon 16 December 2013


CFP - 20th CENTURY NEW TOWNS| Archetypes and Uncertainties

Porto, Portugal, 22-24 May 2014

December 15 2013

International Conference

20th Century New Towns. Archetypes and Uncertainties

Porto, ESAP, 22-24 May 2014

Call for papers open until December 15



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Sun 15 December 2013

New Publications

Architecture & Culture

Architecture & Culture:  Aims and Scope

Architecture and Culture, the international, peer-reviewed journal of the Architectural Humanities Research Association, investigates the relationship between architecture and the culture that shapes and is shaped by it. Whether culture is understood extensively, as shared experience of everyday life, or in terms of the rules and habits of different disciplinary practices, Architecture and Culture asks how architecture participates in and engages with it – and how both culture and architecture might be reciprocally transformed.

Architecture and Culture publishes explorations that are rigorously speculative, purposively imaginative, visually and verbally stimulating. From historians of culture and architecture, from geographers, anthropologists and other social scientists, from architects and urban designers, from film-makers, animators and other artists, from thinkers and writers of all kinds, established and new, it solicits essays, critical reviews, interviews, fictional narratives in both words and images, art and building projects, and design hypotheses. Architecture and Culture aims to promote a conversation between all those who are curious about what architecture might be and what it can do.



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Wed 9 January 2013

Architecture and the Paradox of Dissidence

Edited by Ines Weizman

Architecture and the Paradox of Dissidence maps out and expands upon the methodologies of architectural action and reinvigorates the concept of dissent within the architectural field. It expands the notion of dissidence to other similar practices and strategies of resistance, in a variety of historical and geographical contexts.The book also discusses how the gestures and techniques of past struggles, as well as ‘dilemmas’ of working in politically suppressive regimes, can help to inform those of today.

This collection of essays from expert scholars demonstrates the multiple responses to this subject, the potential and dangers of dissidence, and thus constructs a robust lexicon of concepts that will point to possible ways forward for politically and theoretically committed architects and practitioners.

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Mon 25 November 2013

New Courses

MA Architectural History, The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL

The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL, London

Course web site

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Wed 9 January 2013

MA in Architectural Design

School of Architecture, University of Sheffield

Course web site

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Wed 9 January 2013

MA in Urban Design

School of Architecture, The University of Sheffield

Course web site

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Wed 9 January 2013

MA Spatial Practices: Art, Architecture, and Performance

University College for the Creative Arts

Course web site

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Thu 24 December 2009

MSc Urban Studies

University College London

Course web site

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Thu 24 December 2009