AHRA Newsletter:
March-April 2012

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:

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

The next newsletter will be issued in early May 2012.



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.

Permalink to this event page

Fri 30 August 2013

Architecture and the Paradox of Dissidence

The 9th International Architectural Humanities Research Association International Conference

London Metropolitan University

November 15 2012 - November 17 2012

This conference aims to reflect on the relevance of the concept of dissidence for architectural practice today. Although dissidence has been primarily associated with architectural practices in the Eastern Bloc at the end of the Cold War period, contemporary architectural and other aesthetic practices have in recent years developed a host of new methodologies and techniques for articulating their distance from and critique of dominant political and financial structures. Architecture and the Paradox of Dissidence asks how we can conceive of the contemporary political problems and paradoxes of architecture in relation to their precedents? Devoid of the agency of action, Cold War dissidents articulated their positions in drawings of fantasy-like paper architecture, while contemporary forms of architectural practice seem to gravitate towards activism and direct-action in the world. The political issues – from interventions in charged areas worldwide to research in conflict zones and areas undergoing transformations – currently stimulate a field of abundant invention in contemporary architecture. Both, Cold War dissidents and contemporary activists encounter problems and paradoxes and must navigate complex political force fields within which possible complicities are inherent risks. 

Permalink to this event page

Thu 15 November 2012

Spaces and Flows

Third International Conference on Urban and ExtraUrban Studies

Wayne State University, Detroit, USA.

October 11 2012 - October 12 2012

The Spaces and Flows Conference will be held 11-12 October 2012 at Wayne State University in Detroit, USA. This interdisciplinary conference aims to critically examine the spatial, social, ideological, and political forces that shape and transform cities, suburbs, and rural areas. The theme of this year‚s conference is  "Transforming Cities and Communities in Contemporary Times," and it is fitting that the location is Detroit, Michigan, USA - a city whose past and recent history exemplifies the complex processes that must be examined and mastered for positive transformations to occur.


Permalink to this event page

Thu 11 October 2012

Call for Papers: ‘The Uses of Art in Public Space’

Cologne, Germany

August 26 2012 - August 30 2012

Call for Papers 
Double Conference Session: 'The Uses of Art in Public Space' 
Chairs: Julia Lossau & Quentin Stevens 
International Geographical Congress 
(on website: see Calls - Commissions and Task Forces - Stream C08.07 Cultural Approach in Geography) 

Permalink to this event page

Sun 26 August 2012

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.

Permalink to this event page

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.

Permalink to this event page

Wed 11 July 2012

Fabulation: Myth, Nature, Heritage

29th Annual Conference of the Society of Architectural Historians Australia and New Zealand

University of Tasmania, Launceston, Tasmania

July 05 2012

Permalink to this event page

Thu 5 July 2012

Building Local

Barichara, Colombia

June 15 2012 - June 25 2012

BUILDING LOCAL is a 10-day design-build workshop that will explore the aesthetic, assembly and tectonic qualities of local materials: earth, stone, fique, bamboo and wood. The design-build studio will engage students in a series of workshops culminating in the design and construction of an efficient and innovative farmhouse.


Permalink to this event page

Fri 15 June 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.  

Permalink to this event page

Thu 31 May 2012

9th AHRA Research Student Conference


Scott Sutherland School of Architecture, Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen

May 19 2012 - May 20 2012

The 9th AHRA PhD student Conference is expected to give delegates a platform to share and explore emerging approaches to research methods, urban issues and findings, and overall to provide a conduit for student delegates to establish collaborations and stir polemical debates in order to allow them to recflect on their position regarding cities and architecture.

Permalink to this event page

Sat 19 May 2012


Their significance in 20th century architectural culture

CEAA | Centro de Estudos Arnaldo Araújo, Escola Superior Artística do Porto (ESAP), Porto, Portugal

May 17 2012 - May 19 2012

International Conference: Call for Papers

The Survey on Regional Architecture, commonly known as the Survey, promoted by the Portuguese Architects' Union, benefitting from official government support, was carried out between 1955 and 1960 and was conducted by some of the Portuguese modern architects.

A survey on vernacular architecture, entitled Inquérito à Arquitectura Regional Portuguesa [Survey on Regional Architecture in Portugal] was promoted by the Architects' Union between 1955 and 1960. It benefited from official government support and was conducted by some of the main modern architects. It come out as a two volume book - Popular Architecture in Portugal - published in 1961 and reprinted in 1979, 1988 and 2004.

Permalink to this event page

Thu 17 May 2012

CFP - Surveys on Vernacular Architecture

Their significance in 20th century architectural culture

ESAP, Oporto, Portugal

May 17 2012 - May 19 2012

Call for Papers - International Conference Surveys on Vernacular Architecture. Their significance in 20th century architectural culture. Centro de Estudos Arnaldo Araújo of Escola Superior Artística do Porto (research unity 4041 of FCT), Oporto, May 17-19, 2012. 

Deadline for abstract submission February 24, 2012

Permalink to this event page

Thu 17 May 2012

RIBA Research Awards 2012

May 14 2012

The RIBA is now welcoming nominations for the 2012 President's Awards for Research. The submission deadline is Monday 14 May 2012 at 5pm.

This awards scheme was established in order to reward and encourage outstanding research in architecture carried out by students, academics and practitioners.

The awards promote and champion high-quality research and encourage its dissemination and incorporation into the knowledge base of the profession. They contribute to raising the profile of architects and academics engaged in research, and raise awareness of the need for research across the profession to foster innovation and strategic thinking.

The awards are given in four categories: Master's, PhD, university and practice-located research.

Download the Call for entries for further information.

If you have any queries about the awards, please email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

or call:  020 7307 3714 or 020 7307 3714.

Permalink to this event page

Mon 14 May 2012


Celebrating 60 Years of the Independent Group

Institute of Contemporary Arts, London

April 26 2012 - April 27 2012

It’s 60 years since the Independent Group first met, and the work is attracting increased attention on an international scale. This two-day event celebrates the Independent Group’s legacy at the very institution which first fostered and encouraged it. Contributors explore the history and legacy of the Independent Group in relation to art, architecture, design, material culture, photography and critical theory.

Permalink to this event page

Thu 26 April 2012

Common Grounds: On Site

An open call for active participation in a postgraduate research colloquium.

University of Sheffield, School of Architecture

April 20 2012 - April 21 2012

Common Grounds is an opportunity to collaborate with postgraduate students and other early-career researchers in exploring what it means to engage in situated/active spatial research, and what might be gained through a propositional or praxis-led research agenda. Researchers that actively engage on and with site, people and place are encouraged to apply from any ‘spatial’ discipline (including activists, architects, artists, geographers, performers, planners, sociologists, and others).Site is loosely defined for this call as follows:

Site as noun:
A position, location, place, situation or locality. Somewhere demarcated or appropriated as a locus for future construction, work or study.

Site as verb:
To place, situate, set, locate, position or station.

Further constructing the meanings and connotations of site for multidisciplinary research is an intended outcome of the event.

This event will involve both presentations of ongoing site-based methodologies and the active testing of site-based methodologies in real-time on a real site.

Proposals are sought for

1. a way of working on site that actively explores the relationship between people and site. (100 words max.)

Presentation and discussion format within the symposium venue.

2. live demonstrations on site to test cross-disciplinary methodologies that critically explore the relationship between people and place. (100 words max)

Precise format and location of demonstrations will depend on the scope of submissions, but these are likely to take the form of ‘site-specific’ presentation / action / performances to be carried out on test-sites local to the University of Sheffield.

Deadline for submissions: 29th February 2012.

Please submit submissions to:

Adam Park,  University of Sheffield  /// adam.park ~~at~~ sheffield.ac.uk


Permalink to this event page

Fri 20 April 2012



April 12 2012 - April 15 2012

All members and sympathizers of ARC●PEACE are welcome to the 17th General Assembly meeting of our organisation in Copenhagen. This event marks the 25th anniversary of the founding of ARC●PEACE. At the meeting you will learn to know new members, enjoy seminar presentations, exchange experiences, discuss current professional issues, and take wise decisi- ons about the future of our organisation. 

The ARC●PEACE meeting is connected to the General Assembly (GA) meeting of Architecture Sans Frontières–International (ASF-Int, of which ARC●PEACE is a member).



Permalink to this event page

Thu 12 April 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. 



Permalink to this event page

Thu 5 April 2012

Theoretical Currents II: Architecture and its Geographical Horizons

University of Lincoln, UK

April 05 2012 - April 06 2012

An International Conference to be held at the University of Lincoln, UK

Organised by the East Midlands History and Philosophy Research Network



Call for Papers

In Ptolemy’s Cosmographia, the geographic impulse maps not only the known world, but also the inhabited world – the world of cities, towns and architecture. The cartographic drive to realise the phenomenal experience of place, territory, nation, in tangible and visible analogues such as maps, and less tangible ideas in the representations of dominion, cultivation, and culture is still with us today.

Our present age of globalisation has witnessed a growing interest in the potential affinities between the theories and methodologies of geography and architecture. Manifested in the intersecting relationships between notions of region, geophysical terrain, landscape, topography and architectural space, this development has contributed to an emerging field of enquiry. We see this for example in the deployment of geographical techniques and terminologies in architectural and urban design, and the appropriation (or transformation) of traditional architectural concepts (such as scale and proportion) to a matrix of spatio-temporal relationships.

This conference proposes to assemble a group of thinkers who examine this topic from both a contemporary and historical perspective, highlighting how developments in surveying, cartography, geology, perspective, agriculture, trade, politics, transport and warfare have contributed in varying ways to the perception and representation of architecture as a geographical concern. 


Permalink to this event page

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.

Permalink to this event page

Tue 3 April 2012

Le Journal Spéciale’Z: Call For Papers

Submission deadline: 15 May 2012

March 20 2012 - May 15 2012

Call for Papers

Le Journal SpécialeZ, a publication of the Ecole Spéciale d’Architecture in Paris, is inviting propositions for its forthcoming issue that explore the following themes:


-The Spatial Turn

-The Diagram

-Co-opting Art

Please visit http://www.specialez.fr/journal/current-themes-2/ to read the calls, and contact .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) with any questions.

Permalink to this event page

Tue 20 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.

Permalink to this event page

Fri 16 March 2012

Alvar Aalto now: New research initiatives

First Alvar Aalto Research Conference

Seinäjoki and Jyväskylä, Finland

March 12 2012 - March 14 2012

The seminar will be a multidisciplinary academic meeting, at which architects, researchers, historians and others interested in the subject will be invited to present their own academic contributions to the discourse on Aalto.

The Conference will be held in Seinäjoki Town Hall (designed by Alvar Aalto) on March 12 and 13, 2012, and on March 14 there will be an excursion to Alajärvi (town centre designed by Alvar Aalto) and Jyväskylä, where it will be possible to explore the contents of the Aalto archives, and visit the storage areas, and also to meet museum and archive personnel.

Permalink to this event page

Mon 12 March 2012

The Construction of Images

eikones Summer School

March 07 2012 - August 26 2012

This year’s eikones Summer School of the NCCR Iconic Criticism will dedicate three transdisciplinary courses to the construction of images. Images are not only generated and constructed in many different ways but, in turn, contribute towards a construction of fields of activity and scopes of knowledge. All three courses will deal with a complex field of iconic criticism, in which contexts of production, reception, and work aesthetics are closely interwoven. 
“Image Production in the Arts and the Sciences“ will study what role the fact that images are made can have on their definition from the point of view of art history, philosophy, and the history of science. 
 “A Somewhat Different Measure” proposes to approach the image from the theory of proportions and, thus, re-define it from the point of art history and theory.
“Shaping Knowledge” finally seeks to define the epistemic and aesthetic potentials of graphical forms of notation in the construction and consolidation of disciplinary schools of thought and modes of action. 

Permalink to this event page

Wed 7 March 2012


An Architecture & Spatial Practice Initiative

March 05 2012

New Blog 

You are cordially invited to register and collaborate with us towards the development of future events and publications with a special focus on contemporary architecture, emergent types of spatial practice and research, digital site-specific art & drawing and many other fields stemming from the intersection of art, science, technology and philosophy. Join us on the Drawing the Invisible Blog:


Permalink to this event page

Mon 5 March 2012

Common Grounds: On Site

University of Sheffield, School of Architecture

February 22 2012

Common Grounds: On Site
An open call for active participation in a postgraduate research colloquium.
20th - 21st April 2012, University of Sheffield School of Architecture

 Hosted by the Sheffield Graduate Architectural Society

Common Grounds is an opportunity to collaborate with postgraduate students and other early-career researchers in exploring what it means to engage in situated/active spatial research, and what might be gained through a propositional or praxis-led research agenda. Researchers that actively engage on and with site, people and place are encouraged to apply from any ‘spatial’ discipline (including activists, architects, artists, geographers, landscape architects, performers, planners, sociologists, and others).

Deadline for submissions is 29th February 2012. Please find further details and the full call at the colloquium website: http://exploringcommongrounds.wordpress.com/call/

Contact for enquiries:

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


Permalink to this event page

Wed 22 February 2012

New Publications


Les Roberts, University of Liverpool

 a Cinematic Geography of Liverpool
 ‘This is the most interesting film book I have read in years… consistently interesting, theoretically smart, and a pleasure to read.' Ben Highmore, University of Sussex.
 Re-evaluating the significance of location in contemporary film practice and urban cultural theory, Film,  Mobility and Urban Space explores the role of moving images in representations and perceptions of everyday urban landscapes. The arguments put forward in the book are based on a case study of Liverpool in the north west of England and draw from a unique spatial database of over 1700 archive films of the city from 1897 to the present day. Theoretically wide-ranging in scope, Les Roberts’s study combines critical spatial analysis, archival research and qualitative methods to navigate a city’s cinematic geographies as mapped across a broad spectrum of film genres, including amateur film, travelogues, newsreels, promotional films, documentaries and features. As the second most filmed city in the UK  Liverpool boasts a rich industrial, architectural and maritime heritage that has positioned the city at the forefront of current debates on regeneration, visuality and cultural memory. The tension between the city as spectacle and the city as archive, and the contradictions that underpin the growing ‘cinematization’ of postmodern urban space are at the core of the arguments developed throughout the book.  
 1. Cinematic Geography: Mobilizing the Archive City
 2. An Incriminated Medium? The City as Urban Spectacle
 3. Cityscapes: Panoramas and the Mobile Gaze
 4. City Limits: Crossing Boundaries of Place and Identity
 5. Movie-mapping: Cinematographic Tourism and Place-marketing
 6. World in One City: Travel, Globalization and Placeless Space
 7. Cinematic Cartography: Mapping the Archive City 

Permalink to this publication

Mon 5 March 2012