AHRA Newsletter:
May-June 2013

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 July 2013


New Events

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


School of Philosophy and Religious Studies Bangor University

April 07 2014 - April 08 2014

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Mon 7 April 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

Moved: On Atmospheres and Affects - 2013 Interstices Under Construction Symposium

The University of Auckland and AUT University

Auckland November 22 to 24, 2013

November 22 2013 - November 24 2013


Keynote Speaker: Professor emeritus Gernot Böhme
(Technical University of Darmstadt, Germany)



We invite you to address in a 20 minute presentation questions of cultural and experiential atmospheres, technification and affect. For instance, what are the roles of emotion and imagination in the context of lapses in ideals of subject integrity and the immersion in affective states? What is the role, politically, culturally, creatively, of felt or non-conscious states and excesses of affect in the context of late capital? What does being moved mean historically and in contemporary senses for thinking design practices spanning cities, architecture, scenography, interiors, objects?


The full call for papers is available at http://interstices.ac.nz/call-for-paperspresentations/


Please send a 500-word abstract and a short cv to Andrew Douglas (.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)) by 24 June. Abstracts will be double-blind refereed and, if accepted, published on the Interstices website (http://interstices.ac.nz/news-events/). Notifications will be sent out by 22 July 2013. The symposium will be followed by a call for papers for Issue 15 of Interstices: A Journal of Architecture and Related Arts on the same topic in December 2013.



We look forward to your abstract!

Conference Convenors: Andrew Douglas, Ross Jenner and Tina Engels-Schwarzpaul

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Fri 22 November 2013


The 10th International AHRA International Conference

University of the West of England

November 21 2013 - November 23 2013

Conference summary

To transgress is to break, violate, infringe, or go beyond the bounds of accepted norms or limits; such limits may be behavioural or cultural (embedded in law, moral principle, taboo or other codified standards) or spatial. The conference will explore the ways in which boundaries can be exceeded or subverted in order to develop new forms of architecture, practice and architectural understanding. These boundaries might be theoretical, professional, social, spatial, disciplinary, legal, historical or physical.

“Transgression opens the door into what lies beyond the limits usually observed, but it maintains those limits just the same. Transgression is complementary to the profane world, exceeding its limits but not destroying it.”  Georges Bataille

Submissions from beyond the discipline of architecture, such as art, design, film, geography, urbanism and sociology, are welcome. 

Conference organisers are looking for proposals in the following categories: formal paper; short film; other (such as performance).

Call for Papers

Abstract deadline: Monday 18 February 2013

Notification of acceptance: Monday 15 April 2013

email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) for an abstract submission form, or visit the event website.

Should you wish to discuss the conference or make further inquiries, please contact David Littlefield or Rachel Sara at: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)


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Thu 21 November 2013

Plenitude and Empiness

A Symposium on Architectural Research by Design

University of Edinburgh

October 04 2013 - October 06 2013

By considering both the plenitude and emptiness of architectural production we are looking to elaborate design as a mode of enquiry through a set of key frames: situation, narrative, politics and subjectivity.

Design is plentiful in its modes and procedures, its practices and techniques; through an abundance of means of making, drawing, writing, imagining, imaging, positioning, and critiquing, design produces a plenty. At the same time, its methodologies encounter gaps or unknowns. Through design these gaps are negotiated, partially filled and even enlarged. Design produces both something and nothing.

In the midst of architectural design research we encounter both plenitude and emptiness. The symposium aims to discuss relations frequently encountered in design-led research, for example between method and content, theory and knowledge, and design and research. These relations taken through the four key themes propose a series of more specific enquiries, for example: How does design-led research specifically and critically develop a situation? How does design-led research engage with rhetoric and narrative? How does design-led research participate in (emergent) politics? How does design-led research and the object of architecture critically develop the discourse on subjectivity?

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Fri 4 October 2013

Cinematic Urban Geographies

CRASSH, Alison Richard Building, 7 West Road, Cambridge UK

October 03 2013 - October 04 2013

The Cinematic Urban Geographies conference aims to explore the different facets by which cinema and the moving image contribute to our understanding of cities and their topographies. The Cambridge conference will offer a unique opportunity to debate issues of cinematic geographies, filmic urban characterisation within the cultural & social dimension and database cinema (metadata) as well as film archives and the locative media potential afforded by the new generation of mobile phones.

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Thu 3 October 2013

Transmaterial Aesthetics: Experiments with Timber in Architecture and Technology

International Symposium

Aedes Network Campus Berlin, 1-2 October 2013

October 01 2013 - October 02 2013

In the light of increasing environmental awareness, timber emerged at the forefront of material investigations in architecture over the past decades. Waste material from the end of the manufacturing process, or recycled material is fused with other materials to produce composites with changed structural, performative and aesthetic properties. Pulped, cast, bundled, 3D-printed, and robotically-stacked, new technologies enabled a radical shift away from traditional tectonics and towards articulations previously associated with other materials such as concrete, masonry and plastics. Together, these experiments give rise to a new techno-aesthetic paradigm that could be described as a form of transmateriality

In nineteenth century architectural theory, Gottfried Semper’s Practical Aesthetics already suggested a synthesis between artistic and technological developments brought about by processes of material transfiguration (Stoffwechsel). Today, new visual languages emerge alongside innovative technologies that  permit the realistic study of material changes across structures:  in folded plates, grid-shells and multi-reciprocal frames, structural integrity is achieved through grading, layering and fusing of surfaces. In practice, developments in timber range from Walter Gropius’s and Konrad Wachsmann’s Packaged House, which unsuccessfully attempted to sell the modern dream of technologically advanced living to the masses, to Jürgen Mayer H’s Metropol Parasol whose captivating elastic forms promise the activation of public space.

In order to explore the interplay between aesthetics and technology in timber architecture, we seek submissions that probe the topic of transmateriality from perspectives that redress imbalances and missing links in the debate.  We welcome critical investigations of historic or theoretical content, as well as practice-oriented contributions and case studies exploring the latest technological research in timber. We also invite proposals for workshops.


Please send a 500-word abstract and a short cv to the symposium convenors Sandra Karina Löschke (.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)) and Matthias Ludwig (.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)) by 3 June 2013. Abstracts will be double-blind refereed and notifications will be sent out by 17 June, 2013. If accepted, they will be published on the institutional websites. 

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Tue 1 October 2013


International Conference organized jointly by   the Turkish Cultural Studies Association and Bilkent University

Bilkent University, Ankara, Turkey

September 05 2013 - September 07 2013

The 7th Cultural Studies Symposium on Memory and Culture jointly organized by the Turkish Cultural Studies Association and Bilkent University, Department of Political Science and Department of Architecture, will be held on September 5-7, 2013 in Ankara, Turkey. The International Cultural Studies Symposia that are organized every two years have been contributing to cultural studies and bringing together researchers who work in this area. Since the first meeting in Kemer, Antalya (2001), the Symposia have been organized, jointly, in Van with Yuzuncu Yil University (2003), in Istanbul with Koç University (2005), in Şile with Isik University (2007), in Zonguldak with Karaelmas University (2009), in İstanbul with Kadir Has University (2011). 

The purpose of this symposium is to question existing paradigms in topics that bring together the concepts of "memory" and "culture"; it aims to present critical and analytical approaches and to explore new theoretical and methodological paradigms in cultural studies. It adopts an inter- and multi-disciplinary perspective that includes such disciplines as sociology, anthropology, psychology, political science, urban studies, architecture, design, and literature; it also takes a gender perspective. Submissions, both domestic and international, are invited on the following sub-themes. The conference is open to a variety of themes beyond the suggested ones as long as they deal with memory and culture within the context of Turkey and related cultures.

Memory is about the retreat to consciousness of experiences, accompanied by awareness that it has happened somewhere sometime. Culture is its concrete form; the term goes beyond its everyday connotation with art, civilization and development; it is used in the anthropological sense referring to a "way of life." 

The relationship between memory and identity is an important one. The way the individual remembers his/her own or family's past determines to a significant degree what s/he is. This is "discovering" oneself in a particular way.  

The relationship between memory and space is also important. We remember everything with its location in space. But this can happen only in relation to social frameworks, as M. Halbwachs puts it. Socialframeworks can be broadly classified as the family, religious / ethnic groups and social classes. They are the instruments used to reconstruct an image of the past which is in accord with the dominant ideas of the society in a particular epoch. Therefore, memory is selective.

Memory is also a question of social and political power. What we remember depends upon the context and the group(s) that we are part of. Accordingly, the depth and contour of our collective memory reflect also the competitive positions of power groups. Political power usually has the tendency of reconstructing collective memory to reproduce its legitimacy. 

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Thu 5 September 2013

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



Artena (Rome, Italy)

July 21 2013 - July 28 2013


Biourbanism | Environmental Psychology | Patterns in Physics, Biology, Neurophysiology, and Design | Algorithmic Sustainable Design | Biourban Acupuncture | Evidence-based Design | Placemaking | Service Design for Cities

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Sun 21 July 2013

Discursive Space

Breaking barriers to effective spatial communication in museums

Ryerson University, School of Interior Design, Toronto

June 20 2013 - June 23 2013

With the theme “Discursive Space: breaking barriers to effective spatial communication in museums”, the conference provides a forum for deliberation concerning the integration of art, design, and architecture in the creation of memorable and immersive museum experiences, while balancing the public’s expectations of self-directed expression and engagement.

Today’s society is continuously challenged to break down barriers; barriers that stand to separate individuals and ideas. Art and design in their truest forms are created to fracture barriers and initiate dialogue with individuals, internally and socially. How does one make an emotional connection, effect communication, and immersively engage a museum audience with an experience when there are these barriers to be overcome? The issue of how cultural institutions can reconnect with the public and demonstrate their value and relevance in contemporary life has been at the forefront of discussions between scholars, designers and professionals in recent times. In order for the conference to have relevance within the museum community, it has to have relevance for those who work in or study museums, but also to those who visit museums; to those who design museums; and those who see museums as an educational resource.


The conference is hosted by :

Ryerson University, School of Interior Design  (www.ryerson.ca/interior) and the Art Gallery of Ontario (www.ago.net).


Conference Committee:

Prof. Jana Macalik, Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada
Deborah Wang (Adjunct), Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada
Christophe Jivraj, Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada
Gillian McIntyre, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Canada
Dr. Jonathan Hale, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK
Dr. Laura Hanks, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK
Dr. Suzanne MacLeod, University of Leicester, Leicester, UK
Dr. John Fraser, New Knowledge Organization, New York, US

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Thu 20 June 2013

International Symposium on Urbanism, Spirituality & Well Being

Exploring the Past and Present | Envisioning the Future

Hingham, MA & Harvard University Divinity School

June 06 2013 - June 09 2013

The International Symposium on Urbanism, Spirituality & Well Being will convene experts in the fields of architecture, landscape design, urbanism, religious studies, public health and other related disciplines to address leading-edge global culture and urbanism issues from contemplative, spiritual, philosophical, design and ethical perspectives. The 2 1/2 day program of scholarly presentations and panel discussions is sponsored by the Harvard Divinity School, the the Harvard Center for Health and Global Environment, and The International Forum for Architecture, Culture and Spirituality. The symposium topics include scholarship on the history of cities and architecture planned according to spiritual motivations or principles; the contemporary built urban environment and the plethora of forces that shape it; and the meaningful, sustainable and spiritual prospects of future urban life that nurtures meaningful, sustainable, and spiritually inspiring built environments and architecture.

The symposium will begin with a keynote address on Thursday, June 6th, followed on Friday by peer-reviewed paper sessions and a keynote address, both of which will be conducted at Glastonbury Abbey. On Saturday, the symposium will be conducted at the Harvard Divinity School and include invited speakers and panel discussions by leading experts in the field. Sunday will include a concluding session, the ACS business meeting, and an excursion to be announced. 

For information regarding submission of paper proposals (deadline January 14, 2013), symposium location, cost, format, and themes, go to http://www.acsforum.org/usw_symposium/



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Thu 6 June 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_media_politics_society is.a.fully.peer.reviewed academic journal. It is a forum for the analysis of architecture in the mediated environment of contemporary culture. It sees architecture as a phenomenon contained by, formed in, and intrinsically linked to, the complex web of its social context. Its focus is cross disciplinary and draws the media, politics and the social sciences into our analysis of the built environment. It functions as a platform for publication but, uniquely, .also operates as a resource repository  offering up-to-date materials.and listings for research / study.



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Tue 19 March 2013

Call for Papers: Architecture and Culture, Vol. 2, Issue no. 01

Editors: Igea Troiani and Suzanne Ewing

Vol. 2/Issue 01 is an open call for submissions that address Architecture and Culture through the broad lens of disciplinary practices. We welcome full-length submissions that explore historical, geographical, anthropological, sociological, filmic, acoustic, design or literary interpretations of what this might mean. Architecture and Culture publishes explorations that are rigorously speculative, purposively imaginative, visually and verbally stimulating. We welcome orthodox and unorthodox methods of representation and critical writing. Whether a comic strip, film, fiction story, drawing, design hypothesis or scholarly paper, in this CFP we seek submissions with a critical argument about disciplinary practices, architecture and culture.

The submission deadline is 14th June 2013, 5pm UK time. We seek full submissions, not abstracts, by this date. All papers should be submitted electronically via Editorial Manager at: http://www.editorialmanager.com/archcult/

For author instructions, please go to ‘Notes to Contributors’ at


Accepted articles will be published in March 2014.


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Fri 3 May 2013

New Courses

MA Architectural History, The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL

The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL, London

Course web site

web site thumbnail available soon

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Wed 9 January 2013

MA in Architectural Design

School of Architecture, University of Sheffield

Course web site

web site thumbnail available soon

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Wed 9 January 2013

MA in Urban Design

School of Architecture, The University of Sheffield

Course web site

web site thumbnail available soon

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Wed 9 January 2013

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