AHRA Newsletter:
May / June 2009

This is the latest issue of the newsletter highlighting forthcoming events, conferences, publications and other research activities, including additions to the AHRA website.

If you would like to continue 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 have items of interest you would like to promote through the newsletter to the AHRA mailing list, please send details by email to Diana Periton at:

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The next newsletter will be issued in early July 2009.


34th Annual International Merleau-Ponty Circle Conference
Mississippi State University

9 September + 10-12 September 2009
The School of Architecture at Mississippi State University is hosting the 34th Annual International Merleau-Ponty Circle meeting September 10-12, 2009, with the theme, “The Experience and Expression of Space.”  In conjunction with this meeting, we are assembling a one-day companion conference entitled “Flesh and Space: Intertwining Merleau-Ponty and Architecture,” to be held on the eve of the philosophy conference, September 9, 2009.

We invite submission of abstracts/papers and creative works for both the philosophy and the architecture conference.  Please see conference website for further details of both calls.  Submissions are due on 10 June via email.  Initial submissions for the architecture conference may be abstracts or full (2500-word) papers.  Submissions for the philosophy conference should be full (4000-word) papers.

Keynote speakers:  Suzanne Cataldi, Helen Fielding, Albert Perez-Gomez

Please contact conference organizers Rachel McCann, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), or Patricia Locke, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), with any questions.

Also visit the conference website http://www.caad.msstate.edu/merleau-ponty
for further information.

Deadline for submission of abstracts or papers:  10 June 2009
Notification of acceptance:  25 June 2009
Completed papers due:  15 August 2009

University of Westminster, London

3-4 September 2010

September 2010 marks the seventieth anniversary of the Blitz on London, and the beginning of mass aerial bombardment which devastated many areas of both the capital and other large cities in Britain. The Blitz and its legacy conference aims to be a total history of a total war phenomenon, focusing upon the experience of aerial attack through film, images, written texts and oral testimony. It will also explore the reconstruction of the devastated areas, and aim to provide an historical audit of successes and failures in reconstruction by 1970.

The conference is interdisciplinary, and is keen to attract social, cultural, urban and town planning historians. Britain was by no mean alone in suffering war from the air. Across Europe, in Japan and elsewhere cities and civilians were targeted for destruction from above, often with terrible consequences. Hence we welcome papers from academics in other countries.

The Blitz experience:
Testimonies and memories
Images: films and photographs
Literature and aerial warfare
Mapping destruction and survival

People in the ruins of the city
Surviving buildings and infrastructure, and their legacy for reconstruction

Plans and reconstruction:
Reconstruction plans and their implementation
Rebuilding the functioning city around the surviving city
Dispersal as a wartime experience and as a raison d’etre for new communities
Modernism, architecture and reconstruction

Depending on the number and nature of papers offered, we will include papers in the above consecutive/simultaneous strands on Friday and Saturday.

A circular field-walk of London W1 and its bomb sites will also be available on the Friday evening, including Regent Street, Oxford Street, Cavendish Square, Portland Place, Fitzroy Square, Cleveland Street and Great Portland Street.

Abstracts of 500 words may be sent to either Dr. Mark Clapson at the University of Westminster: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or Professor Peter Larkham at Birmingham City University: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Deadline for submission of original abstracts: 30 June 2009

An international interdisciplinary conference exploring the interpretive potential of architecture, exhibitions and design
University of Leicester

20-22 April 2010

A collaboration between the Department of Museum Studies, University of Leicester and the School of the Built Environment, University of Nottingham, NARRATIVE SPACE is a 3-day international interdisciplinary conference exploring the creation of narrative environments in museums, galleries, historic sites, buildings and landscapes. From the level of the site and the building down to the level of the exhibition and the object, how can we create environments which tell stories of people, of places and of collections? How can spaces, objects and a range of media be utilised to create spatial experiences which are engaging, meaningful and memorable?

Narrative Space draws together museum professionals, exhibition designers, architects and academics to explore practice at the cutting-edge of exhibition and experience making. In order to explore this vast area of research and practice it covers a range of themes including the ability of sites and buildings to hold or be overlaid with narratives; the history and theory of display; museums and exhibitions as spatial media; harnessing the spatial character, history and potential of buildings and sites; the nature and role of narrative and storytelling in the making of interpretive environments; the role of visitor-centred design in the production of museum space; and the emergence of a new range of interpretive approaches to museum and exhibition making which cut across architecture, film, design, digital media, interior and graphic design, literature and art.

Proposals are sought from museum practitioners, architects, designers, artists, filmmakers and others actively involved in the imaginative reshaping of museums, galleries and visitor experiences as well as academics researching in the areas of museum and gallery architecture, exhibition and display, both historical and contemporary.

Please send a short proposal of no more than 300 words to Suzanne MacLeod, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
and Laura Hanks, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Keynote Speaker: Peter Greenaway CBE

Deadline for submission of abstracts: 29 July 2009

1st International Meeting
European Architectural History Network (EAHN)
Guimarães, Portugal

17-20 June 2010

The time has come for scholars who share research and teaching objectives in architectural history to gather at a single pan-European meeting. In accordance with the EAHN mission statement, this meeting proposes to increase the visibility of the discipline, to foster transnational, interdisciplinary and multicultural approaches to the study of the built environment, and to facilitate the exchange of research results in the field. Though the scope of the meeting is European, members of the larger scholarly community are invited to submit proposals related not only to Europe’s geographical framework, but also to its transcontinental aspects.

The main purpose of the meeting is to map the general state of research in disciplines related to the built environment, to promote discussion of current themes and concerns, and to foster new directions for research in the field.

As a result of the call for sessions and round table proposals, abstracts are now invited for the session and round table themes listed below – for further details of these, please see the conference website, http://www.eahn2010.org

Sessions will consist of 4-5 papers and a respondent.  Each paper presentation should be no more than 20 minutes.  Abstracts for session presentations, of no more than 300 words, should define the subject and summarize the argument to be presented.  The content of the paper should be the product of well-documented original research that is primarily analytical and interpretive rather then descriptive in nature.  Papers should not have been previously published or presented.

Round tables will consist of 5 participants and an extended time for dialogue, debate and discussions among chair(s) and public.  Each discussant will have 10 minutes to present their position.  Abstracts for round table debates should summarize the position to be taken in the discussion.

Spaces and Leisure in Early Modern Europe.
Local Dynamics in Global Empires.
Architecture in 19th Century Photographs.
Architectures of the Suburb.
The Figure in the Grotto: Materialization and Embodiment in the Renaissance.
Territorial Defensive Systems of European Colonies: 15th to 18th Centuries.
The Changing Status of Women in Architecture Between the Wars.
Urban Cities: Cultural Urbanism in the Heyday of Functionalism.
Fictionalizing the City.
The European Welfare State Project: Ideals, Politics, Cities and Buildings.
Museums of Architecture / Architecture in the Museum.
‘Authors’ of Architectural History from the Ottoman Empire to Nation-States.
Port Architecture of Ancient Roman and Medieval Europe.
Modernization of the Eastern Mediterranean.
The Italian Civic Palace in the Age of the City-Republics.
Remembering Totalitarianism: The Redemption of Former Rule in the Built Environment.
Common Housing in Pre-Industrial Western Cities: The Architectural History Approach.
At the Crossroads of Painting, Mathematics and Cultural Change: The Professional Architect in Early Modern Europe.
Princely Palaces in Renaissance Europe.
Village Architecture in the Age of a Sustainable Future.

Round tables:
Medieval Architectural Heritage: What is Real?
Still on the Margin: Reflections on the Persistence of the Canon in Architectural History.
Setting a Research Agenda for 19th and 20th Century Colonial Architecture and Urban Planning: Current and Emerging Themes and Tools.
Return to the Material.
Beyond the Spatial Turn: Redefining Space in Architectural History.

Membership will be required to chair or present research at the meeting. To join EAHN, write to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

For further information including submission guidelines, please see the conference website, http://www.eahn2010.org

Deadlines for submissions: 30 October 2009.
Notification:  30 November 2009
Submission of revised abstracts:  31 December 2009


Transforming Our Schools
School of Education
C15 Pope Building, University Park Campus
University of Nottingham

20 April - 27 May 2009

An interdisciplinary lecture series of architects and educationalists that address critically the government agenda to transform education by building healthy and sustainable schools.

Remaining lectures:
6 May Prue Chiles, Sheffield University, School of Architecture
11 May Glen Strachan, University of Gloucestershire
13 May Dr. Elizabeth Hartnell-Young and Ms. Lynne Sutton, University of Melbourne and Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, Victoria, Australia
18 May Professor William Scott, Bath University, School of Education
20 May Linda Farrow, Architect, White Design
26 May Pamela Woolner, University of Newcastle (tbc)
27 May School design research presentation, students from the School of the Built Environment, University of Nottingham (tbc)
Lectures are at 5.00 p.m.
Enquiries:  Janet Wilmot, Research Office, tel. 0115 8468405, e-mail .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

AA PhD Dialogues, 2nd Annual AA PhD Research Symposium
Architectural Association
School of Architecture
36 Bedford Square
London WC1B 3ES

Friday 8 May 2009, 10am-7pm

The notion of transparency has achieved a continued, if varied, currency in architectural discourse throughout the twentieth-century. Along with a multitude of material attributes, transparency advocates a shifting, yet ever-present, ideological sensibility. Towards the latter part of the twentieth-century, however, the general notion of transparency as an ideological mechanism began to decline. Today, while a literal sense of transparency remains, seemingly its ideology does not. This symposium aims to resurface the question of ideology in (contemporary) architectural discourse by creating dialogues around the following questions:
_ As the notion of transparency appears to be superseded by the immateriality of the digital, how can contemporary architectural research address transparency’s role as a technological innovation, as a mechanism for design, and, above all, as an ideological device?
_ Do new design technologies and media produce more transparent systems of communication?
_ Despite the apparent displacement of ideology in current architectural arguments and projects, what are the subjacent ideologies that remain and how might we be able to scrutinise them?

Roemer van Toorn, from the Berlage Institute

Ten PhD candidates, targeting certain issues related to the symposium theme, will present a series of individual papers. These papers are thematically arranged into two groups.
Each group of presentations will be concluded by a moderated discussion on the issues raised.

AA PhD Dialogues is an annual international event organised by a select group of PhD candidates at the Architectural Association School of Architecture, London. AA PhD Dialogues is the follow-up event to the 2008 AA PhD Symposium, ‘The Critique of the New: Questioning the Legitimization of Newness Through Technology’, with Mark Wigley (Columbia GSAPP) as keynote speaker. Each year a theme is selected based upon a particular set of terms that address current questions within contemporary architectural discourse. This theme operates as an umbrella under which individual PhD research can be collectively discussed in an international forum.

Doreen Bernath, Nerma Cridge, Eva Eylers, Kris Mun, Emanuel de Sousa, Tania Lopez Winkler and Kirk Wooller

For further information, please see the symposium website at

The 6th Modern Interiors Research Centre Conference, Kingston University
Thursday 14th & Friday 15th May 2009

The Modern Interiors Research Centre Conference will bring together architectural and design historians and practitioners and curators, to examine and debate the theme of the interior as a marker of history.  The conference will seek to reveal and debate the numerous ways in which interiors register and mark the passing of time and will question the ways in which time and the effect of social, cultural, political and economic factors shape our understanding and assessment of the interior.

Online booking: http://www.kingston.ac.uk/designbookonline (Please register, click on ‘select course’ and then click on ‘Proceed’)

PLEASE NOTE CALL FOR POSTERS IS STILL OPEN: http://www.kingston.ac.uk/design/MIRC/MIRC%20Call%20for%20Posters%202009.pdf

Thursday 14th May:
0845 Registration and tea / coffee
0915 Welcome
0930 Eleanor Dew. The Bard Graduate Center, New York, USA.  “Dealing with the Past: Lenygon & Morant, Transatlantic Antique Dealers and Interior Designers, c.1904-1943”
0950 Fiona Fisher.  Kingston University, London, UK.  “’Ruins rise, and beauty has its second spring…’ Vogue and the Staging of an Urban Renaissance”
1010 Imma Forino.  Politecnico di Milano, Milan, Italy.  “Living in the “Sense of Past” Solipsistic Impulses in Domesticscapes”
1030 Barbara Lasic.  Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK.  “Boudoirs or Shrines? Late Nineteenth-century Interiors and the Cult of the French Ancien Régime”
1050 Questions and discussion
1110 Tea / coffee
1150 Michael Day. Chief Executive, Historic Royal Palaces, UK.
1230 Lunch and poster exhibition

1410 Bronwyn Labrum.  Massey University, Wellington, New Zealand.  “Reviving the Colonial Past: Histories, Heritage and the Exhibition Interior in Post-War New Zealand”
1430 Julia Parker.  Hampton Court Palace and Kingston University, UK.  “’The public does not like its palaces papered’: Wallpapering the Hampton Court Palace State Apartments”
1450 Luca Basso Peressut.  Politecnico di Milano, Milan, Italy.  “Rooms of Transition: The Challenge of Italian Museography”
1510 Questions
1530 Tea / coffee
1610 Koenraad van Cleempoel.  Hasselt University, Hasselt, Belgium.  “Two Case Studies of Recent ‘Rehabilitations’ of Flemish Modernist Interiors”
1630 Andres Kurg, Estonian Academy of Art, Tallinn, Estonia.  “Empty White Space:  Tonis Vint’s Home and the Role of Art Nouveau Gesamtkunstwerk for Avant-garde Art Practices in Estonia, in the 1970s”
1650 Claire O’Mahony.  University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.  “Proletarians and Pierrots: Hierarchies and Hybridities in the Reconstructed Hotel de Ville, Paris”
1710 Olivia Fryman.  Hampton Court Palace and Kingston University, UK.  “’Venerable relics’: State Beds and the Conservation of Monarchical Memories”
1730 Questions and close of day one session

Friday 15th May:
0845 Tea / coffee
0910 Kin-Ming Lee.  Tsinghua University, Beijing, China.  “A Case Study: Remodelling of a 600 Year Old Nunnery in Hong Kong”
0930 Zeynep Tuna Ultav. Izmir University of Economics, Izmir, Turkey.  Gökçeçiçek Sava┼čir.  Dokuz Eylüul University, Izmir, Turkey.  “On the Tension Between the Transformation and Preservation: Re-thinking the Erasure of History in the Remodelling of Izmir Efes Hotel”
0950 Frazer Hay, Napier University, Edinburgh.  “Re-shaping Our Historic Heritage”
1010 Questions
1030 Tea / coffee
1110 Emma Ferry, University of the West of England, Bristol and Kingston University, UK.  “Modernity, Medievalism and Memory: The Church of St. Michael, Cropthorne, 1890-1920”
1130 Helen Potkin.  Kingston University, London, UK. “In-habiting Site: Contemporary Art Practices Within the Historic Interior”
1150 Peter Trowles,  The Glasgow School of Art, Glasgow, UK.  “Adapting to Change at The Glasgow School of Art: Living with the Interiors of Charles Rennie Mackintosh”
1210 Questions
1230 Lunch

1410 Heidi Arad.  Heidi Arad Architecture and Design Ltd, Tel-Aviv, Israel.  “Creating a Sense of Place in The White City: Heritage and Sustainability in Interior Design”
1430 Graeme Brooker and Sally Stone.  Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, UK.  “Infected Interiors: Remodelling Contaminated Buildings”
1450 Questions
1510 Tea / coffee
1550 Fred Scott.  Visiting Professor of Interior Architecture, Rhode Island School of Design, USA and author of On Altering Architecture.
1630 Questions / closing discussion

SAHGB-EAHN Annual Symposium
The Art Workers’ Guild, London

16 May 2009

This symposium is organized jointly by the Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain and the European Architectural History Network.

The symposium aims to broaden our understanding of British architecture in the wider world.  Proposals have been invited for papers that illuminate aspects of British architecture from non-British points of view, such as accounts and interpretations of British architecture by foreigners travelling in Britain, or reactions to British architects travelling abroad.  There are important postcolonial perspectives to be opened up, and assimilations of celebrated British architects into the world of globalized commodity fetishism.

The conveners are Andrew Ballantyne, Newcastle University UK (.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)) and Dirk van den Heuvel, TU Delft, Netherlands (.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)).

For further information, please see the symposium website at http://www.sahgb.org,uk
The symposium will be held at the Art Workers’ Guild, London:

Environmental Design Research Association (EDRA)
Kansas City, Missouri, USA

27 May 2009

A day-long symposium, “Drawing on Architect Christopher Alexander’s Theory and Practice: Teaching Models, Building Case Studies, and Conceptual Critiques,” will be held on 27 May 2009 in Kansas City, Missouri, as part of the annual Environmental Design Research Association (EDRA) meeting. Alexander’s theories on “A Pattern Language” and “The Nature of Order” are based on the fundamental premise that “order” and “wholeness” exist in the built environment and are dependent on participatory and generative planning, design, and making processes that can create “living” structures. Alexander’s theories and building methodology have inspired many architects, designers, builders, researchers, and educators around the world. These individuals continue to build around the common theoretical foundation offered by Alexander and are working to explore—in conceptual and applied ways—new processes and approaches needed to creating wholeness and living structures in the world.

This full-day symposium presents on-going research, teaching, and design drawing on Alexander’s work. Participants include: Tom Kubala (Kubala Washatko Architects, Cedarburg, WI); Jesus Lara (Ohio State University, Columbus, OH); Michael Mehaffy (President, Structura Naturalis Inc., Lake Oswego, OR); Kyriakos Pontikis(California State University, Northridge, CA), Jenny Quillien(New Mexico University of Highlands, Santa Fe, NM), Yodan Rofè (Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Sde-Boqer Campus, Israel); and Ameilia Rosenberg Weinreb (Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Sde-Boqer Campus, Israel).

For further information, contact co-organizer David Seamon at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). For more information on the EDRA conference, go to: http://www.edra.org

Architectural History and Theory Research School
Kings Manor 133 (10 minutes from the railway station in central York)
University of York

3 June 2009, 1.00-5.00 p.m.

Speakers include:
Marcia Poynton, Fabio Barry, Katie Lloyd Thomas

Spnsored by the Department of Art History, University of York

Refreshments will be served.  All welcome

For further information, please contact Helen Hills, e-mail .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address),
tel. 00 44 (0)1904 43 3428
HYBRID ARCHITECTURAL ARCHIVES:  Creating, Managing and Using Digital Archives
Netherlands Architecture Institute, Rotterdam

11-12 June 2009

In this two day conference, the NAi aims to map the development of research and experiences in creating, consuming and using digital architectural archives. The conference is now open for

For architectural archives, digital files are not just a new kind of datacarrier as was the case with microfilm. Digital materials require much more attention to be handled, described and stored in a consistent, safe and persistent way than paper or film. The awareness that our digital heritage is much more fragile than paper archives slowly starts to pervade the cultural heritage community. While some institutions are already testing e-repository test beds, most organisations are still
searching for technical solutions for the new hybrid environment in which paper archives are accompanied by digital files.

Research and experiences
The conference will be a continuation of the Gaudi conference held in Paris in November 2007, “Architecture and Digital Archives.  Architecture in the Digital Age: a question of memory”. The conference is meant for architects, architectural museum staff, staff from cultural heritage institutions, architectural historians and researchers. The main purpose of the meeting is to map the development of research and experiences in creating, consuming and using digital architectural archives. The conference focuses on bringing together experts in the
fields of architecture (the creators), architectural archives and museums (the keepers: preservation and access) and researchers (users).

Hybrid environment
The specific problems with permanent storage, access and retrieval of digital architectural archives are gradually revealing themselves. What are the consequences for organizations in a hybrid environment and what choices do we have to face? With regard to digitising paper archives: should we digitise complete archives or parts of it retrospectively and describe them in the same way as our paper archives? How can we create a useful multi language thesaurus and vocabulary necessary to find the requested information? How should we present digital information and what will be the surplus value for users compared to the original paper drawings. How can users and providers make the most of this new digital content?

With regard to born digital archival material: how do we address the problem of authenticity when the digital original is the same as the copy on the web? What are the specific inherent qualities of digital designs? How do we preserve the functionalities of an architectural design produced by interactive software once the material is in a repository?

Conference themes
The questions above have been translated into the following themes:
Acquiring and processing digital archives in repositories Producing digital archives in architectural practices Architectural archives on the web
Users: expectations and use
Multilingual architecture thesauri and vocabularies

For more information and registration, please visit the conference website. http://conference.nai.nl

Centre for Interdisciplinary Research / Zentrum für Interdisziplinäre Forschung (ZiF)
Bielefeld University

17-19 June 2009

The workshop explores the role of buildings as stabilisations of society in theoretical and historical perspectives. Many disciplines engaged with buildings implicitly or explicitly understand buildings as a kind of technology that (should) stabilize, form, direct or influence interactions and thus society. Whether their impact is attributed to the hands or thoughts of designers to enable or hinder people to do something or whether these are the concepts of architectural or social theory, buildings are not only aesthetic objects from different stylistic and regional environments but also objects that link to their users. The workshop attempts to theorize these links and the different traditions that brought forth those links. The workshop starts with an exploration of the history of the problem and explores how in different countries in the 1960s and 1970s buildings and users were related. This is followed by a set of talks that reconstruct and reinvent theories of buildings, between the social sciences and architectural theory. A third set of papers looks at the notion of building types as a central concept to relate buildings and uses. A last set of papers discusses empirical case studies that relate to the theme of the seminar. Those deal both with informal settlements and cases of changing buildings as challenges to standard notions of buildings.

Workshop organised by Michael Guggenheim, Department of Anthropology,
University of Zürich.

For the programme, please see the website:

Please direct questions concerning the organisation of the workshop to Trixi Valentin at the Conference Office (phone: +49 521 106-2769 / Fax: +49 521 106-6024). Questions regarding scientific content and contributions should be directed to the organizer, Michael Guggenheim, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Second International Conference
Kyoto Seika University, Japan

26 - 29 June 2009

In continuation of the first Architecture and Phenomenology Conference, held in Haifa, Israel in May 2007, the Second Architecture and Phenomenology Conference explores diverse relationships between phenomenology and architecture.  Phenomenology has been one of the most productive and inspirational arenas of thinking in the discourse of contemporary architecture since the 1960s. Despite criticisms made by other schools of philosophy such as neo-Marxism, structuralism, post-structuralism and post-colonialism, phenomenological lessons on life-world, language, perception, body, creation and ethics have consistently inspired leading architects and writers in architecture. This second International Conference on Architecture and Phenomenology seeks to open a new chapter in the history of phenomenological scholarship and practice in architecture. The Conference will revisit how phenomenology has been understood and employed in the scholarship and practice of architecture and urbanism. It will explore architectural and urban lessons of recent development in phenomenology itself such as the ideas of ‘being given’ and ‘saturated phenomenon’ by Jean Luc-Marion and ‘generative phenomenology’ by Anthony Steinbock. It will engage with the contemporary situation in which discourses on materiality, sustainability, and digital design and fabrication claim to have opened new arenas in the manner that we apprehend and design environments. The Conference investigates how phenomenology offers itself as a valuable lens through which the openings and limits of these discourses can be evaluated.

A unique aspect of the second Architecture and Phenomenology Conference is that it is to be held in an East Asian country. This venue is particularly meaningful in that phenomenology in the West has shown a great affinity to traditional and modern East Asian thinking. Most phenomenology-based studies in architecture have employed as their references the philosophies of Western thinkers such as Edmund Husserl (1859-1938), Martin Heidegger (1889-1976), Maurice Merleau-Ponty (1908-1961), etc. Despite the fact that, in the area of philosophy, East Asian tradition has been studied by many Asian and Western intellectuals, it still remains an uncharted territory of intellectual potential for the discipline of architecture. Accordingly, this Conference will set up a momentous stage not only to balance this tendency, but also to explore the phenomenological tradition of East Asia represented by the Kyoto Philosophical School and its view of nothingness, horizon, body, perception, creation, and art and architecture. Some of the keynote speeches and general paper sessions of the Conference will be devoted to this cross-cultural relationship in phenomenological thinking at the level of both philosophy and architecture.

Keynote speakers:
Hubert Dreyfus (University of California at Berkeley, U.S.A.); Karsten Harries (Yale University, U.S.A.); David Leatherbarrow (Univ. of Pennsylvania, U.S.A.); Jin Baek (Pennsylvania State University, U.S.A.); Alberto Perez-Gomez (McGill University, Canada); Dalibor Vesely (Univ. of Cambridge, United Kingdom), Ryosuke Ohashi (Osaka University, Japan); Takashi Kakuni (Ritsumeikan University, Japan); Sey Takeyama (Kyoto University, Japan); Terunobu Fujimori (University of Tokyo, Japan).

For further information, see http://www.arch.usf.edu/arch-phenom2/

Conference registration:  15 March – 15 May 2009

Anglo-American Conference of Historians
Institute of Historical Research, University of London,
Senate House,
Malet Street, London

2-3 July 2009

For 10,000 years cities have shaped the affairs of mankind. Now, more than half of the world’s population is urban, dwelling in settlements that we identify as ‘city’ or ‘town’, some of them so extensive and so complex that they seem to transcend traditional notions of urban organisation and form.

While the impact of cities has grown rapidly in recent times, its essential nature has been apparent from the beginning. Cities mark the transition from nomadic to settled society and drive the development of agriculture and ideas of the rural, as well the exploitation of water,
minerals and other natural resources. As both organising forces and habitats, cities are at least as important for animals as for humans. They rest on networks of contracts that regulate the exchange of goods and services and the management of risk, yet the instabilities that characterised pre-urban societies remain with us today, and in many new forms.

Cities facilitate the aggregation of wealth and power and the emergence of distinctive religions, beliefs, cultural behaviour, social structures and institutions. They evolve laws and governmental systems to deal with the particular problems of urban life, including those arising from
disorder and disease. As sites of inquiry and information exchange they promote knowledge and understanding of the wider world.

Within the city, the key public locations are those of the market, popular assembly, power, authority, religion and defence, while the occupation of spaces for work, residence and recreation is exceptionally dense. In meeting these and other needs, cities promote innovation in building and architecture, often so as to fulfil the ambitions of the powerful. City plans and forms can also bear symbolic meaning and express ideas of social, political, economic or cosmological order. Such environments are often oppressive or corrupting, yet many cities also offer the individual a freedom of thought and expression not found elsewhere.

Cities’ relations with subordinate settlements and with other cities, along with their need to control territory and communications, give them a central role in the formation of states and empires, and now in the process of globalisation. At the same time, they absorb and express the characteristics of the regions in which they lie and of more distant places with which they have contact. With migration and trade they become places where languages and cultures co-exist, intermingle or merge.

The conference will deal with cities throughout the world, with papers examining the networks of cities and their role in cultural formation, the relations between cities, territories and larger political units, the ideologies and cosmologies of the city and what distinguishes the city or town from other forms of settlement or ways of life.

Many of these topics are touched on in general writing on cities, but it is remarkable how rarely they are subject to serious historical analysis. This raises questions for our understanding of cities now, when so much of their past as invoked in relation to the present is misunderstood. As so many of us mass together in cities, are we at a turning point in our identity as humans? Or does past experience of cities offer some clues for the future, whether one of hope or of disaster?

For the conference programme and registration details, please see the conference website, http://www.history.ac.uk/aac2009/

VISUALITY / MATERIALITY: Reviewing Theory, Method and Practice
An international conference to be held at the R.I.B.A., London

9-11 July, 2009

Visuality/Materiality attends to the relationship between the visual and the material as a way of approaching both the meaning of visual and its other aspects. The interrogation of image as sign, metaphor, and text has long dominated the realm of visual theory and analysis. But the material role of visual praxis in everyday landscapes of seeing has been an emergent area of visual research; visual design, urban visual practice, visual grammars and vocabularies of domestic spaces, including the formation and structuring of practices of living and political being, are critical to 21st century grammars of living. The relationship between Visuality/Materiality here is about social meaning and practice; where identity, power, space, and geometries of seeing are approached here through a grounded approach to material technologies, design and visual research, everyday embodied seeing, labour, ethics and utility. This conference is aimed at providing a dialogic space where the nature and role of a contemporary visual theory and practice can be evaluated, in light of materiality, practice, the affective, performativity; and where the methodological encounter informs our intellectual critique.

Plenary Speakers:
Professor Elizabeth Edwards, Dr Paul Frosh, Professor Jane Jacobs

Provisional Speakers Include:
Mike Crang (Durham), Nirmal Puwar (Goldsmith’s); Marquard Smith (Westminster); Prof Mimi Sheller (Swarthmore), Ruth Panelli (UCL); Yoke-Sum Wong (Lancaster); Craig Campbell (Alberta); Mathias Broth (Linkoping University), Oskar Juhlin (Interactive Institute); Dean Sully (UCL); Michael Pryke (Ou); Eric Laurier (Edinburgh); Niki Sperou (visual artist, Adelaide); Ruth Fazakerley (Visual Artist, Adelaide) and Agnieszka Golda (Visual Artist, Wollongong)

For further information and registration, please see the conference website, http://www.geography.dur.ac.uk/conf/visualitymateriality

University of Tokyo,
Tokyo, Japan

July 17-19 2009

Following the theme “Negotiating Global Pressures on Professional and Educational Standards in Architecture,” this event brings together internationally respected architects, educators, and scholars to address tensions between local practices and international standards for a globalized architectural profession. Like other professions, we face debates over establishing global standards to support international architectural practices. Though standards may help ensure quality and expand markets for practitioners, they threaten to reconfigure local practices.
How architects work in a global context is also shaped by their education and inculcation into professional roles. Therefore, this event considers both architectural pedagogy and practices. Since institutions around the globe feel increasing pressure to conform to standardization, we will gather to address this situation and also to discover the most effective methods for training architects to face the global challenges of evolving 21st century urban conditions.

Participants include: Hitoshi Abe, UCLA; Helmut Anheier, UCLA; N.H. Chhaya, Center for Environmental Planning and Technology; Preston Scott Cohen, Harvard University; Dana Cuff, UCLA; Odile Decq, Ecole Speciale d’ Architecture; Nobuaki Furuya, Waseda University; Toyo Ito, Toyo Ito & Associates; Jong Kyu Kim, The Korean National University of Arts ; Kengo Kuma, Tokyo University; Ralph Lerner, Hong Kong University; Kazuhiko Namba, Tokyo University; Yasuaki Onoda, Tohoku University; Fernando Ramos, UIA; Brett Steele, Architectural Association; Yoshiharu Tsukamoto, Tokyo Institute of Technology; Mark Wigley, Columbia University; Weiguo Xu, Tsinghua University; Riken Yamamoto, Yokohama Graduate School of Architecture; Alejandro Zaera Polo, FOA

Jointly organized by UCLA, Los Angeles (Department of Architecture and Urban Design) and the University of Tokyo

Further details: please see http://www.iaes.aud.ucla.edu
Contact information: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Media contact:  Caroline Blackburn, 00 1 (310) 267 4704


University of Plymouth
PhD Scholarships

The University of Plymouth has announced 40 fully-funded PhD studentships for EU / UK nationals (home fees only for non-EU nationals). These are open to potential students from a wide range of subject areas, including architecture, design, architectural history and cultural studies, grouped loosely under the heading ‘Creative Economies and Design Technologies’ (home fees only for non-EU nationals).  Selection of students will be based on the range and diversity of applicants, not on quotas for field or subject area.

Applicants should hold or expect to be awarded a 1st/2.1 honours degree and/or a Masters qualification or equivalent research experience.
Closing date for receipt of applications is 26 May 2009
For further information and instructions on how to apply see:
http://www.plymouth.ac.uk/researchstudentships or write to: The Graduate School, University of Plymouth, PL4 8AA.