AHRA Newsletter:
September-October 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:

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The next newsletter will be issued in November 2012.

New Events

A Strange Utility: Architecture Toward Other Ends

CFP Deadline: Friday, November 2, 2012

Portland State University, Portland, OR, USA

April 26 2013

Ours is an era of austerity measures, global economic turmoil, and resource depletion in which the utility, or “use value” of any product, resource, or process is championed as its foremost virtue. Politicians aspire to budgets that maintain only the most functional and necessary line-items and consumers seek products that are economical in their use of resources or their adaptability from one utility to another—for example, cars that use only a limited amount of gasoline, furniture that converts into other uses, cell phones that are also computers, cameras, and personal navigation systems.
 
Of course, the discipline of architecture has always been linked to the idea of utility—albeit in a variety of ways and to different degrees. From architecture’s putative origins as a primitive form of shelter made of foliage to the Modernist dictum that form follows function, architecture, from the beginning, has been required to perform a “useful” function. Not surprisingly, utility remains a central concern within contemporary architectural practice, but alongside some of the obvious benefits—the development of more energy efficient materials and processes and the economic incentive to redevelop existing buildings before building anew—have come some strange, if understudied effects. It is now common to describe the inhabitants of buildings as “users,” a turn of phrase that subtly positions architecture as a product whose value, in the end, is determined primarily by the function of its use, and its inhabitants, in the end, as consumers of space, rather than active participants who engage with and indeed transform   space through their habits, interventions, and rituals.
 
Meanwhile, outside the confines of mainstream practice, architecture is being appropriated to ends that seem to dramatically expand and estrange the familiar notion of utility.  For example, contemporary Polish artist Monika Sosnowska recently used the twisted architectural form of a Soviet-bloc government building as a metaphor for the pressures exerted upon now-collapsed political regimes. Likewise, artists Paul Pfeiffer, Thomas Demand, and James Casebere have all used the architectural model (and its subsequent imaging) as a vehicle for addressing historical and societal ills, their photographs addressing subjects such as the atomization of the crowd at the sports arena, the history of American slavery, and the atrocities of Nazi Germany. At the same time, for revered science-fiction author Bruce Sterling, architecture is the very medium through which future worlds are destroyed, imagined, and rebuilt. Moreover, within the sphere of architecture itself, as envisioned by Jean-Gilles Décosterd and Philippe Rahm, the built environment is designed to incite physiological and biological responses; indeed, for many avant-garde architects, architecture is both a medium and means to an unconventional end, one part of an equation that considers, among many influences, the social, cultural, mythological, economic, electromagnetic, biological and chemical interactions between our bodies and the built environments they engage.
 
Recognizing the contemporary currency of utility, this symposium seeks unexpected ways of defining this term within and with respect to the built environment. Submissions sought include, but are not limited to, academic papers, performances, audience-participatory projects, poetry, and prose. This symposium will be structured around a series of events and speakers that grapple with the following questions: how and who has defined architecture’s use-value, its utility? How can turning to other disciplines’ unexpected utilization of architecture expand architects’ and architectural historians’ perception of architecture’s utility? And, what are architecture’s future utilities? As architecture’s primary function is called into question daily, we may find that the answer to architecture’s future lies precisely in its strange utility. 

Confirmed Keynote Speakers: 
Philippe Rahm, Philippe Rahm architectes, Paris, France
Jimenez Lai, Assistant Professor of Architecture, University of Illinois Chicago
Jill L. Stoner, Associate Professor of Architecture, UC Berkeley

Please respond with 500 word abstract/proposal and CV, emailed to both:

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

and

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

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Fri 26 April 2013

Between Architecture of War and Military Urbanism

10th Urban and Landscape Days

Tallinn, Estonia

April 26 2013 - April 28 2013

The international scientific conference "Between architecture of war and military urbanism" is the 10th edition of the annual series of Urban and Landscape Days. Organized by the Estonian Academy of Arts, Faculty of Architecture, the event brings together architecture, planning, landscape studies, critical urban studies and art.

The idea behind the theme of 2013 is to facilitate a creative and critical interrogation of links between the political economy of war, the transfer of military practices and technologies to urban realm, and the 'architectures of war', such as military bases, fortifications and refugee camps, which comprise a largely forgotten topic in planning and architecture.

Abstract submission deadline is October 1, 2012.

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Fri 26 April 2013

2012 Interstices Under Construction Symposium

Immaterial materialities: Materiality and interactivity in art and architecture

The University of Technology Sydney, Schools of Architecture and Design

November 28 2012 - November 30 2012

Materiality has recently claimed centre stage in architectural discourse and practice, yet its critical meaning is ever receding.  Tropes like material honesty, digital materiality, material responsiveness and dematerialisation mark out an interdisciplinary field where scientific fact and artistic experimentation interact, and where what in fact constitutes materiality and immateriality is constantly re-imagined.

As a reaction to developments in science, materiality came under scrutiny with the emergence of nineteenth century German aesthetics (Vischer, Schmarsow) and the early avant-garde projects (Lissitzky, van Doesburg). Initiating an epistemic shift in art and architecture, these works pointed to the connection between the material properties of objects and spaces and their interaction with the inhabitant through psycho-perceptual effects. These ideas re-emerged transformed in the work of the Neo-avant-garde of the 1960s and 70s.

More recent approaches deploy materials as mediators or activating agents that probe the relationship between audience/user and physical environment: Spatial investigations with phenomena-producing materials such as water, light, colour and temperature experiment with the viewer’s experience (Eliasson); responsive high-tech materials interact with audiences (Spuybroek); weather architectures (Hill), or atmo architectures (Sloterdijk) technologically re-create nature as spatial experience (Diller and Scofidio).

Materials can give rise to seemingly incompatible connotations: photographic representations of Zumthor’s atmospheric concrete spaces reveal unexpected links with the post-industrial spaces of power plants and cooling towers (Ursprung). In the Pacific region, space has eminently temporal aspects and, particularly in indigenous buildings, rare walls are permeable and breathing. At the same time, the popular use of low-cost materials such as corrugated metal connects the wool-shed, the beach house and industrial estates educing trans-historical, cross-cultural, and climatic associations.In architectural practice and education, experiments in material-oriented computational design explore the design potential of conventional construction materials.

All these approaches probe boundaries - between material and immaterial, art and science, practice and theory, representation and experience, tradition and innovation, and producer/object/user, giving rise to the following concerns:

What is the validity of different approaches to materiality in relation to the vital problems of our time?

Can materials be deployed to create environments which predict user behaviour and control social relations and experiences?

What trans-historical correspondences can be detected in contemporary approaches to materiality, and how do these challenge, imitate and expand on previous thinking?

 

Please send a 500-word abstract and a short cv to Sandra Karina Löschke (.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)) by 25 June 2012. Notifications will be sent out by 23 July, 2012. Double-blind refereed abstracts, if accepted, will be published on the Interstices website (http://www.interstices.auckland.ac.nz).   Selected contributions will be published. The symposium is followed by a call for papers for the Issue 14 of Interstices: A Journal of Architecture and Related Arts on the same topic. The symposium takes place at the University of Technology Sydney on 28 -30 November 2012.

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Wed 28 November 2012

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. 

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Thu 15 November 2012

URBAN BLIND SPOTS

Theory Forum / School of Architecture / The University of Sheffield / 13-14 November 2012

Sheffield School of Architecture

November 12 2012 - November 13 2012

Blind spots exist in every society, culture, and urban fabric. They can be spatial, social, economic, or policy related. On the one hand, blind spots are typically situations and topics that are obscured by other themes; they fall outside our radar because they are neither considered topical nor pressing enough to be addressed by policy or planning. On the other hand, blind spots also describe necessary places of informality; places and spaces which are overlooked by the authorities, by planning or other users, and thereby allow for indeterminate, unregulated, informal, non-prescribed and open uses. 

We also understand blind spots as those cities and urban conglomerations that are usually overlooked or sidelined by the Euro-centric canon of urban history or an urban discourse that focuses on those global, fast growing metropolises that provide us with a high level of imagery, staggering data and socio-spatial extremes.

Blind spots also relate to approaches, research and teaching projects that look beyond the conventional approaches of architectural and urban history in order to value and champion other ways of surveying and of accounting for cities; ways that aim at transforming the tools with which both citizens and architects might understand cities. In this sense, blind spots refer to different perceptive and representational methods through which one can describe urban conditions. 

Call for contributions

We invite proposals for talks, exhibitions, performances, walks, or events relating to the notions of Urban Blind Spots outlined above. We are explicitly asking for cross-, trans-, or non-disciplinary approaches and forms of expressions. Talks can follow the form of a conventional academic presentation but we would also like to encourage proposals for presentations in other formats such as staged conversations/discussions, films, exhibitions, or other project documentations. The Theory Forum is attended by Masters students at the School of Architecture as part of their course, and speakers will be asked to participate in debates and seminars involving students.

Please send a 500 word abstract or presentation description by 15th September 2012 to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), as a PDF attachment to an email, with “URBAN BLIND SPOTS” as the email subject. The abstract should be anonymous to allow for a blind review process. Please include your contact in the body of the email.

All proposals will be double peer-reviewed. Selected contributions will be invited to submit a paper for publication in a special edition of field: [http://www.field-journal.org/index.php].

 

Dates

Submission of abstracts: 15th September 2012

Confirmation of acceptance: 5th October 2012

Submission of full papers; full exhibition/performance/event concept: 1st November 2012

Conference registration: 1st November

Theory Forum: 13th and 14th November 2012

Publication of field: November 2013

 

Theory Forum

The Theory Forum is an annual two-day cross-disciplinary platform of events organised by the Sheffield School of Architecture, featuring diverse talks, workshops, walks, film screenings and exhibitions.

This year’s focus and forum title is Urban Blind Spots. It is the 14th event of this series and follows on from recent high profile international conferences and events such as Digital Worlds (2011), At Home (2010), Ecology (2009), Agency (2008) and Alternate Currents (2007).

Urban Blind spots hopes to bring together a range of people from different disciplines, academia and practice, exploring and discussing the various notions of blind spots in relation to cities and the way they are produced, used, perceived and portrayed. It is aimed to be a testing ground through which the multi-faceted manifestations and understandings of blind spots can be explored and theorized.

 

Venue

Theory Forum 2012 will take place on 13 and 14 November as a multi-faceted habitat of adaptable spaces with diverse talks, workshops and interventions. It will be held at Sheffield School of Architecture as well as is blind spots across the city.

 

Participation

Participation is free of charge and open to the public. Non-SSoA members will have to register by 1st November 2013

 

Organisers

This year's forum is organised by Dr Florian Kossak, Dr Tatjana Schneider and Dr Stephen Walker. Urban Blind Spots is part of on-going research on Radical Urbanism (Kossak/Schneider) and Urban (Hi-)Stories (Kossak/Walker). It is conducted in association with the SSoA Research Centre AGENCY and the MA in Urban Design Programme (MAUD).

 

 

Contact:           Theory Forum 2012: Urban Blind Spots

                        Sheffield School of Architecture

                        University of Sheffield

                        The Arts Tower, Western Bank

                        Sheffield S10 2TN

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

                        +44 (0) 114 2220341

                        http://www.sheffield.ac.uk/architecture

 

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Mon 12 November 2012

Regency Society Weekend

Brighton, UK

October 12 2012 - October 12 2012

This event celebrates the bicentenary of the first full year of the Regency of George, Prince of Wales, in Great Britain and Ireland, its colonies and Hannover and, particularly, in Brighton, the Regent's chosen resort. We also celebrate the centenary of Antony Dale, founder of the Regency Society six decades ago and author of many works including Fashionable Brighton. It is therefore both international and very local. The range and a choice of offerings is important and valuable. It is more than the sum of a fun weekend with an academic conference on the side.

The Regency Society of Brighton and Hove is organising the weekend, working with our partners the University of Brighton and the Royal Pavilion & Museum Foundation (RPM Foundation). We hope to attract an audience of the interested as well as experts, and especially members of the Regency Society, RPM Foundation and University of Brighton.

Our definition of Regency is the era of George, Prince of Wales and later King George IV, who was his father's regent from 1811-1820. He dominated British public life from the 1780s to his death in 1830, although the Regency generation really ended with his brother William's death seven years later and Victoria's accession to the throne in 1837

 

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Fri 12 October 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.

 

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Thu 11 October 2012

British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowships 2013

Centre for Latin American Studies - University of Cambridge

October 10 2012

The Centre of Latin American Studies (CLAS), University of Cambridge, invites applications for hosting from applicants for BA Postdoctoral Fellowships from 2013.

The Centre would particularly welcome applications from Latin Americanists with research interests in Modern History, Social Anthropology or the Built Environment. Successful applicants would be asked to make a modest contribution, within their chosen discipline, to teaching on the MPhil in Latin American Studies. CLAS has a thriving research community of MPhil and PhD students, and draws on the expertise of post-docs and academic staff working on Latin America across the university.

The BA deadline for outline applications is 10 October 2012, with application forms available from the e-GAP system from 31 August 2012.

(BA Postdoctoral Fellowships webpage: http://www.britac.ac.uk/funding/guide/pdfells.cfm <http://www.britac.ac.uk/funding/guide/pdfells.cfm> )


 Applicants for hosting at CLAS should send expressions of interest and an outline of their project to the Centre Administrator, Mr Samuel Mather (.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) <mailto:sjrm2@cam.ac.uk> ), for the attention of the Director, Dr Charles Jones, by 17 September 2012


For information about the Centre of Latin American Studies, please see our website:

http://www.latin-american.cam.ac.uk/ <http://www.latin-american.cam.ac.uk/

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Wed 10 October 2012

Home Truths

RIBA Research Symposium 2012

Jarvis Hall, RIBA, 66 Portland Place, London

October 04 2012

Thursday 4 October 2012, 9.30am - 5pm

With the state of the economy halting the progress of many new build projects, and the vast majority of our future homes having already been constructed, the refurbishment of existing housing stock presents a great opportunity for architects. With this context in mind, as well as the launch of the government's Green Deal initiative, it's time to ask the question: what challenges and problems lie beneath the maxim 'don't move, improve'?

Encompassing issues including conservation, sustainability and design quality, the RIBA's 7th annual research symposium will try to find out whether old houses can become modern homes. With case studies from both architects and academics, and the presentation of an exciting student design charrette devised just for this event, the symposium will be an unmissable date in the autumn.

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Thu 4 October 2012

Annual UCL Urban Laboratory/CITY journal lecture: Professor Margit Mayer

First World Urban Activism – wedged between austerity urbanism and creative city politics

rchaeology Lecture Theatre, UCL Institute of Archaeology, 31-34 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PY

October 02 2012

Public lecture – all welcome. No RSVP necessary – first-come, first-served.

The talk looks at contemporary urban activism as it mobilizes around policies and conflicts characteristic of the comparatively privileged Western cities of the global North. It thus moves beyond 'Cities for People, not for Profit' by zeroing in on the specificities of urbanization processes and the reorganization of socio-spatial infrastructures, as well as their contestations, in one particular region of the ongoing, global and uneven development of capitalist accumulation.


By applying the framework of critical urban theory to the analysis of ongoing struggles in this region, it first identifies the particularities of neoliberal urbanism and its implications for (divisions and/or solidarities between) urban social movements (1), and secondly looks at the impact which the so-called Occupy movements that have rippled across cities in North America as well as Western Europe have had on urban protest (2).


1. As opposed to the previous Keynesian form of urbanism, when the Fordist city provided openings for struggles around improved collective infrastructures, neoliberal urbanism (thanks to intensified accumulation by dispossession) enhances socio-spatial polarization coupled with austerity politics, dismantling of social infrastructures, and stricter policing, while it also incorporates and harnesses many elements of urban alternative movements that feed cultural creativity and entrepreneurial activation. These dynamics create distances and sometimes collisions between more culturally oriented and more politically oriented activist groups, but also enforce affinities and solidarities between anti-privatization and anti-eviction struggles in the global South with those of (ethnically or migrant-based) organizing in the global North. 


2. The effect of and responses to the 2008 financial meltdown have aggravated social marginalization and polarization processes, exacerbated the housing crisis in many regions of the world, and enforced systemic austerity politics. This catalyzed the15M movement in Spain, which inspired similar "real democracy" movements of Indignados across Europe, as well as the Occupy movement in North America. Their powerful resistance energy has, after the eviction of occupied squares and plazas, in many cities turned to urban neighborhoods and community struggles and infused these heterogeneous contestations with a radical critique of financial and political power and with direct-democratic and prefigurative organizing styles. In this process, distances and divisions between a (racialized) "global proletariat" and progressive or radical middle-class based activists may come to the surface and begin to be respected and bridged. 

Mayer, M.,  Social Movements in the (Post-)Neoliberal City. Civic City Cahier 1. London: Bedford Press 2010.

 Mayer, M., Jenny Künkel, eds., Neoliberal Urbanism and Its Contestations – Crossing Theoretical Boundaries. London: Palgrave Publishers, 2012. 

Brenner, N., Marcuse, P., Mayer, M., eds., Cities for People, Not for Profit: Critical Urban Theory and the Right to the City. London: Routledge 2012. 

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Tue 2 October 2012

The Wrong Architecture?

Cambridge University, Department of Architecture

September 24 2012

A symposium in Cambridge, on Monday 24th September, around the theme of evaluating the architecture of the 1950s and 60's - more or less the period of "Brutalism". The session has been conceived by Marco Iuliano and Nicholas Ray: the idea is that there will be two round-table discussions, bringing together building designers, users, managers, critics and historians, with architects currently engaged with the repair of buildings of the period.

Important: the event will take place in the Department of Architecture, Scroope Terrace 1, Cambridge, 3-6.30 PM. It is free, but limited places are available and booking in advance is highly recommended. If you want to join us please email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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Mon 24 September 2012

Call for Abstracts: COUNTERCULTURAL ARCHITECTURE?

A panel at SAHANZ 2013

OPEN: The Thirtieth Annual Conference of the Society of Architectural Historians, Australia and New Zealand, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia, 2-5 July 2013

September 21 2012

Deadline: September 21, 2012

 

COUNTERCULTURAL ARCHITECTURE?

A panel for OPEN: The Thirtieth Annual Conference of the Society of Architectural Historians, Australia and New Zealand, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia, 2-5 July 2013

For more details about the conference visit:

http://www.griffith.edu.au/conference/sahanz-2013/call-for-papers

 

Three speakers will be selected for participation. Those not selected will still be eligible to join the “open” pool of speakers at the conference.

 

DESCRIPTION:

 

And everywhere

Those strange polygonal igloos,

Subjects of such long debates,

Domes whose theory fascinates

(and leads to such vague ballyhoo),

appear in groups, or one’s and two’s –

the dream of every half-stoned guru.

            To prove we can both think and do,

            The Geodesic Word is made bamboo.

(excerpt from Mark O’Connor, “from What Happened at Nimbin”, Reef Poems, University of Queensland Press, 1976)

 

Bamboo, but also dowel, polythene, parachute silk and cardboard; as Mark O’Connor’s poem suggests, a lot of geodesic domes were built at the 1973 Aquarius Festival. Many of them were the work of architecture students, lecturers and practitioners who had travelled to the event from all over Australia. The festival – held in Nimbin, NSW, and attended by more than 5000 people – intertwined all manner of architectural experiments and their participants. It also pointed to a broader architectural engagement with Australian radicalism of the 1960s and 1970s: new social movements, environmental activism and an anti-disciplinary politics.

However, the event is far from being a key reference point in discussions about Australian architecture of the period. A concerted historical and theoretical interrogation of Australian architecture’s dissident fringes and occluded experiments during the 1960s and 1970s is yet to be undertaken. Looking back, the only attempt at a comprehensive history of Australian architecture – J.M. Freeland’s Architecture in Australia: A History (1968) concludes its account in 1967, with the grave forecast of an increasing corporatisation of professional practice. Perhaps the most comprehensive local history that does deal with the 1960s and 1970s is Jennifer Taylor’s Australian Architecture Since 1960 (first published in 1986). However, the extra-disciplinary endeavours that the Aquarius Festival activities signify fails to register in Taylor’s conception of architectural practice, or are reduced to a minor reference by an emphasis on aesthetic impact and formal lineage.

This historical lacuna has meant that local experimental and subversive projects, conceptual work, pedagogical initiatives, exhibitions and publications connected to the radicalism of that period remain largely unexamined – the stuff of mythology. The (often brief) lines of flight such activity projected beyond dominant paradigms warrant examination not in the hope of reclaiming them for the present but rather in considering the dialogue with history as a site of potentiality. An important project lies in the excavation of those little-known, alternative architectural initiatives – one that could meaningfully reshape understanding of postmodern Australian architectural history.

Aside from addressing this suggested historical lacuna, and a commensurate potential to disrupt conventional narratives of Australian architectural postmodernism, there are broader issues of historiography that might be addressed. The abundant geodesic domes at the Aquarius Festival are a recognizable trope of the 1960s and 1970s “counterculture”, and they easily conjure connections with international precedents such as the American art-commune “Drop City.” In turn, this resonance brings into focus questions about the distinctiveness of an Australian counterculture, or countercultural architecture (leaving aside the very slipperiness of the term counterculture).  The international influence of radicalism and countercultural activity of the United States during the 1960s and 1970s is subject to enduring debate, but there has been a clear tendency to view it as overwhelmingly defining Australian experiences. The sociologist Dennis Altman observed in 1977 that “In many ways the counter-culture was a product of the United States, and it was exported to countries like Australia much as are other cultural phenomena.”

Another issue, which somewhat problematises the question of cultural influence sketched out above, is one of historical continuity. There is also contention around just how novel the cultural opposition of the period was – how “counter” was the counterculture? For example, Janice Newton has linked the Aquarius Festival and the subsequent development of alternative, intentional communities around Nimbin to a distinctively Australian history of Utopian movements stretching back to the 1890s.

We might ask similar questions of Australian architectural experiments – the “other” architecture of the period – that were connected to that radical, countercultural activity. To what extent can they be distinguished from now-celebrated international European and North American examples: Archigram to Archizoom to Ant Farm? Also, what local precedents might lie beyond the period discussed here?

This panel will examine such questions in the Australian context. However, it is also interested in exploring the 1960s and 1970s peripheral, radical architectures of other countries outside the familiar European and North American milieu. Topics might include:

  • Architectural engagement with new social movements
  • Alternative publishing/zines
  • Architectural NGOs
  • Experiments with alternative technologies
  • Radical pedagogical initiatives
  • Participatory and collaborative design experiments
  • Architectural co-operatives
  • Intentional communities
  • Experiments in self-organisation
  • DIY or self-build architecture
  • “community architecture”

Abstracts (300 words) should be submitted by 21st September 2012, to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Authors of short-listed abstracts will be notified by the 28th September and will then need to submit their abstract to the online conference management system by 30th September for blind peer review.

 

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Fri 21 September 2012

New Publications

Scale: Imagination, Perception and Practice in Architecture

Scale is a word which underlies much of architectural and urban design practice, its history and theory, and its technology. Its connotations have traditionally been linked with the humanities, in the sense of relating to human societies and to human form. ‘To build in scale’ is an aspiration that is usually taken for granted by most of those involved in architectural production, as well as by members of the public; yet in a world where value systems of all kinds are being questioned, the term has come under renewed scrutiny. The older, more particular, meanings in the humanities, pertaining to classical Western culture, are where the sense of scale often resides in cultural production.

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Fri 20 April 2012

Interstitiality in Contemporary Art & Architecture: An Inter-passage from Delineating to Unfolding

Eugenia Fratzeskou

The present study offers an investigation into the notion of interstitial space and its creative exploration in architecture and site-specific art, realized through digital technology. Based on cosmology, Quantum Physics and information theory, instead of being perceived as a ‘ground zero’, space is evolving and heterogeneous as it comprises of multiple interacting layers of virtuality and reality. Contemporary site-specific art is marked by a growing interest in exploring emerging interstitial spaces including transitional and unsettling in-between spaces, the emergence of which, deeply challenges spatial and disciplinary boundaries. Such an investigation includes a creative exploration of the possible inter-relationships between various types of reality and the dynamic and unsettling points of intersection enabling various kinds of exchange between those realities. The emphasis is placed on the ways in which, potential interstitial spaces can be creatively revealed through various modes of innovative spatial intervention such as mixed realities, parallel sites, inter-spaces, infra-spaces.

LAP – Lambert Academic Publishing, 2012 (ISBN: 978-3-8383-7501-4) 

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Fri 14 September 2012

John Ruskin - Building Ruskin’s Italy: Watching Architecture

Stephen Kite

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Fri 14 September 2012