Call for Papers
|1. Read the Abstract Submission Guidelines below|
2. Click the session title links below to read more about each session
3. Click here to submit your abstract online
June 1, 2012
Deadline for submitting abstracts for papers to sessions
July 15, 2012
Session chairs notify all persons submitting abstracts of the acceptance or rejection of their proposals
August 30, 2012
Speakers and sessions chairs must be registered for conference (non refundable)
September 5, 2012
Deadline for conference fellowship applications
February 7th, 2013
Session chairs return papers with comments to speakers
March 1, 2013
Speakers complete any revisions and distribute copies of their paper to the session chair and the other session speakers
Traditionally, architectural history has understood the internationalization of modernist trends as a defining aspect of the post-World War II context, positioning the United States as a point of origin for many of these developments. Recent studies have begun to move past narratives of mere stylistic dissemination, examining the multiple ways in which architecture and its allied disciplines played a significant role in World War II and Cold War geopolitical negotiations. Nevertheless, a vast number of exchanges in planning and architecture between the U.S. and Latin American countries, which entirely transformed the landscapes of urbanization and modernization across the Americas, are not well understood. For instance, such U.S.-based planning firms as Town Planning Associates (TPA), Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (SOM), and Tippets, Abbets, McCarthy and Stratton (TAMS) spearheaded ventures tied to economic development schemes promoted by various institutions across North, Central and South America. Latin American contexts thus provided the testing ground for such urbanization principles as decentralized planning and the creation of industrial and corporate urban landscapes, ideas pioneered in the U.S. during the Second World War and widely adopted in the postwar context.
This session aims to understand these exchanges of expertise among professionals and bureaucrats in urban centers spread across the Americas, welcoming papers that examine the complex interrelation of political, economic, and cultural ambitions that define them. Papers that emphasize the decisive impact of these transnational relationships on the landscapes of this region are especially encouraged, as are those that challenge simplistic formalist readings of stylistic dissemination, or of one-sided neocolonial impositions and resistances. Session Chairs: Luis Casta�eda, Assistant Professor, Syracuse University, mailto:email@example.com; and Deanna Sheward, Institute of Fine Arts, New York University; firstname.lastname@example.org.
The popular mediation of architecture gives meaning to form. The public is introduced to canonical architecture as well as everyday manufactured vernacular forms through a range of mass media and in the process is taught to recognize desire and consume forms. As a result, mass media is an essential architecture material. This session will critically analyze a range of mass media from advertisements to television and film in order to create a more nuanced and complete understanding of 20th-century architecture. In the process we will consider how popular culture both constructs and perpetuates ideas about the built environment.
How does the popular television show Extreme Makeover Home Edition set the parameters for a desirable domesticity? How do haunted houses help to define domestic normality? How does toy design by companies such as Playmobil help to construct ideas about the experience of space? In what ways has �gastro-porn,� or the up scaling of the American kitchen, developed in tandem with the rise of popular cooking shows or the sale of particular kinds of kitchen appliances, and new recipes? How do brand-scapes reinforce buying habits that are integral to the design industry? How are cinematic strategies deployed to construct a narrative about the suburbs? How did Playboy Magazine and James Bond films construct a counter-narrative to suburban bliss? How has vacation architecture sensualized the popular experience of space? And what has been the effect of popularizing travel to the architectural canon? Drawing upon evidence from the tabloids, television, consumer trends, film, photography, fiction and music, these are some of the questions that might be addressed in this panel. Papers will be considered from various places and periods, as well as allied disciplines. Session chair: Medina Lasansky, Associate Professor, Architecture Department, Cornell University, Lasansky@aol.com.
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What�s in a name? The title �architect� has been around for 2500 years, and �architecture� for 2000. Throughout this time, great care has been taken by architect-authors to define and delimit these Greek and Latin terms. In recent years, however, �architect� and �architecture� have been put into question. In a 2010 �Backseat Interview,� Mark Jarzombek opined that �architecture [with its Euro-centric ideology] is out,� and that any word whatsoever would be just as good to name the discipline. Similarly, in a 2011 lecture called �Architecture After Discipline,� Mason White surmised that we ought to substitute the title with another that better speaks to architecture�s �expanded field.� With this, he echoed not only Rosalind Krauss but Anthony Vidler, who in a 2004 essay sketched a kind of architecture that is �not exactly architecture�.
Like Shakespeare�s Juliet vainly wishing that her loved one could �O, be some other name�, a growing number of architects seem to be longing for a terminological fix to their disciplinary crises and cross-disciplinary infatuations. This session asks: What is at stake in this anxiety over the architect�s name? What would be lost if the title were changed? What might be regained if its full social implications were recovered? And, what examples from the history of architectural discourse can best help us to (re)contextualize and (re)consider such questions?
This session seeks papers considering the meanings, etymologies and rhetorical effects of �architect� titles in any period or language. Especially welcome are studies of the original emergence of the title in the fifth century BCE. Also welcome, are studies from the Middle Ages, when the term �architect� passed through curious vicissitudes, as Nikolaus Pevsner suggested in an important 1942 essay. Papers may also address figures performing the role under other names, such as the Turkish �M�mār,� or consider the metaphoric capacity of �architects� in any genre of literature. Session chair: Lisa Landrum, Assistant Professor, Department of Architecture, University of Manitoba; email@example.com.
As architectural practices change, and the material culture of the field grows more complex, historians must reevaluate their relationship to the archives. Popular technologies, including computers, television, film, and radio, have produced a surplus of electronic and born-digital source materials. The nature of architectural archives changes with the influx of these types of records. The challenge of preserving traditional architectural materials also raises concerns about accessibility for future scholarship. For example, in 2010 the records of mid-century modernist Minoru Yamasaki were almost lost, and other collections, including those of Philip Johnson and Frank Gehry, are being sold. The result has been a fracturing of large collections and the potential for gaps in the material culture of architectural history.
This session invites an inquiry into the relationship between historians and archives in the continuing practice of architectural history. We encourage papers that question how cultural and technological factors have shaped research methods. What types of documents and collections have become more or less instrumental to the practice of architectural history over time, and with what consequences to the histories that are produced? Are historians preparing for the changes in source materials that will result from the digital design practices of the last half-century? We invite speakers who are interested in institutional, pedagogical, or methodological inquiries into this subject. Speakers may wish to focus on current or historic questions, and they are encouraged to analyze their own engagement with archives and archival materials. Session chairs: Samuel Dodd, School of Architecture, University of Texas at Austin; firstname.lastname@example.org; and Kathryn Pierce, School of Information University of Texas at Austin; email@example.com.
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Between the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, American cities grew rapidly, leading to the expansion of some personal fortunes and the population growth of urban poor. These factors coalesced in opportunities to ameliorate unfortunate conditions, especially for the working and impoverished classes, through new philanthropic institutions that were founded either by government agency or private patronage. Such efforts were emblematic of the period that Daniel Webster called �the age of improvement,� alluding to the belief that virtually every aspect of American life could be perfected through citizen will and action. This secular ideal had roots in spiritual awakenings and was nurtured by Republican optimism. It inspired architects of the new houses of philanthropy to address the ideal of improvement through style, planning, and technology, while serving their clients� demands and their own concerns as members of a new and �improving� profession.
This session will address the idea of �improvement� as it is manifest in antebellum American architecture, specifically in such institutions as charity schools, maternity hospitals, mechanics� institutes and libraries. In what manner was political, economic, religious, technological, social or religious �improvement� addressed by specific institutions, their residents and their organizers, and through architectural design? How did architects determine appropriate expressions for unprecedented functions and plans, given new technological possibilities? In what projects or building types was the monumental celebration of altruism favored over public judgment and repressive benevolence, and vice versa? What was the public and professional response to these buildings, especially considering the different realms of private and government patronage? Just what was the architecture of improvement? Session chair: Jhennifer A. Amundson, Professor of Architecture, Judson University; file:///S:/SAH/Annual%20Meetings/2013%20Buffalo%20APR%2010-14/Session%20Related/Buffalo_Call_for_Papers%20FINAL.doc.
From the Vitruvian Man to Le Corbusier�s Modulor, the human body has served as both measure and metaphor in architectural design. In scholarly considerations of this relationship, it is often architecture which is seen to change while the status of the body remains static, a biological constant unaffected by historical time. This session is devoted to research which takes both buildings and bodies to be in dynamic and reciprocal evolution. It poses one overarching question: how does a period�s understanding of the body as a cultural subject or object of scientia impinge upon architectural thought or design? For instance, historians often observe that Gothic architecture appealed to the senses, but how had the understanding of the senses evolved at that time, and how was this knowledge framed culturally and then translated into new demands on space? How were traditions in mortuary architecture or places of execution affected by human dissections as early as the thirteenth century? How did the inscription of cultural values on the body help shape architectural form or organization? Whereas Barbara Stafford in Body Criticism brilliantly analyzed new relationships between aesthetic and medical practices in the Enlightenment � all made possible by the visibility of formerly unseeable parts of the world � this session emphasizes pre-Enlightenment cultures and science. Misconceptions of various �dark� ages or �dark� geographies can still blind historians to unlikely inspirations for architectural form in so-called pre-scientific societies. Theoretically adventurous submissions are welcome, as are those arguing for the full inclusion of the pre-modern era within research on sexed, medical, and architectural bodies as well as spaces and behaviors. Proposals on modern topics will be considered, provided they establish a transformation of a pre-modern condition. Session chair: Kim Sexton, Associate Professor, University of Arkansas; firstname.lastname@example.org,
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From the Rust Belt to Silicon Valley, the intersection between architecture and industry has provided a rich and evolving source for the history of architecture. This relationship evokes the smoking factories of the 19th century, or Fordist production complexes of the 20th century, where architects and planners were required to house industry in factories and their workers in nearby housing developments. In planning, this dynamic precipitated the first model towns in Britain, and later the Garden City movement. The 19th century also heralded the rise of entire industrialized regions, such as the British Midlands, the German Ruhr region and the Rust-Belt in the United States. The 20th century revealed the ensuing problems when industry departs. Although vastly different in character, this relationship has continued into the New Economy and the architecture and urbanism of Silicone Valley.
Historical examples of the productive interplay between industry and architecture are numerous, including such highlights as Albert Kahn�s work with Ford, Peter Behrens and AEG, Frank Lloyd Wright�s Johnson Wax Headquarters in Racine, Eero Saarinen�s designs for IBM, or, most recently, Foster and Partners plans for Apple Campus 2 in Cupertino. Within architectural discourses, much of the research on industrial architecture has tended to focus on technological advances especially where these have demonstrated an uptake within wider architectural culture, rather than the broader development of industrial architecture and planning within social, cultural and economic contexts. This session seeks to explore the wider historical dimension to the relationship between the architecture and planning associated with industry. A range of submissions are sought which attempt to outline the changing nature of this particular relationship, spanning from the 19th century to the present. Session chair: Mathew Aitchison, Research Fellow and ATCH Centre Manager, School of Architecture, University of Queensland; email@example.com.
After the opening of the Erie Canal in 1825, Buffalo became a point of intersection between the Eastern Seaboard and the Mid West. It developed into a major transshipment center with grain and produce coming from the Upper Mid West and Canada destined for transport by canal or rail to New York and other Eastern cities. Likewise, because of its location at the easternmost end of Lake Erie, Buffalo became a port of entry to the vast inland sea of the Great Lakes. The forces of transportation, industry, and commerce produced robust prosperity. As the city grew into one of the busiest ports on earth and the nation's eighth largest city, it sought a "higher civilization." In 1869, Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux were hired to lay out the first comprehensive municipal park system in the nation. Olmsted was to write that Buffalo was �the best planned city, as to its streets, public places, and grounds, in the United States, if not the world.� Sharing the desire to define the image of the city by means of impressive buildings, public and private clients called upon architects from Chicago and New York to design houses, commercial structures, churches and industrial facilities. Wright, Sullivan, Burnham, Saarinen and others came from the Mid-West to create major buildings, while others such as, Upjohn, Richardson, McKim, Mead and White, and George B. Post, arrived from New York. The session seeks to interpret the built environment that this intersection of Eastern and Midwestern architects and landscape architects produced and to explore the influence that prominent out-of-town architects had on local building practice. Session chair: Francis R. Kowsky, SUNY Distinguished Professor Emeritus: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Building projects undertaken for religious communities of men and women since the nineteenth century constitute a significant aspect of architectural history, but have received limited academic attention. These sites of education, leisure, labour, domesticity and devotion provide valuable insights into the priorities and ambitions of such communities and their settings. In exploring this facet of global architectural history in ways that take multiple cultural and faith perspectives into account, new insights can be created by identifying important parallels and divergences between historical models, specific traditions, and particular geographies. The subject is especially apt as many of these sites are under increasing pressure and some are facing destruction.
This session invites papers which investigate structures and spaces created for male and female religious communities worldwide from c.1800 to the present. Papers may focus on any sacred tradition and any global context. A single monument, architect, building type, religious community, region, or any other topic relevant to the modern history of men and women religious will be welcome. Perspectives on buildings that consider the interwoven relationships between state, religion and society will be foregrounded. Papers are particularly encouraged which identify how architecture responded to contextual factors, created an opportunity for collaboration between designer and patron, or engaged with aspects of revivalism and tradition. Themes may also include religious communities and missionary activity; tensions between historicism and innovation in monastic architecture; religious communities and urban development; asceticism and materiality; corporate identity and individual agency; religious communities as sites of resistance; and comparative studies of sites, structures and groups. Papers offering new theoretical, critical, or methodological approaches will be particularly welcome. Session chairs: Ayla Lepine, The Courtauld Institute of Art, London, email@example.com; and Kate Jordan, The Bartlett School of Architecture, London, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Despite growing attention to globalization within architectural history, the history of architecture�s myriad ways of circulating has remained relatively unacknowledged. In studying the networks and infrastructures through which architectural ideas, practices, objects, materials, technologies and media travel, this panel explores new challenges and opportunities in the methodologies of architectural history.
Circulation has emerged as a vital area of study in humanities and social science fields such as cultural anthropology, transnational history, and science and technology studies. Networks, infrastructure, and materiality more generally have been used to understand how society and cultural experience are constituted through movement. In architectural history, the lens of circulation promises new ways of conceptualizing two fundamental dichotomies: center/periphery and elite/popular culture . First of all, as they question the assumed isomorphism between culture and territory that continues to underpin much of architectural discourse, accounts of circulation reframe modernity as fundamentally transient and thus constantly reconfigured as it travels. Secondly, by looking at how new kinds of knowledge and building travel, such analyses problematize categories of vernacular versus authored production and instead reveal how asymmetries of power and cultural difference are both produced and undermined through movement.
Architectural history has focused primarily on how architecture represents the traveling of cultures and technologies. Conventionally, it has conceptualized the built object or unbuilt project as (often statically) subsuming cultural forces and embodying �influence� from elsewhere. Rather than how architecture represents cultural encounter, this session brings together papers that examine more closely how exactly routes and forms of circulation mediate architectural production. We invite papers from any historic period or geographic focus that explore these theoretical and methodological problems by following specific �routes� of architectural circulation. Session chairs: Kenny Cupers, Visiting Assistant Professor, School of Architecture and Planning, University at Buffalo; mailto:email@example.com; and Curt Gambetta, Department of Architecture and Planning, University at Buffalo; firstname.lastname@example.org.
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An important part of architectural history entails the study of life within, among, and between the designed spaces of buildings, but the temporal lives of buildings themselves pose a peculiar challenge to architectural historians. As a product of constantly shifting plans and processes, buildings are always caught within a continuous narrative where they inevitably change form, through growth and decay; they are remodeled, expanded, gutted, demolished, forgotten, or rebuilt. The conservator and the architectural historian both search for the origins of these processes, reconstructing primary forms through fragments, photographs, plans, and other historical evidence. Yet this process of reconstruction simultaneously scrapes away the temporal accretions and patterns of use that constitute the very materiality of architectural history. How might this dialectic between preservation and restoration, historical development and the purity of original form, cultural memory and temporal oblivion be re-imagined through an analysis of conservation as an activity sensitive to the temporal experiences of buildings and spaces?
This session explores the possibilities of conservation, in both its historical and practical modes, to accommodate the movement of time, to preserve its fluidity, stabilize its heterogeneity, and render accessible its historical morphology rather than seeking to fix its imaginary origins. How can we understand architecture and designed spaces, therefore, as sites of a continuous dialogue or interaction between producers, users, and historical reflection?
To generate a conversation between conservators, theorists, practitioners, and historians, we invite papers that consider preserving buildings, sites, and environments of the past, as well as how past societies dealt with preserving their own cultural patrimony. Session chairs: Maggie Taft, University of Chicago; email@example.com]; and Niall Atkinson, Assistant Professor, University of Chicago; mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org.
Taking James Clifford�s seminal pairing of �roots and routes� as point of departure, this panel invites papers that examine diasporic architecture as a site where various visionaries of identity, nation, and history come together and interact in complex ways. In much of earlier literature on diasporic settlements, diaspora and the nation state were often treated as self-evident categories. Only in recent years have scholars started to examine the development of diasporic identity and nationalism as a co-evolving process of hardening the boundaries of fluid identities. This panel seeks to explore the spatialized inscription of the diasporic understandings of homeland, self, loyalty and modernity in the context of the nation state�s emergence as the primary marker of political and cul�tural recognition. Papers may consider questions such as: How was a nation symbolized outside the actual nation? In what ways did architecture help define a coherent disaporic collective memory for an internally fractured community? How did the significations of a particular design enable the intersection of national identities and class hierarchies? And how did the built environment inscribe diasporic subjects through its unique reconciliation of space of crossings with historical time?
The panel encourages papers to adopt innovative analytical frameworks which view connection, dispersion, and mobility as essential dimensions of architectural history. Despite a flourishing vocabulary of mobility and hybridity in recent decades, global links, flows, entanglements, and networks are still treated as marginalized categories filling in the interstices between bounded territorial units. This has presented difficulties for the study of diasporic architecture, whose production often involve geographically dispersed realities. This panel seeks to investigate diasporic architecture as a result of the transnational flows of capital, knowledge, and artifacts by establishing new connections between previously disjunctive historical narratives and sociopolitical units. Session chair: Duanfang Lu, Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Architecture, Design and Planning, University of Sydney, Australia; email@example.com.
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The urban and rural landscapes of pre-modern Europe were dotted with free-standing chapels serving a wide variety of functions and constituencies. Many still stand above ground (sometimes with new uses), whereas others are documented to varying degrees through archaeological reports, drawings, and written accounts. Yet, despite�or perhaps because of�their ubiquity, these chapels still await the kind of thorough, systematic studies made of chapels built directly onto churches (as at Santa Croce and Santa Maria Novella in Florence) or elite households (e.g., the Sainte-Chapelle). The premise of this panel is that a better understanding of the architectural features and functions of free-standing chapels is crucial to forming a more nuanced picture of their counterparts within churches and households, as well as to broadening our understanding of pre-modern European architecture. Even when visually modest�as many of them were�free-standing chapels raise complex issues of site, social functions, and semantic and architectural relationships to other elements of the built and natural environments. For example, as architecturally discrete religious spaces, free-standing chapels were always to some degree �a place apart,� emphasizing separation and distinction, whether devotional (as for the cult of a particular saint), liturgical, social, or some combination of these. Why erect a separate structure, and why in a particular place? Who designed and paid for them? Who used them, and how? This session invites participants to consider these questions and others in regards to free-standing chapels from any period between the High Middle Ages and the Council of Trent, whether presented as individual case studies or as groups of buildings united by shared patronage, architect, forms, or functions. Session chair: Seth Adam Hindin, Adjunct Lecturer, Department of Art and Art History, University of Richmond; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nineteenth-century architects and theorists made a clear distinction between �building� and �architecture�: for them, a building became architecture only when historical references were invoked. The development of new constructive materials, in particular cast iron, directly challenged this perceived distinction. A new material possessed no history: how, therefore, could it be architectural?
The development of ornamental cast iron in architecture was seen as a solution to this problem and it flourished in the second half of the nineteenth century. It was a time when some architects, engineers and theorists believed that the fusion of iron and historical and natural motifs would both enact a reconciliation of art and technology and also create a new, modern architectural language. Despite much new research on the structural employment of iron in this period, its decorative use has received no significant attention from historians since the early-1960s. In the light of the waning of modernism�s dominance and a questioning of its origins, it is high time for a reassessment of this rich but neglected subject.
This session seeks papers that explore the aesthetics of iron in architecture. Papers may focus on debates in theoretical and critical contexts, from the early nineteenth century onwards; on the relationship between structure and ornament in iron architecture; on the variety of architectural contexts in which iron was employed (railway stations, arcades, seaside buildings, street furniture, warehouses, shops, offices); on perceptions of iron by users; on ornamental iron in Art Nouveau architecture; or on the evaluation of iron in modernist and counter-modernist discourse, from Giedion to Siegfried Kracauer and Walter Benjamin. Session chair: Paul Dobraszczyk, Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellow, Art History & Visual Studies, University of Manchester; email@example.com.
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In his 1976 book, Joseph Rykwert examined �The Idea of a Town" in the ancient Roman world, an anthropology of urban form. Rykwert focused particular attention on the rituals for narrating and performing city foundations, examining ancient texts and considering ancient Roman patterns of town founding as the embodiment of mythical narratives. The early modern Spanish world saw an abrupt increase in the founding of new towns, whether on the peninsula during the last campaigns of the Reconquista in Granada, in the Canary Islands as part of the early Castilian expeditions and colonization, in the Americas as colonial enterprise, or as part of the Bourbon program of economic stimulation in the eighteenth century.
This session examines the relationship between narrative, architecture and urban form in the early modern Spanish world and the rituals and concepts of town founding. Among others the Bourbon Nuevas Poblaciones and the eighteenth-century writings that accompanied the founding of �new towns� are good examples of the literature, urbanism and architecture that this session would like to discuss. Papers that address, whether in Spain or in its colonial territories, the interplay between the town or city's purpose and function; economic, social, and political situations; and the tension between imperial narratives and local realities are particularly welcome. The session also encourages views of interaction between European and American narratives of town founding in relation to the colonial body politic. Session chairs: Paul Niell, Assistant Professor, University of North Texas; firstname.lastname@example.org; Luis J. Gordo-Pel�ez, Visiting Scholar, University of Texas at Austin; email@example.com.
When it comes to the use of color, contemporary architecture presents a paradox. Rarely has color been used so freely and exuberantly, encouraged by digital design, new construction materials, and a permissive attitude toward form. And rarely has there been so little systematic thought about color. The theoretical revolutions of the last generation have had much to say about every aspect of architecture � political, social, literary, psychological � but have been notably laconic about color. There has been nothing comparable to the comprehensive theories of color produced by nineteenth-century thinkers such as Goethe, Chevreul, and Owen Jones, who made color a central subject of art and architecture. This session invites papers that examine the changing role of color in contemporary architectural theory, practice, and education, and encourages submissions that look at the issue from an international perspective. Session chairs: Andrew Shanken, Associate Professor, Department of Architecture, UC Berkeley, firstname.lastname@example.org; and Michael J. Lewis, Faison-Pierson-Stoddard Professor of Art, Williams College; email@example.com
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Starting with London�s Great Exposition of 1851 and up to Expo 2010 in Shanghai, international expositions have enjoyed considerable attention from architectural historians, even if the range of the issues they address has been relatively predictable. In particular, most of the scholarship on nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century expositions has not focused on individual pavilions but on the overall role of these events as the architectural expression of industrialization and the dominance of the West. Conversely, the expositions that took place after the World War I have been largely discussed in terms of projects produced by remarkable architects, such as Melnikov, Mies van der Rohe, Le Corbusier, Fuller, Safdie, and, more recently, Calatrava, Gehry, Ando, MVRDV, and Kuma. Whatever case may be, most of world�s fairs� pavilions have been dismissed as one-liners, leaving little mark in architectural history.
Even if not completely unwarranted, these clich�s have prevented a more balanced approach to understanding these events and many projects that have fallen between the cracks. Among others, the works of architects such as Somarruga or Shecktel for turn-of-the-twentieth-century fairs have not received adequate attention. Nor has there been exhaustive scrutiny of the political and the cultural contexts of the �heroic� work of early modernist exposition architecture. Finally, the overall planning of various expositions that took place between the 1930s and the 1970s also merits further investigation. The proposed session solicits a wide range of papers offering a novel approach to international expositions with a special focus on those that took place during the last three quarters of the twentieth century. Session chairs: Alexander Ortenberg, Associate Professor, Department of Architecture, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona; firstname.lastname@example.org; and Vladimir Paperny, Principle, VPA; email@example.com
Describing Eug�ne Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc�s Dictionary of French Architecture from the 11th to the 16th Century, Frank Lloyd Wright wrote, �That book was enough to keep, in spite of architects, one�s faith alive in architecture.� Yet what was the nature of the architectural books produced in Wright�s own time, when faiths of all kinds were put to the test and when conventional media were under assault? How did architects and theorists reconcile the traditions of architectural literature with what they perceived as a wholly new social landscape, demanding both innovative built forms and novel modes of communication? What visual experience did they believe inhered in the form of the book that made it indispensable to the development of the new architecture?
This panel will investigate the use of the book to document, describe, promote, and critique modern architecture from its inception at the end of the nineteenth century to its alleged death in the late twentieth century. Despite the apparent conflict between modern design and the conservative traditions of bookmaking, publications from Antonio Sant�Elia�s Futurist Architecture to Nicolas Pevsner�s Pioneers of the Modern Movement to the Bauhausb�cher sought to capture the dynamism of the modern visual experience. Making use of incipient visual technologies�in particular, photography�and new principles of typography and graphic design, these books not only taught their readers what counted as modern architecture, but also instructed them in how to look at it. Papers may address the ways in which authors transform the book format; how such publications experiment with the visual and cognitive processes of viewing a book; or the nature of the audiences they sought to reach. Session chairs: Julia Walker, Assistant Professor, Department of Art History, Binghamton University; firstname.lastname@example.org; and Pepper Stetler, Assistant Professor, Department of Art, Miami University; email@example.com.
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A conundrum stands at the heart of early modern architecture: treatise authors argued for reasoned analysis by the hypothetical viewer, yet they also suggested responses that slipped beyond the strictures of reason�s control. One could calculate mathematical proportions precisely in one�s mind, and one could develop a cogent argument about a building�s purpose or the status of its owner from logically organized observations of its design. The fifteenth-century Leon Battista Alberti, however, argued for the psychological impact of beauty, while the eighteenth-century LeCamus de M�zi�res explored how buildings were sequential stage-sets that manipulated response. Such accounts mirrored enigmas inherent to the basic human process of perceiving the surrounding world, as it was described by early modern philosophers: the fallible senses, the deceptive imagination, and the tug of war between reason and the passions.
Scholars have considered the early modern viewer across architectural history, art history, science, and philosophy. Underpinning these approaches is a certainty about the human body: it can both reason and be reasoned about. Early modern architectural, philosophical, and scientific theorists, though, agreed that reason was as likely to be in collaboration as in competition with other human faculties. We invite papers that explore this conundrum of rational analysis, psychological response, and idiosyncratic imagination. What are the approaches and sources that could open up a multi-faceted, malleable relationship between the early modern viewer and the built environment? Topics to consider include: representations of viewer and building, contemporaneous recommendations about perception, building types evoking multi-faceted responses (e.g., social reform structures, theaters), memory spaces, and studies of particular viewers reacting to specific buildings. Session chairs: Freek Schmidt, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, Netherlands; firstname.lastname@example.org; and Kimberley Skelton; email@example.com.
Early modern visitors delighted in the gardens and villa estates built throughout the Italian peninsula. Foreigners and local viewers alike took in the antique statuary displays, contemporary sculpture and fountains, architecture, verdant plantings, flowers and exotic naturalia, and sweeping vistas afforded by these sites. Many described their garden experiences in written or visual form, precious documentation of gardens and landscapes later destroyed or dramatically altered by time.
Historians have traditionally employed primary sources to reconstruct the layout of villa and garden spaces, but these sources may also reveal the physical, emotional and social experiences visitors underwent as they moved through gardens and parks. Visual images, poetic verses, travelogues, legal documents, and personal anecdotes tell us something about how gardens appeared; they also form a picture of how visitors used and understood such spaces and how they perceived the garden owner, fellow visitors, or the nearly invisible laborers who maintained gardens. Though several exemplary studies have engaged contemporary theory to interpret the social significance of particular sites, and a few recent essays address the issue of viewer perception in gardens, there remains no comprehensive study of the social history of early modern Italian gardens.
This session seeks papers that examine and interpret the rhetorical nature of primary sources for the social experience and perception of Italian gardens. Primary sources may include guidebooks, maps, architectural plans, diaries and letters, poetry, paintings and drawings, and legal documents. Papers that discuss the experiences of non-elite viewers whose voices are elusive or difficult to discern, such as architects, stonemasons, fountaineers, gardeners, and women are especially welcome. Session chairs: Tracy Ehrlich, M.A. Program in Decorative Arts and Design, Cooper Hewitt Museum, (212) 423-1033, firstname.lastname@example.org; and Katherine Bentz, Assistant Professor, Fine Arts Department, Saint Anselm College, email@example.com.
Plastic was the 20th century�s transformative material, but its role in architecture has attracted little attention. After 1910, synthetic Bakelite became essential for electrification of buildings and other systems. Derivatives, like Formica, were employed for surfaces while new synthetics allowed plywood, particle board and plastic-impregnated materials to be pressed and rolled for roofing, wall and ceiling panels, insulation, and other applications. Compression-molded plastics helped define the Art Deco style as designers and mold makers created decorative and functional plastic fixtures and fittings. Plastic products were equated with modernity; and plastic potential was linked to fantastic, utopian and egalitarian visions of the future. The Vinylite House was introduced at Chicago�s 1933 Century of Progress Exposition and plastic was visibly, and even overwhelmingly, evident at the 1939 and 1964 World�s Fairs.
Plastic is widely used for mass-produced housing, temporary industrial buildings, and inflatables. Already in 1958, the symposium "Plastics in Home Building," noted more than 80 residential plastic applications. In the 1960s architects and engineers experimented with reinforced plastics to make temporary and permanent structures � from bus shelters to festival pavilions. The best known plastic house remains Monsanto�s House of the Future that opened at Disneyland in 1957. Fascination with plastic housing continues today, as seen in the innovative Bay House in Marin Country and the (part plastic) Cellophane House of 2008. Many plastics products are essential to �green architecture,� and plastics are common as roof coverings in many of the most expressive sports stadiums and in the world.
This session invites papers about aspects of plastic in architecture and construction; and investigations of materials, processes and the very idea of plasticity in architectural vision. Documented, descriptive and analytic studies are all welcome. Session chair: Samuel D. Gruber, Curator, Plastics Collection, Syracuse University Library; firstname.lastname@example.org
Studies in European and American art and architecture have long considered how, for political or religious reasons, patrons and their artists reference a �Golden Age� through form, decoration, and construction material from that era. The role of the past has been less thoroughly investigated in Asian architecture.
This panel considers of the role of the past in Asian architecture between the nineteenth to twenty-first centuries, a span of time coinciding with the development of modern and post- modern architecture. Globally, these two centuries were marked by radical political, social, and technological developments. In Asia, significant events include colonialism, post-colonialism, nationalism, and the implementation of new political ideologies. Modern architecture purports a universal applicability- irrespective of location, climate, or local cultural demands. Throughout the first half of the twentieth century it was embraced internationally for its associations with modernity and progress- aspects with which leaders of newly independent Asian nations sought to be linked. In many cases the modern was embraced wholesale, while earlier historical and vernacular styles were renounced. However, several examples of modern Asian architecture built during this time reference aspects of the national/ cultural past through archaized forms or decoration. Examples include Islamabad�s neo-Mughal Secretariat; Mayawati�s Buddhist and Indo-Saracenic style Ambedkar memorials in Lucknow; and Kenzo Tange�s reinterpretations of Shinto shrines.
This panel welcomes papers investigating the meaningful appropriation of earlier styles, forms, materials, or decoration in modern and post-modern Asian architecture. When a past architectural tradition is evoked through archaized formal or decorative programs, which historical period is privileged for representation and to what end? Papers on architectural traditions, specific buildings, or representations of buildings in different media throughout Asia, dating from the nineteenth century to present are welcome. Session chair: Melia Belli, Assistant Professor of Asian Art History, Art + Art History Department, University of Texas at Arlington, email@example.com
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Consumer goods, especially furniture, were an important means of expressing America�s political and socio-economical strength in the postwar decades. Modern design was used to demonstrate the country�s high standard of living and became a signboard of the �American way of life.� The companies who produced this appealing furniture employed clever export strategies and convincing advertisements; their modern furniture quickly became a staple of office interiors and the homes of the progressive upper-middle class in many parts of the world.
Most studies within this field have focused on the ambitions and strategies of company directors, the architects and designers who created their products, and the graphic design professionals who made these objects so desirable. A thorough understanding of the systems through which their products were promoted and received outside, and to some degree, inside the United States is still lacking. To further explore the role furniture played in selling a political message worldwide and in strengthening the political representation of modern architecture, this session seeks papers that examine the distribution, consumption, and reception of modern furniture between 1945 and c.1960.
Papers may examine highly visible firms as Knoll International or lesser known manufacturers and distriutors of modern furniture. We are especially interested in the way their products informed or manipulated �local� furniture production and the visual representation of modern architecture. Other topics might include, but are not limited to, the representation of furniture brands in architecture journals; the role played by modern furniture in foreign diplomatic facilities; the mediation of imported design through exhibitions and showrooms; the role played by modern furniture in Cold War politics; collaborations between design multinationals, local furniture producers and architects/designers; furniture design as a conduit of international exchange. Case studies on individual contributions are welcome, provided they address the larger session theme. Session chairs: Fredie Flor�, Assistant Professor, Department of Architecture, VU University Amsterdam/Ghent University, firstname.lastname@example.org; and Cammie McAtee, Harvard University; email@example.com.
Whatever happened to postmodernism in architecture? After the term has been furiously debated in the 1970s and enjoyed fashionable status during the 1980s, its validity slowly eroded, until it has been silently replaced by minimalism, neo-modernism, deconstruction, etc. Yet it can be argued that these tendencies still belong to the larger legacy of post-modernity as a cultural condition, in difference to postmodernism as an architectural style. Or shall we think of the modernities as contested, but unfinished and reflexive projects, which means that we have never been postmodern, but rather witnessed another iteration of massive changes in society, economy and culture? On the other hand, critics turned to architecture as prototypical agent or symptom of post-modernity, even if its historic forces had fundamentally challenged the discipline.
After architectural historians revised the modern movement in the 1980s and the postwar period as well as alternative modernizations during the last two decades, it is now the recent past roughly between 1968 and �89 (2001?) that asks for reconsideration. Every shift in architectural research has been accompanied by a revision of its historiographical methods. The writing of history turns especially problematic with a period that sustains a negative-reflexive relationship to its predecessor (modernity/modernism) and that has been obsessed with language, textuality, reproduction and representation. What are the conditions, possibilities and problems of analyzing the relation between architecture, history and postmodernism?
This session welcomes presentations that address postmodernism theoretically (the cultural condition, economic, political and social background) and empirically (case studies of postmodern architecture) in order to scrutinize the concept of historic styles and epochs. Both approaches shall contribute to the historiographical problem of how to write architectural histories of the recent past. Session chair: Ole W. Fischer, Assistant Professor, School of Architecture, University of Utah; firstname.lastname@example.org.
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In his 2011 plenary speech for the Society of Architectural Historians, Craig Wilkins addressed the �default narratives� that foreclosed a full consideration of the cultural work being performed in architecture today (Wilkins 2011). In this speech, he isolated the complimentary relationship that exists between our assumptions of who is considered an architect, as well as the types of architecture that matters. Though Wilkins explicitly addressed the influence of class in reproducing architectural culture, racial discourses have also been shown to impact professional and academic values (Anthony 2001, Stevens 2002, Kaplan 2006). Since at least the 1970s, revisionist and cultural historians have challenged this situation by recovering the labor of minority actors that participate in constructing the built environment. Yet, the significance of minorities� material culture continues to be overlooked by most general surveys of architectural history. This is even true of new global histories of architecture, which have expanded the list of national traditions that produced �monumental� architectures in history (Jarzombeck, Ching, Parkash 2011). Topics such as Black architecture �understood as either buildings designed by and for African-Americans, or as theoretical discourses that redeploy notion of blackness � have not become standard topics of surveys. These omissions, and many others, prompt a careful consideration of the racial discourses that implicitly underwrite architectural historiography.
This panel seeks papers that explore the influence of racial discourses in the creation, dissemination, and reception of architectural history. Topics may include, but are not limited to: the politics of memory that influenced celebrated architectural historical surveys; the construction of whiteness in architectural history; the explicit use of racial categories to structure historical canons; and the disciplinary limits of histories of material culture. Session chair: Mabel O. Wilson, Associate Professor of Architecture, Columbia University; email@example.com
Architecture in the 1950s and early 1960s appeared to many observers and participants to be in a state of flux, as an assortment of eclectic designs garnered significant popular and critical attention and modernism�s status and future were prominently debated by critics and commentators intrigued by or concerned about the various turns architecture had taken since World War II. Many of these accounts revealed a tangible fear that architecture was at a crucial point, that the hard-fought gains of the previous generation might be dissipated by unbridled design freedom. Critics used terms such as �chaotic� and �undisciplined� to describe seemingly foundationless designs characterized by non-traditional forms, a renewed interest in decoration, and an increasing use of historical elements. When Progressive Architecture conducted a �Seminar in correspondence� in 1961 with some of America�s highest profile architects, the initial session was titled �The Period of Chaoticism;� with the exception of Mies van der Rohe, most of the participants accepted that variation and exploration were good for architecture and no threat to modernist principles if conducted within the bounds of some form of discipline. In contrast, however, critics like William Jordy, Robin Boyd, and Thomas Creighton fretted about the �new formalism,� �the counter-revolution,� and the �new sensualism,� and the dangers that unbridled exploration posed to modern architecture�s future.
This session seeks to explore important questions about the complex and nuanced debate surrounding midcentury design and its place in modern architecture�s evolution. Was this midcentury work really so undisciplined and unprincipled? Which buildings or plans were criticized, and why? What were the roles of clients and the public in shaping new aesthetic directions? Why did some critics view this work as such a threat, and why were their responses often so vehement? Papers are not limited to American architecture or criticism, and the session welcomes contributions from a variety of disciplinary and theoretical perspectives. Session Chair: Dale Allen Gyure, College of Architecture and Design, Lawrence Tech University; firstname.lastname@example.org.
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The architectural historiography of the �Near East� has been dominated by Western archeological studies of the late 19th-centruy whose subjects of investigations were historical �products� (e.g. buildings, artifacts), mainly based on observations, and less engaged in a holistic multi-disciplinary research, and rarely involved local researchers. For several decades, these findings defined the intellectual aura of the Non-West history. This trend often disregarded living traditions, which originated those �products,� leading to a non-contextualized reading of the Near East history.
That archeological trend has recently shifted into a more interpretive study of primary sources. Local researchers and Western scholars have turned into extant historical documents that represent words and images of historic architects, artisans, and historiographers that captured architectural thoughts of the time. Re-discovery of �know-how� manuals of artisans, practical geometry and extant architectural treatises, chronicles, and literary manuscripts in the past few decades, gained architectural historians� attention. This shaped new understandings concerning the �process� by which architects and artisans conceived, made, and utilized architectural space.
This new avenue challenges the early approach in which the totality of millennia of architectural history was documented and narrated, in a short span of archeological investigations, mainly featuring fascinations of exotic attributes of the architecture. In comparing the two trends, two chronological readings or trends are distinguished: descriptive and interpretive. This panel concerns these two readings and invites proposals that address: Influence of Western-oriented theories on the historiography of the Near East; contributions of the interpretive approach in filling intellectual blind spots of the former trend; role and impact of the primary sources in historical analysis. Proposals may discuss conceptual issues or case studies (i.e. buildings, individuals, historical documents, time periods, etc.) concerning a region spanning from Egypt to Afghanistan. Session chairs: Hooman Koliji, Assistant Professor of Architecture, University of Maryland; email@example.com; and Mohammad Gharipour, Assistant Professor of Architecture, Morgan State University; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Single room, cell, study, boudoir: all words with different connotations but a shared spatial identity as enclosed units intended for single occupancy or individual use. By focusing on the spatial unit of the single room as it has been constructed (literally and figuratively) across periods, geographies and building types, we can explore the intricate interplay between space, cultural meaning, experience and power. Where do we look to determine precisely how and why one single room inflicts punishment or promotes healing, while another preserves privacy, establishes superiority, or fosters creativity? How do single rooms (and their cognates) function and mean differently in different settings � domestic, institutional, commercial, religious, creative � and how is this connected to the spatial arrangements, discourses, and patterns of use at play in these settings?
Particular combinations of scale, proportion, lighting, views, furnishing and decoration yield particular associations and uses. Key as well to the meanings carried by the single room is its relationship to the configuration of contiguous spaces, and the building as a whole: Is it one of many ranged along a corridor, is it the conclusion of an enfilade, or is it at the top of the stairs? Does it have a distinct presence externally, or is it buried and hidden in the mass of the structure? Single rooms are also of course filtered through representation, and are tools of self-representation. Gender, class, and cultural difference operate here on the levels of both use and representation.
Proposals are welcomed from scholars of all periods and geographies. Studies focusing on particular types and case studies of single rooms, and engaging with some of the questions above, are particularly encouraged. Session chair: Leslie Topp, Senior Lecturer, Department of History of Art and Screen Media, Birkbeck College, University of London; email@example.com.
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This panel investigates the transnational transfer of architectural knowledge from the 1960s to the 1980s in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. Encouraged by rapid growth in the developing world, and facilitated by the expansion of international banking and communication systems, many architects, firms, and design schools began exporting their expertise beyond their familiar cultural sphere. Working abroad offered architects the opportunity to realize their formal, technical, and programmatic ambitions--but also demanded a reformulation of existing modes of design, research, and project management. While fundamentally driven by post-colonial conditions within the framework of the Cold War, these transfers often did not conform to broader geopolitical logics: with Japanese firms designing luxury hotels in East Germany, Polish architects working in Iraq, Ghana and the UAE, and Swiss pedagogues formulating design curricula in Mainland China. Moreover, countries like Libya and Singapore recombined architectural principles from many sources, leading to highly syncretic design practices.
Investigating the interaction between local clients and foreign designers, engineers, and military personnel, the panel invites papers that ask how practitioners engaged with politically, geographically, and culturally dissonant operating environments. Papers might focus on the challenges and innovations that arose from the dissemination of specific building technologies, design tools, prefabricated systems, regulatory norms, aesthetic preferences, modes of representation, or teaching methods. They could probe the activities of an individual architect, firm, or design school; or examine the role of institutional networks and informal kinship relations in cross-border negotiations. Emphasizing the heterogeneous nature of the shifts in architectural production and architect-client relations, the panel proposes to investigate the immediate origins of the ongoing globalization of architectural practices. Session chairs: Max Hirsh, Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, ETH Zurich, Future Cities Laboratory Singapore; firstname.lastname@example.org; and Łukasz Stanek, A. W. Mellon Post-Doctoral Fellow, CASVA, Natonal Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; email@example.com.
Potential speakers whose choose not to submit an abstract to one of the thematic sessions are invited to submit an abstract to the open sessions. The number of abstract submissions will determine the number of open sessions, to be selected by the open session chairs.
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