4th Annual AHRA International Conference / Call for Papers

C-SCAIPE Suite, Kingston University London
4th Annual AHRA International Conference / Call for Papers
Architecture, Urbanism & Curatorship
Abstracts Due: 16 July 2007

This is the fourth annual international conference to be held in the United Kingdom by the Architectural Humanities Research Association. The theme of the conference, Architecture, Urbanism and Curatorship, builds on our earlier conference themes, namely The Politics of Making: Theory, practice, product (2006, Oxford), Models & Drawings: The invisible nature of Architecture (2005, Nottingham), and Critical Architecture (2004, London).

Architecture, Urbanism and Curatorship engage with the issues of collecting, housing, developing and presenting ideas, artifacts and cities in general, and more specifically, with the challenges surrounding the issue of exhibiting architecture and the built environment. The conference is intended to raise issues concerning the re-presentation of cities, places, and buildings and to discuss the histories, theories and contemporary practices surrounding curatorship. We invite a range of proposals which might be prompted by the following questions:

– What is the status of permanent collections of physical artefacts in a virtual era?
– How can urbanism and architecture be curated in situ?
– What are the emergent curatorial techniques that are relevant to the built environment?
– What have been the major shifts in the museological imagination?
– How can urban experience and ethnography be captured and presented for display?
– What is the curatorial locus of architectural history?
– How do the politics and economics of curating affect how exhibits are perceived and valued?
– What has been the social impact of public displays of artefacts in the post-war period?
– What is the role of organised tours and walks in terms of curating places?
– To what extent is the architecture of curatorship still gendered?
– Do degree shows and awards ceremonies count as examples of curating architecture?
– How have new gallery spaces informed the nature of contemporary display?
– What are the challenges facing places such as open-air museums and historic quarters?
– How have questions of nationhood and identity been curated with reference to architecture?
– How can conceptual and polemical approaches display a further understanding of architecture?
– How might landscapes and landscape urbanism be curated?
– Are staged reconstructions of past places and events valid?
– How far has the present-day museum moved on from its Victorian beginnings?

Please send an unnamed max 500-word abstract plus a separate max 200-word biography, giving your name and institutional affiliation, by noon on Monday, 16 July 2007, to Professor Sarah Chaplin, s.chaplin@kingston.ac.uk. Strands will be configured based on the response to this call. Abstracts and papers will be blind refereed by a minimum of two academics. You will be notified as to whether your abstract has been no later than 6 August 2007. If the abstract is accepted, a full paper will be expected prior to the conference to facilitate prompt publication.

Abstracts due: 16 July 2007

Response to abstracts by: 6 August 2007

A selection of the refereed papers from the conference will be published in ARQ (Architectural Research Quarterly) in 2008. A book titled Architecture, Urbanism and Curatorship will also be published in 2008, edited in collaboration with Kingston’s Curating Contemporary Design Research Group.

Conference Committee: Prof Sarah Chaplin, Prof Catherine McDermott, Dr David Lawrence, Dr Alex Stara, Dr Darren Deane