This is an excellent opportunity for emerging writers and students. Last year’s gathering produced some excellent work, and this year we will have the exhibition at James Town Cafe as a provocation and stimulus for debate….
We are pleased to announce that we are now accepting applications for the 2019 British Academy – ASAUK funded 2019 African Architecture Writing Workshops. These workshops are offered for postgraduate students looking to develop their academic writing skills in the areas of architecture, urbanism and related disciplines.
This year there are two workshops. The first to be offered will take place in May 2019
FIRST WORKSHOP DETAILS
Stories from Jamestown and the Creation of Mercantile Accra” Writing Workshop
Monday, May 12 – Sunday, May 18, 2019
This workshop explores the colonial
and mercantile architecture of Jamestown, the British settlement area of
colonial Accra and located in Ga Mashie. This writing workshop is linked to the
May 17 exhibition organized by Professor Iain Jackson (University of Liverpool) and Joe Osae-Addo and Allotey Bruce-Konuah (Jamestown Cafe), which will showcase archival and historical images and maps of Accra’s…
(sub) URBAN TROPICALITY: Urban challenges in the tropical zone
International Network of Tropical Architecture (iNTA) Conference at The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia, 5 – 8 December 2019
The cities and urban centres of the (sub) tropics are where the greatest challenges facing our collective future can be found. They are where the challenges of global warming, inequality and the migration of people fleeing political unrest or climate change are at their most extreme. The 2019 International Network of Tropical Architecture (iNTA) conference provides a forum to discuss architectural and design solutions for a resilient, smart and just future for urban centres in the tropics.
Founded in Singapore in 2004, the International Network for Tropical Architecture (iNTA) is a networking platform for international researchers and practitioners to collaborate and learn from each other about problems and solutions pertaining to architecture and urban design in the tropical (and sub-tropical) regions and brought together by the shared climatic imperatives and opportunities of these regions. The iNTA permanent secretariat is located at the Department of Architecture, School of Design and Environment at the National University Singapore.
The 2019 iNTA conference is hosted by the School of Architecture at The University of Queensland, located in Brisbane, capital city of the state of Queensland, Australia. Brisbane is proximate to both the fastest growing urban centres in Asia and many Small Island Developing States (SIDS) most at risk from climate change, including Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Federal States of Micronesia, Marshall Islands, Niue and Tuvalu amongst others. Queensland’s most northern extremity, Cape York, sits at the confluence of the Indian and Pacific Oceans, those very same oceans that generate the weather systems that circle the globe and affect the destiny of millions of people.
For those who live in the so-called “global south,” there is a sense of urgency about the challenges arising from rapidly changing climate conditions. Matters are not merely academic, but dynamic and concrete. Before the launch of iNTA, discourse around architecture and urbanism in the tropics was framed by centres of scholarship in Europe and North America. The malingering aftermath of devastating tropical storms such as Maria and Irma (2017) in the Caribbean and Typhoon Haima (2016) in the Philippines challenges such ascendancy. The 2019 iNTA conference in Brisbane brings discourse to a subtropical city at the crossroads of cultures, regions and climate zones. At a time when Australia’s role in the region continues to be questioned, it provides an opportunity to enhance north-south dialogue.
Submission of full papers for review: 26 July 2019
Submission of final papers for publication: 18 October 2019
All abstracts will be considered by the conference academic committee; authors will be invited to prepare a full paper (no longer than 4,500 words); authors wishing their papers to be published in conference proceedings should submit their final papers for peer review on or before 26 July 2019. The date for submission of final papers is 18 October 2019. Authors may opt out of publication.
Tropical Architecture refers to constructed architectural and urban environments relating the climatic and natural conditions of the tropical (and sub- tropical) regions, and interacting with various local specifics of culture, urban fabric and technology. Contributions to the following conference streams are sought.
1. Tropical Urbanism
Stream focussing on challenges to and solutions for enhanced liveability in urban centres of the tropics. Papers might address:
projects or propositions for reversing or healing the degradation and collapse of urban centres under rapid growth;
urban infrastructures at risk: rising sea-levels, increasing storm intensity, expanding torridity and aridity.
urban adaptation responses : design planning policy, governance and codes
urban forms shaped by determinants other than climate alone, such as topography, nature, cultural life.
vegetation in (sub) tropical cities: cultivation in gardens and the peri-urban or neglect in terrain vague.
Stream focussing on individual designs/ architectural, infrastructure, adaptation projects. What is it that makes the contemporary architectural project tropical? Or the tropical project contemporary? Papers might illuminate projects that demonstrate instances of :
building technologies: tropical and subtropical applications including
passive low energy and carbon neutral architecture
climate mitigation strategies
equity in the tropical city
the (sub)tropical tower
contemporary architecture (still) learning from vernacular traditions
reciprocities/dialogue between architecture and tropical environments: between the zeitgeist of a globalized culture and a project’s specific circumstance.
3. Narratives of Disease, Discomfort, Development and Disaster :: Reconsidering Tropical Architecture and Urbanism
The idea of tropical architecture and urbanism initially developed through a particular connection between discourses on disease, spatial practices and optimum architectural typologies, which were believed to circumvent the spread of tropical diseases and to maintain the comfort of the white settler. After the Second World War, the focus shifted from the European settlement of the colonial tropics to the self-development and governance of the world’s tropical regions; a phenomenon necessitated and propelled by post-war decolonization and global regimes of development aid. Accompanying this change was a shift away from the physiological comfort of the colonial settler to a new focus on indigenous cultures, vernacular building traditions, use of local materials, and increasing appreciation for the psychological value of cultural conventions, including superstition and taboo. The aim of this stream is to examine how “triumph” in the tropics was imagined across multiple geographies, by various subjects, through diverse discourses, and at different times and to critically investigate the roles architecture and urban planning played in this process. We particularly welcome papers that offer historical case studies of tropical and subtropical architecture and urbanism examined through one of four lenses:
development or disaster.
This stream will be convened by Dr Deborah van der Plaat (The Univerity of Queensland), Dr Vandana Baweja (University of Florida) and Professor Tom Avermaete (ETH Zurich).
4. Historic Urban Landscapes and Tropicality
The Historic Urban Landscape is a new approach recommended by UNESCO that recognises and positions the historic city and its core as a resource for the future and the centre for the urban development process. Papers might address:
operational principles for urban conservation models: respecting values, traditions and environments of different cultural contexts.
historic urban centres and tropical vulnerability
mapping urban heritage values and attributes
planning, design and implementation of development projects in historic urban centres
adaptive use and re-use impacting authenticity and integrity of physical and social fabric in historic urban centres
Small Island Developing States (SIDS) of the Pacific and Caribbean: their vulnerability and resilience
A World History of Architecture, a small but mighty conference organized by Murray Fraser took place at The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL, November 2-4, 2018. Over two days, and only eight sessions, Fraser was able to curate a cumulative and rigorous series of presentations that tousled with all facets of teaching global architectural history to the undergraduate and graduate audience. The conference focused on the term “global” in two ways. The first was as a geographic lens, a method that leaned towards the increased inclusion of previously ill-studied parts of the world into the architectural survey. The second was an intellectual engagement with the instruction of global architectural history, and an analysis of its growing interdisciplinarity with neighboring fields of study. The aim of these methods of engagement was explicitly to study and inform on the future direction of global architectural history in universities.
The morning session on day one, The Expanded Field, had Mark Jarzombek tangling with the concept of tradition, a theme that can be in one sense totalizing of all that is non-modern, but in another, a useful/clever label used to project value and meaning onto art and architectural objects. The presentation intended to make clear a much needed separation between the term traditional – so often a synonym for the vernacular – and the meaning of global history.
Subsequent sessions were based on the themes of:
Colonialism, Post-Colonialism and Beyond
Architectural History and Design Research
Informalities, Identities and Subjectivities
Culture and Architectural History
Architectural History as Pedagogy
Evening sessions focused on a discussion of the architectural object on the first day, and closed with an ambitious debate of the future of architectural education on the second. Throughout, the group of global scholars shared the pedagogical challenges of teaching in architectural history in their home institutions, in hope that together, they could begin to envision a way for the discipline to transcend beyond its seemingly fixed limits. David Leatherbarrow, in his presentation on Architectural History as Pedagogy transformed architectural survey into a study of architectural details, with intense focus on the various elements that compose the architectural object, rather than a rote evaluation of the whole. In this way architectural education takes pause, ensures that the students absorb and evaluate, not just commit the basic facts of architectural history to memory. Students thus are able to engage emotionally with their object of study, connect with the built environment around them, and, most importantly, hone their critical analysis skills.
British Academy – ASAUK Funded Ghana Architecture Writing Workshop 6–8 July
Apologies for the short notice – but if you’re in Accra this weekend and want an opportunity to improve your writing skills, there are some free places to join an excellent Architectural Writing Workshop.
Call for Papers: COLONIAL AND POSTCOLONIAL LANDSCAPES: Architecture, Cities, Infrastructures
16th – 18th January 2019 | Lisbon | Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation
The infrastructure of the colonial territories obeyed the logic of economic exploitation, territorial domain and commercial dynamics among others that left deep marks in the constructed landscape. The rationales applied to the decisions behind the construction of infrastructures varied according to the historical period, the political model of colonial administration and the international conjuncture.
This congress seeks to bring to the knowledge of the scientific community the dynamics of occupation of colonial territory, especially those involving agents related to architecture and urbanism and its repercussions in the same territories as independent countries.
It is hoped to address issues such as how colonial infrastructure has conditioned the current development models of the new countries or what options taken by colonial administrations have been abandoned or otherwise strengthened after independence.
The congress is part of the ongoing research project entitled “Coast to Coast – Late Portuguese Infrastructural Development in Continental Africa (Angola and Mozambique): Critical and Historical Analysis and Postcolonial Assessment” funded by ‘Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia’ (FCT – Foundation for Science and Technology), which has as partner the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation (FCG).
The aim of this congress is to extend the debate on the repercussions of the decisions taken by the colonial states in the area of territorial infrastructures – in particular through the disciplines of architecture and urbanism – in post-independence development models and the formation of new countries with colonial past
The cartographic and the geopolitical: advocating a new agenda in architectural thinking and research.
Jianfei Zhu; in Architectural Review Quarterly.
Today, there is an increasing use of terms such as ‘transnational architecture’, ‘architecture beyond Europe’, ‘architecture of China, Japan and Korea’, ‘China in Africa’ and ‘Socialist architecture in Africa’. This signals a change in the basic outlook in thinking and research around architecture towards a problematic concerning geography and geopolitical relations. Michel Foucault, as early as 1967, had already said that ‘history’ was being replaced by ‘geography’, and a historical outlook on an endless timeline was being replaced by a new awareness of a finite world, of a world geography, of things happening ‘here and there’, of space and place, and of a ‘network’ we were all located within (in a speech published later as ‘Of Other Spaces: Principles of Heterotopia’). My contention is that, due to many factors, today more than any other time, a world-historical paradigm in architectural research is being replaced, or at least radically reformed, by a new one that methodologically privileges local and material happenings as horizontally connected to other sites and happenings, in a networked geographic spread: it involves a cartographic perspective that challenges endogenous, national and formalist categories.
Rural networks and planned communities: Doxiadis Associates’ plans for rural settlements in post-independence Zambia
Petros Phokaides; in Journal of Architecture
The paper focusses on the planning of rural settlements by the Athens-based firm Doxiadis Associates (DA), a key, even if unrealised, project for Zambia’s nation-building and development efforts in the mid-1960s. In line with post-war discourses of modernisation, DA employed Christaller’s 1933-Central Place Theory and its abstract hexagonal geometrical model to organise different-sized settlements within a single spatial system. By introducing a hierarchical rural network over Zambia, the firm aimed to standardise rural settlement patterns and to formulate a strategy to alleviate rural-urban migration. DA’s top-down, large-scale approach even exceeded the State’s aspirations and the firm’s visions eventually faced two challenges: First, DA’s modernist planning was questioned by the social/ecological considerations as formulated by George Kay’s counterproposal on resettlement policy. Secondly, DA’s ‘urbanising’ visions for rural areas were forestalled by some of the country’s realities, which remained out of the planners’ field of control, and eventually called for more cautious responses to the realities on the ground. By exposing the challenges DA’s rural proposal faced, the paper ultimately contemplates the multiple, and even conflicting reactions towards Zambia’s rural settlement projects, and also adds nuances to the wider histories of rural development in Africa.
On Margins: Feminist Architectural Histories of Migration is the title of the forthcoming fourteenth issue of the peer-reviewed, open access journal ABE, which will be guest-edited by Rachel Lee and Anooradha Iyer Siddiqi
This project works in concert with a growing body of initiatives to write feminist histories of modern architecture through collaborative and intersectional historiographic practices: which redistribute power, co-produce solidarity, and reassess the objects and methods of architectural history. We begin by posing two arguments to architectural historians: first, that the dynamic of a situated and re-situated perspective is foundational to feminist histories of architecture, and second, that feminist historiographical approaches destabilize presumptions of fixity at the heart of the discipline. With the goal of opening the historiography to narratives, perspectives, and practices based on these arguments, we seek histories that employ feminist methods or gather empirical studies of women’s work that emerged from acts and experiences of migration performed individually or collectively—into and out of geographies of control and subjugation, beyond gender or gender framings, across lifeworlds.
In narratives of migrants who were identified with architectural modernism in the most formal sense, and crossed borders in the colonial and postcolonial worlds, we have found repeated instances of a focus on the vernacular, the folkloric, the everyday and the anonymous. A transnational, cosmopolitan mobility oriented figures such as Sybil Moholy-Nagy, Minnette De Silva, Lina Bo Bardi, and Denise Scott-Brown toward proving grounds outside established sociocultural, geographical, and professional territory, in which they generated disciplinary debates on heritage, regionalism, and the banal. In abbreviated form, their migrations turned a lens on culture as architecture. Their practices posited architecture not as exceptional, but as entangled with many other forms of cultural production. We argue that Moholy-Nagy’s grain silo, De Silva’s artisan, Bo Bardi’s Bahia, and Scott-Brown’s Las Vegas each stemmed from the view of a stranger.
In narratives of migrants whose designs, built forms, and constructed environments have not been understood as authored, or of anonymous objects illegible within the frameworks of modern architectural history, we have found instances of empowering links between mobility and architectural forms and practices. The authority embodied by certain migratory works—camps built by refugees, exhibitions curated by exiled artists, urban spaces seized by protestors, radical journals circulated ephemerally—poses a challenge to the discipline’s purported stabilities. We believe this form of challenge is meaningful for architectural history. Writing feminist architectural histories of migration demands seeing the bodies of laborers within the grid of authorship, acknowledging the spatial practices of occupation by activists or prisoners, engaging the obscured work of teachers, researchers, and writers, studying material environments built by migrants, and naming homemakers and others whose designated use of architecture endowed it. Such iterations, which may have lacked signature but not significance, created or unsettled architectural discursivity and enacted forms of power: as predicated upon migration and mobility, or their mirrors, restriction and confinement.
In expounding such histories, we also aim to theorize the spaces within and around which these migrations and mobilities occurred. We posit these spaces as margins. We see margins not in the sense of Derrida’s paradoxical ‘supplement,’ as aiding an original or replacing a lack, but instead as figured zones and often concrete places under continuous negotiation with territories adjacent. A margin may be understood through a variety of spatial and material cognates: periphery, border, fringe, exterior, interior, buffer, surplus, edge… Whether of land or fabric, whether architectural, structural, cultural, (geo)political, environmental or economic, whether obvious or difficult to observe, margins come into view through migration. Thinking with bell hooks, we regard margins as sites of potential and resistance. Their distinct ontologies and emergent epistemologies offer traces of historically meaningful events and architectures, and figure new views of the mundane as well as the exceptional.
In recent literature, we have seen a feminist defamiliarization of architectural histories through readings of a range of theorists. We invite authors to interpret these and intervene with others in thinking on margins and feminist architectural histories of migration. How does Silvia Federici’s work on witchcraft or Simone de Beauvoir’s on cities inform urban history or illuminate issues of spatial restriction? How does nomadism in the writings of Gilles Deleuze or Rosi Braidotti trouble or enable architectural histories of women crossing borders by force or need? How are the subject-solidarities proposed by Judith Butler or Donna Haraway architecturally figured by or within margins? We invite authors to consider these and their own parallel questions through submissions that embed empirically grounded and culturally specific narratives in theoretical considerations of margins. Such a synthesis of migration and margins, we hope, will proffer a set of feminist architectural histories of migration to expand a global architectural historiography, opening it to new theorizations and situated historical perspectives.
Guest editors: Rachel Lee, LMU Munich (Germany), and Anooradha Iyer Siddiqi, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA (United States) Submission deadline: 1st July 2018. Please send your submissions to: abe[at]inha.fr