EAHN 2020 – Interest Group Meetings
Wednesday 10 June 2020, 13.30-16.00
Locations to be confirmed
Please contact group coordinators directly with any questions but note that proposals for contributions are only accepted by those groups that have indicated this specifically. See all details and deadlines below by group.
Architecture & Environment Group
Architectural Histories, Environmental Theories / Architectural Theories, Environmental Histories
The aim of this group is to (re)consider “environment” as both a central object of enquiry within architectural history and a methodological framework that connects fields such as environmental and landscape history, geography, histories of science and technology, cultural studies, and anthropology. During the meeting, we will discuss a set of precirculated texts, and address new directions in environmental thinking with smaller breakout sessions on extractive architecture, energy use and climate change, smart cities, and as proposed by participants that would like to collaborate on a special journal issue. Through these smaller, pointed conversations, we aim to develop a series of interests, inquires, and questions that explore the relationship between architecture and environment not as primarily dialectic, but as continuous and dynamic; understanding both as densely interwoven with each other, whilst maintaining that, despite these continuities, their relationship is never even and thus remains politically charged.
To help us organise the break-out sessions and pre-circulate the group members’ interests, please send a 200 word statement of interest and one recommendation for the group’s bibliography to email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org by 1 April 2020.
Building Word Image Group
Architecture, not Building: Actors at the Margins
What were to happen, if we began to research buildings, cities, and sites without thinking about how and by whom they were designed? By focusing on the visual and verbal reception and (re)appropriation of the built, this roundtable of the Building Word Image Group seeks to shed light on groups or individuals acting at and from ‘the margins’, excluded by a variety of norms from the architectural sphere. We thus propose a conceptual shift, from a disciplinary focus on the design process and on the designed object, to approaches that include explorations of word and image as a means of architectural production.
More precisely, this roundtable invites participants to explore the ways in which practices of word and image, as opposed to practices of building, have enabled marginalised actors – defined by geography, gender, race, class, culture, society, etc. – to contribute to architectural cultures. Taking a global and cross-period stance, we ask whether one can uncover unknown protagonists (singular or collective) within architecture who – through word and image, or visual and verbal practices – have shaped spatial and built environments in equal measure to those wielding the draftsperson’s or the critic’s pen? How did such marginal actors and practices establish themselves? Did they seek acknowledgement and recognition within architecture, or not? More generally, can we expand architectural history, and the understanding of how buildings, cities, and spaces have been produced and consumed, if we place such marginal practices on a par with the design of these sites? And what would be the consequences of placing the actors behind those practices on a par with the ‘architect’?
We call for short provocations, stimulating the debate on how we can widen, even breach, the borders of architectural production through word and image. We invite object-based presentations of 10 minutes on actors and/or practices that are commonly considered marginal to the architectural field, from letter writing, painting, journalism (not criticism), or sculpture, to political pamphleteering, educational writing, printmaking, or household writing. Contributors will bring outputs of these practices (as originals or copies) and demonstrate how these accessed, extended, or reflected on architectural production at their given moment and place.
Grants Collaborations Group
Experiences in Finding Funding
Coordinated by: Lucía C. Pérez Moreno
In the current European context, raising funds for research is essential to conduct high quality research. As a network, the EAHN interest group on Grant Collaborations wants to create a platform to share experiences with collaborative grants. We welcome presentations of EAHN members that have applied (and won or not) to both European and international grants and would be willing to share this experience with other colleagues. The objectives of this initiative are several: 1) to present ongoing research projects that have an interest to attract new junior researchers; 2) to explain topics of research on which a senior scholar is looking for partners in order to apply for grants; and, 3) to critically analyze the topics of the different European Programs (ERC, Horizon2020-Societal Challenges, EACEA-Europe for Citizens, Creative Europe, etc.) and the possibilities of architectural historians to conduct research through them. Proposals for 10-minute presentations are welcome. This interest group is also interested in innovative ideas for dialogues in this topic.
Please send 200-word abstracts and a short bio to email@example.com by 31 March 2020.
Histories in Conflict Group
The Histories in Conflict Interest Group will initiate a discussion on how to study and teach sites of conflict in collaboration with the GAHTC (Global Architectural History Teaching Collaborative). The meeting will include an opening lecture, a few very short presentations and a discussion with GAHTC, commenting and analyzing the presentations of group members. In order to kick off the discussion we ask each interested participant to bring to the meeting one image and present (one minute) how it speaks to the history of conflict(s) in a specific context.
Housing: Keywords for an Architectural Manifesto
Since the 1980s, responsibility for housing provision around the globe has largely been transferred from the state and public actors to the market and dwellers themselves. In the process, “architecture” as cultural product has become framed as distinct from “housing” as a socio-economic need, not only among the general public, but among policy makers, planners, architects, and historians. The workshop aims at recasting architecture as a crucial aspect of housing provision, investigating ways to overcome the conceptual divorce of architecture from social and economic narratives of housing. Toward this aim, workshop participants will critically analyze a set of terms used to discuss the architecture, economics, and politics of housing. The language we use—whether “model,” “unit,” or “housing” itself—embeds normative assumptions related to all three realms. Language frames not only how scholars and professionals evaluate the past and the present, but also how they envision the future. The workshop thus seeks to identify the origins, evolution, and contemporary use of key terms in order to develop a better understanding of how we might reframe the entanglements of design, politics, practices and economics in a historical perspective.
Participants are asked to select a single term through which to present their research. Terms can deal with different scales and can address typologies, policies, methods, actors, practices. In the workshop, 5-minute statements will be followed by a discussion.
Please send brief proposals (a term, a max. 200-word abstract and a brief CV) to firstname.lastname@example.org by 15 March 2020.
Latin America Group
Exchanges Europe-Latin America and beyond: debriefing narratives modes
Recent exhibitions, catalogs and books on Latin America modern architecture and cities have revived the region’s presence in contemporary international debates, corroborating its importance and breadth. A hybrid cultural and human landscape, Latin American art, culture and architecture have deep roots branching across the continents, certainly with Europe, and also with America, Asia, Africa and beyond. These connecting ties are being considered by scholars and researchers from all continents, establishing a dynamic corpus of academic debates. However, are these recent studies still framed in old colonial concepts, or are they actually proposing renovated attitudes? Which narratives and positions are being fostered by these works and discourses? What are the challenges that need to be addressed to surpass 20th century’s historiographic conceptions and practices? How to arrive at more inclusive spatial history of the region – are new historiographic methods being developed? The workshop wishes to debate these issues according to three axes: exchange modes; interpretation modes; narration modes.
Reading Room: Postmodern Books and their Role in the Construction of Knowledge
The success of postmodern architecture, one might argue, was closely related to Charles Jencks’ seminal book The Language of Postmodern Architecture (1977). The book, announcing the death of modern architecture and making a plea for a “radical eclecticism”, was published in seven different editions and translated into dozens of languages. It provided a general theory of postmodern architecture as well as a catalogue of references widely and easily accessible. But if the central role of Jencks’s book is incontestable, a series of other equally important volumes shaped the contours of what is now commonly labelled as postmodern architecture. From Aldo Rossi’s L’architettura della città (1966) to Robert Venturi’s, Complexity and Contradiction (1966) from Venturi, Scott-Brown, Izenour’s Learning from Las Vegas (1972), to Christopher Alexander’s, A Pattern Language and from Colin Rowe and Fred Koetter’s, Collage City (1978) to Rem Koolhaas’s Delirious New York (1978), postmodern architecture’s theory can be grasped in a set of quintessential books written between 1966 and 1982 These books, all questioning and criticizing parts of Modern Movement’s heritage, proposed alternative pathways into architectural design, while contributing to new understandings of architecture’s role, purpose and finality. But, if these books are widely known by architects, theorists and students, do we really grasp the ways in which they contributed to shape postmodern architecture’s history and theory? The postmodern interest group proposes a reading seminar on the key books that shaped architecture’s history and theory in the postmodern period. For this seminar we will invite a number of scholars who will each present and discuss one book. After selecting an extract to share with the group, each participant will be invited to make a 30 min contribution, questioning the book’s content, materiality, iconography, and role for the discipline.
Urban Representations Group
The Urban Representations 2020 workshop will consist of two components. First, after ten years in existence, we wish to reconsider our group’s mission statement. We will request brief presentations on possible future orientations of the group, followed by general discussion and creation of a committee to draft a new mission statement. Second, we are soliciting presentations dedicated to theme On photography, history, and architectural writing as follows:
On Photography, History, and Architectural Writing
Siegfried Kracauer famously stated about photography, “Daguerre’s invention raised issues and demands similar to those which played so large a role in contemporaneous historiography” (1969). Kracauer’s analogy between the operations of photography and history form the basis of this session. We wish to address the ways in which photography has been used to inflect time in architectural and urban history. What are the ways in which historians have used photography in their approaches to historiography and how has photography operated to depict, narrate, represent architectural and urban history?
We welcome proposals dedicated to analyzing the operation of the photographic image in architectural historiography since the 19th century considering the following perspectives:
the use of the photographic image in the work of particular architectural and/or urban historians and theoreticians placing that work in the context of the visual culture and theoretical references of their time.
a particular photographic work dedicated to urban and architectural space, which is analyzed as historical writing or text and which takes into explicit account the analogy between photography and history writing much as Kracauer posited.
Women and Gender in Architecture and Urban Design Group
Women’s Display: Female Architects and Designers Planning Exhibitions
In relation to the newly started research project on SAFFA 1958 (Swiss National Science Foundation) – the Swiss Exhibition on Women’s Work initiated, designed and planned by a group of professional women – the workshop intends to examine the conceptual work, as well as the design and plans of women in the production of exhibitions on various scales. The examined examples will range from the master plans of the exhibition area to the architecture of the exhibition buildings and the scenography of the display.
The topicality of women’s exhibition design offers many different perspectives to approach the issue, combining architecture with scenographic display of internal and external space, which requests a comprehensive and creative disciplinary analysis mode. The focus shall not solely be on exhibitions dedicated to women’s work, also women-made exhibitions on housing, interior design, crafts and industrial products, handicrafts etc. – matters traditionally considered to be “feminine” – will give the opportunity to explore new aspects of the employment of materials, such as fabric or paper, or to reflect about the construction of a gendered iconography between ideology and commerce, or to verify the connection between the public display of an exhibition and the private one of a domestic interior. Another topic explores how exhibition designs were intended to support performative acts (from planned events to spontaneous informal activities) as a means of inscribing meaning or producing a particular space. Displaying feminine and sometimes feminist concerns thus made the exhibition a real laboratory for diverse theoretical approaches to architecture inside the “protected” and simultaneously highly visible environment of the exhibition. The workshop will also address established historiographical and methodological issues as the concept of authorship, biographical narratives, and so on. We welcome all contributions enlarging and reframing the topic, as well as expanding our expertise.
We welcome all contributions enlarging and reframing the topic, including papers as well as short films, photographic essays, or any other means of communicating ideas about women’s exhibitionary practices. We will draw upon these contributions to inform our roundtable discussion. We also invite group members who have either experience or special knowledge about exhibition making to submit a short statement about why they would like to participate in the roundtable discussion, and will strive to accommodate such participants as well.