Urban Governance and Civic Participation in Words and Stone: Urbanism in Central Europe 1200-1600 – Deadline 20th March

When: 11-19th July 2022
Where: Budapest and Prague

ASSC is happy to announce a new opportunity for post-graduate students and post-doc working in the field of history, art/architectural history, archivists and curators of municipal document or art collections with medieval holdings, specialists in urban tourism and heritage management.

Co-organised by By CEU and Birkbeck as part of Open Society University Network.

The deadline for applications is Sunday 20th of March.
Generous funding is available.

Upcoming Events (2021/22)

Expansion, Invasion, Contestation. On the Spatial Politics of Education in the 1960s and 1970s, 18 March 2022

Document Fever: Encounters with the architecture of the *colonial architecture archive, 25 February 2022


We will be hosting events with partners across our research network including a collaborative event with the ‘Religion and Urbanity: Reciprocal Formations’ research group, Max Weber Institute for Advanced Cultural and Social Studies, University of Erfurt.

Stay tuned for more details of these and further events including our Thinker in Architecture programme.

New Honorary Research Associate (2020)

We are very pleased to announce that ASSC will be hosting Milos Kosec as Honorary Research Associate this year.

Milos will be working on a project titled ‘Barriers without walls: Spatialisation of the cordon sanitaire’, and there will be an associated research event in the spring 2021.

Two New Visiting Researchers at ASSC (2019-20)

ASSC is pleased to announce that Anne-Françoise Morel and Claire Zimmerman will be our two visiting researchers for the academic year 2019-2020.

Anne-Françoise Morel is assistant professor in History of Architecture at KU Leuven, Department of Architecture. Her main research interest focuses on the church architecture of Stuart England. She also works on architecture as a tool of cultural diplomacy. In 2019 her first monograph Glorious Temples or Babylonic Whores: the Culture of Church Building in Stuart England through the Lens of Consecration Sermons was published by Brill.

Claire Zimmerman teaches architectural history at the University of Michigan. At Birkbeck she will be researching a book that details the transformations in twentieth-century architecture prompted by large scale industrialization, the production of internal combustion engines and other machines, the mobility thereby made possible in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, and the consequences of all three for architecture today.

CfP: Call for Applicants to the Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship Scheme (2019)

The ASSC welcomes contact from early career academics interested in applying for a Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowship to be held at Birkbeck.

Internal Birkbeck deadline – 5 January 2019

These prestigious awards are intended to provide the holders with an opportunity to undertake a significant project of original research and to progress their academic career. The fellowships are for three years and are based upon a matched funding agreement between the Trust and the host institution. We are interested in hearing from potential candidates working in the areas of architectural history, architectural humanities, architecture and philosophy, history of landscape, history of interiors, spatial dimensions of archaeology, etc. Candidates must meet the eligibility criteria for the fellowships (PhD thesis submitted between 28 February 2015 and 28 February 2019; PhD from a UK institution, or current post held at UK institution; have not held a permanent post).

CfP: Building-Object/Design-Architecture: Exploring Interconnections (2019)

A conference jointly supported by the Design History Society, the European Architectural History Network, and the Architecture Space and Society Centre (Birkbeck).

6-8 June 2019, Clore Business School, Birkbeck, London

Deadline: 15th November 2018

This two-day conference will explore old, new and future interconnections between Design History and Architectural History. It will address the disciplines’ shared historiography, theory, forms of analysis and objects of critical enquiry, and draw attention to how recent developments in the one can have significant implications for the other. It will attend to areas of difference, in order, ultimately to identify new areas for discussion and set future agendas for research between the disciplines.

CfP: How to Narrate the History of Architecture? (2017)

Centenary of Birth of Architectural Historian Bruno Zevi, 7-8 May, 2018, Technion, Haifa.

Deadline: 15th December 2017

The need to rethink the established account in history books and in the classroom, is felt again in recent years- in view of ongoing global processes and cultural change. We therefore invite papers on the general theme: “How to narrate the history of architecture?” which addresses the dilemmas, past and present, of relating the comprehensive story of architecture.

We also welcome papers on the portrayal of specific periods that preoccupied Bruno Zevi – Classical Architecture, Renaissance and Baroque, Modern Architecture, Architecture in Modern Italy –as well as on major concepts in his writing–Space and Architecture, Anti-classicism, Organic Architecture, Judaism and Architecture.

CfP: From Building to Continent: How Architecture makes Territories” (2018)

Biennial Conference, Centre for European Architecture, Kent School of Architecture (UK)

28th and 29th of June, 2018, The Cathedral Lodge, Canterbury, Kent, UK

Paper proposals may cover anytime period, continuing into the present. Relevant proposals from all disciplines are welcomed. Deadline for CfP: 15th of January, 2018

CfP: The SAHGB Annual Symposium 2018 “Architecture, the Built Environment, and the Aftermath of the First World War” (2018)

9 June 2018, The Institute of Historical Research, Senate House, London

Information can be found at www.sahgb.org.uk/symposium.

Proposals comprising a 300-word abstract for papers of 15 minutes should be sent to the Symposium Convenor, Neal Shasore (symposium2018@sahgb.org.uk) by 11am, Saturday 11 November 2017. Notices of acceptance or rejection will be sent out as soon as possible thereafter. Any further questions or enquiries should be directed to the same email address.

Conflict Café: Do we live in an age of terror?

Saturday 28 October 2017, Imperial War Museum

Joel McKim of ASSC will be participating in the Conflict Café organized by the Imperial War Museum in conjunction with their new exhibition Age of Terror: Art Since 9/11. In the panel “Where do we fear to tread?”, Joel will be speaking on architecture and urban space post-9/11.

For more information please have a look at here.

Murray Seminars – Autumn Term 2017

Seminars are held at 5pm in The Keynes Library, Birkbeck School of Arts, 43, Gordon Sq., London, WC1H OPD. A break at 5.50pm is followed by discussion and refreshments.

13 November: Zoe Opacic of ASSC: From Sacroscape to Cityscape: Images of Central European Towns in Late Medieval Sources

For more information please look here.

Environmental Futures: Architecture & Green Technologies in the Lithium Triangle

October 19, 2017, Kensington Darwin Building, Room D612, 6th Floor, from 16:00 to 20:00

In a context of transition from fossil fuels to “clean” energy the MA Environmental Architecture programme at the Royal College of Art announces a four-year research project on the environmental consequences of lithium extraction. The research will focus on Chile, Argentina and Bolivia – an area also known as the “lithium triangle”, and will be developed in collaboration with local research partners including advocacy teams and indigenous organisations.

For more information look here.

The launch of the Home series, edited by Rosie Cox and Victor Büchli

Wednesday 24 May 2017, 6pm, Keynes Library, Birkbeck

To register click here.

The exciting new series responds to the growing interest in the home as an area of research and teaching.  Highly interdisciplinary, titles feature contributions from across the social sciences, including anthropology, material culture studies, architecture and design, sociology, gender studies, migration studies, and environmental studies.  Relevant to undergraduate and postgraduate students as well as researchers, the series will consolidate the home as a field of study. The series will launch with the publication of Sexuality and Gender at HomeMaking Homes, and Food, Masculinities and Home.

Future Passé

Friday 2 June 2017, 10-5:30pm, Victoria & Albert Museum, Lydia and Manfred Gorvy Lecture Theatre 

Keynote: Filmmaker Peter Greenaway

Main speakers: Historian of Technology David Edgerton, Architectural Historian Barbara Penner, Geographer Gillian Rose, Architect Liam Young

How do we represent urban change and technological development in visual and textual form, historically and in the present? How has visual rhetoric been used to normalize the disruption and destruction that accompanies modern ideas of ‘progress’? And what happens when these confident predictions of future relevance fail and we are left with dead-ends and obsolete technologies, the unwanted remains of modernity?

Join academic speakers, V&A curators, artists and filmmakers as they aim to unpick how narratives of progress have been – and continue to be – established through visual and textual representations of urban change and technological development. What ends do these narratives serve? How can they be unpicked and re-presented?

The event is free, but online booking required: https://www.vam.ac.uk/event/Mo7OM4o5/future-passe

Fantasy in Reality: Architecture, Representation, Reproduction

15-16 June 2017, The Courtauld Institute of Art, Somerset House, Strand, London

This symposium aims to consider the intersection of fantasy and reality by examining a broad range of architectural production from the Renaissance to the present day across different cultures and media. It includes papers that explore the blurred lines, or tensions, between fantasy and reality in architecture and its representation. Architectural fantasies created in drawings, paintings, computer renders, photographs and films, and three dimensional examples in built projects, exhibition pavilions, doll houses, interiors and garden features will be considered as vital forms of architectural production that both reflect and produce reality.

How does the production of architectural fantasies relate to reality and attempt to shape it? How do representations of architecture construct or perpetuate fantasies of the built environment? How have architects, city planners and/or politicians and rulers used architecture to reinforce fantastical notions of reality? What is the role of the mass media in the production and dissemination of architectural fantasies in popular culture?

In what ways do representations of built or soon to be built projects contribute to the construction of fantasy? The conference seeks to address these questions and more.

For programme and registration please have a look here.

URBAN CHANGE – Current Research in Film, Television And Media Studies

BIMI-PITT Research Workshop 10-12 May 2017, 43 Gordon Square

The first edition, “Cinema and the City”, May 2015, was a productive and enjoyable occasion, which has already generated several joint research initiatives, including journal publications, student and staff exchanges, public lectures, curatorial projects, and study days.

The forthcoming edition, entitled “Urban Change”, pursues the broad theme of cinema and the city, while addressing more precisely how moving image culture – in all its changing forms and formats, both aesthetically and technologically speaking – has responded and continues to react to the ongoing economic, social and political transformation of urban environments. These environments are understood as physical spaces but also as places to live, work, love and play, both individually and in terms of interpersonal and community relationships. While the cities of Pittsburgh and London remain significant topics for exploration, the geographical and historical coordinates of this workshop are entirely open, and participants will be exploring urban contexts and examples drawn from France, Algeria, Canada, India, Russia, Japan, Hong Kong, Denmark and Sweden.

Please book your places and have a look at the programmehere.

Research Seminar open to all: “Thresholds: seeing the past through the future”

Pete James & Mat Collishaw (History and Theory of Photography Research Centre & Vasari Research Centre)

5th May, 6.00. Room B04, 43 Gordon Square

In 1839 WHF Talbot exhibited an extensive selection of his new photogenic drawings at the Birmingham meeting of the Association for the Advancement for Science. In a time of disturbance, this important event took place in King Edward’s School on New Street, a major work of Neo-Gothic architecture by Charles Barry, which was demolished in the 1930s.

Pete James (former Curator of Photography Collections at Birmingham Library) and acclaimed artist Mat Collishaw will talk about their innovative research project that recreates the exhibition and space as a Virtual Environment.

Their exhibition Thresholds opens in London on May 17th.

Architecture, Citizenship, Space: British Architecture from the 1920s to the 1970s

10:30, Thursday, 15 June 2017 to 13:00, Friday, 16 June 2017

How did individuals and groups concerned with architecture and the built environment in Britain respond to, and seek to shape, the challenges and opportunities of twentieth-century life? Engaging with themes such as democracy, citizenship, leisure, culture and new subjectivities, and showcasing scholars at the forefront of emerging methodological approaches to architectural history, this conference considers how key aspects of British modernity informed architectural form and space between the 1920s and the 1970s.

The conference, which is supported by the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, and convened by Elizabeth Darling and Alistair Fair, takes place at the Headington Campus of Oxford Brookes University. The conference fee is £30, and includes lunch and refreshments. Any queries should be addressed to Elizabeth Darling (edarling@brookes.ac.uk)

Bartlett Sound Making Space Doctoral Network 2017, The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL

Sound physically responds to space. Sound waves interact with solid structures and pass through living bodies, defining the spatial parameters of our built environment, and revealing otherwise hidden dimensions of architecture through echo and reverberation. Equally, the ways that architecture is used to frame the human voice and urban rhythms, as well as music, influences the mood or temperament of the spaces we inhabit, and has shaped contemporary modes of listening.

Bringing together practitioners that engage with space through sound, the Sound Making Space Seminar Series aims to explore how the making of sound and music open up new ways of thinking about architecture.

Crossing Borders: Negotiation, Provocation, and Transgression

Graduate Conference, Birkbeck, University of London, 5-6th May 2017

This conference is a call to intellectual arms, then, a provocation to think geographical, political, bodily, technological, and environment borders. What constitutes a border, how are they stabilised, and how can they be crossed, negotiated or transgressed? How are borders enacted, defined and re-defined by surveillance, technology, regulations and resistance? Are borders necessarily the logic of a colonial structure of thought, predicated on capture, division, and domination? How else might difference be thought and engaged? What is the discourse, language, imagery of the border? How are human bodies reciprocally shaped by the social environment? What model of the psyche can help us understand the rich diversity of socio-political mechanisms? How can we cross the border of rationality in order to explore and release the unconscious factors in our sense-making? And, crucially, how can we as academics cross institutional and disciplinary borders? We welcome submissions from across the Humanities and Social Sciences, and especially encourage contributions from artists and activists. For more information please visit here.

CHASE workshop 24 February 2017: Medieval and Early Modern Spaces and Places

Drawing upon the research interests of the Medieval and Early Modern Research Group at the Open University and the Architecture Space and Society Centre at Birkbeck, we will be hosting a workshop on spaces and places on Friday 24 February 2017. The workshop will examine life in buildings, institutions and broader geographical areas from a variety of perspectives and will consider the following questions:

–       How were medieval and early modern spaces adapted and transformed through the movement of material and immaterial things?

–       To what extent did a sense of place depend upon the activities taking place there?

We are in the initial stages of planning the event, which is open to academics based in CHASE institutions. Unfortunately, CHASE network funding for non-student events is not available this year, but Birkbeck has kindly offered a space in London for the event and we plan to apply to the Open University for some funding to cover catering. We would like to build upon the CHASE event that Birkbeck hosted in April 2016  (‘The Matter of the Archive’) and to continue an annual dialogue between academics based at CHASE universities.

We welcome expressions of interest from scholars across disciplines who would like to contribute to the workshop. If you would like to attend, please e-mail Leah Clark (leah.clark@open.ac.uk) and Helen Coffey (Helen.coffey@open.ac.uk) by 9 January 2017. If you would like to present a paper please provide us with a working title.

Timescapes of Urban Change: Barcelona and London – a regeneration comparison , 29th of November at 18:30 at UCL- Harrie Massey Lecture Theatre.

Focusing on two cities that are exemplar for their urban regeneration, London and Barcelona, this panel discussion will bring together urban professionals and academics to discuss and reflect from a long term perspective on the regeneration of these respective cities.

Speakers: Simone Abram (Durham University), Bob Allies (Allies and Morrison Architects), Monica Degen (Brunel University), Mari Paz Balibrea (Birbeck), Carme Gual Via (Barcelona City Council), Euan Mills (Future Cities Catapult), Mike Raco (UCL).

Book here

Lecture: ‘From Avant-Garde to Architecture (and Back)’by  Professor Tyrus Miller, University of California-Santa Cruz

21st November, 6.00-8.00pm, School of Advanced Study, University of London

Senate House, Malet Street, Room 246. Please book a place by contacting the Seminar Convenor Dr Angeliki Spiropoulou at  angeliki.spiropoulou@sas.ac.uk

The European Architectural Historians Network is asking for session proposals for its conference in Tallinn, Estonia, in June 2018.  ASSC member Mark Crinson is on EAHN’s scientific committee. Please look at their website http://eahn2018conference.ee for more information.

History of Art at Birkbeck announces headline appointments in the history of architecture and photography

The History of Art department at the School of Arts has made senior appointments to its academic programmes in the history of architecture and photography. Professor Mark Crinson will join the school in July as its new Professor in the History and Theory of Architecture.

About Professor Mark Crinson

Professor Crinson joins the school from the University of Manchester, where he is Professor of Art History – a position he took in 2007 following a 14-year lectureship at the university. An alumnus of the Universities of Sussex and Pennsylvania, Professor Crinson has also held teaching positions at the Open University and Loughborough College of Art, as well as a research position at the University of Essex.

Research interests during his career have included: the relation of architecture to colonialism; and the role of architecture in the cultural mediation of industrial production. He has explored these themes within a series of his books – including Stirling and Gowan: Architecture from Austerity to Affluence (Yale 2012) which won the Historians of British Art Prize in 2014 – and in more than 40 articles.

Shortly after joining Birkbeck, Professor Crinson will commence a one-year Leverhulme/British Academy senior fellowship, undertaking a project called ‘Shock City: Image and Architecture in Industrial Manchester’. He will also join the school’s Architecture, Space and Society Centre.

Broadcasting the Arts: Architecture on TV

In collaboration with BFI and University of Pittsburgh, and in conjunction with the London Festival of Architecture

Jun 11 10:30 – 17:30, Birkbeck Cinema, 43 Gordon Square, WC1H 0PD

This event explores and expands upon the Broadcasting the Arts: Architecture on TV season, ongoing throughout June at the BFI Southbank. Co-curators Matt Harle (Birkbeck, BFI) and Kevin M. Flanagan (University of Pittsburgh) will discuss the genesis of the project, the process of planning and organization, and will introduce the larger intellectual aims of the series. The day’s events will consist of screenings of material that will not be shown at the BFI event, papers relating to architecture on British television, and discussion.

For more information and booking details, please go here

Charles IV: Architectural Legacy and Modern Urban Environment

Tuesday 7 June, 7PM Venue:St Ethelburga’s, 78 Bishopsgate, London EC2N 4AG

Prague, the most medieval of European capitals, owes the foundation of its New Town, the largest urban planning project of the medieval period, to king Charles IV, one of the first visionary developers. What were the international influences behind his ingenious spatial concept which prepared Prague for the demands of the 21st century? What is the essence of the sustainable urban space? How can heritage help to deliver regeneration, support enterprise today and involve and benefit communities?

Artists’ Film Biennial: Mediating Cityscapes Symposium

Sunday 29 May, 11am-3pm, ICA, London

This symposium explores the complex ways in which cities are mediated and how mediation forms urban experience. From ruins, apocalypse and artists’ attempts to capture and overcome fragmentation, to the imagining of a civic public through choirs, data or news footage, we consider how the city and its inhabitants are ‘scaped’ and scoped through mediating practices.This symposium is carried out by partnership between Birkbeck, University of London and the ICA.

Aggregation, Segregation, and Sense of Spatial Justice in Paris’, Milan’s and London’s Refounded Neighbourhoods

Thursday 5 May | 2.00 – 4.00pm| Birkbeck, University of London, Bloomsbury. Room 102, 30 Russell Square, London WC1B 5DT

Speaker: Bruno Cousin (University of Lille)
Chair: Melissa Butcher (Birkbeck, University of London)

This research is based on fieldwork – ethnography and 89 in-depth interviews – conducted in five neighborhoods of Paris and Milan, which are located near to the new business districts of the two metropolises, as well as on the systematic comparison with the literature on similar areas in London. These neighborhoods, where corporate professionals and managers are nowadays overrepresented among the residents, have been transformed during the last decades by a process of new-build gentrification. The paper analyzes the causes and motivations of the inhabitants’ residential choices and practices by looking successively: (1) at the dynamics of attraction that result from homophily and willing to live alongside one’s “kind”; (2) at the discriminatory and alterization-based logics that seek to keep other social groups out; and (3) at the inhabitants’ own sense of spatial justice, as well as at the arrangements and compromises they display when their residential choices and their relation to local integration have to face criticism.

Free event open to all: Book your place

Space, Identities and Memory – Birkbeck Institute Graduate Conference

Friday 13 May – Saturday 14 May 2016| Birkbeck, University of London, Bloomsbury. Room B04, 43 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PD

Keynote Speakers: Andy Merrifield (Independent Scholar) & Heather White (University of Puget Sound)

Discussants: Melissa Butcher (BISR), Esther Leslie (BIH), Kate Maclean (BiGS), Phil Cohen (LivingMaps), Dominic James (Keele University).

The 2016 Graduate Conference seeks to examine the interplay between identity, space and memory, exploring the ways in which identities may be created, formed and informed by spatial and temporal contexts. In particular, we seek to examine to what extent identities are performed in response to political, social and cultural pressures, including historical circumstances leading to the construction of acceptable and unacceptable identities.
Free event open to all: Book your place

Full Programme

On Friday 13 May, the conference will be followed by a screening of Half Way, including a Q&A with director Daisy-May Hudson, in discussion with Phil Cohen (LivingMaps)

The screening will be held in a smaller venue than the conference, so separate booking is essential. Full details and book your place

More information about the conference

Haussmann PlanASSC member Leslie Topp was part of a lively panel discussion on Spaces of Freedom at the Royal Academy last Autumn, as part of their Architecture and Freedom season.  You can listen to the panel here (including her contribution, which begins around 4.5 minutes in). Scroll down to ‘Spaces of Freedom’.

Please remember to register your abstract for the session House and household at the EAA conference in Vilnius August 31st – September 4th 2016.


House and Household – making room for history

Session organizers:

Dag Lindström, prof. University of Uppsala, Sweden. dag.lindstrom@hist.uu.se

Panu Savolainen, Ph.D. student, University of Turku, Finland. ppjsav@utu.fi

Göran Tagesson, PhD. Swedish historical museums, Linköping, Sweden. goran.tagesson@Arkeologerna.com