CFP: Agency in Architecture: Reframing Criticality in Theory and Practice [Footprint Journal, Issue No. 4]
Call for Papers Date:
CFP: Agency in Architecture: Reframing Criticality in Theory and Practice
(Issue editors: Kenny Cupers & Isabelle Doucet)
The fourth upcoming Footprint issue will explore current engagements with theory in architectural practice and criticism. The crisis of theory has become a constant. The ’big schools‘ of thought, such as marxism and critical theory, no longer seem able to structure the humanities across disciplinary boundaries. Likewise, the project of a Theory that would directly guide architectural practice has lost its appeal. And yet, architecture as a discipline has not given up on theory. Recent calls for a ’post-critical‘ or ’post-theoretical‘ approach have only affirmed the continuing desire to theorise architectural production. But how then to engage theory in contemporary practice?
To grasp what is exactly at stake in current debates, we believe the notion of agency is paramount. In discussions about the architect’s societal position - as autonomous creator, self-interested professional, victim to market forces, resistive agent, ’enabler,’ or ’urban catalyst‘- as much as about the role of the user - as empowered citizen, producer of urban space, ’self-organizing‘ entity or ’everyday bricoleur‘ - the notion of agency is often as fundamental as it is taken for granted. At the same time, recent preoccupations with the material and performative dimension of architecture have led to new ways of understanding agency in architecture. Whether focusing on surface and aesthetic animation or the socio-political efficacy of the architectural project, they potentially reframe the question of criticality. This call for papers therefore aims to expand our theoretical understanding of agency in architecture, thus furthering Footprint’s earlier investigations into architecture theory, particularly in its inaugural issue.
We welcome historical and theoretical contributions that move the notion of agency in architecture beyond the opposition between the architect and the user, between mainstream and alternative, and between critical and ’projective‘ practice. We particularly look forward to theoretical speculation on alternative definitions of agency, such as object-based and historical agencies that frame and pre-code contemporary practices; repercussions of ideological and disciplinary battles in the built environment; the shifting cultures of expertise and the emerging distinction between central and peripheral agency; the active force of architectural representation and public images in space; and the power of theoretical fashions that often play a predominant if not legitimising role in architectural design.
The fourth Footprint issue will be published in April 2009. The deadline for submissions is 10 December 2008. Authors interested in submitting a contribution are requested to submit an abstract of max 500 words to the editors before 20 September 2008. For abstract/paper submissions and all other correspondence, please contact the editors (I.H.L.Doucet(at)tudelft.nl and Cupers(at)fas.harvard.edu – replace the (at) with @)
Footprint issues calls for papers on specific topics [please see appropriate section for latest call for papers]. Papers which do not relate to the topic will be rejected by the editors. Following this initial review, the papers will be submitted for peer-review. In the subsequent process, the editors will communicate with the referees and the authors.
Please make sure your name, address, telephone number, e mail and institutional affiliation appear on the first page of the submission, separated from the text itself. The guidelines for authors in the PDF below are a requirement for the final submission, but it is recommended to follow them already in the first submission.
Footprint is a recently launched academic journal published by the Delft School of Design presenting research regarding architecture and the urban. Architecture and urbanism are the points of departure and the core interests of the journal. From this perspective, the journal encourages the study of architecture and the urban environment as a means of comprehending culture and society, and as a tool for relating them to shifting ideological doctrines and philosophical ideas. The journal promotes the creation and development – or revision - of conceptual frameworks and methods of inquiry. It is engaged in creating a body of critical and reflexive texts with a breadth and depth of thought which would enrich the architecture discipline and produce new knowledge, conceptual methodologies and original understandings.
Footprint publishes two issues per year, in spring and autumn. Special issues will be published occasionally, independently of this timeline and in addition to the two scheduled issues per year. The journal is available for free download or in hardcopy for purchase.
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