GAM.09 is thematically dedicated to the stratification of walls in architecture. We are interested in the ways in which walls may be newly conceptualized, with a view to their architectural, technological, and cultural potentialities. Very recent times have seen a multitude of designs, experiments, and developments that have expanded the conventional function of walls in ways related not only to their construction but also to their meaning. Departing from the dividing aspect of simple walls of demarcation, these new conceptions are founded upon the associative stratification of walls with ecological, urban-planning, and sociocultural facets in mind, while simultaneously offering new slants in terms of their characteristics, capabilities, and means of construction.
Walls may seem merely to be customary structural components, but they are in fact distinguished by a wealth of potential. Walls can carry, they can separate and protect, yet they can also connect, can create space and rooms, can regulate room temperature, can assume certain functionality. Their materiality and their composition are experienceable as structure, rhythm, and tectonics. Walls can be used for the conservation or generation of energy, and most recently they have increasingly become dynamically responsive, active elements.
Thanks to technological innovations and developments, a diversification of our understanding of walls is taking place. GAM.09 is interested in such new conceptions of walls, both in terms of the impact they have on architectural space and in reference to the related criticism of the traditional function of walls as a basic architectural element for separating the inside and outside of a building, its exterior design (in regard to façades, surfaces, and openings) having long been one of architecture’s classic themes. We are looking for examples of how architects have become developers of wall concepts that are stratified, either in actuality or in a metaphorical sense, thus enabling walls to become amplified, not only in their functionality but also in their spatial effectuality.
GAM.09 proposes that the traditional separation of external form and inner function, when it comes to walls, be complemented by another perspective, one that articulates the wall function of lending support, securing, and retaining, together with qualities of an associative exchange between inside and outside. With this integrative approach, GAM.09 will be introducing architectural designs that combine the invention of new techniques with the testing of their implementation. The aim here is to bring up to date a classic theme within architecture—in this case, walls and their functionality—as an innovative field of design and analysis. To this end, GAM.09 is soliciting proposals for contributions that focus on the architectural theme “Walls: Spatial Sequences” while taking into account tectonic, technological, and cultural aspects. GAM.09 invites you to submit an abstract (max. 500 words) to firstname.lastname@example.org on “Walls: Spatial Sequences” by 15 April 2012. The deadline for the full paper is 19 August 2012.
Graz University of Technology
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