School of Architecture, Planning & Landscape

Call for Papers

Call for Papers

The Architectural Humanities Research Association (AHRA) 16th AHRA PhD Student Symposium 2020, to be hosted by the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape at Newcastle University, takes as its departure point the tendency for architectural research to be dissected into distinct disciplinary categories, including ‘architectural history’, ‘architectural theory’ and ‘architectural design’. This categorisation implies that architectural research requires methods to be applied from outside of its discipline, rather than conceiving of architectural research as a discipline with its own research methods. How then might we consider our encounters with architectural research in a way that links to our own ways of working and conception of the wider world?

Encountering architectural research in this way means acknowledging that architecture is not only inherently interdisciplinary, but that it is also a field offering its own distinct practices and ways of relating to society and culture. It is such re-thinking that, as this symposium proposes, opens the possibility for architectural research to be situated as a core research discipline. This re-consideration of architectural research is part of an ongoing project conceived by the Architectural Research Collaborative (ARC) at the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape at Newcastle University.

Some suggested themes that may relate to research encounters via architecture’s methods:

  • Encounters between the interrelated scales of architectural research: from macro to micro; from infrastructures, assemblages, ecologies, buildings to construction details.
  • Encounters within iterative approaches to architectural research that may consider: conversations, specifications, experimentations, prototypes and risk-taking.
  • Encounters between architecture and its relations to social, economic, geographic, cultural, historical, conceptual and material forces and practices.
  • Encounters of projective thinking, that may include: creative practice research methods, processes of translation between drawings and buildings, the imagining of better worlds and speculative futures.

Proposal Submissions

Submissions of proposals (one proposal per applicant) are invited from registered PhD candidates in Architecture and its related disciplines. The call is open to students from institutions world-wide and registration for the symposium is free of charge. All submissions will be double blind peer-reviewed by the organising committee, members of the AHRA Steering Group and Newcastle University scholars. 

Submissions should adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Please submit an anonymised PDF document containing your title and 350 word abstract defining the subject and summarising the argument of the proposed 15 minute paper, within an email including a short 50 word biographical description outlining your research field, as well as the name of your institution and supervisor(s).
  • We expect all successful applicants to share the final draft of their full paper with the convenors, the deadline date for which will be announced one month in advance of the conference.
  • Papers will be arranged in themed parallel sessions, with discussion of the presented papers at the close of each session. 

Call for Methods Workshops: please submit an anonymised PDF document containing your title, timeframe, and a 350 word proposal for a workshop that focusses on a particular research practice within an email including a short 50 word biographical description outlining your research field, as well as the name of your institution and supervisor(s). The workshops will all take place on Wednesday 22nd April 2020.

Deadline for submissions

The deadline for receipt of all proposals is Friday 20th December 2019.

Please email paper abstracts/workshop proposals to:

Successful candidates will be notified by Friday 24th January 2020.

About AHRA

Mission Statement

AHRA was created to provide an inclusive and comprehensive support network of researchers in architectural humanities across the UK and beyond. It promotes, supports, develops and disseminates high-quality research in all areas of architectural humanities.

It promotes the quality, breadth and significance of research in architectural humanities to the key institutional bodies in the UK including HEFCE/RAE, AHRC, ESRC, CABE, RIBA and SCHOSA. It supports the culture of research in architectural humanities internationally by facilitating a comprehensive network of established academics, encouraging the development of younger researchers and fostering the exploration of new and emerging areas of humanities research in architecture.

It develops research in this expanding area by providing regular forums for the exchange of ideas, a rigorous process of peer-review and the establishment of strong international links with partner organisations.
It disseminates research in architectural humanities through annual refereed conferences, meetings, research symposia and high-quality research publications - as well as reaching out to other researchers working in related disciplines.

AHRA raises public awareness of the social, cultural, economic and political value of research in architectural history, theory, culture, design and urbanism. It provides access to a body of knowledge and informed opinion to statutory bodies and the academic community, as well as the wider public and the media - helping to set the terms of reference for debates about the quality of the built environment.