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Production Studies International Conference

25th - 28th March 2024
School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape

How would knowledges & practices of architecture and design be transformed if labour, know-how and processes of building production were made central?

Keynote Speakers: Sérgio Ferro (France)  Usina CTAH (Brazil)  Christine Wall (UK)

Exhibition Opening: Building: An exhibition under construction @ The Farrell Centre

The deadline for submitting abstracts to the Production Studies International Conference 2024 has closed. Please contact us at productionstudies2024@newcastle.ac.uk


Production Studies [PS] is an emergent field advancing the critical understanding of relations between architectural design and the production and labour of building. It arises out of TF/TK—a four year research collaboration involving more than two dozen academics and practitioners from UK, Brazil, Ireland and the US—which draws on Sérgio Ferro’s central insight that architecture’s dismissal and neglect of building labour is no mere oversight but rather a structural necessity of capitalist development to maintain the profession’s capacity to act ‘on’ and ‘over’ the building site. 

Production Studies research is concerned with mainstream design-labour relations and its histories; with wider practices where design or intellectual labour is separated from production; and—recognising that in many parts of the world building takes place through self-organised processes—with other modes and possibilities of  building production.  Within TF/TK our research and practice is diverse—from technical aid in Brazil and in the UK, temple stone-carvers in India, rural migrant building workers in China, maker-spaces in London, unions in the US and in Germany, art fabricators, popular and traditional forms of building, land, building materials and techniques—to Production Studies theory and methods. Our researchers include scholars, practitioners and activists in fields such as architecture, history, politics, anthropology, art history, and social movements. 

We now invite researchers and practitioners to join us in exploring this new field.

  • What resistances, alliances and practices could we turn to as emancipatory alternatives to hegemonic production where building know-how and co-operation are valued and affirmed?

  • What can we learn from studies of mainstream building processes and design/site relations?

  • What historical and contemporary discourses, processes and techniques have been mobilised by architects and by industry to secure the disqualification and subordination of building workers?

  • How does Production Studies challenge architectural theory and its assumptions and silences?

  • What structural similarities and specific differences can critical discussion across different socio-spatial contexts and cultures of building reveal?   

  • How can Production Studies explore pressing concerns around climate change, extractivism, indigeneity, gender and sexuality, anti-racism and coloniality? 

  • What other theoretical framings, bodies of research and practices can inform or expand Production Studies? 

Call for Participation

We are hosting three kinds of calls:

Open Call - Papers

for 20 minute papers on any theme relating to the Production Studies call. Abstracts will be reviewed by the TF/TK core team

Open Call - Workshops

for 90 minute workshops responding to the Production Studies call with proposals for a convened activity, timed to fit within a 90-minute session. Please include details of space you will need or any other requirements.

Thematic Calls

for papers on specific topics convened by TF/TK researchers, who will review abstracts and co-ordinate panels. See individual descriptions below:

All submissions should be completed using the online form by Friday 29 September 2023.

Due to UCU industrial action in the UK 25-29 September we will accept abstracts until Friday 6 October.

All abstracts should be 150-300 words long. Please see the submission form for more details.

All submissions should be completed using the online form by Friday 29 September 2023.

Please contact conference organisers at: productionstudies2024@newcastle.ac.uk if you encounter any issues with accessing or completing the submission form.