MeLa / Final Event

Envisioning XXIst Century Museums

MeLa Final Event


21-23 January 2015
Milano, Italy


MeLa – European Museums in an age of migrations will conclude its four years research programme with a three-day event, aimed at providing a critical overview on the main findings ensuing from its investigations and a forward-looking discussion about the future of European museums. A highly interdisciplinary panel of scholars and policy makers from all over the world will trigger a multi-perspective debate, bringing together the latest insights on museums’ challenges and chances in the framework of the contemporary global and multi-cultural scenario.


Call for Papers / Journal

Journal of City, Culture and Architecture


Submission deadline: 20 February, 2015


Journal of City, Culture and Architecture concentrates on publishing the highest quality original research of scholars in a broad range of disciplines, including architecture, art, cultural studies, anthropology, urban studies, geography, and demography, and their relations with history, psychology, sociology, and statistics.The Journal seeks to explore the ways of improving comprehensive examination of various interdisciplinary approaches to studying urban culture, city identity, metropolitan life and architecture various forms of art by focusing the roles of human communication in space and symbolic borders between different communicative practices and the cultural aspects of urbanization.

The primary goal is to promote pioneering research on cultural diversity and richness of traditional and local societies, urban structuralism to the semiotic perspectives of poststructuralism, cultural institutions and heritage and the spiritual-material products and the architectural structures throughout the life time of mankind, and to make a strong link between past and future. The cultural manufacturing types and the art of living that are formed throughout centuries and experiences, when considered its contribution both to multi-cultural social life and keeping cultural memory alive, will be remembered as the most striking evidence for cultural and social originality of a society which tell its own aesthetic idea by its produced arts.


Call for Contributions / Book

Placing the Profession: Early Contexts for Interior Design Practice in the US

Edited by Paula Lupkin (Department of Art Education and Art History, University of North Texas) and Penny Sparke (Modern Interiors Research Centre, Kingston University)


Deadline: 31 January, 2015


Ashgate is seeking to publish an edited book of essays based on a set of papers given at a panel session at the 2014 Annual Conference of the Society of Architectural Historians that was entitled ‘Placing the Profession: Early Contexts for Interior Design Practice in the US. The editors are now inviting proposals for additional chapters to supplement the original papers.

The history of interior design practice in the United States has long been dominated by biographies of iconic figures like Elsie de Wolfe and Dorothy Draper. Much of the existing scholarly, pedagogical, and popular literature traces the trajectories of their careers, their writings, and their relationships with clients. At the same time that these luminaries were forging their identities as individuals, however, the larger profession of interior design began to emerge. Rooted in the expansion of mass production and consumption in the last years of the nineteenth century, and beginning in the early twentieth century, new and diverse organizational, educational, and professional structures came to define the field and provide formal contexts for design work including design colleges, department stores, furniture companies, and large-scale group practice. This book seeks to map out the development of the larger professional structures of interior design in the period 1870 – 1960 thereby embracing the somewhat fragmented situation of the period immediately before the formation of the profession up until the creation, in 1957, of the National Society of Interior Designers.

Chapters will explore early educational programs and professional organizations, the relationship of interior design to the contemporaneous professionalization of architectural practice, the opportunities offered by department stores, antiques firms, materials manufacturers, and shelter magazines, and the organization and management of large commercial interior design firms. Moving away from biography, this book will critically investigate how interior designers collectively responded to and defined the market for their ideas and services, balancing their roles as artists with the pressures to professionalize and rationalize their work.


Job / Zayed University

Positions for Assistant, Associate, Or Professors Of Interior Design

College Of Art And Creative Enterprises
Zayed University, Abu Dhabi Campus
Fall 2015


The University

Zayed University, a premier university in the United Arab Emirates, is an innovative institution based on an international model of higher education. The University has experienced rapid growth, and currently has over 900 faculty and staff serving approximately 8500 undergraduate and 1000 graduate students on its campuses in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Zayed University prepares graduates to become leaders in government, business, civil society, and family life, and to contribute to building a knowledge-based economy and society. Through a curriculum grounded in learning outcomes, the University expects its graduates to be proficient in both English and Arabic, and to possess the skills in communication, technology, information literacy, research, critical thinking, and global awareness that will make them leaders in the interconnected 21st-century world. English is the primary language of instruction. Zayed University is fully accredited in the UAE and by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education in the US.

The United Arab Emirates is a progressive country known for its high standard of living and its safe, family-friendly, multi-national environment.


The College of Arts and Creative Enterprises (CACE)

CACE offers students a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Animation Design, Graphic Design, Interior Design, and Visual Art. The College aims to prepare students to become creative leaders in the arts and related industries. Our mission is to provide student artists and designers with an opportunity to explore and develop their own creative ideas while contributing to national initiatives in the culture of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The department works closely with faculty in other university disciplines such as the majors in Emirati Studies and Multi-Media Design, and the MA in Museum Studies. Candidates will have the opportunity to contribute to the growth and initiatives of the college that will advocate innovative practices and research.





30 – 31 January, 2015


From the mid-eighteenth century through to the present day, architecture has been repeatedly imagined, defined or designed as a machine. While a strongly deterministic reading – as in “machine for living”– has held sway ever since the term was coined in the 1920s, usage of the machine concept actually needs to be understood in a much broader sense. Describing architecture as a machine has in various epochs and in the light of changing technologies always also implied paying attention to its performative properties in the context of certain processes and procedures, ranging from design to construction and use. Such performative properties may manifest themselves in spatial dimensions or contexts, in technical apparatus, or in other physical conditions. What distinguishes the concept of architecture-as-machine – considered from a genealogical perspective and independently of its various semantic nuances – is that the respective requirements of any architectural program can be individually thematized and hence also individually planned. The ‘machinic’ of the architecture/machine accordingly implies not merely a context of production or a normative mechanism but, primarily and fundamentally, a relationship between the architectural object and the processes it involves.

The conference examines the history of the architecture/machine from the mid-eighteenth century to the present day in the light of the above. It focuses not necessarily on literal machine metaphors but generally on historical instances of discursive or material articulation that formulate a relationship between architecture and machines. The conference contributions will be pursuing this theme through analyses of concrete buildings, spaces, devices, or apparatus, respectively the ways in which these are represented or described.


Call for Papers / Conference

This Thing Called Theory

12th AHRA International Conference


19th-21st November 2015
Leeds Beckett University
School of Art, Architecture and Design
Leeds, United Kingdom


Abstract’s deadline: 4 May 2015


This conference proposes Theory as a form of architectural practice which opposes the instrumentalization of its use. It aims to explore the status of Theory in architecture through an examination of instances in current practice, and invites critical reconsiderations of the role of Theory in architecture, its successes and shortcomings. It seeks to trigger discussions, arguments and polemics around this thing called Theory.



Since the Architectural Humanities Research Association was created twelve years ago to promote and develop research in the architectural humanities, the practices of architecture have transformed and diversified, and so has the relationship between the designs, representations and makings of architecture and their surrounding discourses.

After semiotics, psychoanalysis, deconstruction’s flirt with Derridean philosophy, and Deleuzian redefinitions of folds and diagrams, the impact of the digital in architecture seemed to have vanquished the ‘need’ for architecture to refer to discourses from the humanities. Whilst concerns of the humanities are converging with the sciences, they are also simultaneously diverging and dissipating with notions of network, apparatus and agency. The recent imperative in architecture to withdraw from claims of singular design visions has also been characterised by the gathering of individuated credits and subjecting to commodified distribution in the production of theory.

Today, in an age of extreme specialization and thus far inconceivable intersections of fragmented strands of knowledge, architecture continues to reinvent itself. As architecture reconsiders its status as a discipline in relation to digital technologies, material sciences, biology and environmental transformations, it continues to resort to and introject thoughts and practices developed ‘outside’ architecture. It is indeed the very openness and connectedness of architecture that can offer a line of continuity in the ongoing process of self-definition and reinvention that has always characterized architecture as a practice of the multiple and of the critical. As a discipline that never simply makes physical environments, architecture will continue to act in and through all its intersections with its ‘other’ as a critical and cultural agent.


Call for Contributions / Journal

PARSE Journal

Issue #3


Abstract’s deadline: 20 March, 2015

PARSE Journal supports an innovative and multidisciplinary research culture in the arts (including music, performing arts, art, design, architecture, literature, film and media) through publishing original artistic research; creating dialogues and promoting collaborations between researchers in the arts and in other disciplines; and through bringing together different modes of artistic enquiry within an open peer review framework. PARSE Journal is one strand of activity hosted by the PARSE research platform of the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.


Repetitions and Reneges: Interpretation, iteration, and re-performance across the arts.
Editors: Darla Crispin, Anders Hultqvist & Cecilia Lagerström

The possibility of repetition in general, and more specifically repetition or reiteration of artistic work raises questions that emerge, and are negotiated differently, across the various art fields. This is because these various art fields are connected to divergent practices and conceptions of tradition, authorship, interpretation, ownership, originality, performativity and artistry.


Call for Submissions / Journal

The Architectural Review seeks submissions


Does your research into architectural history deserve a wider public? The Architectural Review seeks contributors for its new History section, a 1,200-word feature which aims to bring the unexamined to light and open new perspectives on more familiar questions. Any subject relating to architecture or urbanism will be considered, whether it concerns a practice, person, building, exhibition, event, or a wider theme. However, international topics having current relevance for an audience of architects, historians, and non-specialists alike are particularly welcome. The tone should be witty and engaging, but also informed and authoritative.

Forthcoming examples include essays on British architecture on the eve of the First World War, queer Gothic space, Walter Gropius’s Playboy Club in London, and a postwar estate of Scandinavian-style houses for the intelligentsia in Warsaw.

Abstracts of 200 words maximum, plus a short biography, should be sent to the magazine’s History Editor, Tom Wilkinson (


Job / Politecnico di Milano

Call for Associate Professor in Architectural Design


Deadline: December 23rd, 2014


The Department of Architecture and Urban Studies at Politecnico di Milano aims at increasing its size and strength within the framework of the University plan to raise the number of International Faculty positions and widen the offer of Master level courses delivered in English.

The Department invites applications for one new full time permanent position at the Associate professor level from individuals who can contribute to the Department’s strategic research plan by a demonstrated expertise in the area of architectural design.

The Associate professor will be asked to work in a research line which deals with the whole thematic field of architectural design, including relationship between different scales. It consists of theoretical and methodological topics – regarding problems and techniques about contemporary design and changing environment and about practical and experimental ones, aimed to handle typological, compositional, procedural and constructional features at different architectural scales.


Call for Papers / Conference

‘Making Autonomy: Design, Material and Visual culture in Latin America’

Organised by Dr. Livia Rezende (V&A/RCA History of Design Programme, Royal College of Art, London, UK) & Dr. Patricia Lara-Betancourt (Research Fellow, Modern Interiors Research Centre, Kingston University, UK)

Panel to be held at the 51st Society for Latin American Studies Conference


17-18 April 2015
University of Aberdeen, Scotland, UK


Abstract deadline: 28 November 2014


‘Autonomy’ is central to the design debate in Latin America. The 1960s and 1970s witnessed an intensified pursuit for the institutionalisation of the design profession and education with the establishment of modern design schools, professional associations and the promotion of design policies aiming to offset the region’s dependency to ‘centres’ of material production. From the Cuban revolutionaries to Brazilian developmentalists, state-driven initiatives promoted import substitution and industrial development in the region. One of the few overarching publications to investigate this process, Historia del Diseño en América Latina y el Caribe: Industrialización y Comunicación Visual para la Autonomía (Silvia Fernandez and Gui Bonsiepe eds. 2008), discusses industrialisation and modern design as drivers for autonomy.

Autonomy, however, also underpinned the grassroots work of Cuban designer Clara Porset who explored, encouraged and disseminated a revaluation of local art and craft production in Mexico. Before the modern design schools of the 1950s and 1960s, nineteenth-century Latin American museums and schools had provided technical and artistic education to form professionals capable of advancing material production in the region. More recently, while industrial design output diminished in the face of de-industrialization in the 1990s, work in multimedia and web design expanded, and designers sharing similar working conditions to their peers in Europe and North America were able to compete internationally.



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