Call For Papers closed for second Writing Architecture conference

Below was the call for papers for a conference I convened in July 201o, following an earlier event on the same topic in 2009. The Call For Papers can be downloaded as a pdf here, although the call is now closed and the conference complete!


Thursday 22 and Friday 23 July 2010,

The State Library of Queensland and the Gallery of Modern Art

Brisbane, Australia


Presentations are invited, that address innovative approaches to critical and creative work about buildings and places, in Queensland and elsewhere, through text and or images. Scholarly papers, as well as new examples of critical and creative work, are welcome. A broad range of disciplinary approaches to architecture, writing and photography are encouraged, including perspectives from literature, philosophy, anthropology, aesthetics, the fine arts, design, psychology, cultural studies, art history, creative writing, sociology, journalism, and others. Possible topics could include, but are not limited to:

WRITING AS AN ARCHITECTURAL PRACTICE: When and how is writing an architectural medium? What might an experimental writing in architecture and its criticism be? What is the potential for ficto-critical modes of writing in architecture? How is site-specificity significant in both architecture and writing? What parallels exist between style, form, structure, and ornament in both architecture and writing?

ARCHITECTURAL IMAGES AND TEXT: What are the genre conventions of architectural photography and how could they be challenged? What is the role of photography in architectural criticism, and how do images and text relate? Could there be a purely visual architectural critique, and what would be the value of this? Is drawing a kind of architectural writing?

POPULAR ARCHITECTURE WRITING: Why is there so little writing about architecture in the popular media? And why does so little writing about architecture take a popular tone? What might a popular architectural criticism be? What might a participatory architectural criticism be? What are the potentials and limitations of architectural writing in the new media?

WRITING THE ARCHITECTURE OF QUEENSLAND: How has the architecture of Queensland been represented in writing? How have buildings figured within larger constructions of place, city, region, state, or nation? What do Queensland architects read? What are the clichés of ‘place’ in both architecture and writing in Queensland, and what attempts have been made to critique, subvert or expand them?

Within an expanding international discourse on writing and architecture, this is the second of two events convened by Dr Naomi Stead, a Research Fellow in the ATCH Centre. The first, ‘Writing Architecture: A Symposium on Architectural Criticism and the Written Representation of Architecture,’ was held at Brisbane’s Institute for Modern Art (IMA) on August 15 & 16, 2009. This second conference is held in association with a two-day intensive masterclass on innovative modes of writing and photography of Queensland places, held on July 19-20, 2010. A separate call for participants will be released for the masterclass.


Abstract proposals of no more than 300 words, accompanied by a short biography, should be emailed as a Word document to by 16 April. Authors should specify which of the following types of contribution they wish to make:

1)     a 1000 word original piece of critical / creative writing about a building or place, in Queensland or elsewhere, possibly accompanied by images, to be presented at the conference in a 15 minute session

2)     a 3000 word scholarly paper to be presented in a 20 minute session followed by discussion

Abstracts will be peer-reviewed by members of the conference committee. Accepted abstracts will be notified by the end of April. A selection will be made from papers presented at the conference, for inclusion in an edited book to be published by the IMA in 2011. The conference is presented by the ATCH (Architecture Theory Criticism History) Research Centre at the University of Queensland, with financial support from the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland.