Recent Opportunities


Call for Chapters for an Edited Book - Campus Design as Urban Regenerator

Call for chapters for an edited book

Deadline: June 5, 2017

Campus design as urban regenerator

Contemporary studies on the city reflect the impossibility of reading it as a consistent and complete system and privilege analysis that define individual parts or partial sequences. In this way it assumes significant importance the relationship that is created between the individual elements and the reciprocal actions triggered between them.

In this configuration, those parts of the city with recognized institutional vocation, such as judicial districts, hospitals, universities, have an important role.

As part of a research and design work on some buildings and public spaces of the University of Cagliari, we aim at editing and publishing a book that gathers several peculiar and remarkable cases on Campus planning and Campus building design issue. The subject of our discussion is the idea of Campus as an integrated part of the city and as a regenerator of its parts, with specific reference to its historic and consolidated nucleus.

In this perspective, architecture can return to play again a decisive role through design tools; in the process of developing new resources and adapting the existing one to current needs, it may constitute the element able of reorganizing the various practical requirements, economic and social, and of redefining and making identifiable the university figure as an institution in the contemporary city landscape.

Subjects of specific interest include: 

a.   Campus Design as enclosed part of the existing city

 There is an idea of Campus as a separate enclave and as utopian exercise and reduced scale urban configuration. In addition to this idea, however, there is also a deep-rooted tradition: that one represented by Campus that arise within existing city and that are an organic part of them, and establish improvement and redefinition of their internal relations. We are especially interested in this second variant form: cases like Cambridge, England, or Karlsruhe and Harvard, are emblematic examples that are articulated and developed through different ages, coming up to our contemporaneity. Even the MIT campus or IIT establish with the cities that host them an active and progressive relationship of interaction reflecting with the global design of the city around them. In these cases, the planning of the campus and the conception of its elements do not occur only in the sense of an ideal figure and a complete freedom on a natural scenery: the institution's figure instead coexists w!
 ith a dense and articulated context, which creates a dense dialogue, acts as an interpreter, and which consolidates and orients it in an organic way towards new developments.

In the research on university campuses, we are especially interested in the idea of continuity and density of mutual relationships. We're interested in those cases of campuses and university buildings intended as recovery and improvement of existing buildings and city parts, that may be interpreted as component embedded in an existing and yet characterized urban landscape. Those cases where the university facilities and its spaces are not seen as separate, but as organic and functional to the city life which they belong.

b.    Variant form and reinvention of the nature figure in the draft urban campus

In architectural history of university campus, the image of nature has a central role: Jefferson archetype is embodied in the figure of the lawn, a green space uncluttered by buildings, but measured: a vacuum that reorganizes around itself the image of the architecture and of the institution that establishes. This relationship persists and can even be fully expressed in an urban environment where the image of nature it is not anymore idealized and understood as pure, unconditioned, but it becomes a connecting element and articulation between different places, defining new urban sequences, articulating the rhythms between its parts, sometimes as distension, sometimes as intensification. In some cases, the Campus is the part that mediates the passage between the built city and the countryside and, in these cases, the natural element figure is determined precisely by this particular pivotal role and filter. In recent times some university buildings bring in the foreground the n!
 atural image and the archetype of the lawn and are designed as hypogeous, leaving large areas to green. Examples are the General Library of Delft by Mecanoo or the recent Ewha Womans University in Seoul designed by Dominique Perrault.

We are interested in the discussion of campus projects and university buildings that interpret with originality and effectiveness the figure of nature in urban environments. We are also interested in the design of parks and gardens created inside or in continuity with Campus who have an important role in the city and in the organization of its routes.


Type and Format of contributions

This call for book chapters is specifically aimed at attracting contributions in form of research paper covering case studies of contemporary campus design. The book will properly associate theoretical and critical essays to shorter texts consisting of brief critical texts or dialogues with prominent campus designers.

The volume will have a length of about 300pp and it will contain six extensive theoretical essays, six dialogues, and six short critical texts. The book is scheduled to be published by LetteraVentidue publisher.


 We aim at collecting:

1. critical essays describing projects and trends in the creation of contemporary Campus, in different places of the world and in a time frame that privileges contemporaneity and that is also open to all experiences of modern architecture. It is accepted as well the critical analysis of remarkable or less known historical cases that can be interpreted as paradigms for contemporary design. Essays must have a length of approximately 3.000 words and will be accompanied by a maximum of 5 images clear from publishing rights.

 2. dialogues with prominent designers about their plans for campus and university buildings. Dialogues will have a length of about 1.800 words and will be accompanied by a maximum of 5 pictures clear from publishing rights.

 3. short critical essays, devoted to case studies. The case studies may be projects or critical texts. Short critical texts will have a length of about 900 words and will be accompanied by a maximum of two images clear from publishing rights.

Contributions must be written in English, formatted in accordance with the Chicago Manual of Style and must be forwarded, in the form of a single PDF document, to:


 Important dates:

June 5, 2017: full paper submission

June 15, 2017: notification of acceptance

June 30, 2017: revised papers submission


Inquiries and submissions can be forwarded to:

Prof. Marco Lecis

Department DICAAR

University of Cagliari


Organizing and scientific committee

Prof. Pier Francesco Cherchi, Prof. Marco Lecis

Department DICAAR

University of Cagliari (Italy)


SAH thanks The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Fund at The Chicago Community Foundation for its operating support.
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