RESTAURANT and OFFICE
History of Human Spaces series
Praeger Publishing, an academic publisher, based in Santa Barbara, California (praeger.com<http://praeger.com/>) is seeking authors for two titles in our History of Human Spaces series. This series explores the history of spaces, both public and private, and the objects typically associated with those spaces. Each 70-80,000 word volume will utilize those objects and spaces to reflect on larger social, economic, and cultural themes. Each volume will focus on North America from colonial times to the present-day, but will include an introductory chapter tracing the history of the space from the beginnings of Western (or, in some cases, world) history. The series will start with eight titles: bedroom, bathroom, kitchen (private); office, school, factory, bar/tavern, and restaurant. Six titles have thus far been assigned. We are looking for authors for the RESTAURANT and OFFICE titles.
We are seeking academics in the fields of material culture, social history, and related fields. Interested parties should contact acquisitions editor James Ciment at email@example.com<mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org>. Please attach a CV.
Thresholds 46: SCATTER!
Editors: Anne Graziano and Eliyahu Keller
From treatises to TED talks; postcards to propaganda; etchings to drawings, films, and blogs, architecture moves in diverse and curious ways. It is these currencies, which give architecture its agency, its authority and life. And yet, despite the varied modes of its circulation, the majority of architecture’s discursive knowledge reaches only a familiar audience. While contemporary means of information production and dispersal continue to exponentially grow and quicken, the circle of professional and discursive associations remains confined. Circulation, distribution, and access to knowledge are not exclusive matters of the discipline. Rather they extend past architectural limits to catalyze inquiries into hidden geographies and infrastructure, restricted access, and equity.
The history of architecture has consistently seen innovation and subversion expand not only architectural theory and practice, but also the ways in which ideas are dispersed beyond established systems of circulation. With the understanding that architecture indeed moves within ever-changing boundaries, Thresholds 46 looks to investigate, expand and imagine the histories, futures, means and methods by which architecture gets around.
If half a century ago the medium was the message, now, after dozens of new mediums have expanded the manner of conversation, we wish to ask: is the equation still so simple? Was and is the message exclusively a product of its medium? What are the architectural histories that can inform future inventions of dispersal and distribution? And how have architects, designers, artists, and scholars employed medium with message to interrogate fields of conversation and suggest new and provocative platforms for the discussion of ideas?
We wish to look at the history of architectural dissemination, while holding our gaze to a swift, saturated and scattered connectivity. Asking, what modes of circulation were employed in various periods of history to elevate and publicize an architecture? How was architecture distributed by actors and vehicles that are both foreign to its discourse or an essential part of it? What is the power of non-architectural documents such as cartographies, letters, stamps or money in the distribution of architectural knowledge? And what can we learn from accidents in which architectural knowledge broke loose from its constraints, reaching unimagined publics and scattering to unintended realms?
Aiming to examine the scholarship, discourse and possibilities of publication, Thresholds 46 invites submissions of scholarly articles, creative contributions, and interdisciplinary investigations from art, architecture and related fields. Topics can range from explorations of classical treatises, through architectural representations on money or postage and inquiries into divergent or accidental practices of dissemination such as agitation-vehicles, kiosks or comic books. Furthermore, Thresholds 46 seeks an array of scattered content, welcoming innovative approaches and projects, in which architectural knowledge is to be shared and accessed. Videos, online platforms, interactive maps, posters, and postcards, augmented and virtual spaces and more – Thresholds 46 will provide a medium that welcomes content liberated from the historical format of the journal.
Submission Deadline: May 1, 2017
Essay submissions should be in English, approx. 3,000 words, and formatted in accordance with the Chicago Manual of Style. Submission should include a brief cover letter, contact information and bio of under 50 words for each author. Text should be submitted in MS Word. Images should be submitted at 72 dpi as uncompressed TIFF files. Other creative proposals are not limited in size or medium and will be considered to be included both in the journal as well as in the multiplicity of adjacent platforms.
Troubling Histories: Public Art and Prejudice
15 - 18 November 2017
This is a call for papers, a selection of which will be identified for further development into 5000-word articles for a themed issue of De Arte, a Taylor & Francis journal published with the University of South Africa. The conference will take place at the offices of the Research Chair of South African Art and Visual Culture at the University of Johannesburg between the evening of 15 November and lunchtime on the 18 November 2017.
The keynote address will be by well-known scholar of public art, Prof Erika Doss from the Department of American Studies at the University of Notre Dame, whose publications include Spirit Poles and Flying Pigs: Public Art and Cultural Democracy in American Communities (1995), The Emotional Life of Contemporary Public Memorials: Towards a Theory of Temporary Memorials (2008), and Memorial Mania: Public Feeling in America (2010).
In March 2015, a small-scale protest against Marion Walgate’s sculpture of Cecil John Rhodes at the University of Cape Town developed into the “Rhodes Must Fall” movement and culminated in the work’s removal from campus a month later. The protest had widespread impact. Raising questions about not only Rhodes’ representation in the public domain but also those of other individuals associated with values and ideologies that have fallen from favour who are commemorated in South Africa, it had the additional impact of reigniting a long-standing international concern: whether focused on sculptures of Lost Cause heroes in the United States, European monuments commemorating individuals revealed to have been Nazi sympathisers or Australian monuments memorialising events associated with the suppression of aboriginal peoples, for example, art historians and other citizens concerned about visual discourse in the public domain have long-since debated what steps, if any, should be taken to negotiate ‘problematical’ public art inheritances.
The contention around the representation of Cecil Rhodes also highlighted longstanding concerns about how art in the public domain has tended to recognise some histories and experiences while marginalising others. Unsurprisingly, endeavours to negotiate prejudicial art from the past has been simultaneous with endeavours to create new monuments and memorials which recognise the victims of oppression and atrocities. Some of these new public works have been successful, and the reasons for their success are worth exploring. Others, however, have proved controversial. Raising debate about not only about who or what is commemorated but also sometimes the designs deployed for such commemorations, some have additionally involved contention about the locales in which these works are placed, consultations that may or may not have taken place in the process of developing them, as well as a host of other issues.
Assist a Philadelphia architect/author in completing research and writing for a book that traces the evolution of the geometry in the built environment from ancient Egypt to the present. The focus of the book is a particular geometric motif in 20th century architecture. Developments in the world of art are also involved. Must have excellent computer skills, analytic skills, and use of a MAC laptop.
With more than 7.8 million preserved specimens, the William and Lynda Steere Herbarium is the largest herbarium in the Western Hemisphere. This special exhibition in the Ross Gallery celebrates the Steere Herbarium as the centerpiece of the Garden’s botanical research program, and a priceless resource for scholars from around the world. Through this exhibition, learn some of the many ways that Garden scientists are working to study and save the plants of the world.
This issue of Footprint aims to explore the discussions that currently gravitate around the question of architectural form, by inviting architects to reflect on the latest developments in the field of formal studies within architectural and urban theory, design, research, and pedagogy.
Footprint 22 aims to collect a comprehensive set of state-of-the-art approaches to the question of architectural and urban form, and thus provide an updated examination of formal, morphological and typological investigations.
As editors, we welcome a broad spectrum of interpretations, ranging from theoretical and practical applications of form-based analyses, to epistemological and pedagogical implementations of these formal analyses in diverse contexts.
Aware of the weight that form-centred theories have had in postmodern architectural research, and in order to establish a historical landmark for this edition, the emergence of neo-rationalism in the early 1960s will serve as a point of departure. However, we deem this a landmark that is meant to be superseded.
The neo-rationalist aim to overcome the shortcomings of modernist functionalism by contesting the idea that a building’s form resulted from its use, certainly marked a shift within architectural theory, and favoured the emergence of a strain of architectural thinking that currently offers multiple and contradictory approaches to the way architectural form is generated, understood, and communicated. Beyond their neo-rationalist predecessors, architects and authors like Peter Eisenman, Fumihiko Maki, Nicolas Bourriaud, Carlos Martí Arís and Antonio Armesto, Mario Carpo, Pier Vittorio Aureli, and Sanford Kwinter, have more recently reclaimed important parts of the form-centred architectural discourse, with diverse intentions, and from different vantage points. Furthermore, multiple lines of inquiry which depart from the question of architectural form, still orient the production of knowledge in universities and institutes throughout the world, far beyond Western Europe, where neo-rationalism originated and thrived.
Designers, scholars, researchers and teachers throughout the globe have found in the definition of a formal basis of architecture a valuable practical and intellectual tool, while morpho-typological approaches are still broadly used in architectural education. Within such a diversified field of studies, form-centred approaches to architecture have been severely criticised, especially for their reductive consideration of matter, with many contemporary theorists asking for a formal theory which resists taxonomies.
With these antecedents in mind, we wish to examine architectural form today, from a threefold perspective. First, we would like to study the way in which form is produced, dealt with, or confronted by contemporary designers. Secondly, we would like to know how architects examine and study form in discursive (i.e communicative, theoretical, historiographical, but also representational) terms. Finally, we would like to evaluate the way in which innovative formal analyses affect architectural form at all scales within the built environment.
Footprint 22 will follow a tripartite trajectory, advancing an understanding of formal studies which transverses ontological, epistemological and onto-epistemological perspectives. These perspectives directly correspond to the notions of morphogenesis, formalism and in-formation.
Following this sequence, from an ontological perspective, morphogenetic studies deal with the processes in which matter actively co-produces its various formal expressions. Synchronously, formal discourse and morpho-typological studies function as an analytical tool for the examination of these processes. Both morphogenetic explorations and formalist approaches, while imperative for any formal study, do not suffice unless complemented with their intensive in-between: in-formation, or the way in which formal discourses and their outcomes influence form itself, and vice versa.
We trust that by interrelating these three approaches, we can contribute to contemporary formal explorations by substituting an object-based approach with one that examines the reciprocity of formal emergence. Emulating Joseph Kosuth’s well-known triptychs, we aim to situate the question of architectural form in our time between a series of interpretations that transcend a supposed autonomy as well as a univocal cultural or epistemological origin.
With these objectives in mind, we encourage various types of contributions. We welcome contributions consisting of full scientific articles that examine formal studies in pedagogy and research, critical reflections on the question of form in contemporary architecture, and theoretical and historiographical approaches that assess the formal discourse of architecture. In addition, we are expecting graphic and/or textually reasoned analyses of projects and buildings which suggest innovations in architectural form. Finally, we invite contributions in the form of review articles that critically reassess key literature related to this topic.
Footprint #22 will be published in Spring 2018.
Authors of full articles (6000-8000 words) are requested to submit their contributions to the editors before 1 May, 2017. Full articles will go through a double blind peer-review process. Review articles (2000–4000 words) and reasoned analyses (2000 words, 2 – 5 images) will be selected by the editors on the basis of a short summary (maximum 500 words) which must also be submitted before 1 May, 2017. All authors should include a short bio (300 words) with their submissions. We ask authors to refer to Footprint Author Guidelines, available at footprint.tudelt.nl.
For submissions and inquiries, please contact editors Stavros Kousoulas and Jorge Mejía Hernández at email@example.com.
Paris, May 9 - 26, 2017
Deadline: Feb 19, 2017
Call for Applications
“Paris – Capital of Modernity”: Spring Seminar in Paris for Chinese Scholars
The German Center for Art History in Paris welcomes applications from junior scholars and doctoral students from Greater China for a spring seminar titled “Paris – Capital of Modernity,” which will focus on French 19th- and 20th-century art. The seminar will take place from May 9th to May 26th, 2017 in Paris at the German Center for Art History and at several museums and research institutes in the French capital.
Participants will receive funding for transportation, lodging, and meals.
Scholars interested in participating are invited to attend a two-day introduction to the program on March 23th and 24th, 2017, in Beijing, China. Limited funding is available for prospective participants who attend the Beijing meeting. Attendance at the introductory meeting in Beijing is not required for admission into the seminar, but is strongly encouraged.
The seminar is possible thanks to generous support from the Getty Foundation through its Connecting Art Histories initiative.
Paris – Capital of Modernity
Paris serves as an outstanding example of Western modernism, since the city met the challenges that came with industrialization and developed a new infrastructure. The seminar’s temporal scope will be defined by the first and last world’s fairs in Paris: 1855 and 1937. The 1855 world’s fair marked the beginning of a new era, which dedicated itself to modernity; the exhibition of 1937—with, among other aspects, the strengthening of totalitarian systems on the eve of World War II and its decidedly anti-modern self-representation—marks its end.
With the electrification of the city and the construction of the metro system, Paris created the infrastructure of a smoothly running modern metropolis. Modern Art flourished in Paris, and the influence of the avant-garde can still be seen today in the neighborhoods of Montmartre and Montparnasse as well as in the city’s many museums devoted to modernism. Along with visits to Montmartre and Montparnasse, the seminar will include special visits to such museums as the Petit Palais, the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, the national Musée d’Orsay, and the Musée National d’Art Moderne in the Centre Georges Pompidou. These trips will be guided by specialist scholars and curators.
The academic content of the program will be presented through lectures and discussions held at the German Center for Art History and through the aforementioned visits to museums, where original works of art will be examined and discussed. Additional site visits will include guided walks through Paris designed to help to contextualize modernity within the city itself.
The seminar’s co-directors are Thomas Kirchner (Director of the German Center for Art History in Paris) and Godehard Janzing (Deputy Director of the German Center for Art History in Paris). Lecturers include Hollis Clayson (Northwestern University) and Jean-Louis Cohen (New York University).
The seminar aims to facilitate dialogue between participants, lecturers, museum curators and members of the German Center for Art History in Paris and to enrich and strengthen study of French Art in China.
To be eligible, candidates must:
1. be citizens of Greater China (Mainland, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and
Macau), and have a passport from one of these areas. Scholars who are currently residing outside of Greater China are also eligible and are encouraged to apply.
2. teach or study Western art or culture. Preference will be given
to art historians, architectural historians and historians of applied art, but scholars and students of other fields are welcome to apply.
3. be able to follow a lecture and participate in class discussions
in English, the languages used in all lectures and discussions.
Shortlisted applicants will be interviewed via Skype.
4. be enrolled in a PhD program, or have completed a PhD over the
last five years
a. students must have already completed their Master’s degree.
b. recent graduates must have a PhD certificate that bears a date
after January 1st, 2012.
The application deadline is February 19th, 2017.
- Applications, in English, must include the following documents:
o a letter of interest explaining why participation in the seminar
will advance your scholarly career (1 page)
o a curriculum vita
o one letter of reference
- Applicants seeking funding for the Beijing introductory meeting
should include an additional letter indicating their anticipated transportation, accommodation, and meals costs.
Please submit all documents as one PDF file via e-mail by no later than February 19th, 2017 to:
Further information about the Beijing meeting, including financial awards, will be sent to applicants by March 1, 2017. Applicants selected to participate in the Paris seminar will be notified by April 1.
For further information, please visit:
Thomas Jefferson's Poplar Forest announces its annual field school for architectural history and architectural restoration
Picturing Riverside is a permanent exhibition about the many facets of a living landmark community.
A nonresidential on site course studying the development of the London house form the Renaissance to the present. Visits to private houses, artists' studios, modern and contemporary houses. Lecturers include David Adshead, Neil Burton, Caroline Dakers, Sarah Nichols, Andrew Saint, and Gavin Stamp.
Application deadline 12 April 2017
Turtuk is located 175 kms west of
Leh. The small village is recently
opened for tourism and hence
is growing in a fast pace. The
inhabitants of the village are Balti
people, the Muslim equivelent of
Sherpas, the expert mountain
The village is one of the last
remaining Balti village in India, as
their sister villages went to other
side of the border in Pakistan,
dividing famalies, homes and
The thick border of Inda & Pakistan
has scattered the lives of Balti
The project is a continuation of
Unlock Hundarman project initiated
by Roots Collective in 2015. Unlock
Hundarman is a project where we
are documenting lives of people
living in border settlements and
presenting their stories to the
The bustling village has an old
historic settlement and a mosque
(recently restored). The houses in
the village are made of stone and
timber and their system of water
distribution is outstanding. Out of
many craft practises in the village,
the remarkable ones are utensils
made of stone and many other daily
usage items made of bones and
horns of ibex.
BOTTEGA: ecology of design practice
Theme Editor: Albena Yaneva
"If we are to offer a sound advice about how architectural practice ought to function, we must know more about how it functions now" (Cuff 1992: 6)
Until the 1970s architectural researchers have focused all their attention on the professional products - buildings and places. The process of design was considered as insignificant; it started receiving empirical attention rather late. The first studies that bear witness for architectural processes date from the 1980s. Two works are paradigmatic in this respect: Donald Sch?n's work on educational practice (Sch?n 1987) and Dana Cuff's work on professional architectural practice (Cuff 1992). While Sch?n argued that reflection-in-action stands against the systematic, scientific, linear way of knowing basing his observations on studio-situated ethnography of professional schools, Cuff's ethnography dug deeply into the significance of the daily professional lives of architects and offered a better understanding of architectural practice.
In the last fifteen years we witnessed a new ethnographic wave of studies that focused on practising architecture (Jacobs and Merriman 2011). Inspired by pragmatism and Science and Technology Studies (STS), this body of research aimed at grasping the socio-material dimension of architectural practice (Callon 1996). They all relied on the assumption that architecture is collective but it is shared with a variety of non-humans. It is not a social construction, like Diana Cuff assumed, but rather a composition of many heterogeneous elements, an assemblage. These "new ethnographies" followed the principles of no hierarchy, attention to the detail, symmetry: attention to what happens between humans and nonhumans; undivided attention to words and the gestural and non-verbal language. Paying specific attention to the texture of ordinary life of deisgners, they generated "thick descriptions" of the knowledge practices of different participants in design published as monographs of ar!
chitectural practices (Houdart 2009, Loukisass 2012, Yaneva 2009). This recent trend could be also termed as "ethnographic turn in architecture" as it is the outcome of several related processes: the emergence of a reflexivity trend among architectural professionals as a key epistemological feature of architectural studies, the growing realisation of architecture as a social practice and the social nature of outcomes of architectural production, the tendency to acknowledge the collective nature of design.
As a methodological innovation, the reintroduction of the ethnographic methods into architecture twenty years after the pioneering work of Dana Cuff does hold remarkable potential to investigate new questions. This new development can contribute to dislodge the certainty of traditional architectural knowledge, the belief placed in the absolute authority of the historical archives and its simplifications by its practitioners reducing, even naturalising architectural research to the production of critical discourse about practices, yet taking it far from the nitty-gritty realities of design making.
This special issue of Ardeth invites contributions that will address the ecology of contemporary architectural practice. "Ecology of practice" (Stengers 2010) is a politically sensitive concept used to capture and understand contemporary design practice. We invite contributions that will:
* scrutinize architectural practice as complex ecology involving actors with variable ontology, scale and politics
* reflect theoretically and analytically on the concept of 'practice' and trace how practice has been tackled from different perspectives: from the 'Story of Practice' of Cuff and Blau's 'Architects and Firms', to recent studies of architectural and engineering practices based on multi-sited ethnographies (OMA, Foster, FOA/AZPA, Kuma, Arup, etc.)
* explore empirically different formats of design (modeling, presenting, competing, exhibiting, etc.) reflecting meticulously on their specific epistemologies and their role for the 'reflective practice' of architectural design
* reflect on the importance of ethnography for understanding contemporary architectural practices; what is the nature, the epistemological underpinnings, the potential pitfalls, and the political dimensions and challenges of architectural ethnography?
This is a call for contributions to a journal on architectural representation titled Abaton, published by the Complutense University Editions.
October 5 & 6, 2017
Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library
The Conference on Illinois History is accepting paper or panel proposals on any aspect of Illinois’s history, culture, politics, geography, or archaeology. The Conference especially welcomes submissions exploring the upcoming bicentennial of statehood. We encourage submissions from professional and avocational historians, graduate students, and those engaged in the study of Illinois history at libraries, historic sites, museums, and historical societies.
Proposals are also being accepted for teacher workshops. If you are a teacher who has created an innovative, comprehensive, or timely curriculum on an aspect of Illinois’s history, culture, politics, geography, or archaeology, please share your expertise with other teachers at the conference.
The deadline for proposals is May 1, 2017.
The European Architectural History Network (EAHN) is pleased to announce the EAHN’s third thematic conference Urban Histories in Conflict, to be held at the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute on June 13-15 2017. On the 50-year anniversary of the Israeli occupation of East Jerusalem and the contentious unification it legislated, the conference aims to open up questions about the purpose of writing histories of urban conflicts. We ask how historians can account for the predicaments of violence and uneven distributions of power in the built environment, particularly in the face of current worldwide geo-political crises.
At the heart of the conference will be the question of how eruptions of strife shape architectural and urban histories; and reciprocally, how larger architectural and planning processes, along with the histories that register their impact, intervene in the predicament of conflict. The aim of the conference is to bring together different responses to this predicament from both regional architectural and urban historians and worldwide members of the EAHN.
We interrogate the inextricable ties between the history of cities and urban conflict through several complimentary questions. First, we examine how situations of socio-political conflict affect research. How does the temporality of spatial conditions stirred by conflict influence concepts of history, heritage, preservation and urban renewal? Bitter national, ethnic or class conflicts often inspire dichotomized readings of history, or conversely, generate pleas for “symmetry” or “moderation” that put the rigors of research at risk. What are the implications for architectural praxis (historiography, design, and their critical extensions) in either case?
A second set of questions focuses on the architect/ historian/preservationist operating from a particular “side” of conflict, facing palpable restrictions in the form of inaccessible national, physical and moral boundaries that may put them at physical risk, or might raise questions of legitimacy, even as they may strive for scholarly rigor. Can one set claims on a “legitimate” practice from any particular perspective? Reciprocally, should architectural/urban history actively assume a civic responsibility towards conflict? How does the disparity of power affect historical analysis? And how does it affect practice, and the meaning of urban citizenship? Can history become a platform of negotiation regarding urban justice and democracy? Moreover, conflict has lingering effects. How does conflict inspire the post-traumatic histories of places such as Mostar, Famagusta and Dublin? How do these accounts intervene in current realities, such as the one we encountered in embattled Jerusalem?
Situations of conflict often compel interventions that put into question disciplinary autonomies and make the issue of agency particularly pertinent. We therefore wish to explore the seam between the historian and the activist, because this is where architecture/history/heritage are negotiated, contested and pulled apart by different forces. On the one hand are scholars, and on the other hand are the state/ the market/ human rights activists—yet all of them claim a stake in the “public good”. Who is posing the rules of the game, according to which the historian as activist works? The study of this tension necessitates disciplinary exchanges between historiography and political theory, which we aim to address in this conference.
1. The “positioning” vs. the “autonomy” of the historian
2. Agency and the seam between historiography and activism
3. The collapse of former geo-political boundaries between North/ West/ center/
metropole and South/ East/ periphery/ colonies within European cities; alternative conceptualizations of the cross-cultural, beyond the modes of area studies
4. Urban conflict resulting from labor migration and the refugee crisis
5. Preservation of conflictual sites, their impact and interpretation of the “public
6. The persistence of conflict schemas within historiographic/ design practices
that engage with the prospect of consensual peace or halted violence
7. Strategies for advancing research on (and funding for) histories in conflict so that history/historiography can impact the realm of praxis around issues of conflict
We welcome papers that consider urban conflict and urge investigation into its related aspects of change and heterogeneity. Papers should be based on well-documented research that is primarily analytical and interpretative rather than descriptive in nature. Abstracts of 500 words and all queries should be addressed to conference chairs and the organizing committee: Alona Nitzan-Shiftan, Faculty of Architecture and Town Planning, Technion, Technion City, Haifa 32000, ISRAEL; Tel: (+972) 4-8294048, Fax: (+972) 4-8294617, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Panayiota Pyla, University of Cyprus, Department of Architecture, PO Box 20537, 1678 Nicosia, CYPRUS; Tel: (+357) 22892963, Fax: (+357) 22895330, Email: email@example.com.
Abstract submission: January 3, 2017
Abstract selection and notification of speakers: January 13, 2017
Full papers due: May 1, 2017
Conference: June 13-15, 2017
Alona Nitzan-Shiftan, Technion
Panayiota Pyla, University of Cyprus
Hilde Heynen, Catholic University Lueven
Mark Crinson, Birkbeck, University of London
Sibel Bozdogan, GSD Harvard and Kadir Has University Istanbul
Daniel B. Monk, Colgate University
Tawfiq Da’adli, The Hebrew University
Haim Yacobi, Ben Gurion University
Alona Nitzan-Shiftan, Technion
Panayiota Pyla, University of Cyprus
Fatina Abreek-Zubiedat, Technion
Petros Phokaides, National Technical University of Athens
Yoni Mendel, Van Leer Institute Jerusalem
Els Verbakel, Bezalel Academy of Arts
The 2017 VAF Conference will be held in Salt Lake City, Utah. The focus of the conference is on the Great Basin and how the vast interior of the western United States was transformed beginning in the nineteenth century into one of the world’s most distinctive regional landscapes.
Our goal, reflected in the Two Utahs conference title, is to highlight the central role the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, more widely known as the Mormon Church, played in this place-making process, while at the same time acknowledging the significant contributions of non-Mormon groups as well. Rather than framing the narrative within a simple Mormon/non-Mormon opposition, however, we have chosen to break the story down into a more fundamental dialogue with religious and secular forces: both Mormons and non-Mormons had to find ways of making a living and they did this by utilizing and exploiting the ample natural resources of the region.
The real duality here may be between idealism (religious utopia, Edenic nature, sustainable development) and pragmatism (individual enterprise, outdoor recreation, economic growth). Conference tours have been designed to introduce attendees to the intricacies of the region’s built environment, and to raise questions about how landscapes are constructed, maintained, contested, and changed.
The 2017 VAF Conference in Salt Lake City features two days of architectural tours.
Public places – our streets, plazas, squares, and green spaces – belong to ALL of us! They are our democratically shared common wealth - the most important aspect of every city. How we treat the public realm demonstrates how we value our fellow citizens, our democratic principles, and our community.
If we treasure our plazas and main squares as beautiful places for community festivals and celebrations, we are embracing our unity and the power of our shared identity as a city.
If we hold a daily farmers market on a square next to city hall, government representatives can demonstrate they value democratic dialogue, and civic engagement flourishes.
If we create lively, hospitable neighborhood plazas, we exhibit our faith in the benefits of social life and community, and the opportunity to raise our children within a village of sustained adult relationships.
If we make our streets safe for walking and biking, and provide good public transit, we show that we recognize that health is important, and that we care for our children and elders as much as for those in cars. If we make our streets beautiful, hospitable, and lively with active street facades, we encourage strolling, lingering at outdoor cafes, and the sociable interaction that can follow.
Public places are the essential key to a livable city. Join us in Santa Fe to share your achievements and learn from others how we can take back our streets and squares - and in the process, strengthen community, civic engagement, health, and equity.
See you in beautiful Santa Fe - “The City Different”!
The Study of Buildings, Landscapes, and Places