SAH 2022 Annual International Conference

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
April 27–May 1

Pittsburgh Aerial credit Dave Dicello

Virtual Roundtables

The Society of Architectural Historians presented virtual roundtables throughout May as part of its 2022 Annual International Conference. All roundtables were free and open to the public. The programs have been recorded and videos are available below and in the SAH video library.

Tue, May 10 – Conserving Built Space through the Senses
Thu, May 12 – Our North is the South: Teaching and Learning from the South
Tue, May 17 – Rebuilding Community in Architectural History
Wed, May 18 – SAH David B. Brownlee Dissertation Award Roundtable
Thu, May 19 – Urban Design at 65
Tue, May 24 – SAH Preservation Roundtable
Wed, May 25 – A Conversation with Sekler Talk Speaker Itohan Osayimwese

NEH seal

The SAH 2022 virtual roundtables are made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Democracy demands wisdom.


Tuesday, May 10, 2022
12:00–1:30 pm CST

Conserving Built Space through the Senses

Chat Transcript

Interest in architecture’s sensory dimension has resurged in recent years, assisted in part by cross-disciplinary insights from fields as diverse as behavioral science, disability studies, technical acoustics, and sensory studies. Recent explorations have unavoidably taken varied forms; the focus may be on the historic importance of individual senses in design; equally, work may be driven by advances in critical, affective, and post-human heritages that foreground non-ocular senses in defining the borders of historic places. Such innovative perspectives have led to a growing field of sensory inquiry in the built environment with a dispersed collection of investigatory methods. As a result, more avenues are widening for identifying undervalued forms of historic communication, everyday forms of place-making, and carriers of meaning in ancient and historical places that are not visibly accessible in physical remains—the implications for historic spaces are vast.

One of the most important challenges facing those who approach historic architecture through sensory experience is identifying practical relevance for conservation questions. How can a focus on the senses, particularly in a subject-oriented framing of a site, offer new paths in preservation, restoration, reconstruction, and interpretation of historic built environments? The roundtable will tackle this seldom addressed perspective, serving as both as an introduction to the topic in its current theoretical contours as well as offering a discussion on practical applications in heritage and archaeological investigations. The discussion will bring together researchers and practitioners that approach architectural heritage conservation through (multi)sensory approaches, who will share their approach via two key questions: "How were the senses relevant to the experience of the past?", and "How can the sensory experience of a space today reflect and interpret the realities of the past?" The overarching purpose is to explore the practical and theoretical extents of what conservation of sensory experience means in historic spaces.

  • Pamela Jordan, RA, University of Amsterdam, NL (moderator)
  • Sara Mura, University of Amsterdam, NL (moderator)
  • Dr. Emma-Jayne Graham, The Open University, UK
  • Dr. Sabine von Fischer, Freelance Author
  • Dr. Ryan Lash, University College Dublin, IE
  • Dr. Anthony Brand, The University of Auckland, NZ
Thursday, May 12, 2022
12:00–1:30 pm CST


Our North is the South: Teaching and Learning from the South

Chat Transcript

“Our North is the South” is a group of architecture historians working from and about Latin America who have met in person and virtually since 2018. In these meetings we have discussed the challenges and opportunities of teaching the history of architecture from Latin America. The history of architecture in the region presents particular opportunities and challenges for a global, interconnected approach. From the first inhabitants of the Americas to the contemporary challenges of historicizing their architectural remains, we propose the architecture of Latin America has always been global, but historicizing its transnational character has been limited by nationalist ideologies, extended periods of political isolation, and lack of resources.
We decided to address these challenges as a joint effort by producing five lectures that think about global exchanges and networks from the point of view of Latin America. Our roundtable participants will present and reflect on this work, which includes the role of extraction in the production of the built environment, the education of the architect, the role of inequality in architectural education, case studies on gender and migration, and the specifics of memory and historic preservation in the Latin American context.

Together, this roundtable will discuss: What can Latin America contribute to a more global understanding of the processes of our discipline, and what is the contribution of teaching and learning the history of architecture from the South as both a geographic and conceptual position?

  • Silvia Arroyo, Universidad de Panamá
  • Macarena Cortés, Universidad Católica de Chile
  • Ana María León, University of Michigan
  • Fabiola López Durán, Rice University
  • Fernando Luis Martínez Nespral, Universidad de Buenos Aires
  • Amarí Peliowski, Universidad de Chile
Tuesday, May 17, 2022
12:00–1:30 pm CST

Rebuilding Community in Architectural History

Chat Transcript 

One might say that the COVID-19 pandemic has severed academic communities, in particular those that required travel and one-on-one contact, like our annual SAH conference. If severed seems too harsh, we might at least agree that the nature of academic networking and collaboration has changed significantly. More online meetings means greater accessibility and representation, but it also means that as individuals we remain isolated. The purpose of this roundtable is twofold: we want to hear from those who have built intellectual, labor, academic, political and social communities in our field—from the Architectural Lobby, Epidemic Urbanism, Aggregate, to SAH Affiliate Groups and Platform. At the same time, we would like to take advantage of the format of the roundtable to discuss with attendees and panelists how we can model inclusive communities and platforms for collaboration in the future. We firmly believe that thoughtful, empathic, and inclusive scholarship requires more than brilliant individuals. It needs debate, collaboration, critique, and support from others to flourish. This roundtable is meant to create a space to discuss exactly that, the agency of collectivity and collaboration in architectural history. We particularly welcome emergent professionals, graduate students, and individuals seeking to think, build, and debate with others.

  • Valentina Rozas-Krause, University of Michigan (moderator)
  • Eliana Abu-Hamdie Murchie, MIT (moderator)
  • Marianela D'Aprile, The New York Review of Architecture/Architecture Lobby
  • Caitlin DeClercq, Columbia University/Epidemic Urbanism
  • Mohammad Gharipour, Morgan State University/Epidemic Urbanism
  • Harriet Harriss, Pratt Institute/Feminism and Arch
  • Zeynep Kezer, Newcastle University, UK/Platform
  • Matthew Lasner, Hunter College, CUNY/Platform
Wednesday, May 18, 2022
10:00–11:30 am CST

SAH David B. Brownlee Dissertation Award Roundtable

Chat Transcript

In conjunction with the SAH David B. Brownlee Dissertation Award Committee and the SAH Graduate Student Advisory Committee (GSAC), this roundtable will include members of the GSAC, award winner Will Davis, and will be moderated by Jason Nguyen, Assistant Professor, University of Toronto. Davis won the award for his dissertation, "Palm Politics: Warfare, Folklore, Architecture." In recognition of Professor Brownlee's wide-ranging interests, the conversation will provide a forum to discuss Professor Brownlee's legacy, the context of the SAH dissertation award, and celebrate the award winner and their exceptional work. Attendees will gain insight into the background of the prize, the legacy of Prof. Brownlee, insight into current dissertation work from the award winner, and audience member's contributions to the discussion. Overall, the roundtable provides a place to discuss the changing nature of architecture history dissertations at this moment in time.


Thursday, May 19, 2022
12:00–1:30 pm CST


Urban Design at 65

Chat Transcript

In 1956, the first conference on urban design took place at Harvard University. Participants at this conference, including Victor Gruen, Jane Jacobs, Lewis Mumford, Hideo Sasaki, and José Luis Sert (to name only a few), concurred that the intellectual split between architectural design and urban planning was not helpful to city building and that a new discipline was needed to improve urban ways of life. They believed that "urban design" could bridge the divide and, in the words of Sert, could offer "a common basis for the joint work of the Architect, the Landscape Architect, and the City Planner."

Over the following decades, urban design was gradually adopted in university education worldwide. In the fall semester of 1960, Harvard began admitting students to the first urban design degree program in the world, and other universities across the globe soon followed suit. Although urban design thus gradually developed as a discipline, it was never professionalized. As a result, urban design has always retained an in-between status, which also transpires in its historiography. Urban design ventures have been discussed in the margins of both planning histories and architectural histories. Its marginality, however, has also proven to be urban design’s strength, allowing it to call critical attention to the excesses, omissions, and blind spots of the modern and postmodern eras.

This year marks the 65th birthday of urban design. This calls for a moment to look back on the progress that the discipline has made since the 1956 conference, to reflect upon its exceptional in-between status, which has made urban design a continuous reminder of the shortcomings of our allied built environment fields, and to envisage ways forward for the discipline—pathways and trajectories for developing future histories of urban design.

  • Janina Goseye, TU Delft (moderator)
  • Tom Avermaete, ETH Zürich (moderator)
  • Nan Ellin, University of Colorado, Denver
  • Nadi Abusaada, MIT
  • Anteneh Tola, TU Delft
Tuesday, May 24, 2022
12:00–1:30 pm CST

SAH Heritage Conservation Committee Preservation Roundtable

Chat Transcript

The SAH Heritage Conservation Committee will host a preservation roundtable to provide the membership with an opportunity to discuss recent preservation issues. The session will include a recap of the advocacy efforts of the committee over the last year, and will lead to an open conversation of recent preservation issues and controversies. Issues may include the preservation of modern and postmodern resources, the impacts of climate change upon historic resources, the challenge of underutilized and abandoned places of worship, and recent demolitions of historic high-rise buildings to allow for replacement by even taller buildings. The SAH Heritage Conservation Committee looks to build upon the success and high attendance of the roundtables held at SAH annual conference since 2018, and looks forward to this annual event.

  • Bryan Clark Green, Chair, SAH Heritage Conservation Committee (moderator)
  • James M. Buckley, University of Oregon, Portland
  • Jeffrey Cody, Getty Conservation Institute
  • Anthony Cohn, Anthony Cohn Architect, New York
  • David N. Fixler, FAIA, LEED® AP, EYP/
  • Priya Jain, Texas A&M University
  • Theodore Prudon, FAIA, Prudon & Partners
  • Deborah Slaton, Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc.
Wednesday, May 25, 2022
11:00–12:30 pm CST

A Conversation with Sekler Talk Speaker Itohan Osayimwese

Chat Transcript

Antonio Pacheco, a member of the SAH Graduate Student Advisory Committee, will moderate a discussion with Brown University Professor Itohan Osayimwese about her 2022 Eduard F. Sekler Talk, "On Architecture and the Restitution of Cultural Heritage," delivered at the SAH 2022 Annual International Conference in Pittsburgh. Osayimwese is Director of Graduate Studies and Associate Professor of the History of Art and Architecture and Urban Studies at Brown University. Her research engages with theories of modernity, postcolonialism, and globalization to analyze built environments in nineteenth- and twentieth-century West Africa, the Anglo-Caribbean, and Germany. This seminar-style event will prioritize participation from graduate students and emerging scholars around topics including professional practice and methodology in addition to generating discussions of Professor Osayimwese’s research and recent Sekler Talk.

SAH thanks The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation
for its operating support.
Society of Architectural Historians
1365 N. Astor Street
Chicago, Illinois 60610