18th Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of Traditional Environments (IASTE): Virtual Traditions
Tradition has multiple forms, manifestations, and influences that shape the processes used to produce, transform, preserve, and consume built environments in synch with socio-cultural and economic change. Over the past 30 years, IASTE has helped shape the discourse around the political, cultural, economic, and legal frameworks of tradition. As successive generations hand down building traditions, the endurance of these traditions typically relies on the continuing significance of the built environment to the everyday life of communities, societies, and nations. Yet contemporary societies are increasingly confronted with new forms of communication that are mobile, digital and remote, and hence the very notion of tradition is undergoing a rhetorical transition according to the new global economy and boundary-less conditions of citizenship that are influencing, mobilizing, and manipulating built environments.
With the predominance of mobile communication, social media, and online interaction, the terms “virtual” and “tradition” are no longer at opposite ends of cultural discourse, as they seemed to be a decade ago. Virtual space is developing socio-cultural norms that dictate everyday life, while built environments adapt to virtual events, spaces, and gatherings. IASTE 2020 Nottingham will explore how the mutual influences between the virtual and the traditional reconfigure new structures of communities, societies, and cities — extending and connecting built spaces. In an era defined by social media and online interaction, new agents manipulate traditions, values, myths, borders, and even the legitimacy of the built environment in virtual space. Scientific innovation, data-mining, algorithms, and spatial and digital modeling have thus led to new methods of interpretation and mechanisms of decision-making that force a reconsideration of the link between buildings and people, culture and its consumers.
The organizers of IASTE 2020 Nottingham invite participants to revisit the notion, concepts and practices of tradition at a time when virtual and mobile interaction is increasingly dictating the terms of everyday life, at home, at work, and in the public sphere. Participants will investigate the intellectual dialogue and reciprocal influences at the intersection of physical and virtual landscapes, and reflect on how new methodologies, practices, policies, information technologies, and even the parallel presence of virtual space and cloud communications inform the meaning of tradition in the built environment. By examining alternative futures of tradition, the conference organizers anticipate a progressive inquiry and dialogue regarding the epistemological and philosophical basis of tradition. As in past IASTE conferences, we invite scholars, professionals, and practitioners from architecture, architectural history, urban design, art history, anthropology, archaeology, folklore, geography, history, planning, sociology, political science, urban studies, conservation, design, digital technologies, and related disciplines to submit papers that address one of the following tracks.