Call for Papers: res publica. AIARG 7, Belfast, Queen’s University, 25-26 January 2018.

The seventh annual conference of the All Ireland Architecture Research Group (AIARG 7) seeks to explore the relationship between architecture and the public realm.

The term res publica defines a public affair and architecture is necessarily the most public of the arts: to engage in architecture is to engage in a public discourse. The relationship between architecture and its publics is a complicated one. A public art requires reciprocity between the public and private realms but much of the built environment is designed and built for and by private individuals. Yet the process of design, even for a private commission, is also potentially a public act in that it establishes a collective forum, a sort of res publica as a thing held in common by many people. So where does the public aspect of architecture reside and how is it calibrated?

Papers could address multiple questions, including, but not limited to:

– How does the contemporary culture of architecture, defined by its discourses of practice, theory and pedagogy, respond to or embody the varying public attributes of architecture?

– How has the changing nature of the public sphere through history impacted on the built environment? – Can there be or has there even been a public of architects – in the meaning of a body, collective, a generality – if so what did it or does it look like and what could it do?

– How can public be defined for architecture? How can this public be constituted such that it is inclusive of minorities in society?

The conference is an opportunity to reconsider the on-going relevance and impact of architecture through its discourses and, in turn, their ability to shape the public realm not only physically but also intellectually.

Please send abstracts (limited to one per individual) of not more that 350 words to aiarg2018@gmail.com no later than 8 September 2017. A selection of papers from the conference will be invited to submit to building material, the peer-reviewed journal of the Architectural Association of Ireland.

The full Call for Papers can be accessed here.

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