Call for Papers: Architectural Aesthetics: An Old Matter Revisited. sITA – studies in History and Theory of Architecture Journal

Trying to highlight the architects’ involvement in topics other than the mere production on form, the heading Less aesthetics, more ethics of the 2000 Venice Architectural Biennale inadvertently opened the way to a specious professional dichotomy. The title has become a tagline encouraging alternative practices of architecture motivated by ethical — environmental and social — concerns, while seemingly dismissing the aesthetic discourse.

Yet, concerns about the nature and expression of beauty had proven fundamental for defining architecture as a practice, for writing its theory, for endowing its critique and education with specific instruments even before aesthetics was born. And despite the debunking of the universal truth and beauty, and the collisions between the plurality of subjective truths and the universality of other emergent values and problems, an aesthetic program has always underpinned architecture and is bound to do so in the future. Architectural deliberations on aesthetics have not only once challenged the professional habits and allowed architecture to reinvent itself.

Now, more than ever, when it seems that “anything goes”, when various crises that seem to threaten our world and civilization require new fields of creativity, the power of aesthetic thinking to emancipate architectural theory and to motivate its practice is worth remembering.

The 2020 issue of sITA invites contributors to reflect on architectural aesthetics by examining:
— relevant insights rooted in classical, modern, postmodern and contemporary theory and criticism;
— political instrumentalizations of aesthetics;
— aesthetic discourses in democratic design and planning;
— contradictions and affinities between aesthetics and ethics in architecture;
— autonomy or dependency of architectural aesthetics and art theory;
— aesthetic categories and values explored in modern and contemporary arts appropriated by architectural discourse;
— expressive searches hidden behind other motivations;
— new expressive trends derived from liminal contemporary practices and/or implicit in architecture’s social and environmental interests, etc.

These directions are not restrictive, as the eighth volume of sITA aims to rekindle the interest in architectural aesthetics by assembling relevant lessons from the past, critical assessments of current practices, or past, present and, perhaps, future theoretical constructs of architectural aesthetics and its value.

A preliminary abstract of 200 – 250 words should be submitted by 23 March 2019. Selected contributors will be notified by e-mail on March 30. The final article should be submitted for review by June 10. Contributions will undergo a double-blind peer-review procedure. Reviews of current events (conferences, recent publications, exhibitions) which are of interest for the fields of architectural history and theory are also welcome. Reviews should be submitted by July 1.

All correspondence will be addressed to sita@uauim.ro, to the attention of Dr. Arch. Daniela Calciu (managing editor of the current issue).

The full Call for Papers with the instructions for authors can be downloaded here.

sITA – studies in History and Theory of Architecture is a peer-reviewed open access journal, with both online and print versions, indexed in Arts & Human-ities Citation Index (Web of Science), Scopus, EBSCOhost, Index Copernicus, CEEOL, ERIH PLUS, DOAJ, ProQuest/Ulrichsweb, Scipio, Google Scholar, and WorldCat.

Previously published issues of sITA are available at the journal webpage.

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