CfP: International Conference: Architecture_Metaphor. Frankfurt am Main, 6-7 November 2020

Call for Papers: International Conference: Architecture_Metaphor. Frankfurt am Main, 6-7 November 2020

We commonly and ubiquitously use architectural metaphors in both everyday speech as well as various professional contexts. Yet we rarely, if at all, register this connection when we talk, for example, about software architects, thought constructs, pillars of society, the architecture of the brain or the façade a person puts up. At the same time, metaphors also feature prominently in the fields of architecture and urbanism, where they are being used for the development of design concepts and provide useful means to communicate, discuss and evaluate design features. Examples range from crystalline buildings to the fabric of a city, but also include Le Corbusier’s infamous description of houses as ‘machines for living in.’
The conference aims to explore metaphors as productive mediators in processes of knowledge transfer between the fields of architecture and everyday knowledge and between architectural and other professional discourses.
Metaphors, to us, provide a lens that allows us to zoom in on and examine the involvement of architecture in processes of social ordering. The premise of the conference is that metaphors are not merely explanatory in their function but instead interfere with epistemological thought and production processes. Metaphors rely on the incongruity between a particular term and the context within which it is being deployed, creating a space of continuous re-interpretation. The meaning of a metaphor thus oscillates between the body of knowledge from which the metaphor stems and that within which it is used. Through transferring aspects of one field’s body of knowledge to another, metaphors disseminate and thereby consolidate social or disciplinary hierarchies, norms and protocols inscribed in the original body of knowledge. This consequently raises questions regarding the ways in which architecture as a practice of ordering interrelates with societal as well as disciplinary structures, orders and knowledge. Hence, we are not only interested in the connection between different fields, but also different forms of knowledge that metaphors can facilitate and how this relates to architecture.
The full Call for Papers with the list of the possible questions and issues to be discussed is can be downloaded here.
Please submit abstracts of no more than 300 words for 20 minute presentations together with a short bio (100-200 words) in a PDF format by 1 June 2020. Proposals should be emailed to:
The conference organizers will contact applicants about the outcome of their submission no later than the end of June. The conference is scheduled to take place in Frankfurt am Main, Germany on 6-7 November 2020. Given the current Corona-Virus situation we will monitor the developments closely and consider alternative arrangements regarding the date or format of the conference as necessary.
There is no conference fee. Costs for travel and accommodation of all speakers will be covered.
The conference organizers intend to publish an edited book with revised and expanded papers from the conference. Please feel free to contact the organizing committee if you have any questions or require additional information.
Organizing Committee: Dr. Sarah Borree, Prof. Dr. Rembert Hüser, Stephanie Knuth, Prof. Dr. Carsten Ruhl, Moritz Röger
LOEWE Research Cluster Architectures of Order, Art History Department, Goethe University Frankfurt

Share this post

News from the field

On the Traces of Misery

“Miserabilia” investigates spaces and spectres of misery in the imagination and reality of the contemporary Italian urban context. The main objective is the definition of tools for the recognition and investigation of the tangible and intangible manifestations of...