Submission deadline:

May 31, 2023

Affordances of Architectural Typology

A call for contributions for a publication to be published with the independent publisher Thymos Books in 2024.

This atlas of Affordances of Architectural Typology will address both practitioners and scholars of architecture, and will be composed of contributions from both practitioners and scholars of architecture. Borrowing the key term of James J. Gibson’s ecological psychology, the editors understand affordance as the surface of the composition and layout of a building that directly constitutes what it affords. The correlation of architectural typologies with affordances is thus an index of longevity, as it illustrates how a building adapts to or enables different uses and habitation over time. With this call, the editors invite your suggestions for the inclusion of project documentation of building and research projects that illustrate this correlation. They want to explore processes of transformation through plans, sections and elevations of building adaptions, arguing that it is within drawing that we form and transform, adjust and reuse, upgrade and upcycle, i.e. that we read, negotiate and readdress “value” and “meaning”. (Gibson, 1979)

The editors are looking for buildings that can illustrate this relationship between more or less open ‘indeterminacy’ and affordance. They invite architects and scholars to report on building transformations that exploit, enhance and restore existing typological qualities or produce a new quality within, vis-à-vis, on top of or through an existing building structure. The editors want to collect examples of these two forms of transformation – maintaining or restoring a typology and adding a new typological dimension – in three building categories or contexts:
CS-1. Monuments or “palazzo types” are undisputed, culturally significant and highly charged buildings.
CS-2. Institutions, civic or public buildings, mainly from the 19th century, are culturally charged buildings based on classical compositions.
CS-3. In the third category – 20th-century monofunctional buildings – the editors are looking for examples that were not initially culturally charged and that manage to transform their generic character – commercial, retail, office and warehouse buildings – into new spatial qualities that add a degree of generosity that was never intended and that now make a convincing case for even further changes in use in the future.

Submitted projects should not exceed an urban scale comparable to that of a palazzo – so neither a full perimeter block or neighbourhood nor a pavilion or folly will be considered. With the collection resulting from the call, the editors aim to reveal affordances and thus illustrate design aspects that help to future-proof building designs by inviting and welcoming change. These intrinsic qualities of design can be methodically applied in design education contexts that aim to produce resilient and sustainable architectural design solutions.

Abstract submissions should be sent to as one single PDF (max 20MB) in A4 (file name: CS-1 or CS-2 or CS-3_original name of the case study-Country; e.g., CS-1_Palazzo Gravina-Italy) containing:
1) Page 1 with general info:
• Authors’ names and surnames (in this order) and Affiliation(s)
• email of the Contact Author
• Title of the work (corresponding to the original name of the case study-Country; e.g.,
Palazzo Gravina-Italy)
2) Page 2: Short cv (max 100 words) for each author.
2) Page 3: Abstract (max 350 words) with a short description/information about the building transformations.
4) Pages 4 – XX: visual material at your disposal as the source of information (drawings/images documenting the transformations) arranged in chronological order with details of the year/s of the transformation/s and its/their functional programme/s (a rough
organisation of the original sources is enough, no drawing should be produced at this stage).
5) Last page: References.

The selected submissions will receive, together with the acceptance notification, detailed information about the editorial guidelines and the template for the visual documentation to be produced (in order to achieve the same visual presentation of the provided examples as they will be used for the final publication).


Deadline for abstracts: May 31 2023

More information can be found in the full call for papers here.

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