Building on the remediating orientation set by the “Fixing” issue of Interstices: Journal of Architecture & Related Arts, Issue 23 invites papers that inquire into the coupling of love and architecture. The editors ask how love is, or may have been, an underlying motivator of built and speculative spaces, and how the materiality of both may sustain object-attachments for ongoing expressions of amorous affect?
Why consider love now, or even at all? Interminably commodified, love is no less harnessed as political affect in the management of intimacy in one direction, and in the mobilization of nationalist discourses in another. What gets held up as love in this oftentimes cynical ‘Age of Aquarius’ is routinely boxed in by hate. Caught up in crowd effects turned sour (particularly mediated crowds), “hate […] circumscribes its own identity”, pinning down the look of the abominated, as Alphonso Lingis (2003: 42) notes. And so is hate’s work of abomination readily directed at built and culturally significant places, no less than habitats and the ecosphere itself. Maurizio Lazzarato, goes so far as to declare “capital hates everyone” (2021)!
Yet, in the face of this, and perhaps because of this, there is a growing body of critical and affirmative thought addressing divergent forms of love and their implication for politics, society, and indeed existential senses more broadly. Contrary to the harsh closing down of hate, thinking on love opens abundantly. As Christopher Fynsk borrows from Jean-Luc Nancy: ‘[t]here are all kinds of love…We know it by the way it strikes us” (2004: xviii).
Explorations in this area – to foreground just a small sample – have: critiqued closed forms of love tied to familial, national, and international configurations; recognised the centrality of love in human rights, and in turn, for self and community care; via feminist and queer outlooks, contested a normative fixing of love relations, love’s place in systems of knowledge, and its role in a politics of hope; sociological considerations interrogated “love as [codified & systematised] passion” (Luhmann, 1998) and as inequitably idealised through romance rather than recognized as “confluent” (Giddens, 2004); advanced political economic critiques of love and governance no less than love’s role in a contestation of globalisation; linked the philosophical underpinnings of affection to recovered wholes, aporia, experimental becoming, erotic phenomena as existential ground, and the experience of radical exposure and transport; in studies of material cultures, explored how affection is integrally linked to material expression and agency; and, as indigenous perspectives have asserted in the face of ongoing colonial appropriations of intimacy, the importance of collective relationships and reciprocity centred by aroha, alofa and ofa.
Despite these extraordinarily rich examinations of intimacy on one hand, and architecture’s evolving address of gender, sexuality, embodiment, and affect on the other, relatively little critical/theoretical attendance on the amorous in architecture is at hand. Exceptions include Hélène Frichot et al.’s “Our Infrastructural Loves” (2022) and, as a project, Maki Onishi’s Japanese pavilion for the 2023 Venice Biennale titled “Architecture – A Place to Be Loved” (2023). Alberto Pérez-Gómez offers notable exceptions too in Built Upon Love (2008) and Polyphilo: or The Dark Forest Revisited – An Erotic Epiphany of Architecture (1992), as does John Hejduk in Architectures in Love (1995), and earlier still did Reyner Banham in Rayner Banham Loves Los Angeles (1972).
Following Roland Barthes, rather than love being narrowly seen as something directed at a particular person, more relevant is a structural portrait capturing the ways love and “the lover [are] at work” in an array of contexts (1990: p 4). It is such an architectural portraiture of the amorous in its various material, cultural, political, and operational modes—including past and future modalities—that the editors aim to assemble in issue 23 of Interstices: Architecture & Related Arts.
The editors invite you to submit a full paper (5,000 word maximum), abstract (100-150 words) and bio-note (80-100 words) for the forthcoming “Architectures of Love” issue of Interstices: Journal of Architecture & Related Arts. Please submit your paper in Chicago format and omit identifying details in the main manuscript.
For full publishing options and formatting details, refer to the Guidelines for Submissions here.
Accepted authors will be invited to a one day authors’ workshop prior to final resolution of papers (held in-person & online).
For additional queries contact Andrew Douglas at – email@example.com
The deadline for submission of full papers is 24 July 2023 (email to firstname.lastname@example.org)
The complete Call for Papers is available here.