How to futurise the past, and curate the future? The Jaap Bakema Study Centre (JBSC) invites contributions to its annual conference, which is dedicated to architecture archives, research and exhibitions. The open call welcomes proposals from academics and practitioners alike. With this year’s conference, the JBSC celebrates its 10th anniversary and the centennial of the National Collection of Dutch Architecture and Urban Planning. To celebrate the two anniversaries, the conference aims to collectively investigate the future of curatorial practices, architectural legacies, memory and knowledge, and so the future narratives of the manifold histories yet unknown. Architecture Archives of the Future will delve into the intersections and evolving relationships between architectural practice, archival research, and exhibition making. The questions the organizers seek to explore range from institutional ones – examining the politics of archiving and exhibiting – to the role of technologies in preserving, curating, and communicating architectural archives.
Futurising the past
A search to expand the open society idea naturally involves a commitment to education, accessibility and participation. It leads to profound reflections on institutional gatekeeping, and on the curation of archival materials, in the broadest sense imaginable. These reflections come with questions of care, responsibility, and accountability, with heritage practice and activism helping to illuminate the power dynamics and representations in archival practices. Futurising the past calls for approaches that critically re-assess the received histories. How to reconsider geneaologies, notions of authorship and originality? How to recognise and bring in overlooked voices or marginalised positions? What sort of new epistemological models might emerge from the changes affecting the institutional memory of the discipline? We are also interested in developments within architecture schools: in what ways do educational institutions seek to incorporate the archive and curatorial practices in their curricula? How can archives and exhibitions be a tool for innovation in education and research?
Curating the future
Technology remains a force for both disruption and liberation, while installing new regimes. This digital turn has created a whole new reality in the field of archives and knowledge dissemination, in which local institutions connect into larger networks with new tools and methods for research (data-oriented and AI-driven), while new formats for public outreach and storytelling become possible. We invite contributions which explore the use of these technologies to critically probe and foster notions of democracy while radically expanding the idea of an open society, in the spirit of diversity and inclusiveness, relationality and empowerment. Contributions must seek to explore how these innovations in architectural archiving and exhibition practices can help project new ideas into the future. What sort of architectural legacies do we wish to propose? How can the archive and the museum become productive sites for regeneration? How can the digital reconnect architectural design and practice with history?
In short, how to futurise the past, and curate the future?