Submission deadline:

July 26, 2023

FACES 83 + 84 / Light and Heavy

Publication Dates: End of 2023, beginning of 2024

Call for papers
The next issues (83 and 84) of FACES will focus on lightness vs. heaviness, two notions that often have an antonymic and antinomic relationship, signalling the opposition of two conceptual and practical propositions between which architects must in principle choose,
based on their location, culture, and building tradition and in accordance with their aesthetic, technical, economic, political, and ethical convictions. This opposition brings with it many others, including ephemerality vs. durability, mobility vs. immobility,
freedom vs. constraint, and fragility vs. solidity.

Presently, due to the combined effects of the demographic explosion, the depletion of natural resources, and climate change, this oppositional relationship, which has predominated in architectural thinking since the industrial revolution, is becoming more complex. A multitude of questions have arisen as to the role and mission of architects: to build or not to build, to demolish or to transform, to use highly processed building materials or more natural materials and shorter supply chains? The modernist ideology, which often developed in opposition to pejorative notions of heaviness and slowness, is now being challenged by the reintegration of concepts such as inertia, wear and tear, the patina of time, traces, or ruins. Taking durability into account, i.e. the long view, also compels us to appreciate differently what appears to be a new form of duality between the different efficiencies of light vs. heavy, because in contemporary architectural hybridisation, heavy and light are not necessarily mutually exclusive, and may even complement each other.

Design brief specifications (programme, budget, deadlines, standards) no longer suit the needs of the time. With the urgency, scale, and complexity of the task ahead, a formidable field of research and experimentation is opening up for architects. How can they contribute to renewing the relationship between heaviness and lightness? What new types of implementation and layouts can they offer? What practices are these new building constraints likely to generate? How can the most efficient solutions be shared? What aesthetics will emerge from the different stances?

Abstracts (maximum 5 000 characters), as well as a short biography of the author (500 characters), are due July 26, 2023.  Please also note that the article will be published in French (illustrated) and English (non- illustrated). FACES is in charge of the necessary professional translation and proofing.

All proposals can be sent in either French or English at info[at]facesmagazine[dot]ch.

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

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