Submission deadline:

August 18, 2023

Kay Fisker Symposium – Appraisals and Reappraisals

November 29-30, 2023
To be held at the Institute of Architecture and Culture, Royal Danish Academy – Architecture, Design, Conservation in Copenhagen (Denmark) on November 29-30th, 2023.
Angela Gigliotti, Postdoctoral Fellow at Det Danske Institut i Rom (ETH Zürich and the Aarhus School of Architecture)
Martin Søberg, Associate Professor at the Institute of Architecture and Culture, Royal Danish Academy – Architecture, Design, Conservation.
Until recent years, when naming internationally the Danish modern architect Kay Fisker (1893–1965), only a few connoisseurs would have responded. The aim of this symposium is to create an international platform for scholars exploring and examining through interpretive, analytical, critical, and didactic takes the work of Kay Fisker.
Since his passing in 1965, the Danish specialized audience in architecture have received several publications about Fisker’s production, while on the international scene, the representative role of Danish modernism – with a wide disciplinary take – was rather canonized around a few other names such as Arne Jacobson and Jørn Utzon. Recently, Fisker’s work is nevertheless gaining an increasing international recognition. This includes his built work, in particular his subdued large-scale housing estates such as Hornbækhus (1920–22) and Vestersøhus (1935–39) and his public buildings for education and healthcare programmes, relating to the establishment of the Danish welfare state during the interwar and post-WWII periods such as the Aarhus University (1931–46). Moreover, not only his architectural production but also Fisker’s academic work as a professor and writer has become the topic of contemporary research projects and critical assessments, exploring his investigations into matters of typology, housing, and architectural history. Additionally, the international investigation in Fisker has matured quickly within little more than a decade, yet processes of de-canonization, specifically for a few architectural projects such as the Danish Academy in Rome (1960–67), are already emerging.  The aim of this symposium is to create an international platform for scholars exploring and examining through interpretive, analytical, critical, and didactic takes the work of Kay Fisker. The organizers particularly seek scholarly and didactic contributions which will contribute to mapping the international state of the art of interpretations, investigations, and insights into Fisker’s production. The symposium programme comprises presentations by invited international researchers as well researchers/papers selected through an international call for papers.
Topics to be explored and discussed include, but are not limited to:
  • Fisker and -ism: in relation to the contribution to the definition of Danish specificity within international movements in architecture such as modernism, critical regionalism, and welfarism.
  • By Fisker: in relation to typological studies, framing projects authored or co-authored by Fisker such as housing, education, healthcare, urban projects, product design, and interiors.
  • Pedagogical talks and experiments by/via Fisker:insights about the interpretation, the transmission and eventually the translation of Fisker’s substantial materials connected to his pedagogical activity; contemporary pedagogical experiments in which Fisker’s buildings are used as prompt for architectural/design studios to investigate concepts of commons, Danish-ness, typology, etc.
  • The Fisker-way: projects by national and international architects that beyond Denmark have been strongly inspired and contaminated by Fisker’s architecture.
  • Fisker and the others: alternative historiography aimed to investigate Fisker’s modes of architectural production inside and outside his offices focusing on neglected collaborators at large (e.g., colleagues, workers, partners, constructors, craftsmen).
The symposium is funded by the Carlsberg Foundation and hosted by the Institute of Architecture and Culture at the Royal Danish Academy – Architecture, Design, Conservation in Copenhagen, in partnership with Det Danske Institut i Rom – Accademia di Danimarca in Rome.
Information about the symposium and confirmed invited participants are available here:
Applications (300 words abstract+100 words bio) and any queries or further information should be addressed to the organizers at:
Submissions accepted until August 18th, 2023

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