The 7th Annual Symposium of Architectural Research in Finland: ARCHI+TECTONICS Architecture, Communities and Cities under Change


Deadline extended by August 22th

Researchers, students and practitioners are invited to the 7th Annual Symposium of Architectural Research in Finland, October 22–24, 2015. This year the symposium is organized by the Department of Architecture, Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture, together with The Department of Architecture, Tampere University of Technology and Oulu School of Architecture. The theme ARCHI+TECTONICS covers a variety of contemporary discussions in architectural research, from architectural design at all scales to the context of urban planning and development. Abstracts and papers are invited in the following thematic areas:

Theme 1: Structural Intelligence: new methods and materials
Innovative architecture requires both well-tested solutions and new openings, with information technology providing vibrant tools for experimentation. How are old and new structures related in contemporary design, and what are the messages delivered through the materiality of architecture?

Theme 2: Cultural Heritage: changing ideas and ideals
Historicity is one of the features distinguishing architecture from mainstream technology and bringing it closer to the humanities. What are the contemporary ideas and ideals related to the cultural heritage, its restoration, renovation and reuse? What are the technical and economic challenges related to a sustainable preservation of our past? In the contemporary world in flux, are there some historical theories, ideas and values of architecture which deserve to be reconsidered?

Theme 3: Sustainability and resilience – how to manage change
Sustainability can no longer seen as a stable framework for responsible design and planning, but rather as a dynamic system that is able to respond to changes in its environment. Cities and communities should be resilient and less vulnerable in front of the challenges related to economic, social, cultural and ecological conditions. How can architecture and planning support this development?

Theme 4: Bridging the gap: knowledge by design and by research
Research by design or practice-based research has for some time been seen as a promising alternative in knowledge production, making inquiry within practice more visible and communicating it with the more traditional endeavours of research. On the other hand, knowledge and critical thinking has become crucial in informing practice, where traditional concepts, doctrines and values no longer seem to be valid. Can we finally bridge the gap between design and academic research; what could academic architecture be like?

Theme 5: Learning from Wood: tectonics old and new
Wood is the traditional Finnish building material that seemed to be losing its status to more industrial materials like concrete and steel. However, requirements of sustainability in building materials and energy efficiency have given it new footing, which has invited architects and urban designers to reconsider its potential. What can we learn from the traditional use of wood in buildings, and how should we see its role in the future?

Theme 6: Mapping the future: ideas and technologies for planning
Rational theories of planning were hailed at a time when we did not have the tools open to planners of today. Rather than reinventing rational-comprehensive planning through big data, however, these tools have also provided new tools for interaction and transparency in the planning process. Future still seems to be open and unpredictable, but how can we become prepared for it?

Theme 7: Places and identities: Living in a world of change
Globalization, migration and multiculturalism as unavoidable features of contemporary reality and future are challenging the traditional national and local identities of places and people. Since total aesthetic or cultural control in a world of blurred boundaries is no longer an option, we need to reconsider our attitudes and ideologies towards diversity. What will Finnish architecture look like in the future – or will there be “Finnish” architecture any longer?

Theme 8: Challenges in Planning Theory: conflict, consensus, or cooperation
Communicative and collaborative theories have dominated both academic debates and practices in planning during the last decades, but scholars who are more interested in the power struggles and hidden agendas of planning have also questioned their normative premises. Where are we now in this debate? Can theories and tools for communication and cooperation address the conflicts often paralysing urban planning?

Theme 9: Landscape and ecosystem services: a new mind-set
Ecosystem services and disservices are among the most recent concepts that are used to address the ecological challenges of cities and landscapes. Although they have already been adopted as catchwords in recent planning practice, the real implications seem to require a new mind-set. The traditional dichotomy between natural/green and the built-up areas still seems to hold its grip. How could we re-conceptualize the city and landscape in a new way? What kind of tools can we use to integrate ecological knowledge and planning?

Abstracts should be sent by the 11th of May to the address atut-arts@aalto.fi

They should have the maximum of 300 words, and they should have the following structure:

1. Introduction and relevance of the paper
2. Methods and/or main references used
3. Main results
4. Discussion

Authors will be announced of the acceptance of their paper for oral presentation the 1st of June. Full papers should be sent by the 15th of August. The authors will receive comments by two referees by the 13th of September. Authors are asked to bring hardcopies of the papers for delivery at the symposium venue. Abstracts of the accepted papers will be published in the symposium’s website and blog.

After the symposium the peer-reviewed full papers have the possibility to be published on-line, in Open Journal Systems (OJS) -publishing platform. The aim of the publication is to fulfill the criteria of the Finnish Publication Forum Project to receive recognition at Level 1 (basic).