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CFP: Analytic Philosophy and Architecture

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Call for Papers Footprint #20
Analytic Philosophy and Architecture: Approaching Things from the Other Side
Karan August, Lara Schrijver, editors

Although thinkers in the field of architecture have embraced ideas emerging from philosophy through the works of continental philosophers since the
late 1980s, references to analytic philosophy have remained distinctly
absent within architecture history and theory. In part this may be
attributable to a perception of analytic philosophy as historiophobic and
politically conservative. However in recent decades the philosophical camp
is readjusting its relation to language, and notably returning to questions
of ethics. Might the finely detailed scholarship of thinkers such as Frege
Wittgenstein, Carnap, and Quine, and the more recent scholarship of
Jackson, Dummett, and Oswald Hanfling, offer method, style, and findings to
the scrutiny of architectural thinkers? Might the emphasis on rule- based
systems, clarity of argument and formal logic in the analytic tradition aid
in understanding the conditions within which architecture is realized?
Design processes in architecture and urbanism by their very nature have a
strongly defined relation to the legislative and regulatory structures of
urban master plans, and architectural and structural building codes. For
example, in 2010 when asked how he could build such surreal
spaces,architect Terunobu Fujimori replied that in Japan structures under
ten square meters did not require building consent. Analytic philosophy in
this case, may offer a perspective that grasps these particular
interventions as experiments in expanding the role of the architect within
a field constrained by rules and regulations. In this sense, Fujimori’s
response becomes an example of finding alternate solutions for localized
In the constraint of the architect’s role, the expertise of the architect
is commonly replaced by codes, regulations and guidelines, leading to
question if a rule-based computer program can replace the architect? In
academia we often play with understandings of architecture that defy the
yielding position of our profession. To manifest the profound designs we
must gain consent from governing bodies. The design processes of this
mundane aspect of working within legislative confinements are undervalued
and underdeveloped in academic discourse.
In this Footprint, we suggest that the architecture debate may benefit from
the less central traditions of analytic philosophy and of pragmatism, as
they offer the means to address finite, localized, and tangible issues
within architecture. We especially encourage contributions that approach
issues of harnessing arguments within analytic philosophy to reinvigorate
and re- appropriate roles of the architect as they navigate the ever
increasing complexities of emerging in our field such as the digital
augmentation of space, the ethical implications of new materials, the
increasing independence of algorithms, the wealth of big data, and
questions of the legal necessity to copyright one’s practice.
Footprint 20 will be published in Spring 2017. Authors interested in
submitting a contribution are requested to submit an abstract of maximum
500 words to the editors by 15 January 2016. The Footprint editors will
then select papers that are considered on topic, relevant and demonstrate
an acceptable academic level. Deadline for selected full papers is 13 May
2016, after which these papers will enter the peer-review process. Please
note: the ultimate selection of papers for publication will not be based on
the abstracts, but will be based on the double blind peer-review of full
papers. In case of review articles (2000-4000 words) or visual reports
related to the topic, these will be selected on the basis of a short
summary which the authors are requested to submit to the editors by 15
January 2016.
For submissions and all other inquiries and correspondences, please contact
editors Karan August (Karan.August[AT]plymouth.ac.uk<http://plymouth.ac.uk>)
and Lara Schrijver (Lara.Schrijver[AT]uantwerpen.be<http://uantwerpen.be>).
An additional copy should be sent to editors[AT]footprint.org< http://footprint.org>.