The Architecture of the Tasman World, 1788-1850

Fabrications: The Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, Australia and New Zealand invites papers for a special guest issue (Vol. 29, No. 3, 2019) on “The Architecture of the Tasman World,” edited by Alex Bremner and Andrew Leach. Papers are due by 28 March 2019.

The nineteenth-century architectural history of what Philippa Mein-Smith and others have recently termed the “Tasman world” has long been shaped by the often separate national historiographies of Australia and New Zealand. Developments in the region’s colonial architecture from the 1780s onwards have thus fed narratives of national foundations, problematic and otherwise. This issue of Fabrications calls for papers that work against the grain of those nationalist narratives by addressing the architecture and infrastructure of those colonial industries operating across the early colonies of New South Wales, Van Diemen’s Land and New Zealand and connecting that “world” to economies and relationships both within the British Empire and beyond, across what has controversially been named the “Anglosphere,” and in global architectural geographies defined by trade. Papers will return to the colonial era of the South Pacific informed by the gains of post-colonial history, four-nations British historiography, studies of global colonial networks and systems, and an appreciation for “minor” forms of historical evidence and architectural practice. The issue will therefore offer a fresh consideration of the architecture of the Tasman world from the 1780s to the 1840s in its historical circumstances, exploring architecture’s different registers: architecture across three different registers: intentioned works definitively cast as Architecture; the “grey” architecture (after Bremner) of industries, transhipping and colonial infrastructure; and as an analogy for the relationships, systems and structures of the colonial project and its economic underpinnings. Papers may move around and across the Tasman Sea to position architecture in relation to such “industrial” activities as agriculture, whaling and sealing, banking, timber getting and religion. Building on a rich session at the Fifth International Meeting of the European Architectural History Network in Tallinn, papers in will contribute to a post-nationalist architectural history of the Tasman colonies that figures the place of this region in the nineteenth-century British world and beyond.

Dr Alex Bremner, Edinburgh College of Art, University of Edinburgh  alex.bremner@ed.ac.uk

Prof Andrew Leach, School of Architecture, Design and Planning, University of Sydney  andrew.leach@sydney.edu.au

Guidelines for Authors
Papers should be submitted online by the due dates identified above.

The Editors consider essays of 7000 to 9000 words (including endnotes). Papers should be submitted as Word documents. Authors should use the footnote function of Word, but no automatic referencing programs (such as Endnote). Papers should be submitted with an abstract (200 words) at the beginning of the paper and a brief author biography (80 words), images and image captions. Abstracts are published at the beginning of papers. All papers published in Fabrications are blind peer-refereed by two readers.

Instructions for authors can be found on the Taylor & Francis website. Proposals for reports or for reviews of books, exhibitions and other events of interest to the membership of SAHANZ can be made to the Reviews Editor, Farzaneh Haghighi  [f.haghighi@auckland.ac.nz].

Image Specifications
For the refereeing process, please add a list of captions at the end of the text document, but also submit low-resolution images of illustrations as separate files {or embedded in a separate pdf file with captions} (72dpi jpeg files).  Once a paper is accepted for publication, high-resolution images should be submitted as 300 dpi tiff files, at a minimum of 100mm wide with a separate list of captions indicating permissions.

Authors are responsible for securing all permissions and paying all fees to reproduce images in Fabrications. Authors must meet UK copyright regulations. For information, see: http://journalauthors.tandf.co.uk/preparation/permission.asp

Anoma Pieris and Mirjana Lozanovska, Co-Editors

Image credit: State Library of New South Wales

CfP: The Values of Architecture and the Economy of Culture

Architecture has always been found in a space between its monetary and cultural values, but the rise of the concept of the cultural economy asks new questions as to how these values of architecture intersect and affect one another. Discussions of the cultural economy tend to deal with architecture and urban design as the infrastructure of culture, asking questions such as: what building types and land values enable a vibrant popular music culture; or, what landmark cultural flagships drive cultural tourism and city branding.

Architecture itself is rarely seen as a matter of culture or, if it is, it becomes framed as a symptom of the social inequities of gentrification. It seems that outside of the architecture and design communities, architecture is not culture but its scaffold. At the same time, those cultural forms usually seen as having pure intrinsic value—the visual and performing arts, literature, music and the like—are now also seen as having socio-economic values of the kinds usually claimed by architecture in economics and employment, value in community engagement and even health and well-being. One can be sceptical of the efficacy and the politics of exchanging cultural, social and economic values in this way, but the fact that culture is now seen as a wholistic interacting system capable of measurement asks new questions of the place of architecture. As methods for assessing value become increasingly important in the management of culture, the conference asks: how do we understand the values of architecture as a matter of culture?

There is a growing cultural audience for architecture in galleries, events and public space; visual artists take architecture as subject matter; spectacular buildings make for city identity, while the strong line between commercial and creative activity that used to keep architecture in the real estate pages of newspapers has been blurred. Architecture, we could say, has never been more valued, nor valued in such a variety of ways, but often in some form of friction with how the discipline values itself. Our conference is not concerned with arguments for or against the cultural value of architecture per se or that of particular buildings, but rather in the different sites and occasions where values are bestowed, exchanged and come into conflict. We are sceptical of an equivalence of values, whereby an addition of real and proxy monetary values, or a ‘dashboard’ of quantitative and qualitative aspects is said to express the total value of a work, institution or cultural agency, and hold it up for comparison. Rather our focus is on finding concrete cases, both historical and contemporary, from which we hope to make some account of the construction and interrelationship of the values of architecture.

The conference aims to bring together academics and professionals from a range of disciplines. We seek papers that investigate specific cases that can open out to more general issues. Cases may address one or more of the following interlinked themes:

Market/Museum

Here we are interested in the role of architecture in the decades of museum expansion of the late twentieth century, and its current repercussions. In particular, we are interested in the values generated through the collection and exhibition of architecture by museums, and the differing approaches and problems of collecting architecture in all its forms—from whole buildings and drawings, to models, fragments and replicas. We are interested in how collecting practices of cultural institutions relate to the commercial trade in architectural drawings and architectural salvage, as well as the expansion of the art market into architecture and design. Equally we are interested in the traditional role of museums in constructing periods, canons, and national narratives, and how this art-historical frame and its attendant set of values comes to be applied in the exhibition of architecture.

Historical fabric and environments

Protecting historical buildings for their cultural values is frequently seen as a devaluation of the land on which they are built. At the same time the historical value of the built environment is seen to create other kinds of economic value. The cheap rents and collective memory of older parts of a city are frequently seen as the optimum conditions for creativity and cultural entrepreneurship, artist run galleries and venues for indie music. Just as familiar is the gentrification narrative in which financially disinterested artists discover the place qualities that lead to successful property developments. But the temporality of urban development has sped up with the ‘festivalization’ of public life, pop-up retail, and the experience economy. In this section we are concerned with the age and the speed of change and response of the built environment and the contested values that this can reveal.

Civics

The public nature of building means that it has generally been understood as a form of civic culture and regulated, in varying degrees, by planning mechanisms intended to ensure ‘good’ design. Buildings, from those civic in intent to vernacular traditions that are recognised and valued by their communities, provide a repertoire of objects useful in occasioning debate about the balance of public and private interests and the representation of the polity. In this section of the project we are concerned with publishing, criticism, and the systems of awards and honours through which the profession of architecture acclaims good practice and attempts to gain public recognition and consent for its values. The commissioning of a famous architect is a point at which these professional architectural values can return as commercial value and social license for sometimes controversial projects. Similarly, we are concerned with education—of architects, but also of children and the population at large—in the kinds of visual acuity necessary to converse about design and the built environment and thus enact an aspect of citizenship.

Cultural Policy

Here we are concerned with the meta-level question of how architecture is valued as a cultural form, infrastructure for culture and as a form of creative labour. In the nineteenth century, from Goethe to Ruskin and Morris, architecture was one of the principal sites for debate on the social implications of cultural forms. Its near complete absence from the current academic discourse on culture, alongside its demonstratively increasing importance in econometric analyses of the cultural economy begs a number of questions. These include: the extent to which architecture’s professionalisation excludes or obscures its classification as culture; the extent to which discourse on the creative and cultural economy is focused on the politics of subsidies which is largely irrelevant in architecture; and the extent to which the academic discourse on culture is still structured by cultural studies, its origins in debates on literature and language-based forms of film and TV, and a consequent lack of domain knowledge of architecture.

Practical Information

Abstracts of up to 300 words in length and a short biographical note of no more than 100 words may be submitted by email as a Word document to: isarchitectureart@uq.edu.au.

Please name your submission file SURNAME-ABSTRACT and clearly describe in your abstract the case and the themes (listed above) you intend to engage with, or identify an alternative theme that is pertinent to the conference topic.

  • Abstract Deadline: 26 November 2018
  • Notification of acceptance: week of 10 December 2018
  • Draft paper submission: 30 April 2019. In the month prior to the conference the conference conveners will be in contact with authors to discuss draft versions of their papers. We are aiming at 20 minutes presentations.
  • Conference and Book Workshop: 13-15 June 2019, Brisbane, Australia.
  • Submission of paper: 21 June 2019*

*Authors will be invited to resubmit their texts shortly after the conference for the specific purpose of a book to be published in 2020, with final texts due in December 2019. We will therefore only be accepting substantially new work that is not considered for publication elsewhere. Please note that we may not be able to include all papers in the final publication.

There will be no conference fee for participants.

This Conference and Book Workshop are a part of the research project “Is Architecture Art? A history of concepts, categories and recent practices,” funded by the Australian Research Council and The University of Queensland’s Architecture Theory Criticism History Research Centre (ATCH), in partnership with Ghent University. For more information on the research project, please click here.

Convened by John Macarthur, Susan Holden, Wouter Davidts, Ashley Paine and Elke Couchez