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:


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.


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:

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

SAHANZ call for EAHN and SAH session proposals

The Society calls for session proposals for the 2020 EAHN and SAH conferences, to be held in the Edinburgh (UK) and Seattle (US) respectively.

As part of our partnership agreement with both SAH and EAHN, SAHANZ is able to put forward a session proposal to the 2020 EAHN and SAH conferences. We invite submissions from interested SAHANZ members for consideration by the SAHANZ Committee by 16 November 2018.

The aim of the Committee in offering to review proposals is to assist members in their preparation and framing as well as help to identify topics of mutual interest between SAHANZ and EAHN and SAH. This offer does not preclude members making their own direct submissions of course but is intended to take advantage of opportunities provided by our partner agreements.

Session proposals (of no more than 400 words) should be sent by 16 November 2018 to the SAHANZ Secretary. Please make sure to identify which conference (EAHN or SAH) you are submitting a session proposal for.

For more information, please consult the EAHN and SAH conference websites.

Call for Proposals: Guest-Edited, Special Issue of Fabrications

Fabrications is the refereed journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, Australia and New Zealand (SAHANZ). Established in 1989, it is devoted to scholarly publication in the field of architectural history. The journal’s contents reflect the wide interests of the Society’s diverse membership. It publishes papers on a wide range of themes, but especially on the architectural, urban and landscape history of Australia, New Zealand, the South Pacific and South-East Asia. The journal is published for the Society by Taylor & Francis, with each annual volume containing three issues. Special issues may be referred to the publisher’s Special Issues as Books programme following publication.

The Society invites proposals for a special, guest-edited issue of its journal, Fabrications, to be published in January 2020 (volume 30, no. 1). The guest editor(s) will work to realise the special issue in collaboration with the journal’s appointed editors, Anoma Pieris and Mirjana Lozanovska, and in consultation with the Society’s Editorial Board.

For further information on Fabrications and to review past issues, see the Taylor and Francis website.

Timelines for the issue will be as follows:

  • Invitation to edit the special issue – September 2018
  • Call for papers advertised – November 2018
  • Papers due – June 2019
  • Reviews concluded – August 2019
  • Final papers received for editing and production – September 2019
  • Delivery to T&F – October 2019
  • Publication – January 2020

Proposals should include:

  • Theme title and editor(s)
  • Brief CV of the editor(s)
  • Draft call for papers (maximum 400 words)
  • If relevant, information about any event around which the proposal may be organised
  • If relevant, the names and/or themes of any specific contributions the editor(s) anticipate(s) including in the issue

Deadline for submissions is 31 October 2018. Proposals will be considered by the SAHANZ Editorial Board.

Please direct submissions and enquiries to Paul Walker,

Lisa Marie Daunt awarded the 2018 David Saunders Grant

The 2018 David Saunders Founder’s Grant has been awarded to Lisa Marie Daunt for her project “Communities of Faith: Far North Queensland’s Innovative Modern Post-war Church Architectures.”

Daunt is a PhD candidate at the School of Architecture, The University of Queensland and member of ATCH Research Centre. Her David Saunders project will examine how ecclesiastic architecture contributed to building community in Far North Queensland, looking at post-war architects and offices such as Lund Hutton Newell, Edwin Oribin and Ian Ferrier. During the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, these architects created modern church buildings which were structurally inventive, climatically responsive and attuned to the post-war liturgical renewal. Through archival research and literature review, Daunt has identified twenty churches worthy of further research, which she will visit and document. In addition, Daunt will conduct interviews with privileged witnesses who can offer insight into how these churches contributed to building community in Far North Queensland. On the basis of this research, Daunt will submit a paper to Fabrications, the Journal of the Society of Architecture Historians Australia New Zealand.

Image: St Monica’s War Memorial Catholic Cathedral (c. 1968, architect: A. Ian Ferrier) in Cairns.

Image credit: Ferrier Slide Collection, used with permission.

CFP: Distance Looks Back

Call for papers - SAH

A Thematic Conference of the European Architectural History Network, held in conjunction with the 36th Annual Conference of the Society of Architectural Historians, Australia and New Zealand

hosted by University of Sydney, School of Architecture, Design and Planning
10-13 July 2019

Convened by Andrew Leach and Lee Stickells
Distance is both conceptual and actual. It is overcome or exploited in all manner of ways that have consequences for the history of architecture. It is fostered in the critical attitude. And collapsed when history is invoked in the present. It shapes the relationship of Europe to its Antipodes, as well as of Europe to its neighbours. Its presence is necessary for claims upon disciplinarity; its absence, the dissolution of disciplinary boundaries. In what ways has distance figured in the history of architecture? What has it altered? What has it prevented? What has it allowed? What does it permit, even now?

This theme opens the door to questions of representation and communication in the history of architecture; questions of travel and migration; and of the mobility of expertise, institutions and ideas. As a lens, distance allows us to reflect on the construction of identity in and through architectural works both defined as such (Architects and Architecture) and “grey”. It invites us to consider moments of counterpoint, imaging or critique. It provokes us to clarify, recalibrate, expose, suppress, or legitimise. Works, projects, architects and other agents in the conceptualisation and construction of architecture, cities and landscapes are, from a remove, perceived on terms different from the immediate and the close. Artefacts and ideas subjected to distance acquire something of this perspective, whether they are physically moved or subject to representation at a remove. Distance can be inconvenient; and useful.

We welcome original papers that explore the import of distance for architectural history from any direction. Proposals may treat any time and geography. They might address the consequences of literal distance for architectural culture in its history: communication, travel, mobility, isolation, exile, or technical and intellectual networks. They might consider the figurative role of distance in forms of criticality, historicity and thought. Papers may reflect on the mechanisms and nature of architectural history through such concepts as immediacy, instrumentality or relevance; or of neutralization or obsolescence. Contributions might use an idea of distance to think through distinctions (in disciplines, practices or institutions) between architectural history and criticism, architectural history and archaeology, architectural history and area studies, architectural history, urban history, histories of science and technology, the history of art, etc. Or to use these distinctions to reflect on architecture and its neighbouring professions and practices. Papers may reflect on the devices used by architectural historiography to manage distance: historiographical and critical nomenclature; theoretical terms and tropes; and other means of negotiating proximity. Consideration may even be given to the very historiographical valence of distance – as, for instance, productive criticality or problematic estrangement.

One strand of this conference theme responds to the special issue of Architectural Histories (2018) asking “What is Europe?”. The theme invokes, too, the ideas at the centre of the lecture series convened by New Zealand historian Keith Sinclair in 1960: Distance Looks Our Way; and in Australian historian Geoffrey Blainey’s Tyranny of Distance (1966). What are the effects of remoteness on an antipodean response to architecture’s historical metropole? Or of the significance of the globe beyond its “centres”? What occurs when isolation is made operative? The idea of distance, in this sense, invites self-reflection as much as advancement of new knowledge. We therefore particularly welcome papers that reflect on distance in order to reflect on the concept of Europe and the European and its consequences for architecture beyond a strictly defined European geography. We welcome, too, papers that consider the architectural history and culture of Asia, Australasia and the Pacific in their global contexts. The program will have sessions dedicated to these themes.

Abstracts of no more than 300 words in length (accompanied by 80-word biographical notes) may be submitted by email as Word documents to: Please name the email subject ABSTRACT-SURNAME and use this name for your submission file as well. Full papers will be subject to peer review, with papers published after the conference in an online volume of the Proceedings of SAHANZ.

Abstract deadline: 1 November 2018
Submission of full papers for review: 1 March 2019
Submission of final papers for publication: 14 June 2019
Conference: 10-13 July 2019

All abstracts will be considered by the academic committee; speakers will be invited to prepare a full paper (no longer than 4,500 words in written form), which will be subject to peer review; authors must submit revised papers by the date specified. Authors may opt out of publication in the Proceedings. On academic process, refer to the Editorial Policy of SAHANZ .

The convenors will be pleased to receive information concerning events or exhibitions scheduled or planned for the dates around this conference, including conferences in major hub cities or other cities in Australia or New Zealand that might interest delegates travelling from afar. The conference website will include a calendar of these events.

Academic Committee
Tom Avermaete (TU Delft)
Petra Brouwer (Amsterdam)
Mark Crinson (Birkbeck)
Hilde Heynen (KU Leuven)
Andrew Leach (Sydney, co-chair)
Naomi Stead (Monash)
Lee Stickells (Sydney, co-chair)
Paul Walker (Melbourne)

Image credit: State Library of New South Wales.

Changes to the collection of copyright royalties

copyright (wikimedia)

For the past few years, and on the initiative of an earlier Executive, SAHANZ has been collecting a small amount of ‘royalty’ money via the Australian Copyright Agency for the external use and reproduction of papers published in our annual SAHANZ proceedings. The money is collected by the agency from Australian universities and institutions that pay to use materials protected under copyright law, which the agency distributes to publishers and copyright holders. (We understand that this usage is measured by online analytics and photocopier surveys). Note that this money has always been collected, it has simply not previously been claimed (by SAHANZ, or by individual authors who no doubt didn’t know it existed).

Recently it became clear to the Executive that, since the society does not own the copyright of the papers published in the annual proceedings, we are obliged to pass on the money received to the numerous copyright holders themselves – that is, the individual authors of the papers. In most cases we are able to identify the relevant author(s), even though some of the payments have been received for works published as far back as the 1980s. Ultimately, this raises the questions of how the Society retrospectively repays this money to its members, and, looking forward, whether or not the Society should continue to accept these payments, and take on the significant administrative responsibility for the on-going distribution of numerous, often very small amounts. The Executive has sought legal advice from a specialist copyright lawyer, and thereby come to the following solutions, which have been approved by the committee:

  • For future conferences, a clause will be added that requires the copyright owner to waive their claim to any copyright money that is received by SAHANZ for the publication. Note: there is no change to actual copyright ownership which remains with individual authors.
  • Since authors retain copyright, they are free to republish elsewhere – and anywhere they wish to.
  • The copyright money re-collected by SAHANZ is only that gathered in Australia: authors are still free to claim this money from elsewhere in the world through their own volition.
  • Regarding our ongoing collection of payments for papers published in 2016 and earlier, a notice will be added to the website offering an explanation and limitation on claims for repayment.
  • For our known retrospective debts, the executive will make contact with copyright holders, and request permission for the Society to retain the money, for the pursuit of the common good of the Society and pursuit of its aims. If this request is declined, we will pay the author the monies owed.
  • Each of these clauses, notices and letters have been drafted by the copyright lawyer, and are now in effect.

Earlier notice on copyright fees on conference papers

In furtherance of the Society’s objectives it has regularly published papers presented by speakers at conferences organised by the Society prior to 2017. In some cases, copying of those papers by third parties (for example, in library collections) has generated a royalty or licence fee that has been paid to the Society as the publisher of the paper. The Society does not have records or the resources necessary to locate all past presenters that might be entitled to receive a royalty or licence fee in respect of copies made of their paper. If you believe you may be entitled to a royalty or licence fee please contact the Society by writing to the current treasurer so the Society can use reasonable efforts to determine from its available records whether it can identify any royalty or licence fee payable to you.

If you believe you may be entitled to a royalty or licence fee for a paper presented at a Society-sponsored conference prior to 2017, please let us know by July 31st, 2018. All unclaimed past royalties and licence fees (and all future royalties and licence fees) will be used by the Society in furtherance of its not-for-profit objectives.

Please communicate by 31 July 2018 with the SAHANZ Treasurer, Ashley Paine.

Changes to SAHANZ website

Old SAHANZ website

The committee has approved some significant changes to the SAHANZ website. For some years the site has been ably managed and maintained by Robin Skinner. However, the HTML platform upon which it is built has caused some issues (relatively high hosting costs, difficulty for anyone other than Robin to make changes, lack of ‘responsiveness’ across different kinds of mobile devices, lack of ability to automatically plug in social media feeds, etc). Therefore the committee has taken the decision to move to a WordPress-based site, which will be relatively user-friendly and able to be updated and managed by various committee members, will reduce the hosting fees, and will increase the possibility of adding new or different functionality in future (for example, hosting past SAHANZ proceedings, member self-management, hosting of conference sites within the SAHANZ site etc – as the Society may decide).

The move from the current to the new website is proceeding with Robin’s blessing, however he does not wish to continue in a web-manager role. The technical aspects of the move will therefore be provided by Melbourne-based professional web consultant Peter Johns, who has experience in hosting and managing other architecture-related not-for-profit websites including the Association of Australasian Schools of Architecture and Parlour. We plan that the new SAHANZ site will be live by the July AGM. The committee would like to express our sincere thanks to Robin Skinner for his years of dedicated service maintaining the website.

SAHANZ session at next year’s SAH conference

SAH 2019

The call for proposals for the SAHANZ-sponsored session at the 2019 SAH conference in Providence, Rhode Island, did not attract any proposals. Rather than let the opportunity be wasted, the committee decided to support a late proposal, which had not been earlier submitted or considered, by Janina Gosseye and Philip Goad. This proposal was accepted by SAH and will take place in 2019. Click here for the cfp.

Change to email list


The SAHANZ email list, which has been generously hosted by UQ for some years, presents considerable problems with list management as only UQ staff can access the list and request changes. Therefore, the committee has decided to move to MailChimp as our email and list management tool. Members do not need to do anything. All current names on the SAHANZ list have been added to the MailChimp account, and new people can sign up here. The committee wishes to thank Justine Clark for assistance with the MailChimp migration, and thank UQ for hosting the SAHANZ list for so long.

Proposed designated web and social media manager role

Social Media

The website is the Society’s most important central repository and ‘front door’. It is an essential tool in furthering the society’s goals. Given this significance, the committee feels it is necessary to have a designated role, on the committee, for a web and social media manager. Therefore we are calling for nominations for this role prior to the AGM. Those wishing to express interest in this role should mail the secretary, Janina Gosseye at by 1 June.