Ultra: Positions and Polarities beyond Crisis

November 10 to November 13, 2021

38th conference
Michaelmore, Roeger & Russell, Chester House, Belair 1966, State Library of South Australia BRG 346/28/6/2.

38th Annual Conference of the Society of Architectural Historians, Australia and New Zealand

Hosted by the University of Adelaide, School of Architecture and Built Environment, Faculty of Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences, and convened by James Curry and David Kroll.

Ultra: Positions and Polarities beyond Crisis

On the far side or beyond a limit, the term ‘ultra’ invokes an intensity of experience or conviction that falls outside the usual, the ordinary or the moderate; an attitude, stance, or position that may arise as much from emotion as it is informed by reason, particularly in moments of crisis when normality ceases to hold.

In the writing of architectural history extreme positions tend to suspend or stand outside the critical norms of the disciplinein which, arguably, the cautious discerning of significance isthe default practice. Positive can become ultra-positive as careful empirical observation and critical argumentation are transcended by the rhetoric of celebration. Commemoration,on the other hand, can evoke comparable rhetorical excess where the end of a golden era, for example, or the loss of a distinctive regional architecture or construction traditionbecome the focus of ultra-sad lamentation, or ultra-criticalclaims of abject failure where once dominant narratives no longer appear to sustain belief or explanatory power.

Operating as both a polemic and a call for insightful newinquiry into the discipline through which we think, Ultrainvites participants to reflect upon the polarities of architectural discourse as well as the spectrum of positions between these. What are the implications of crises, past and present, in framing (or re-framing) the critical perspectives that architectural historiography may offer beyond such moments of confusion and/or extraordinary conviction? The conference seeks broad ranging responses to this question and its theme that will reflect on-going work in several established and developing areas of current SAHANZ scholarship.


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Complete proceedings PDF 24.52M


  • Amirjani, Rahmatollah, Labour Housing and the Normalisation of Modernity in 1970s Iran LINK
  • Burns, Karen; Edquist, Harriet, Women, Media, Design, and Material Culture in Australia, 1870-1920 LINK
  • Carter, Nanette, The Sleepout LINK
  • Charitonidou, Marianna, The Reconceptualization of the City’s Ugliness Between the 1950s and 1970s in the British, Italian, and Australian Milieus LINK
  • Collins, Julie, Fresh Air and Sunshine: The Health Aspects of Sleepouts, Sunrooms, and Sundecks in South Australian Architecture of the 1930s LINK
  • Corkhill, Anna; Srivastava, Amit, Alan Gilbert and Sarah Lo in Reform Era China and Hong Kong: A NSW Architect in Asia LINK
  • Daunt, Lisa Marie, Tradition and Modern Ideas: Building Post-war Cathedrals in Queensland and Adjoining Territories LINK
  • Day, Kristen; Campbell, Erin, Four Melbourne Architects (1979): The Creation of Contemporary Perceptions for Australian Architecture LINK
  • Deane, Saul, The Sandstone Squarehouses of Macarthur: The Ultra Vires Blockhouses of Sydney Basin’s Dispossession LINK
  • Gane, Daria Gomez, Pythagorean Palladio: Palladian Proportionality Patterns Decoded? LINK
  • Gardiner, Fiona, Yes, You Can Be an Architect and a Woman!’ Women in Architecture: Queensland 1982-1989 LINK
  • Gelder, John, WW2 and Its Aftermath: Impact on the Architectural Palette LINK
  • Goad, Philip, Designing a Critical Voice: Discourse and the Victorian Architectural Students Society (VASS), 1907-1961 LINK
  • Göl, Berna, A Transformation of Leisure in the Architectural Imaginary: Could the Tiny House Movement Learn from Megastructuralism? LINK
  • Grant, Angus; Raisbeck, Peter, A Selective Digital History: Limitations within Digitisation Practices and their Implications LINK
  • Guedes, Pedro, Healing Modern Architecture’s Break with the Past: Musings around Brazilian Fenestration LINK
  • Harper, Glenn, Becoming Ultra-Civic: The Completion of Queen’s Square, Sydney 1962-1978 LINK
  • Hinkel, Rochus Urban; Newell, Dylan, On a Field: Undoing Polarities between Indigenous and Non-indigenous Design Knowledges LINK
  • Hogben, Paul, The Making of a Newcastle Modernist: The Early House Designs of Sydney C. Morton LINK
  • Holleran, Samuel, Ultra Graphic: Australian Advertising Infrastructure from Morris Columns to Media Facades LINK
  • Jasper, Michael, Untimely Meditations: Decomposition and Timelessness in Select Writings of Peter Eisenman LINK
  • Jin, Xin, Making with the Past: Bricolages in Wang Shu’s Design Writings and Built Projects LINK
  • Kroll, David, The Other Architects Who Made London: Building Applications in Richmond 1886 -1939.” between Architecture and Engineering LINK
  • Lana, Luca, Queer Terrain: Architecture of Queer Ecology LINK
  • Lewi, Hannah; Logan, Cameron, Campus Crisis: Materiality and the Institutional Identity of Australia’s Universities LINK
  • Lonergan, Hamish, Explicitly Tacit: Polanyi’s “Tacit Knowledge” in the Architectural Theory of Charney and Rowe LINK
  • Lu, Duanfang, A Conceptual Framework for Architectural Historiography LINK
  • Mađanović, Milica; Moore, Cameron; Milic, Renata Jadresin, The Role of Architectural History Research: Auckland’s NZI Building as William Gummer’s Attempt at Humanity LINK
  • Maranelli, Francesco, Engineering Melbourne’s “Great Structural- Functional Idea”: Aspects of the Victorian Post-war “Rapprôchement” between Architecture and Engineering LINK
  • Marfella, Giorgio, Seeds of Concrete Progress: Grain Elevators and Technology Transfer between America and Australia LINK
  • Miller-Yeaman, Renee, Producing the House: The Commonwealth Experimental Building Station and Housing Research LINK
  • Moghassemi, Golshan; Akhgar, Peyman, The Advent of Modern Construction Techniques in Iran: Trans-Iranian Railway Stations (1933-1938) LINK
  • Nazareth, Ian; Hamann, Conrad; Heyworth, Rosemary, A Hundred Local Cities and the Crisis of Commuting: How Nodal Suburbs Shaped the Most Radical Change in Melbourne’s Suburban Development, 1859 -1980 LINK
  • Petrović, Emina Kristina, Two Conceptualisations of Change in Architectural History: Towards Driving Pro-sustainable Change in Architecture LINK
  • Purwaningrum, Diah Asih, The Nusantaran Architecture Design Competition: A ‘Forced’ Traditionalisation of Indonesia’s Architectural Identity Translation? LINK
  • Raisbeck, Peter, Reworlding the Archive: Robin Boyd, Gregory Burgess and Indigenous Knowledge in the Architectural Archive.” between Architecture and Engineering LINK
  • Raxworthy, Julian, A Story of Two Titles: The Torrens System and Parcel 702, Adelaide LINK
  • Saeedi, Azin, Community Participation in Conservation Proposals of Islamic Pilgrimage Sites LINK
  • Saniga, Andrew; Wilson, Andrew, Barbara van den Broek. Contributions to the Disciplines of Landscape Architecture, Town Planning and Architecture LINK
  • Shroff, Meherzad B.; Srivastava, Amit, Hotel Australia to Oberoi Adelaide: The Transnational History of an Adelaide Hotel LINK
  • Stevens, Quentin, A Brief History of the Short-Term Parklet in Australia LINK
  • Telford, Elsie; Kidd, Akari Nakai; de Jong, Ursula, Beyond the 1968 Battle between Housing Commission, Victoria, and the Residential Associations: Uncovering the Ultra Positions of Melbourne Social Housing LINK
  • Uzra, Mehbuba Tune; Scriver, Peter, Designing Post-colonial Domesticity: Positions and Polarities in the Feminine Reception of New Residential Patterns in Modernising East Pakistan and Bangladesh LINK
  • Webster, Dillon, Written into Existence: Publications and the Perceived Narratives of Gregory Burgess’s Architecture LINK
  • Widyarta, Mohammad, Foreign Aid and Modern Architecture in Indonesia: Intersecting Cold War Relations and Funding for the Fourth Asian Games, 1962 LINK
  • Xinting, Liang; Subin, Zu; Nobuo, Aoki, The Trajectory of Collective Life: The Ideal and Practice of New Village in Tianjin, 1920s-1950s LINK
  • Yousefnia, Ali Rad, Provocation, Ultra-Resistance and Representation: A Case Study-Based Research Course & the Student Exhibition ‘Re- Presented’ LINK
  • Zhu, Jie; Stevens, Quentin; Anderson, Charles, Chinese Public Memorials: Under the Effect of Exclusively Pursuing Solemnness, Sacredness, and Grandness LINK