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Call for Papers: Symposium on Architectural History at ArkDes

ArkDes, the Swedish Centre for Architecture and Design, has started a long-term project to research its collection in order to curate a new permanent exhibition on architecture in Sweden. We are hereby pleased to issue this Call for Papers for a symposium focused on learning from ongoing research about the history of architecture in Sweden. What is currently being investigated, how are different theories, concepts, and practice-based methods influencing historical studies, how is the increasing internationalisation shaping the field and, above all, how could such knowledge be invested in a contemporary display while also contributing to the scholarship around Swedish architecture at large?


The current permanent exhibition, Svensk byggnadskonst under 1 000 år (The Swedish Art of Building Through 1000 Years), opened in February 1998 in the then new premises of the Swedish Museum of Architecture (now ArkDes). It has remained the most comprehensive display of Swedish architecture since. Through a series of both small and more significant revisions it has come to serve as an important point of reference for the general understanding and communication of Sweden’s built environment, architecture, and planning to a large number of visitors, from curious preschool groups to interested tourists. 1998 also witnessed the extensive travelling exhibition 20th-Century Architecture, Sweden produced by the Deutsches Architekturmuseum (DAM) that was accompanied by a catalogue which remains a seminal publishing project on Swedish 20th century architecture.

During the twenty years that have passed since these major efforts, both the built environment and its architecture—alongside the wider understanding of the discipline—has been subject to considerable and constant change. In parallel, ArkDes has developed a new identity as a museum centered on the relationship of design in all its forms to public life and citizenship. In Sweden and abroad the role of the exhibition medium in architectural discourse has also been studied critically and reassessed. In concert, these developments challenge and demand new approaches to the curation of architecture in the context of the museum.

The Symposium

The symposium will take stock and cover the full range and breadth of knowledge generated by architecture and the built environment. We therefore welcome a broad spectrum of research on architectural histories with a connection to Sweden.

Aiming to address research on topics mainly concerned with the 20th century to the present day, we ask for scientifically well-researched proposals that analyse architecture as a cultural, aesthetic, or socio-political phenomenon. Presentations (no longer than twenty minutes) may cover both individual case studies or introduce broader theoretical and methodological approaches. Proposals based on archival and collection-based research as well as the representations of architecture in various media are encouraged.

Submit abstracts

Please submit an abstract of 300 words that briefly describes the subject, significant research questions, results, methods, and theories of relevance. This should be emailed together with a short personal biography (maximum one A4 page) to bas@arkdes.se no later than November 11 (extended deadline), 2018.
Notifications of acceptance will be communicated on or before November 19, 2018.
All abstracts will be reviewed by a scientific committee. Abstracts may be submitted in English or in Swedish.
The symposium is being organised by ArkDes (Mikael Andersson and Christina Pech, research coordinator).

Please direct any questions to: bas@arkdes.se.

The symposium will be held at ArkDes, Exercisplan 4, Stockholm, on December 18, 2018.

Important dates

Deadline abstract: November 11 (extended deadline)
Notifications of acceptance: November 19
Symposium: December 18

Call for Papers: Symposium on Architectural History at ArkDes (pdf)

Programme 18 December