Call for Papers

Audience: The 28th Annual Conference of the Society of Architectural Historians, Australia and New Zealand

State Library of Queensland, Brisbane, July 6-9, 2011

Abstracts due 19 November 2010.

Since 1985 the Society of Architectural Historians, Australia and New Zealand has fostered a vital and broad discussion of architecture amongst its membership – making of itself an audience for architectural history. The work of the Society has obvious significance beyond this constituency yet how is this greater audience shaped or constituted, and in what terms? And how has audience and notions of reception framed architecture as something historically situated, something positioned in its past?

The 28th Annual SAHANZ Conference in Brisbane, 2011, takes ‘Audience’ as its broad theme, inviting papers that reflect on architectural history and its critical points of address. Who are the audiences of architectural history? To whom are books, articles, and exhibitions of architectural history addressed? Does architecture have an audience simply by occupying a place in the world? What are the implications of having professional, disciplinary or popular audiences for architectural history alongside each other? Can historians of architecture cultivate new audiences for historical and contemporary architecture? And how are various social and cultural publics formed or anticipated through the writing of architectural history?

We welcome papers addressing any aspect of the relationship between architectural history and its audience, inviting reflection upon works of architecture, ideas about architecture, the architect, architectural processes and the role of the historian and critic.

The Conference will consist of open sessions and themed sessions as listed below.

Australian and New Zealand audiences for modern architecture

The presence of modern architecture in Australia and New Zealand required the cultivation of local audiences for modern ideas, posing questions of how those audiences were fostered and maintained. Were local audiences for modern architecture concurrent with their counterparts in Europe, America or elsewhere? If not, what was the effect of this? And how does this play out for a historical understanding of modern influences formed in localised settings? The session invites papers addressing these questions as well as broader reflection on how architectural historiography deals with the idea of modernity and the audiences it presupposes.

Adaptive re-use as Architectural history

The adaptive re-use of historic buildings comprises a particular kind of applied and embodied architectural history, one with the potential to dramatically change or expand the audience of a given building. This session seeks diverse perspectives on the adaptive re-use of buildings, from practising architects, heritage professionals, and scholars. In what ways do re-use and adaptation serve to re-construct, or deconstruct, the history of a given building? What is the role or significance of interpretation in re-used buildings? What is the historiographic significance of adaptive re-use? Through case studies or discussion of broader issues, this session proposes a discussion of adaptive re-use as architectural history.

Urban Architecture

The session will focus on the subject of urban architecture – a loosely defined area located between the traditional fields of architecture, urban design and planning. With the experiences of the high urbanism of the 1970s and 80s and more recent developments such as landscape urbanism in mind, it seems an architecture set within an expanded field of action is neither new, nor without relevance to a contemporary audience. This session seeks papers that address questions surrounding architecture that is particular to urban settings and audiences: its history and theory; its practice; its role in education and its place in the future.

Landscapes of performance and invention for the critical audience

Landscapes constructed with an architectural character in mind engage various audiences – be they makers, observers or users of these spaces. In the development of gardens over time, garden makers are often motivated by the intent to collect, to educate and to philosophise – marking out territories or landscapes that are both tangible and intangible. How are these constructed landscapes performed by their users and how also might we account for the audiences presupposed by such constructions critically and or historically? In what ways do such constructed landscapes intersect with architectural precedent (such as the museum or gallery) and where does the capacity for invention lie? What innovations grow out of these crossings and what conventions (interior versus exterior) are questioned?

Consumption and Production in the Indigenous Architectures of the Pacific Rim

The notion of audience draws attention to the complex relationship between the production and the consumption of architecture and the cultural politics of architectural authority. Who defines the value and meaning of different forms of architecture, and on what basis is that right appropriated and executed? The issue of cultural authority is especially pertinent to the built traditions of indigenous peoples, a practice that is commonly defined as vernacular. Who determines the value—‘architectural’ or otherwise—of these buildings? How have these traditions been viewed, both historically and aesthetically, by the disciplines (architecture, anthropology, ethnology, art history etc) that would characterise them? Who defines what becomes ‘architecture’ in the related areas of design practice, production, consumption and research, and on what grounds?

The role of the media in the cultivation of audiences for architecture

The media has played a significant role in the cultivation of audiences for architecture. These audiences have ranged from specific groups within the architectural profession to the broad general public. The relationship the media has had with these audiences is a complex one and depends on the type of media, its constructed role, and the place it occupies within the cultural arena. This session seeks papers that explore the role of the media – professional, popular, cross-disciplinary, or other – in the cultivation of audiences for architecture.

Nineteenth-Century Architecture and its audiences

The architecture of nineteenth-century settler communities is conventionally framed within a colonial, national, and more recently, a post-colonial context. Although widely appreciated as an extension or reflection of the original society and its institutions, the realities of nineteenth century settlements and colonies tend to confound those neater images. The colony of Queensland, for instance, positioned at the ‘ragged edge of empire’ (Evans, 2007), was also characterized by ethnic heterogeneity, racial conflict and social and sectarian complexity. This session invites papers that consider the role of architecture in addressing complexities of this nature. Did architecture participate in broader agendas of cultural representation, racial, and social division and/or reform? How was the discourse of culture framed within these communities and where did architecture, and more broadly the arts, sit within these debates? How were ‘cultured communities’ encouraged within the colonies? And what groups were cultural discourses intended to address? This session welcomes papers considering the broader implications of this theme as well as case studies that treat these issues in detail.

Japanese architectural culture post-war

This session examines post-war tendencies in Japanese architectural culture and their promulgation within Japan as well as their reception and critical construction internationally. The arc of the session aims at an examination of the processes spanning from post-war reconstruction to economic stability and inter-relationships at various levels between Japanese vernacular traditions and post-war modernism, engagements with global architectural culture, its uptake in Japan, and the dissemination of Japanese post-war tendencies and models beyond Japan, including Australia and New Zealand. Papers will consider historical developments within Japan alongside the representation of Japanese architecture within and beyond Japan itself.

Designing the Archive: Histories and practices

The recent launch of the Design Lounge and the Asia Pacific Design Library at the State Library of Queensland, Brisbane, aligns with an emerging interest amongst libraries, galleries, archives and museums to collect the tangible and intangible histories of architecture and design. This session invites papers that critically examine the history of the architecture of the design archive and its relationship to changing practices in collection management and information dissemination (or vice-versa). Papers that consider the role of the archive in building historical understandings of architecture and the role of public audiences (lay, professional or academic) in canon construction are also encouraged. Papers may consider the broader implications of the session theme or focus on specific case studies.

Abstract submission

Abstracts of no more than 300 words should be submitted via the Conference Paper Management website, using the following link:

You will need to create a Login ID and a password to allow secure uploading of your abstract. Abstracts and accepted papers will be double blind refereed and published in the conference proceedings.

Conference Timetable

Abstract submission: 19 November 2010

Notification of acceptance: 6 December 2010

Full Papers: 18 March 2011

Referee Reports: 29th April 2011

Final Papers: 27th May 2011

Conference: 6-9 July 2011

Convenors: Antony Moulis ( and Deborah van der Plaat (

SAHANZ website