Friday, May 29, 2009

Nexus: Call for Papers

The Call for Papers has just gone out for Nexus 2010: Relationships Between Architecture and Mathematics. This international, interdisciplinary conference will take place 13-15 June 2010 in Porto, Portugal, hosted by the Faculty of Architecture (FAUP) and the Center of Mathematics (CMUP)/Faculty of Sciences (FCUP) of the University of Porto.

This is the eighth conference in the Nexus series, following those in 1996 (Fucecchio, Florence, Italy), 1998 (Mantua, Italy), 2000 (Ferrara, Italy), 2002 (Óbidos, Portugal), 2004 (Mexico City), 2006 (Genoa, Italy) and 2008 (San Diego, USA). The papers from the conference will be published in future issues of the Nexus Network Journal.

Papers are being solicited for 5 sessions and 2 round tables:


Shape and Shape Grammars, Lionel March, Moderator

From Mediaeval Stonecutting to Projective Geometry: Formal, Social and Epistemological Shifts, José Calvo-López,

Architecture, Systems Research and Computational Sciences, Gonçalo Furtado, Moderator

Guerrilla Tactics of Digital Design, Chris Beorkrem, Moderator

Miscellaneous (for papers that do not fall into one of the above categories), Kim Williams, Moderator

Round Tables

Generative Architecture codeness, Celestino Soddu, Moderator

The Geometric Construction of Morphology, Alberto Sdegno, Moderator

All information about submissions is available on the Nexus Network Journal webpage.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

New Orleans Conference Mecca

Cover Illustration from New Orleans as Seen on Tour (Harvey Press, 1975), Special Collections Division, Tulane University Libraries.  Original gouache painting is housed in the Curtis & Davis Collection, Southeastern Architectural Archive, Special Collections Division, Tulane University Libraries.

In the next two years, the city of New Orleans will be hosting a number of important architecture-related conferences.

Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture  March 4-7 2010
Tulane University will be hosting the annual meeting of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) with a focus on RE-Building.  Deadline for paper proposals is 30 September 2009.  Read more here.

American Planning Association  April 10-14 2010
The American Planning Association provides leadership in the development of communities. Witold Rybczynski, the Martin and Margy Meyerson Professor of Urbanism at the University of Pennsylvania, was a keynote speaker for the APA's 2009 conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Proposals for sessions will be accepted beginning June 2009. To read more, watch for updates on  the APA website.

American Institute of Architects May 10-14 2011
Founded in 1857, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) serves as the voice of the architecture profession.  This year's Boston conference (May 28-31) focuses on the Modern movement. Watch for 2011 updates on the AIA website.

Society of Architectural Historians April 2011
Founded in 1940, the Society of Architectural Historians (SAH)  is an international non-profit organization with nearly 3,500 members worldwide. SAH promotes the study and preservation of the built environment.
Dates and additional information to be announced on the SAH website.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

150th Anniversary of the Vienna Chair


April 2009 

Furniture design company Thonet is launching a photography competition to mark the 150th birthday of the café chair No 14, which is now known as the 214 chair. 

Anyone who owns the original model is invited to send in a digital photograph of their chair, and to tell a short story about it. 

Furniture maker Michael Thonet first introduced the bentwood 214 chair in Vienna in 1859, and it has remained in production ever since, making it the chair with the longest production run in history. 

James Irvine and other Thonet designers will be on the judging panel to decide the best and most original pictures of the 214 chair. 

Prizes include a trip to Thonet’s headquarters in Frankenberg, Germany, where the competition winner can attend a workshop on bentwood manufacture. 

The best 214 photos of the 214 chair will feature in an anniversary publication.

For more information (guidelines/terms/conditions), click here.

Key West Gingerbreads

The Key West Public Library has recently digitized its collection of tracings of historic Key West gingerbread.   Created by local historian-preservationist Howard England (1914-1999), the tracings and related photographs are indexed by street address and location of the gingerbread.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Digitized Architectural Drawings

For those searching for digital reproductions of architectural drawings, there are a growing number of resources available. Archivision, now accessible by subscription via ARTstor, has been mentioned in an earlier post.  The Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division is another important source, especially rich due to its housing the Historic American Buildings Survey.  

The Art Institute of Chicago (web capture shown above) is also a great resource, featuring digital reproductions of works by Burnham & Root, Buckminster Fuller, Bertrand Goldberg, Holabird & Roche, and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Granted, they are small in scale, but the digitals may provoke a visit to Chicago.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Fay Jones Papers: Formal Opening

The University of Arkansas recently announced that the papers of Arkansas architect Fay Jones (1921-2004) are now open for research in its Libraries' Special Collections Department.  The announcement was made in conjunction with the April 4th dedication of the newly renamed Fay Jones School of Architecture.  

Processing Jones's 606 linear feet collection of correspondence, drawings, business records, models, and photographic materials took University of Arkansas archivists six years.  To see some of the holdings, click here.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

New Orleans Business Archive: Luther Homes

This lithographic print mounted to canvas is one of forty-one sheets designed by New Orleans lithographer P. Adt for Luther Homes (active c. 1842-1881), the proprietor of an iron railings business that operated in the years prior to the Civil War.  Luther Homes appears in New Orleans city directories as a blacksmith in 1842 and 1846, but by 1853 he became the sole owner of a foundry and railing business, the successor to Homes and Bennett/Foundry and Ornamental Iron Works, located at the corner of Benton and Euphrosine Streets with its office at 106 St. Charles.  By 1854, Mr. Homes announced his desire to sell the St. Charles hardware store so that he could "give his full attention to the Foundry and Railing business" (DP March 30).

The forty-one prints document a wide range of ornamental railings, as well as architectural capitals, pilasters, and mantels.  The New Orleans Daily Creole (October 11 1856) includes a wood engraving of Homes's iron works, and various issues of The Daily Picayune and The Daily True Delta contain the company's paid advertisements.  

Mr. Homes later became an active member of the Louisiana Jockey Club (secretary in 1868) and the Mechanics and Agricultural Fair Association (treasurer and secretary in 1877).

Above:  Figure No. 11.  P. Adt, Lithographer and Printer, New Orleans.  [Architectural drawings: including designs for grill work, spindels, and. . . ].  Vol. 1, circa 1860.  Southeastern Architectural Archive, Special Collections Division, Tulane University Libraries.

Monday, May 11, 2009

History of the Future Colloquium

Harvard University's Graduate School of Design/Center for Alternative Futures recently launched a new colloquium series on alternative futures.  The series is intended to foster speculative thinking about the ways in which technology and the media impact the shape of future cities and buildings. Environmental change, ecological problems, and the roles of architecture and planning will also be addressed in a multi-disciplinary context.  The first of the series, titled "History of the Future" is scheduled today and tomorrow, 11 & 12 May 2009.  To read more, click here.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Utopian Spaces: Call for Papers

“Utopian Spaces of British Literature and Culture, 1890-1945”
18 September 2009
University of Oxford (United Kingdom)

The focus of the conference is on the spatial manifestations, geographies and practices of Utopianism, rather than on Utopianism as a category of millenarian anticipation. Papers are invited which address the various material and imaginary spatial forms of the Utopian impulse. How do certain
spaces become associated with particular political or aesthetic visions of modernity? Does the Utopian bear a particular affinity to some spaces, rather than to others? Is the Utopian impulse articulated as a desire for order or anarchy?

Papers are invited on any aspect, historical and/or theoretical, of the conference theme. Topics may include but are not limited to:

  • the political, religious, aesthetic nature of Utopian spaces
  • the city as a Utopian space
  • imaginary, geographical and textual maps
  • representations of Utopian spaces in literature and other media (e.g. painting, film, architecture)
  • theoretical considerations of Utopian ‘places’ and geographies (Walter Benjamin, de Certeau, Henri Lefebvre, Guy Debord and others)
  • mobility and transport
  • racialized Utopian spaces

Send an abstract of no more than 250 words in length, including name, position and institutional affiliation to Deadline for submission: 30 June 2009. For further information, visit