The City and Complexity – Life, Design and Commerce in the Built Environment
Start date : 17 June 2020 09:00
End date : 19 June 2020 16:00
Where : London | Royaume-Uni
Hosted by :
Architecture Media Politics Society
Information sources :
2020 marks the 50th anniversary of Jane Jacobs’ The Economy of Cities. It came a decade after her seminal work, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, and heralded a new age in thinking about the city. The city would no longer be a question of design and planning in isolation. From the early 1970s onwards, it would be seen as a complex interdisciplinary phenomenon.
The first years of the 1970s saw the introduction of a whole series of notions that would mutually inform our reading of the metropolis: social justice and the city, sustainability, defensible space, and urban centres as sites of public health. It saw the emergence of concepts such as the global city, urban economics, the post-industrial society and the cultural city. From art, design and cultural perspectives, post-modernism would critique of the whole modernist project.
Five decades after complexity theory was first applied to our reading of the city, this conference revisits its consequences. It reconsiders the city as an adaptive, self-organising and unpredictable system of interconnecting interventions, forces and perspectives. It asks how these competing and mutually reinforcing factors came into play and how they operate today. It questions how the city has been, and continues to be, informed by the practices of multiple disciplines.
Urban Design | Architecture | Sustainability | Engineering | Housing | Public Health | Sociology | Economics | Business | Governance | Art and Culture | History
Today, ideas like the ‘business cluster’ are well established tenets of geographical economics. Research agencies prioritise place based approaches to economic growth as a matter of course. Architects such as Rem Koolhaas and Patrik Schumacher embrace the chaos of the Neoliberal city. Others such as Teddy Cruz emphasise housing, community activism and social responsibility. Engineers offer technical solutions to environmental design while the Rockefeller Foundation has highlighted city resilience. The United Nations has argued that ‘while cities bring opportunities, they also foster health epidemics’.
In this complex scenario nothing is isolated. New Urbanism can be analysed using space syntax. The walkable city can be aligned with Transport Orientated Development. Designers can be commissioned as tools of economic regeneration. Housing can be linked to financial crisis. The artistic and cultural heritage of our cities can become touristic futures. Health concerns can dictate urban design and regional planning.
This complexity has historical roots. By the early 1970s, spatial relationships had been fully embedded into financial theory. The city as a spatio-economic phenomena had been linked to ‘the right to the city’. Art and design had been fully commodified. The demolition of the Pruitt Igoe housing complex had been identified as the moment of modernism’s death. The Environmental Protection Agency had been set up. Sustainable design was on the agenda and, within a decade, the UN Healthy Cities initiative would be operative globally.
Some 50 years after the introduction of complexity theory and the establishment of the city as an interdisciplinary entity, this conference asks where are we now in our understanding of the city as an integrated phenomenon.
Seeing the urban phenomenon as not reducible to single issues, this conference asks you to bring your disciplinary expertise to a forum examining the city through the lens of complexity theory – as inevitably fragmented but simultaneously interconnected and changing. As such it welcomes contributions on the following strands (click for details):
1) Urban Design | Architecture | Interiors | Landscape
2) Engineering | Infrastructure | Sustainability
3) Housing | Public Health | Sociology | Human Geography
4) Economics | Business | City Management | Government Policy and Planning
5) Cultural Studies | Art History | Social History
Strands cover several issues of mobility:
The movement of capital between global cities; physically mobility as a question of accessibility; public transport infrastructures; migration and community formation for displaced peoples in new cities...
Practical informations :
01 Dec 2019: Abstract Submissions (Round One) * | 15 December 2019: Abstract Feedback
01 January 2020: Registration opens
01 April 2020: Abstract Submissions (Round Two) | 15 April 2020: Abstract Feedback
Conference: 17-19th June, 2020
30 July 2020: Full Paper Submissions (where applicable) | 30 October 2020: Feedback for publication | 20 December 2020: Full Paper re-submission
- Round One submissions allow for early review. This is open to all but is particularly useful for international delegates requiring a visa to attend the conference.
The conference welcomes case studies; design proposals, research projects, investigative papers and theoretical considerations in various formats allowing people to write a paper, attend in person or present via film and have their presentation permanently available via the AMPS Youtube channel:
Pre-recorded video (20 minutes) | Conference Presentations (20 minutes) | Written Papers (3,000 words) *
- After review selected authors will be invited to extend their initial 3000 words paper to full book chapter or journal article length.
Delegates are given the option to present their work at conference either with or without an accompanying full written paper. If written papers are submitted they should be 3000 word length. Formatting instructions will be available at the time of the conference. All papers are double blind peer reviewed and will be include in the AMPS Conference Proceedings Series, ISSN 2398-9467.
Subject to review, selected authors will be invited to develop longer versions of their papers for inclusion in either a Special Issue publication of the academic journal Architecture_MPS ISSN 2020-9006, or in a specially produced conference book. All publications will be developed by PARADE (Publication and Research in Art, Architectures, Design and Environments) which brings together multiple publishers including:
Routledge | Taylor & Francis | Intellect Books | Cambridge Scholars Publishing | Vernon Press | Libri Publishing.
Submission and Registration:
Download: Abstract Submission Form
Please send this fully completed document as a Microsoft Word attachment.
Subject line for emails: Abstract Submission London 20
File name for attachment: Name_Surname_Summary Title_London_20
Example file name: Charlie_Smith_Yet-Another-Apartment-Block_Abstract_London_20
Submit forms to: email@example.com
Delegate fee: £280 | Audience Fee: £125
Fees processed by PARADE in $CAD
This international event is organized by the City, University of London, the interdisciplinary research organization AMPS, its academic journal Architecture_MPS, together with the events and publication group PARADE.