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Industries Of Architecture

Relations – Process – Production

IOA logo

Newcastle University
School of Architecture Planning and Landscape

13-15 November 2014


Industries Of Architecture

Relations – Process – Production

IOA logo

11th AHRA International Conference

13-15 November 2014


Industries Of Architecture

Relations – Process – Production

IOA logo

Newcastle University
School of Architecture Planning and Landscape

13-15 November 2014


Organisers: Katie Lloyd Thomas (Newcastle University), Nick Beech (Oxford Brookes University) and Tilo Amhoff (University of Brighton) with Adam Sharr (Newcastle University)

All too often architectural theorists, historians and designers side-line the industrial, technical and socio-economic contexts in which building is constituted or maintain that these are not the proper concerns of architecture, even when acknowledging the limits and possibilities set for architecture’s production in advanced capitalism.

As a result, the developments with the greatest impact on the design and production of architecture are left to technical, economic and practice management discourses of building. Although the architectural humanities has recently shown interest in new technologies of digital fabrication (often celebrating the apparently closer relationship of the design process to realisation these developments bring) or in questions around life cycle analysis, embodied energy and ecologies of design, there are scores of other developments less noticeable but no less significant that should also demand our attention.

How are new technologies and techniques from BIM to robots and smart materials changing the production of buildings and the roles and environments of architects, constructors and users? How are ‘immaterial’ forces such as law and regulation materialised in building and with what effects? How and in what ways does risk management or the requirement for comfort or the performance imperative transform materials, practices and the possibilities of design? If we are to understand the transformations in architectural culture that emerge from these developments or to effectively critique or intervene in them then surely we need to engage with these contexts and with the questions that ensue, and to engage as much with practitioners, professionals and producers within the industry as with those attempting to operate outside it.

In addition to the usual conference papers Industries of Architecture will also host a number of open-structured debate-oriented workshops with the aim of bringing into the discussion those working in building, technology, law, practice management, construction or in industry together with researchers in the architectural humanities. Summaries of these sessions will be an important part of the closing session, as will overviews of the conference strands.

IOA’s opening night will include screenings of a series of artists’ films that explore the production of architecture, with special focus on the work of Berlin-based film maker Harun Farocki and on Allan Sekula’s documentaries, and discussion with some of our contributors. It will be hosted at the art deco Tyneside Cinema built in the 1930s to show newsreels. The session is part of the SAPL Public Events series and tickets are available for the public. The main conference will take place next to the University at the Great North Musuem and in the school of architecture. The Friday night keynote and conference buffet will be held in the panelled lecture theatre and library of the Newcastle’s beautiful Victorian Mining Institute.

Call for Papers


We invite 20 minute papers addressing the questions raised in the synopsis from architectural historians, theorists, designers and professionals, workers and producers involved in the ‘industry of architecture’ as well as those working on these issues from other disciplines including film-making, art practice and performance.

We welcome contributions that explore these contemporary developments and also those that ask what theoretical and critical approaches may be appropriate for their interrogation.

Might the architectural humanities extend approaches already found in construction history, economic history, labour history, critical geography or in science and technology studies to explore these issues without losing sight of questions of design, aesthetics and affect? What other discourses such as process philosophies, relational ontologies or new materialism offer potentials for understanding these constellations of humans and nonhumans, structures and operations? What politics can be brought to, and are already found, in the industries of architecture? To what extent do discourses of gender and difference challenge the ways we might think about work on site and in the office? Are critical strategies of design always already informed by industry and must this be a problem? Can critical practice operate within the conditions of production rather than find a space in which to operate outside them?

Industries of Architecture recognises that there has been work in research and practice where concerns with the production of architecture were central, whether the enquiries of Sigfried Giedion or Reyner Banham into the entanglements of industrial developments and modern architecture, or the workerist-informed theory of the Venice School, the investigations of the Bartlett International Summer School into the production of the built environment, or in Brazil, Arquitectura Nova’s work at theorising and altering the role of architectural design in the organisation of labour on the building site. As well as new approaches to present conditions, and in order to support the same, we encourage re-evaluations of this earlier work or historical studies of, for example, labour on and off site (and in the office), relations of material and immaterial labour, management and organisation, products and materials manufacture, spaces of production or the impact of new regulatory or contractual regimes, and architects’ engagement with these issues. What other histories are to be written, particularly those that might acknowledge the very local and differentiated systems and structures of production in former socialist states for example, or in cultures with very different contexts to the US and Europe? What methodologies can we make use of to capture these often invisible and unrecorded histories? What are the implications for contemporary practice?

Deadline for call for papers: 1 May 2014

Please send a 500 word abstract, including title, and 50 word biog to We aim to notify you by 1 July 2014. Please note that full papers will be required prior to the conference for panel chairs and to begin the editorial process for publication in the Industries of Architecture volume in the Routledge Critiques series, and a special conference issue of Architecture and Culture.




Industries of Architecture is hosting 6 open-structured debate-oriented workshops with the aim of bringing into the discussion those working in building, technology, law, practice management, construction or in industry together with researchers in the architectural humanities.

They are likely to include an introduction by the convenor/s, and short presentations/film showings/etc. of around 5 minutes followed by a couple of hours of discussion over refreshments, but other formats such as visits to construction sites are also planned. Summaries of these sessions will be an important part of the closing session.

Workshops will take place on the afternoon of Friday 14 November with the closing review of workshops on Saturday afternoon. There is a special ‘workshop rate’ that covers this second half of the conference for those who are keen to be involved with this part of Industries of Architecture but can’t attend the full conference. If you are interested in contributing to one of these workshops please do contact the session organiser/s directly.

BIM Goes the Architect

John Gelder (University of South Australia)

As built-environment information modelling (BIM) matures, both technologically and culturally, traditional professional and other roles will be increasingly challenged, particularly those built around computation such as the various engineering disciplines. On the other hand, some architects see BIM as an opportunity for their profession to reclaim the central position it once enjoyed in traditional procurement. Is this likely, possible, or even desirable? Or is the profession of architecture as currently practised more likely to be replaced by one or more new design professions, in the same way that the design role of the medieval master builder was replaced by the dilettante architect during the information technology (IT) revolution of the Renaissance?

The Creative Potential of Regulation

Rob Imrie (Sociology, Goldsmiths, University of London), Emma Street (Real Estate & Planning, University of Reading) and Sarah Wigglesworth (University of Sheffield, Sarah Wigglesworth Architects)

It is a commonly held view that the regulations and rules that govern design practice - such as planning, building regulations, BREEAM, CfSH - are external impositions that reduce the scope of the architect’s creativity. In contrast, this workshop aims to explore how such rules and regulations can be a springboard for creative engagement and design opportunity. The participatory workshop will start by examining our attitude to, and experiences of, regulation and will speculate on the contents of an imaginary ‘Part Q’ Approved Document (AD) that addresses the needs & desires of older people. We will aim to describe this new Part Q in ways that depart from how regulations are often written about and discussed, by stipulating enabling or aspirational criteria that focus on wellbeing and quality of life.

Retrofit in Practice: What Next?

Sofie Pelsmakers (Doctoral Candidate, UCL Energy Institute and co-founder of Architecture for Change) and David Kroll (Anglia Ruskin University)
Saint Gobain and ECD Architects Logo

To meet the UK government’s ambitious carbon reduction standards, existing buildings will need to be upgraded to meet high fabric efficiency standards. But what are the challenges faced? Which policies exist to encourage this large scale retrofit – and what are the barriers? How much do we currently know about how well these buildings perform and what standards will they need to meet? What could some of the unintended consequences be of fabric upgrade? Will planning support or hinder interventions? Is there a role for architects in the upgrade of existing structures? And, why not simply demolish and start anew?

On Site: Observations and conversations on the design and production of the built environment

Linda Clarke and Christine Wall (ProBE, University of Westminster) and Nick Beech (Oxford Brookes University)

This workshop engages with the question of what role and contribution construction labour and the labour process play in determining the design and realisation of architecture. Through a site visit to a major construction project in the Newcastleupon- Tyne region [tbc], delegates will have an opportunity to observe processes of production and talk to those responsible. The workshop will then discuss and evaluate this experience and explore how far the current social and contractual relationships between construction workers, managers, and professionals can accommodate to different designs, methods, technologies and organisation of production.

Risk and Reflexivity: Architecture and the industries of risk-distribution

Liam Ross (University of Edinburgh) and Adam Sharr (Newcastle University)

This workshop invites participants from a range of construction industry fields – not just architects but also developers, insurers, lawyers, consultants, contractors and facilities managers – to discuss how the question of risk surfaces within and between their fields: where does it come from, how is it represented, where is it transferred to, and what residual risks remain? Between these short presentations, round-table discussions will consider the ‘reflexive’ effects created by the commodity of risk in building: what risks do buildings mitigate, and what risks do they construct? How are the risks and rewards of building distributed? How is a culture of risk-awareness re-shaping disciplinary roles and responsibilities? How is the built environment reshaping us as occupants, habituating us to, or protecting us from, risk?

New glass performances and materials designed for purpose

Katie Lloyd Thomas (Newcastle University)

Unfortunately this workshop has been withdrawn

Keynotes & Advisory Team


Keynote Speakers

Sérgio Ferro (France/Brazil) 2pm Thursday 13th Nov

Gail Day (Leeds University) 5.30pm Thursday 13th Nov

Peggy Deamer (Yale/Deamer Architects) 5.30pm Friday 14th Nov

Aggregate Architectural History Collective (USA/Canada) 9am Saturday 15th Nov

Adrian Forty (Bartlett School of Architecture) 4pm Saturday 15th Nov


Industries of Architecture is the second collaboration between Katie Lloyd Thomas (Newcastle University), Nick Beech (Oxford Brookes University) and Tilo Amhoff (University of Brighton) who in February 2011 co-organised the Further Reading Required symposium at the Bartlett – a ground-breaking interdisciplinary investigation of construction documents, published as a special issue of Architectural Research Quarterly 16/3 (2013). For Industries of Architecture they are joined by Adam Sharr (Newcastle University).

Advisory Team:

Robert Carvais (France), Jonathan Charley (UK), Jonathan Hale (UK/AHRA), Merlijn Hurx (Holland), Silke Kapp (Brazil), Mary McLeod (USA), Antoine Picon (USA/France) Julieanna Preston (New Zealand), Andrew Rabeneck (UK), Peg Rawes (UK/AHRA), Lukasz Stanek (UK), Paolo Tombesi (Australia), Sarah Wigglesworth (UK).



Accomodation & Venues


Newcastle has a great range of accommodation options within easy walking distance of the IOA venues. To browse options and make bookings please use the following link:

Getting to the Great North Museum/School of Architecture:

From Central Station / Airport take the metro to Haymarket. Leave from the right side entrance at the top of the escalators and cross Percy Street (you will see the INTO building straight ahead). Turn right.

To get the architecture school, turn left up the steps past Campus Coffee, and go under the arch into the quadrangle. The architecture school is the ivy covered building on your right.

To get to the Great North Museum keep walking past the steps until you get to the main road. Directly ahead you’ll see a great stone building with a classical portico raised up on a hill. That’s the GNM. Cross the road and go in the front entrance. We’re in Halls 1,2 and 3 on the first floor (past the dinosaurs).

Getting to the Tyneside Cinema:

It’s a 5 minute walk from the GNM or from Central Station. Or you can take the Metro to Monument. Heading away from the monument down Grey St take the first lane to the left and the cinema is on the corner.

Getting to the Mining Institute:

The Mining Institute is a polychromatic Victorian brick building just a few buildings west of Central Station and next to the Lit and Phil Society. It’s a 15 minute walk from the GNM.

Maps for IOA delegates


All panel sessions to be held in the Great North Museum and in the Newcastle University Architecture Building. Workshop locations as below, in the GNM, Claremont Tower and off-site.

See programme for maps, and how to get to the Tyneside Cinema (Thursday pm) and the Mining Institute (Friday pm).

Click on the paper to see the abstract








Politics 1

Techniques of Practice 1

Approaches & Methods 1

Technologies & Materials 1





Informal Architectural Industries: Possibility or inevitablity? Isidora Karan, Igor Kuvac

How to Organize the Reconstruction: Postwar CIAM and its relationship with the UN Andreas Kalpacki

Unveiling the Ultraviolet; 'Vita' Glass, bodies and the marketing of material performance John Stanislav Sadar

The electrification of the factory, or the 'flexible' layout of work(s) Tilo Amhoff

Learning from SAAL’s Brief Life: Housing production and popular organisation Ana Tostões

The Technocratic Turn 1937-1952 Anna Vallye

Where Is The Love Gone, When Love Is Gone: Deferrals, ruptures and lines of flight of an industry of architecture Andreas Rumpfhuber

The Modern Abattoir as a Machine for Killing: The municipal abattoir of the Shanghai International Settlement, 1933 John Pendlebury, Yiwen Wang

What AND How: The limits of technological instrumentalism Phoebe Crisman

Born Under Punches: Conflict, crisis and the transformation of American practice David Goodman

The Politics of Performance in Architecture: Calling all actors in a building system to play their part Claudia Dutson

'A government office building should be as efficient as a factory.' The search for an 'architecture of bureaucracy' by Belgian administrative reformers during the 1930s Jens van de Maele

The Case for Building Specifications in the Context of Temporary Urbanism Armelle Tardiveau, Daniel Mallo

Viable Home Turf or Arduous Territory? Architecture ccademics and the analysis of university buildings Paolo Tombesi

Out of the Crooked Timber of Humanity, No Straight Thing Was Ever Made: A feminist critique of sustainable construction technology Kyle Vansice, Andrea Wheeler

Laboratory Architecture and the Slippery Skin of Science Sandra Kaji-O’Grady, Chris Smith


TYNESIDE ELECTRA CINEMA: Spaces of Production KEYNOTE: GAIL DAY ‘Allan Sekula’s Industries of Architecture’ & FILM SCREENINGS : Amber Collective, Glassworks + Harun Farocki, In Comparsion



Politics 2

Techniques of Practice 2

Approaches & Methods 2

Technologies & Materials 2





The Double 'Plan' of Manfredo Tafuri Luisa Corna

How Many Architects Use Regulations for the Profit of Their Creation? Robert Carvais

Framing History: Colin Rowe and the evasion of history Braden R. Engel

Instant-Expert: Thermodynamic Uncertainty and the new architect-engineer Filip Tejchman

Visions of Grandeur: A (disciplinary) reading of Stockholm’s architecture policy Helen Runting

The Changing Role and Responsibility of Architects in Building Procurement in Australia: The long bumpy journey of architectural practice Graham Bell

Silos and Grain Elevators as Industrial Architecture: Repetition in architectural criticism Catalina Mejia Moreno

Mechanisation and Automation in the Drafting Room Paul Emmons, Dalal Kassem

Politics of a Regulatory Identity Construction in Architectural Industry Niloofar Kakhi

Memory Palaces Within the Space of Architectural Production James Burch

Ada Louise Huxtable and the Exaltation of Reinforced Concrete Utilitarian Buildings in the Mainstream Press: The beginnings of architectural criticism of the engineer's role Alberto Bologna

A Brief Genealogy of Smooth Surface in Design AnnMarie Brennan

Postmodernism, Neoliberalism and the Holy Sprit Catharina Gabrielsson

Modern Architecture’s Unedited Debates: Building bureaucracy in 1950s Portugal Ricardo Agarez

Modernity and the Production of Architecture Nathaniel Coleman

'Objectiles': Open objects and the transformation of architectural culture Nathalie Bredella




Politics 3

Techniques of Practice 3

Approaches & Methods 3

Technologies & Materials 3





Construction Sites of Utopia Silke Kapp

The Developer's Architect: Profit and pragmatism in post-war British architecture Amy Thomas

The Opening Ceremony: Immaterial Regulation and the Imaginary Architectures of Pleasure Stephen Walker

The Possibility of Steel-building in Post-war Sweden Frida Rosenberg

Building Design: A component of the building labour process Jörn Janssen

Financial Formations: The tactics and Technologies of Architecture's Financialisation Matthew Soules

Enjoy Your System! An 'Order Is' to Junkspace Critique Parallax Robert A. Svetz

The Weekend House: An opportunity to industrialise lightweight construction in France (1935-1940) Marie Kinda Fares

What the building site has to do with philosophical aesthetics? José Thiesen, João Almeida Lopes

Worlds within Worlds: Luxigon, render farms and the industries of the image world Alice Clancy

Common Knowledges: The performance of representation in the Rotterdam Kunsthall Stefan White

Closed Industrialisation and the 'Taskscape' of Jean Prouvé Kevin Donovan

The Place of Architecture in the New Economy Andrew Rabeneck

The Architect's Bargain: Building the 'Bilbao Effect' in the Abu Dhabi desert Daniel Cardoso-Llach

Margins of Safety: Occupying the side-effects of fire-safety regulation Liam Ross

Set space up for lunch






BIM Goes the Architect

Risk and Reflexivity

The Creative Potential of Regulation

Retrofit in Practice

On Site



CLT 4th Exhibition Area

CLT 3rd Planning Studio

Bus stop outside GNM, Claremont Road










Politics 4

Techniques of Practice 4

Approaches & Methods 4

Technologies & Materials 4





User-Specificity, Participation and Personalisation in Mass-Housing Tahl Kaminer

Sara Murray: A Woman Contractor Igea Troiani

Energy, Work, Labour Jon Goodbun

Vilanova Artigas and the Meanings of Concrete in Brazil Felipe Contier, Renato Anelli

Architecture for the ‘Non-class of Non-workers’: Self-management or Management of the Self? Tijana Stevanovič

Making Labour Visible: Architecture, gender equity and the Parlour Project Karen Burns, Justine Clark, Julie Willis

Where the Spell is Chanted: Fallacies of contemporary architectural discourses Konstantina Kalfa

Il Cantiere Artiginale: Pier Luigi and the legacy of the shipyard Thomas Leslie

Building Production and its Discontents in State-socialist East Germany Torsten Lange

BIM and Diversity in Construction Ian Fitzgerald, Vian Ahmed

Architecture as Ensemble: A matter of methodology João Almeida Lopes

Modular Men: Architects, labour and standardisation in mid-20th century Britain Christine Wall

Beyond Utopia: Representing Life in the Productivist City Alan Smart

Open House: Telling stories of architectural room specifications Brady Burroughs

Post-Industries of Architecture: The immaterial labour of the image of thought Hélène Frichot

wedish Industrialisation of Building Construction: An organisational dilemma Erik Sigge




Politics 5

Techniques of Practice 5

Approaches & Methods 5

Technologies & Materials 5





‘The Italian Job’: The construction industry in Italy between standardisation and craft Luciano Cardellicchio

Design Review in a Client Organisation: A reflective practitioner perspective Dhruv Adam Sookhoo

Imagining Risk and Resilience Jonathan Massey

The Technician’s Detail: Patte, Soufflot’s circle, and the constructive turn, 1755-1802 Eric Bellin

Knowledge that Disqualifies: The reinforced concrete system in Brazilian building construction Roberto Eustaaquio dos Santos

The Impact of 150 Years of Regulatory Regimes on City Building Stock Typology: A case study in the city of Basel Sofia Paisiou, Fabian Neuhaus

Logistics Takes Command: Land, sea and the architecture of fulfilment Francesco Marullo

‘Science, Industry and Art’: Gottfried Semper and the status of the object in art education Elena Chestnova

Translating the Work of the Labourer into the Life World of the Karigar: Factory spaces and relations in Indian temple production Megha Chand Inglis

Interrogating the Dynamics of Regulations in the Design of Housing Simon Bradbury

Boom and Bust: The rise and fall of architecture. A behind-the-scenes, amid-the-foundations exploration of demolition Hilary Powell

The Production of the Commons: Mies van der Rohe and industrial standardisation Mhairi McVicar

Social relations and the Production of the Built Environment: What was the significance of BISS? Linda Clarke

Set space up for lunch

Stitch-split: The breath of the geologic David A. Paton

Post 1965 Italy: The ‘Metaprogetto yes and no’ Alicia Imperiale










  • May 1st: Deadline for CFP and registration begins
  • Early July: Notification of paper acceptance
  • July 15th: Publication of draft programme
  • September 15th: Deadline for registration at early bird rate
  • October 6th: Deadline for submission of full papers for publication selection
  • October 15th: Finalised programme published
  • November 13th – 15th: Industries of Architecture
  • December 1st: Notification of selection for publication and editorial requests
  • January 15th 2015: Deadline for finished chapters
  • November 2015: Publication of Industries of Architecture (Routledge Critiques) and Architecture and Culture special issue (Bloomsbury)




Full conference tickets include Thursday night screenings, refreshments, lunches and the conference buffet on Friday night (with a pay bar). Workshop rates include Friday workshops, conference buffet and lunch an all sessions on Saturday. Delegates also receive a complimentary copy of one volume from the AHRA conference series Critiques published by Routledge, and an issue of the AHRA journal Architecture and Culture published by Bloomsbury.

Full conference: early bird (by 13 September) £190 / standard £230

student (publications not included) early bird £80 / standard £100

Workshop rate: (Friday pm and full Saturday): early bird £120 / standard £155