Extended Abstract Submission date now 30th April for consideration in the Bristol 2021 'Radicality' conference

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Bristol 2021

Overall Conference theme: Radicality

Our first conference in autumn 2021 in Bristol on 'Radicality' aims to explore, imagine and radically shift conceptualisations of architecture practice for sustainability. Our premise comes from our interest in understanding how we get to and overcome ‘the root of something’ and how radical architecture can manifest and thrive in its multiple and many modes that shift current dominant paradigms of evidence based and quantifiable measures to deliver sustainable outcomes. A radical approach specifically aims to uncover root causes as opposed to surface explanations, viewing ecological problems as rooted primarily in socio-political notions of nature, multispecies activity and needs, building and not building, activating and resisting as well as entangling.

RAPS Bristol 2021 invites a range of submission formats including papers, performances, exhibition, film and more that will encourage and captivate discussion and debate on below themes. The 2021 themes coalesce around the key question of how architecture and architects could accelerate and meaningfully inhabit and embody a radical, effective and new experimental set of approaches that move beyond the status quo, that challenge dominant paradigms, that offer new perspectives into practices for sustainability.

Full Conference Programme to be announced - however, we are happy to share that two of our debate panellists and keynotes have been confirmed. We are excited to be joined by radical visionaries including Malene Natascha Ratcliffe (CEO, SUPERFLEX) and Maarten Gielen (Rotor) who will be reflecting upon their own human and non-human multi spatial modalities and radical environmental approaches to design (in the case of SUPERFLEX) and a cooperative material design practice for a radical organisation of the material environment we inhabit, in the case of ROTOR.
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Abstract Submission: 30th April 2021

We invite abstracts (300 words max) in any format that explain original research, discuss artefacts, design projects, film, art, exhibitions, monologues, dialogues or reviews in the field of architecture on any of the following themes listed below.

All abstract submissions must include the following:
Theme: Describe which theme your abstract contributes to.
Presentation format: Explain the format of the research presentation as either: Presentation, Exhibition, Film, Discussion or Physical Performance.
Title of abstract: Maximum 120 characters.
Authors: Author names, affiliation as well as corresponding author email address should be included.
300 word abstract: each abstract should make clear the aims and context of the research as well as methods undertaken. Findings and contribution of research should be clearly explained.
Appendix (optional): An Optional Appendix of up to 3 pages or images including tables/charts and/or other appropriate supplemental material may be included as a PDF. Please note that the abstract and appendix submitted for the review process will be printed in the proceedings following the conference. There will be no opportunity for additional edits.

Abstracts should be submitted by 30th April to rapsbristol@gmail.com

Submission of full papers or artefacts: 9th July 2021

Following review by conference committee, authors will be invited to submit full papers and/or artefacts as appropriate by 9th July 2021. Papers are to be submitted to rapsbristol@gmail.com

Registration: 30th August 2021

Registration to the conference should be made by 31st July 2021- Registration details will be available by April 2021.

Conference date and location: 17th & 18th September 2021

The conference will be held online via zoom or similar on 17th and 18th September 2021. Full details to follow.


Green Dream

How do we conceptualise nature in the designed environment 2021 onwards? What are the dream possibilities of urban, suburban and rural interventions in which the architecture becomes a background and nature is the real protagonist? How do we continue to challenge boundaries between city and nature, between inside and outside? Predominantly, nature has been conceptualised as an obstacle to be overcome or utilised by human capabilities, whether humanity is situated within or outside of it (Phelan 1992).   This theme invites proposals, projects and ideas that develop new radical conceptualisations of nature in the designed environment whereby new architectural habitats and typologies can evolve such as  urban green meal mines, digital colosseums, parking towers, functional bridges, as well as innovative habitat concepts, signalling what could be the next step in the development of cities that mitigate rising climate emergency issues.

Architect as activist

Necessarily building design practices are interdisciplinary and involve a broad range of vocational actors. Some have wrongly claimed that sustainability in architecture is predominantly a question for Building Services Engineers. But what is the specific role of the architect and architecture in the sustainability transformation? Where are the unique skills of architects? What are promising intervention actions? Rethinking the role of the architect in sustainable futures and her relation to an issue action-based approach to practice. How can an architect initiate sustainability? How should the architect as a steward of the environment practice responsibly?

NOT building

The culture of unlimited economic growth and modernist passion for the new has come to an end. Built space is a precious resource, that has a heavy ecological footprint. How can architects develop new sustainable practices that begin with the paradigm of not building? Sharing, new forms of ownership, building as a service, reduction, virtualisation might be possible directions. What else can you introduce to us?

Ecological Entanglements

Architecture and architects are entangled in multiple ecologies and impact on human and non-human species, entities, systems and environments. How can we practice architecture and through affect, mutualism and interdependency, sustain life and its diversity? How can artificial intelligence, geographical information systems, bio-technologies be directed to create emergent pathways to more equitable adaptation and co-habitation of environments? How can architecture become more positively symbiotic with its ecological, biological and technological contexts?

Utopian Realism

Societies are shaped by discourses and visualisations. The “World of Tomorrow" in General Motors' Futurama exhibit at the New York World's Fair of 1939 was powerful example to visualise and forestall the car-centred city, that later materialised in US American cities in the 1950s. How to develop radical visualisations of sustainable futures? Visualisations can open up new opportunities, make them tangible, discussable and bringing them from the future into the present. Visualisation help aligning diverse stakeholders around a shared vision. How do we want to live in the future? How to visualise our dreams?

Beyond disruptive events - Post pandemic practices

Disruptive events including pandemics and society’s responses to them have historically shaped spatial and urban planning practices. Our current condition of isolating to hinder the spread of a virus is already shaping notions of practice in design in the physical and virtual realms. How will isolation shape future post pandemic edifices, edges and environments- both internal and external/physical and virtual/global and local?

Open Call

Radical approaches beyond our wildest dreams!

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