Call for Papers: Artists’ Critical Interventions into Architecture and Design, 1960 – 2016

Friday 15th and Saturday 16th July, 2016
University of Warwick, History of Art Department

Deadline: Friday 15 April, 2016

What happens when fine artists engage with architecture and design? What forms can such engagements take? What political issues arise at the junctures between these disciplines? What can art do to support, untangle or resist the political effects of built environments and designed objects?

During the modern period, when artists and critics have often complained that fine art is overly remote from everyday life, one common way of overcoming this gap has been to draw on the greater social efficacy that architecture and design can seem to provide. However, in other instances artists have used their relatively autonomous position to criticise or interrupt the relationship between architecture, design and power. This conference explores these issues, mapping the history of artists’ critical engagements with architectural and design practices of all kinds from the 1960s until the present day. It will consider how artists have incorporated aspects of these other disciplines into their working processes as well as instances when they have collaborated in the construction of built spaces or designed products. Crucially, it will question the politics of working in this border area and assess the relationship between such practices and their social and economic contexts.

Both case studies and broader historical or theoretical papers are welcome. As well as artists and art historians, proposals from within the disciplines of architecture and design would be extremely welcome. We also particularly encourage submissions dealing with art, design and architecture beyond Europe and North America. Topics might include (but are not limited to):

— Feminist interventions in architecture or design
— Artists’ engagements with the history, theory and practice of architecture and design
— Artist-architect and artist-designer collaborations
— The uses of art within architecture and design
— The relative autonomy / heteronomy of art, architecture and design
— The labour of artists, architects and designers
— Public art and site-specificity
— Urbanism, regeneration and gentrification
— Postcolonial and anti-colonial interventions into architecture and design
— Artists’ uses of architecture and design to address issues of race, class and sexuality
— Architecture and design in the art institution
— Art and sustainability in design and the built environment

The significance of design and architecture for:

— Minimalism, post-minimalism and installation
— Activist art
— Socially engaged practice and relational aesthetics
— Pop art and ‘Nouveau Réalisme’
— Global conceptualism and institutional critique
— Muralism
— Négritude and Third World modernisms
— Situationism and its legacy
— Film and photography
— Performance and dance

The significance of post-1960s art for the development of architecture and design, including:

— Postmodern architecture and design
— Deconstructivist architecture
— Neo-modernist architecture
— Digital architecture
— Landscape architecture
— Fashion and textiles
— Graphic design and typography
— Branding and advertising
— Interior design
— Product and industrial design

Please send abstracts of no more than 300 words, with a short biography of max. 100 words to Bill Roberts and David Hodge at:

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