City of Zagreb
City Office for Physical Planning, Construction, Communal Affairs and Traffic
Faculty of Architecture
University of Zagreb
Oris - House of Architecture
City of Zagreb
City Office for Culture, Education and Sport
Republic of Croatia
Ministry of Culture
The Think Space Programme is pleased to announce its third Call for Papers, dedicating itself to writing and publishing critically about architecture. Conceived as a wide scale disciplinary intervention, Think Space platform uses a design competition, exhibition, symposium and publications as its tools. Along with this unique approach in which new forums for thought are created via new design objects, Think Space is again leaning on historical and theoretical discourse which normally takes the form of reflection through writing. You are invited to submit abstracts by July 27th 2015 at email@example.com .
“Did he have a mask?” - someone asked the wife of famous psychoanalyst. “Yes!” - she responded - “But there was nothing behind it.”
We should read the wife’s response as a claim that the mask is exactly the thing that makes us assume that there is some individual core in us, something that is genuine and authentic. In different register this leads us to conclude that our private and intimate space is a product of our public appearance, of our immersion in the society. Thus, every shift in public space will have an implication for the way in which people organize their intimate world.
It is impossible today to think of public space as the one open to everyone, it is, more and more, the space of expulsion (Saskia Sassen). Public is considered as space in which only highly disciplined bodies can appear and participate. But discipline is not the task of the institutions as it was from the 19th century on. Today we are confronted with the new type of discipline, a kind of self-management that suppose to qualify us for the public participation. And when there is no institution that one can rely on, often self-management implies searching for a kind of inner quality, of that thing under the mask, which will enable us to participate in the public sphere. Here we should find reasons why virtual social media and reality shows became so popular. As there is nothing behind the mask, it has to be invented and confirmed by the different talent shows, YouTube entries, numbers of virtual friends or likes under the posts. In this way the public is becoming private and private is becoming public accompanied with the paranoid search for the “true self”.
As it is in the virtual media world, gentrification, privatization, security and austerity measures change the landscape of the cities and the role of architecture. Today, public spaces are devoted to consumption and commerce and at the same time are under heavy surveillance. As it is the case with the individual in the reality show, society itself tries to express its utopian ideal inner picture. Architecture and urban planning are society’s main tool for representing this inner core. The problem is, of course, that such society does not exist (Laclau & Mouffe) as there is nothing behind the mask. Thus architecture and city become only pure image and symptom of such position can be seen in the completely empty tourist resorts that are cities without society. It seems almost as if such cities live their own life detached from the human agency. They are comparable to Ferracina’s notion of Augmented city that lost its readability due to procedures that are digitally inscribed in the building environment to regulate the “environmental image” (Kevin Lynch) that was otherwise the main product of our encounter with the reality.
In such context, believing in the emancipatory potential of the architecture, we would like to call for contributions that will answer to questions such as:
What is “public” in architecture?
Can architecture redefine the notion of public?
Is there potential in architecture and urban planning to deregulate society?
Call for Papers 2015
Call Announcement 17 June 2015
Abstract Submission 27 July 2015
Full Paper Submission 10 September 2015
Results Announcement 17 September 2015
Early Bird Registration 20 April 2015
Early Bird Closed 15 July 2015
Late Bird Closed 30 September 2015
Conference 2-3 October 2015
To REGISTER, send your abstracts to
firstname.lastname@example.org with the authors’ short bio (up to 200 words) and contacts.
Graphic proposals will be selected on a basis of a representative image plus an explanation of 100 words. Images should be provided in .tif or .eps format including a numbered list with the following information: Name, author, source. Images provided should be copyright free.