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IGRSAH 2015 : 1st International Graduate Research Symposium on Architectural History: TABULA RASA


When Feb 19, 2015 - Feb 20, 2015
Where Pamplona (Spain)
Submission Deadline Sep 30, 2014
Notification Due Oct 30, 2014
Final Version Due Jan 8, 2015
Categories    architecture   arts   humanities   cultural studies

Call For Papers

Graduate Research Symposium 2015
Call for Papers
School of Architecture University of Navarra (Pamplona, Spain)
in collaboration with the European Architectural History Network (EAHN)
and the support of Museum University of Navarra

Pamplona, February 19 th-20 th 2015

" the concept of Tabula Rasa really oppressive only, or is it not also liberating at times? Don´t we need to free ourselves from time to time from the conditions we inherited from history in order to achieve desirable change? Could the project of modernity or any project of history that matter be imagined at all without the possibility of a new beginning?" LACATON & VASSAL.

Lacaton & Vassal ou l’abime du judgement, Éditions HYX, Paris, 2009

The School of Architecture of the University of Navarra in collaboration with the European Architectural History Network (EAHN) and the support of Museum University of Navarra calls for proposals by PhD candidates in architecture and other fields related to it to participate in its 1st Graduate Research Symposium, which will be hosted by the University of Navarra, in Pamplona, February 19th and 20th 2015. The topic of the symposium will be Tabula Rasa.

Saint Thomas Aquinas, following Aristotle, claimed that we were born tanquam tabula rasa, in qua nihil est depictum (like tabula rasa, in which nothing is written). This fact seems very unlikely when addressing the way a project is born, always related to other circumstances as history, site, styles, clientele, budget, and all those conditions that determine the work, and to which it seems very useful to look at what has been done before. However, there were moments in time when ‘doing Tabula Rasa’ seemed the only way of solving a specific architectural problem, some of the urbanism proposed by the modern movement is a good example of this approach.

This way, Tabula Rasa will be an opportunity for PhD candidates in architecture at all stages of progress to engage in one of this three points of view about this particular concept:

A. Tabula Rasa from the point of view of the process of the thesis or a research project. Starting from scratch on a topic. This field refers to the kick off of a research work: the methodology, the way to focus on the subject, the sources, the ‘how know’, the state of affairs about the topic, etc.

B. Tabula Rasa in the history of architecture, urban planning, construction, etc., like those moments in history when this concept was used as a project strategy as well as the desire for problematizing the possibility of Tabula Rasa at the beginning of any architectural work, could it be a new architectural work, an architectural restoration or even any architectural research.

C. Tabula Rasa referring to the way architecture is nowadays thought. At the present time, technological development and new materials research has led on to the design of new architectural forms as well as the construction of new cities without paying too much attention to geographical, climatic or cultural constraints. We could take as an example the new urban landscape that has been built in the United Arab Emirates. Is the radical implementation of the concept Tabula Rasa a feasible fact in the contemporary architectural scene?

Proposals will be welcomed from PhD candidates. The selection of abstracts will be attending the scientific interest and the balance of the three proposed topics. The selected ones will be read during the symposium event in School of Architecture of the University of Navarra. They will be arranged in sessions with feedback and discussion after each. All papers must be submitted in English. The accepted ones will be part of a publication. The abstracts must be sent through the symposium website and they must:

_Define the subject and summarize the argument to be presented in the proposed paper (300 words).
_Include a short biographical description, the name of your institution and supervisor, as well as referring to your field of research and research aims (100 words).

The deadline of abstracts reception is September 30th. Candidates will be notified in late October 2014. Final drafts of successful papers will be required in January 8th.

The Symposium has no registration fee and is open to any interested person. Participants must be registered as student members of the EAHN by the time they send their final papers (please, consult

Any questions pertaining to eligibility or procedure can be addressed to Elena Lacilla at

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