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CALL FOR PAPERS: Urban Research and Architecture: Beyond Henri Lefebvre

Urban Research and Architecture: Beyond Henri Lefebvre

International conference

ETH Zurich, 24th-26th November 2009

Call for contributions


Download this document in PDF here


Website: www.henrilefebvre.org



This interdisciplinary conference is organised by the Chair of Architectural Theory and the Lectureship of Sociology at the Department of ARchiteture ETH Zurich, in cooperation with the Delft Shcool of Design and the Delft University of Techinology and the Academie Jan van Eyck.  It addresses contemporary processes of urbanization by focusing on the theory of production of space by the French philosopher Henri Lefebvre (1901-1991).


Lefebvre's theory of space as socially produced and productive in social practices is currently rediscovered by architects and social scientists as a broad framework for an understanding of the contemporary processes of urbanization.  This conference brings together recent applications of Lefebvre's theory in architecture, urban design, and social sciences in order to go beyond this theory and to conceive new analytical concepts and design tools in response to the emerging urban society.



This conference is a decisive step in a long-term international project focused on the application and further development of Lefebvre's theory of the production of space in today's empirical urban research and design.  This project started by bringing together theoretical and empirical sstudies, based on Lefebvre's theory, which have been carried out recently both at the ETH Zurich and the TU Delft.


Delft symposium

The first result of the collaboration between ETH Zurich and the TU Delft was the symposium 'Rethinking Theory, Space and Production: Henri Lefebvre Today' (Delft, 11-13 November 2008).  The symposium in Delft attracted a lot of international attention from scholars and practicing architects.  Around one hundred participants attended the symposium, which gathered for the first time the most important researchers working on Lefebvre's theory for different scientific cultures and dsiciplines.  The symposium revealed the potential of Lefebvre's theory to become a general theoretical framework for researchers investigating contemporary processes of urbanization in architecture, urbanism, sociology, geography, political sciences, and anthropology.


Zurich conference: Call for contributions

Encouraged by the Delft symposium, the conference in Zurich will advance Lefebvre's theory beyond its historical context.  The conference is addressed both to participants of the Delft symposium and to other scholars and practitioners working with Lefebvre's theory.  The organisers invite proposals for papers which develop Lefebvre's theory by sharpening its analytical concepts in response to today's processes of urbanization and by conceiving new design tools for urbanism and architecture.


Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Urban research and architecture: appropriation and critique
  • No-place for utopia?  Art and architecture beyond 1968
  • The everyday and its objects
  • The 'Right to the City' and the contemporary urban condition
  • Global urbanization in comparative perspective

Each presentation should take 25 minutes and be presented in English.


Please send an abstract of up to 300 words and a curriculum vitae of up to 150 words to info[at]henrilefebvre.org


Abstracts can be submitted until Tuesday 30th June, 2009.  The selected participants will be informed by Wednesday 15th July.


Limited numbers of travel allowances might be available for successful applicants.


For more details, updates and enquiries, please visit www.henrilefebvre.org

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