International Conference on Architectural Criticism

ON THE DUTY AND POWER OF ARCHITECTURAL CRITICISM Online Conference on 9–10 and 16–17 October 2021

Call for Contributions

Should architectural criticism be enlightening? Should it help in the creation of a better built environment? Is there a factual basis to it? Does it have a duty to present evidence in the evaluation of a building? Or should it take on what architects say about their designs?

In the context of a flat internet, should architectural criticism be able to define best practices? Does it wield the power over who is in and who is out?

Architectural criticism, like all human endeavors, is at a crucial juncture. While serious architecture struggles for recognition, much so- called architectural criticism is merely a poorly paid, decorative legitimation for hyperbolic practice. Incisive architectural criticism is rare, while the definition of criticism itself has become opaque.

This conference seeks papers that define the purposes and methods of architectural criticism. What should the ethical basis be of architectural criticism? Can it be objective in the context of paid content? Should it outline ideal practices? Or what should it do?


Abstracts (max. 250 words) should address either the duty or the power of architectural criticism, in both cases offering the outline of one analysis of an existing building.

Submit to:


Subject to acceptance, abstracts will be completed by their authors for presentation with four keynote lectures during the online conference on 9–10 and 16–17 October 2021, hosted by the School of Architecture, The University of Texas at Austin.


Wilfried Wang, The University of Texas at Austin

Keynote Lecturers

Kenneth Frampton, New York City, USA
Philippa Tumubweinee, Cape Town, South Africa
Ruth Verde Zein, São Paulo, Brazil
Zheng Shiling, Shanghai, China

Conference Format

The online format of the two-day conference will allow active debate between audience and lecturers. Presenta- tions will be concentrated to allow for ample discussion time. Besides the four keynotes, there will be a maximum of 16 short papers. The entire conference will be recorded and placed on Youtube. The conference language will be English.

Registration for free audience places (max. 300) will open 2 July via:


Call for Abstracts 15 February
Deadline for Abstracts 30 April
Notification of Acceptance 21 May
Submission of Draft Papers 30 July
Return of Edited Papers 20 August
Conference 9-10, 16-17 October
Publication of Papers Spring 2022

Scientific Committee

Elias Constantopoulos, University of Patras
Manuel Cuadra, Director of CICA, Frankfurt am Main/Lima Fernando Diez, Summa+, U. de Palermo, Buenos Aires Hélène Jannière, Université Rennes 2
Li Xiangning, Tongji University, Shanghai
Robert McCarter, Washington University, St. Louis
Valerio Paolo Mosco, IUAV
Louise Noelle Gras, UNAM, Mexico CdMx
Şengül Öymen Gür, Beykent Üniversitesi, Istanbul
Xing Ruan, Shanghai Jiao Tong University
Paolo Scrivano, Politecnico di Milano
Ana Tostões, Instituto Técnico Lisbon
Ruth Verde Zein, U. Presbiteriana Mackenzie, São Paulo

Supporting Institutions

CICA International Committee of Architectural Critics
Beykent Üniversitesi, Istanbul
Hellenic Institute of Architecture, Athens
Instituto Superior Técnico, Lisboa
Istituto Universitario Architettura Venezia
Shanghai Jiao Tong University
Tongji University, Shanghai
Universidade Presbiteriana Mackenzie, São Paulo
IIE, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
University of Patras
The University of Texas at Austin
Washington University in St. Louis

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