Open Call

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Concrete Geometries: Spatial Form in Social and Aesthetic Processes

The ‘Concrete Geometries’ Research Cluster at the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London is seeking submissions of work from the fields of art, architecture, sciences and humanities that explore the relationship between spatial form and social or aesthetic processes.

Over the past decade architecture has witnessed a revolution in design and fabrication tools available to the discipline that has changed the way we imagine space forever. Digital design methods for form finding and implementing have produced an influential body of work, preoccupied with the development of novel, complex and heterogeneous spatial form.

This form, simply referred to as ‘geometry’, is often evaluated through performance driven issues emphasising the environmental and structural parameters that shape it. Yet, throughout history, the emergence of new spatial forms and with them new architectural styles, bear significance beyond advances in technology but in relation to what they offer to the human condition in terms of aesthetic and social processes – issues currently under-represented by the discourse.

‘Concrete Geometries’ is a work-in-progress term derived from the notion of ‘concrete’ as ‘existing in reality or in actual experience’ or ‘capable of being perceived by the senses’ and the abbreviation ‘geometries’ for the constructed environment. ‘Concrete Geometries’ like Concrete Science, Concrete Music or Concrete Art is interested in the particular and immediate, concerned with actual use or practice. ‘Concrete Geometries’ is an attempt to expand this current debate.

Set up as an cross-disciplinary Research Cluster at the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London, ‘Concrete Geometries’ investigates the intimate relationship between spatial form and human processes – be they social or aesthetic – and the variety of new material entities this relationship might provoke. By bringing together art, architecture, sciences and humanities, we hope to connect fields of knowledge that are currently fragmented through disciplinary boundaries.

The call is structured into two thematic fields

  1. Geometry and Perception
  2. Geometry and Social Processes

The cluster wishes to address such questions as:

  • How is spatial form socially and experientially relevant?
  • How does it choreograph human processes?
  • Can it stimulate emotional or behavioral responses or create particular aesthetic experiences?
  • Can social cultures be pattered through formal configurations of space?
  • How can the articulation of a space support acts of inhabitation, appropriation or other types of direct
  • engagement?
  • How do we perceive space visually and bodily?
  • What social or aesthetic consequences does the formal articulation of space have for our everyday lives and the production of reality?
  • What kind of associations emerge between spatial form and social actors?

To advance this research, we are seeking submissions that provide practical or theoretical contribution. Submissions may include works of art or design, architectural projects or case studies, urban studies, research papers, scientific experiments and other forms of inquiry that address the objectives outlined.

10 Projects and 10 Texts will be selected by the curatorial board for inclusion in an exhibition, symposium and publication at the Architectural Association School of Architecture in 2010.

The call is open to students, practitioners and researchers from the fields of Architecture, Fine Art, Design, Urban Design, Geography, Neuroscience, Behavioral Psychology, Spatial Cognition, Social Science, Ethnography, Anthropology and other disciplines concerned with such questions.