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‘Writing Buildings 2016’: call for papers

Catherine is co-organising this conference with CREAte, the research centre for architecture and the humanities at the University of Kent:DSC_0142

In collaboration with the Architectural Review, ‘Writing Buildings’ will bring together quite different traditions of writing about historic buildings. The special character of this conference is that speakers will be drawn from both academic and non-academic fields, and from a range of disciplines that touch on architectural experience and history. In this way we aim to offer a new experience for writers on architecture, interior design and urban space.

We’re inviting papers from those in Architecture, English, History, Sociology, Film and Drama, Landscape Studies and other academic schools with a specialist interest in writing about buildings and urban spaces or experiences across different time periods. The common theme of the papers will be the uses of a variety of voices in creating architecture culture.

Writing Buildings will offer two days of alternative ways of writing architectural history which will encourage experimentation in criticism through breaking disciplinary barriers. The programme will include papers from both academic disciplines and non-academic professions which engage with the built environment, for example, journalism, interior design and construction, as our keynote speakers demonstrate:

Iain Sinclair / Writer

Matthew Beaumont, UCL / Psychogeographer

Jonathan Meades / Writer and Film Maker

Alexandra Harris, University of Liverpool / Cultural Historian

Barbara Penner, Bartlett, UCL / Material Anthropologist

Jonathan Reed / Interior Designer

Ben Campkin, Bartlett, UCL / Urban Geographer

Ian Dungavell / former director, the Victorian Society

The conference will host at least one project-based writing event outside the conference hall. This is currently planned to be held in collaboration with Turner Contemporary as part of their innovative Waste Land project.

For updated news about the conference, including information about events, talks and activities, please see the Writing Buildings


Both previous CREAte conferences have resulted in edited books by leading international academic publishers and we anticipate that this will happen again this time. In addition, the widely read and respected international journal The Architectural Review will promote the conference and intends to publish papers from it.

Conference directors:

Dr Timothy Brittain-Catlin, Kent School of Architecture, University of Kent
Dr Catherine Richardson, School of English, University of Kent
Tom Wilkinson, History Editor, The Architectural Review.

Abstract submission:

Abstracts should be 250 words long.
Abstract submission deadline: 30 September 2015
Notification of acceptance of papers: by 31 January 2015
Conference dates 14th-16th July 2016

Please submit your abstract to with the subject ‘Writing Buildings: abstract’.

If you have any questions, please contact: Timothy Brittain-Catlin ( or Catherine Richardson (


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by | September 15, 2015 · 7:28 pm

FREE Conference Registration now open

Ways of Seeing the English Domestic Interior, 1500-1700

The Geffrye Museum of the Home, 12th September 2013

FREE Conference Registration now open. Please note: there are a limited number of places which will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.

To reserve a place at this conference please email Claire Taylor:

This conference explores how people engaged with decorated domestic interiors in early modern England, and considers how we might use this information to enhance our experience of visiting historic properties in the twenty-first century.


Lady Paine’s Bed-chamber at Strangers’ Hall, Norwich, showing replica dornix hangings

The event will promote and facilitate active dialogue across two complementary strands; firstly the conference represents the culmination of an AHRC-funded research network, focused specifically on the experience of decorative textiles from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Papers will present new information about a range of textile objects, exploring the activities and findings of this project with a focus on the collaborative research methods that could be applied to a broader range of pre-modern objects and spaces.

The second strand will explore potential directions for interdisciplinary and cross-sector research for the study and presentation of domestic interiors. We will hear about various projects utilising recent developments in visualisation technologies and digital humanities to facilitate engagement with virtual or augmented spaces and objects.

Speakers will include experts on early modern textiles and domestic interiors as well as leading computer and cognitive scientists working on visualisation and vision.

Please let Claire know about any dietary or special requirements when requesting a place.

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by | July 14, 2013 · 4:00 pm

Materialities of Urban Life – April 17-19th – online booking now open!

screenshotYou can now see the provisional programme (at the bottom of the page) and register for the Materialities of Urban Life (Wednesday,  April 17 – Friday,  April 19 2013) conference here:

If you’re interested in what it was like living in early modern towns – what goods were available and the spaces in which they could be sold and consumed, or just in the material qualities of everyday life more generally in this period then there will be something here to interest you:

There are papers on life in Holland, Sweden, Italy, Scotland, Mons, Milan, London, Paris and Norwich amongst others; and on topics as diverse as disposession, trespass, exercise, lodging, Shakespeare in print, craft guilds and livery companies, tailors, civic colour, candles, relics, silver plate, cabinets, mirrors, musical instruments, portraiture, elite wardrobes, stage costumes, royal courts and blood.

In the next couple of weeks there will be blogs from some of the speakers, so do look out for those and we hope to see you there…

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by | February 21, 2013 · 12:37 pm