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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. Presentations 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 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

IIEs, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

University of Patras

The University of Texas at Austin

Washington University, St. Louis

International Conference on Architectural Criticism: on the Duty and Power of Architectural Criticism

inscription dates
in 10/03/2021

The University of Texas at Austin – School of Architecture
1 University Station
B7500 Austin Texas 78712-02222

University of Texas at Austin


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