abstract submission

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic the conference has been postponed to 8-11 of September 2021.

Please submit abstracts online using this link You will need to create a conference user account in order to log in for the first time. 

The organisers of EURAU 2020 are now accepting abstracts for its biannual conference in Birmingham on Wednesday 8 – Saturday 11 September 2021. We encourage submissions from architects, urbanists, planners, artists, community activists, and policymakers, alongside scholars and practitioners from related fields including. We welcome independent scholars, interested individuals and students. Over the course of the three day conference there will be keynote lectures, talks, paper sessions and round table discussions. Academics, students and practitioners are encouraged to submit papers within six strands. Please indicate in your submission which strand you are submitting to.

  1. Identity and Difference in Architectural Theory: Using social and political methodologies as a starting point the understanding of identity has become the fundamental basis of much contemporary architectural history and theory. Such approaches have prioritised the idea that the personal identity—who an individual identifies with—forms the most significant factor of all their social (and hence spatial) engagement. Consequently, the use of such approaches to research outputs will sit happily across most of the strands offered at this conference. This particular strand is interested in investigating what is left for architecture and the city after these separate identities have marked their territory. Is it the case that we are defined only by the identities that separate us? Or is it possible that there is something in the idea of the city, and its architecture (in history and/or in the present) that also unites us? Is the knowledge of identity and the engagement in the city that occurs in light of this knowledge the main criterion for all human engagement? If so we might change Parmenides maxim ‘are thought and being the same’ to ‘are knowledge and being the same’. If not, can something be identified in those aspects of identity that remain open after difference has been isolated that could underpin our relationship with the world. Could, in such a moment, identity, understood in its most primary form, lead to an appreciation of community that is not predicated on not ‘being’ alone but more on ‘belonging-together’.
  2. Place, Practice, and Making the City
    This strand aims to explore the practice, politics and processes through which we make and re-make the city. An accelerating pace of change and development, particularly evident in rapidly developing global cities, raises questions about how or if we can retain or support existing identities or create new identities as cities evolve. Through iconic landmark buildings, new urban quarters and top down development strategies, architecture is often seen as a fixed art-object where the community is not involved. Currently, ‘placemaking’ is portrayed as vital in the development of the urban environment, lending it a distinctive quality and creating a sense of identity. But who is this for? Who benefits and who is neglected? How these spaces are occupied, appropriated and interpreted?

    Struggles for power across a diverse range of issues such as capital, planning regulations, property, identity, design and technology are acted out in the spaces and places that make up our cities. The role of practitioners in creating, negotiating and enacting transformation often implicates us in these conflicts. However, new modes of practice are emerging that offer potential to impact on the way public and communal space is created. This strand sets out to explore these processes and their emergence: what are the ways of working of these new modes of practice? Is the current trend toward co-creation and collaborative or participatory practices a response to the consequences of our political time? How can community involvement in city making affect individual interpretation and spatial appropriation? How can designers span the divide between top down and bottom up processes? How can specialists and practitioners work with diverse groups from client to user to manage transformation?
  3. Art Practice and Performativity
    This strand will explore the relationships between the public spaces in the cities and contemporary arts and performative practices that define their identity. Arts events play an essential role in the configuration of the cities and their communities. This strand will reflect upon events or venues that have had an impact in some areas of the cities being the arts events the agents of change and fundamental in the definition of the city. Funding bodies such as the Arts Council in UK have a track record of funding arts projects in which communities are involved in site-specific arts projects.This strand will explore the questions: how are the urban identity and communities shaped through performative and arts practices and how do the roles of funding bodies and local institutions shaping the development of arts events and the involvement and agency of local communities? 
  4. Heritage and Memory
    This strand investigates how cities can be understood as palimpsests of legible culture over time. It explores whether the dynamics of heritage and cultural identity might be mutually constituted and what the implications are for architecture and urban studies in tracing them through time and multiple disciplines within urban landscapes. It aims to establish a critical context for how cultural identities can be mapped topographically. In doing so it proposes a spectrum of attitudes from moderate views on preservation to a radical rethinking of the collection or archive, framing divergent attitudes to and practices of heritage and preservation of memory.
    Understanding how representation responds to or is shaped by these positions; whether through different media or technology, site, place and context, it encompasses the personal and collective, the diverse and the singular.
  5. Travel and Infrastructures
    The opening up of global travel has brought radical changes to identities and images of cities worldwide. Destinations and stops along the travel are key to identity statement of cities. Infrastructures In recent decades, famous architects, artists and urban designers are often appointed to renovate/design new infrastructures as landmarks to speak for the city’s identity. For example, the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao in Spain, Library of Birmingham in UK,Liège-Guillemins Station in Belgium and the Gare do Oriente Lisbon in Portugal. Such masterpieces have become destinations for travel to drive the spatial and economic changes.
    The power of place and travel on regenerating the political-economical structure has be recognised and manipulated by different sectors. Place-branding as a result has now used widely as an urban planning policy to drive spatial, architectural and economic development. Successful ideas of designing new identities for cities also travel to shape the identity production in other cities and countries. However, homogeneity and commercialisation driven by the globalisation of travel have been concerned to cause loss of place and cultural identities in cities. Thus, this strand opens up a discussion around: how have the travelling ideas transformed identities of cities? How have the ‘made’/’shaped’ identities impacted on culture and political paradigms in the face of global neutralisation?
  6. European Pedagogies—legacies and opportunities
    Critical pedagogy argued for the need to articulate issues of identity, place and history with a language of public life that aims to create an active critical citizenry. Identity politics was founded in the instability of identity and the intersection of racial and sexual oppression with class struggle, with identity as a site of construction as opposed to a foundational given. This strand invites interrogation of possibilities for creative collaborative pedagogy in the construction of identity, within and outside of the academy, as part of formal education and as a continuum of cultural and political engagement. Does the increasing identification of education with monetary cost and increased graduate income paradoxically undermine its value? Can its legitimacy as a public good survive the private debt accrued in the pursuit of individual qualifications? What is the impact of an instrumentalised pedagogy on democratic participation? Can studio culture in design pedagogy mitigate for socialised and cooperative practices? Could other disciplinary pedagogy benefit from adopting a form of studio culture? How do geographically and historically different models of learning and teaching function in the construction of national identity? How does the architecture of teaching and learning intersect with architecture pedagogy?

Papers will also be considered for inclusion in a special themed issue of the Journal of Urban Design published by Taylor & Francis and a Routledge book.  

Call for paper proposals 

Abstracts for papers must be 500 words and must define the subject area and summarize the argument or the creative work to be presented. The content of the paper should be the product of well-documented original research. Papers should not have been previously published or presented. We will consider individual and group submissions either in conventional paper form or alternative media and format of presentation such as film, performance, installation or event.  


  • Abstracts must be 500 words and related to one of the conference themes. 
  • The title should be short and compelling. 
  • Please include 6 keywords. 
  • Abstracts should include references to texts, buildings, events, and other objects. 
  • Abstracts may include images. 
  • Please indicate on the abstract which category it belongs to (paper, paper session, round table). 
  • A maximum of 3 authors per abstract will be accepted. 
  • Individuals may submit a maximum of 3 abstracts. 
  • Please include your name, affiliation, and contact details in the abstract. 
  • The file should be your last name, and the title. 

Abstracts are due 5pm on 1st of February 2021. All abstracts will be held in confidence during the review and selection process. The selection of papers and paper sessions for the conference will be announced in March 2021. The selection of papers and projects for publication will be undertaken by members of the steering group following the conference. All speaker will be expected to fund their own travel and accommodation. 

Please submit abstracts online using this link You will need to create a conference user account in order to log in for the first time. 

If you have problems using this link, please email the conference organisers at info@eurau2020.co.uk


Early Bird Rates (available until 31st July)

Academic/Industry Online £125.00

Student (show proof on arrival)Online £65

Full price (after 1st August)

Academic/Industry Online £175.00

Student (proof required)Online £80.00

Top up for in person tickets will be available after 1st August or sooner as details are confirmed by the venuesAcademic early bird in person top up -£50.00Student early bird in person top up- £25.00

Abstract Submission | 1st February 2021
Notification of Acceptance | April 2021 
Early Bird Registration| July, 2021
Conference | September 8-11, 2021 

You can pay the conference fees following this link.