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Call for Papers: “The Changing City. [Non]architecture”

Call for Papers: “The Changing City. [Non]architecture”

Every building and construction can be analyzed in many ways. Different experts emphasize different features of buildings: engineers talk about structural strength, architects highlight “petrified music”, art critics describe the meaning and context of a building, economists estimate the cost of construction, anthropologists see the representation of collective beliefs. Each of these disciplinary languages ignores and highlights different elements of the object.

Actor-network theory and the reaction to this theory from speculative realism unintentionally open up a new notion to applied research. Now in the center of humanitarian research or in the center of the network of relations, we can find buses, stock halls, elevators, planning solutions or concrete buildings. We want to talk about these last cases in the special issue “Changing city. [Non]architecture”.

What is an architectural object as a material thing? What we can see if we admit building as an actant? How do they act and influence? And vice versa – which [f]actors lead them to just such a form? Do they have a biography and how can this story be told?  How and why are the urban environment and its elements (such as backyards, public spaces, museums, malls and houses) changing? Are the causes of changes local events or global forces which can predict all transformations?  We are waiting for texts on how this approach to the study of urban elements, their history and their roles can be done in different ways.

Articles may include but are not limited to the following topics:

  • the history of the development of individual elements of the city;
  • buildings in a city relationship network;
  • reassembling and changing urban elements;
  • one element’s formation impact on the urban environment and the city;
  • deciphering the meaning of [non]architectural objects;
  • changes in buildings or in the urban environment in the implementation of urban construction programs.


The co-editors of the thematic issue “The Changing City. [Non]architecture” are Mariia Fedorova (m.s.fedorova@yandex.ru) and Ivan Tarasov (tarasovivanan@gmail.com), who are graduates of the Oxford Russia Fellowship program.

By March 15, send a short abstract of up to 250 words to the emails of the co-editors of the issue. Authors whose annotations are selected will be required to submit full articles in May 2020. Articles may be accompanied by any necessary visual materials: photographs, graphs, maps, formulas, etc. We accept author articles up to 60,000 characters.