Call for Papers:  Demolitions and Deconstructions. Practices in Research #05.  

Deadline: 26th of February 2024 

Moving towards a more ecological and sustainable building culture many architects commit themselves to caring and maintaining our existing building stock. To reduce the consumption of resources, the production of waste and emissions, the aim is to first look at what is already there, before adding any new constructions. 

At the same time, our built environment is a manifestation of social ideas, hierarchies, norms, and standards which do often not match the values, priorities, and expectations of today’s society. Lifestyles have diversified, family structures have evolved, modes of transportation have changed. Our buildings are based on anachronistic spatial patterns. 

How do architects deal with this ambiguity? How do they decide on what can stay and what must go? When does demolition become unavoidable as a part of critical repair? How do architects negotiate between existing qualities and contemporary norms and expectations? 

Partial demolitions often involve a series of artefacts: supporting structures, technical adaptations, material juxtapositions. They create a language as much as they question the nature of project itself. Indeed, they cannot be reduced to operations based on patrimonial or technical considerations. Demolitions and deconstructions are deliberate choices, they are decisive in the design process, in its economy. They influence both the materiality and the spatiality of the project. Beyond a pragmatic approach to what is already there, how do partial demolition and supporting elements change the nature, the 

ambitions, the process, and the authorship of the project? And how does it then radically change the use of space afterwards? 

What methods and processes do architects use when approaching an existing structure? How do they carefully and critically examine an existing building and how do they reveal its potential? What knowledge do they gain in the process of assessing what can stay and what must go? And finally, how can they afford to do so, given that architects’ fees are still generally tied to construction costs, i.e., material and energy consumption? 

Does the status of a caring architectural practice diverge from its ecological and social importance, as it does for many other caring professions? 

PiR 05 – “Demolitions and Deconstructions” is looking for contributions reflecting on these questions related to careful yet experimental transformations. The contributions are expected to report about critical practices through which these questions are examined, staying close to its documents and outcomes. 

Submissions to the conference will be examined for participation by the editorial committee, based on a short abstract. Extended abstracts will be published online in the proceedings of the conference (unreviewed). After the conference, invited contributors will be asked to follow a double-blind peer review for publication in the upcoming issue of the journal. The editors may include unreviewed contributions upon invitation such as visual essays. The review process of all contributions will be clearly identified. 

Deadlines and Modalities 


1st of December 2023 call for contributions 

26th of February 2024 submission of short abstracts 4th of March 2024 notification of acceptance (conference) 29th of April 2024 submission of extended abstracts 22nd of May 2024 (tbc) conference in Brussels 

3rd of June 2024 invitation for publication 22nd of July 2024 submission of full articles for peer review 16th of September 2024 double-blind peer review available 28th of October 2024 submission of final article 25th of November 2024 publication of PiR#05 

Call for Abstracts 

One PDF file containing max 300 words and the necessary illustrations in order to explain your contribution. The format is otherwise free. Multiple submissions are not accepted. 

Deadline for abstract submission: Monday 26th of February 2024. 

By the 4th of March 2024, the editorial committee selects contributors to develop their contributions to the conference and to provide an extended abstract. The selection is made based on the adequation with the goal and topic of the conference and journal. 

The extended abstract is due for 29th of April 2024. Text max 600 words + illustrations following the provided template. The book of abstracts will be made available online (not peer-reviewed) in the form of conference proceedings.