March 12-14, 2020 | San Diego, CA

108th ACSA Annual Meeting

OPEN: Reinvented Annual Meeting


June 5, 2019

Paper/Project Submission Deadline

September 25, 2019

Call for Special Sessions Deadline

December 2019

Presenters Notified

January 2019

Registration deadline for presenters

Call for Special Sessions

The ACSA Annual Meeting Committee invites faculty, researchers and practitioners to share their knowledge and best practices through panel sessions and workshops. Proposals may address the Open Borders theme, as described below, or other topics. The committee welcomes submissions in all architecture research and practice areas.


Special Focus Sessions are 90-minute concurrent sessions that provide a forum for issues or a critical discussion of a focused topic. They typically involve a panel of two or more individuals. Other formats for presenting and discussing a topic with the audience may be proposed. One session organizer is responsible for submitting the proposal, organizing the group, moderating the session and leading the discussion.

  • Title
  • Abstract 100-word, This will be used for session promotion and program
  • Outline 300-word, Include the session objective: outlining the areas covered, the audience, the format for delivery
  • Four (4) Learning Objectives
  • Presenters’ Biographies 300-words

Workshops are interactive sessions that provide participants targeted skills, knowledge, or interactions that they can use beyond the conference. Workshops should be designed to collaboratively explore a particular issue or deliver an educational tutorial on a particular theme. An individual or a team may propose a workshop, provided one individual is the team’s lead or organizer. Workshops may be full-day (8-hours), half-day (4-hours), or 90-minute concurrent sessions. They may use a variety of formats (e.g., presentations, working sessions, tours) to engage a defined audience of attendees. Architecture faculty comprise the primary audience for the Annual Meeting. However, we welcome proposals for workshops that might attract part-time faculty, practitioners, and students.

Submission Requirements: 

  • Title
  • Abstract 100-word, This will be used for workshop promotion and program
  • Outline 300-word. Include the workshop objective: outlining the areas covered, the audience for the workshop, the format for delivery
  • Four (4) Learning Objectives
  • Presenters’ Biographies 300-words
  • Submitters must indicate if the proposal is a full-day (8-hours), half-day (4-hours), or session (90-minutes)

All submissions will be reviewed by the 108th Annual Meeting Committee. Selection is based on session clarity, relevance, and contribution to the discipline of architecture. All session organizers will be notified of the status of their session in November 2019. Accepted sessions will require all presenters to pay full conference registration for the Annual Meeting in order to be included in the conference. 


As borders weaken, boundaries across the world, including the U.S-Mexico border, have become centers of large-scale cities.  In the contemporary “trans-frontier” metropolis, infrastructures of control articulate otherness, and spatially and economically separate communities. While historically, diverse social groups have moved across these border territories, practices of control remained fluid and ever changing. However, trans-border urban societies challenge the separating function of the border via new social and spatial interactions, defined by interdependent economic and ecological forces.

Border regions like the San Diego / Tijuana region share watersheds, water treatment solutions, atmospheric conditions, and strategies around energy production and consumption. Thousands of commuting Mexican workers cross daily into San Diego to work in the manufacturing and service sector while US citizens regularly venture into Tijuana for shopping and recreation. Michael Dear describes the border metropolis as a “third nation” whose identity is shaped by daily protocols of the border and strengthened by transnational cultures of protest that have sparked their own cross-border communities, discourses, and imaginaries. As a result, people in border regions are less divided by the border than they are unified by “vertical relations of power and horizontal bonds of mutuality,” unifying the ‘twin cities on opposing sides of the border into a single transcultural entity negotiating a ‘border commons’.

The framework of border as commons presents an exciting territory for architects and urbanists, ranging from considerations of the border as productive infrastructure to public space activism:

  • How might generally accepted notions of borders, and related issues of border crossing or containment, be productively questioned or revised from an urban and architectural perspective?

  • Can border regions be laboratories for reimagining / expanding / reconceiving post-national networks? How?

  • How can cross-border efforts and dependencies produce new practices of commoning, from space to environment, to labor practices? And what is the impact on the built environment?

  • What is architecture’s agency beyond that of the physical construction of the line?

  • “How are questions of identity, legality, and rights as well as exclusion, violence, and protest affected by the dynamics of borders?”

Allison Smith
Programs Manager

Eric W. Ellis
Director of Operations and Programs