June 6-8, 2019 | Las Vegas, NV

2019 Intersections Symposium

BOTTOM-UP SOCIAL CHANGE: Materials | Buildings | Community


July 2018

Call for Abstracts

August 8, 2018

Abstract Submission Site Opens

Sept. 26, 2018

Abstract Submission Deadline

Nov. 2018

Abstract Notifications


Submission Deadline: September 26, 2018

We are currently witnessing the largest wave of urban growth in human history. The nature and scope of this shift varies across the globe, but economic development and consumption are altering the quality of life for city dwellers and rural communities, bringing disproportional prosperity to some, while increasing inequality for many.

This symposium will explore the strengths and weaknesses of bottom-up social drivers as catalysts for development, growth, and transformation of our built environments in ways that are equitable, inclusive, affordable, and sustainable. To facilitate this discussion around Bottom-up Social Change, we seek examples of architectural research and practice that address any of the following questions:

  • How does bottom-up social change inform the sorts of spaces that we create and how we occupy them? How is architecture and public space informed by social engagement and grass-roots activism? How are materials deployed in these spaces to encourage (or discourage) safe and inclusive social interactions?
  • How does bottom-up social change inform or transform the way we practice and/or conduct research? Are there novel decision-making models (during the planning, design, or constructions processes) that are local, democratic, and participatory? What are the goals of such models and how is success measured? Are there other disciplines that we can learn from or should be engaged to facilitate these inclusive and participatory models?
  • How does bottom-up social change scale up? What larger trends or phenomena emerge from a series of small, bottom-up interventions? Can systems thinking help us understand these scalar cause and effect relationships?

We invite submissions that address one or more of these topics for affecting social change at the material scale, at the building scale, or at the community scale.


Educators, Practitioners, Researchers and Students are all encouraged to submit. If you are already an ACSA member, please log into the website to submit your abstract. If you are not an ACSA member or do not have ACSA credentials, please send an email to Eric Ellis, eellis@acsa-arch.org, to request access to the submission portal.

Submission Instructions

Please submit a 300-500 words abstract of your research and up to 3 images, along with:

  • How your project/research is innovative and relevant to AIA conference attendees
  • A list of learning objectives/outcomes

Submission Requirements

  • Paper abstracts must not exceed 500 words, and include nor more than three optional images.
  • All abstracts must be prepared for anonymous review (remove author/contributor names and affiliation identification).
  • Submissions must report on recently completed work, and cannot have been previously published or presented in public, except to a regional audience.
  • Submissions must be written in English.
  • Authors may submit only one abstract per session topic. The same abstract may not be submitted to multiple topics.

Eric W. Ellis
ACSA, Director of Operations and Programs

Nissa Dahlin-Brown EdD, Assoc. AIA
AIA, Director of Academic Engagement