June 12-14, 2025 | Halifax, Nova Scotia

2025 ACSA/EAAE Teachers Conference

Conflict : Resolution

Schedule

October 16, 2024

Submission Deadline

December 2024

Submission Notification

June 12-14, 2025

Teachers Conference

Conference Overview

The Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) and the European Association for Architectural Education (EAAE) are pleased to announce the fourth, biennial joint Teachers Conference being hosted by Dalhousie University. The conference will take place June 12-14, 2025, in Halifax, Nova Scotia. This year we asks how conflict situations can be reframed as sites of design, and what new structures for resolution are possible?

Conflict : Resolution

As architectural concerns expand to account for today’s social and environmental crises, architects are increasingly caught up in a multitude of conflicts. These conflicts transcend individual scales: from the classroom to the community, and from the building to geopolitics. Architects may orient architectural tools toward social ends, but architecture is not conventionally defined as a practice of mediation, negotiation, or reconciliation. Architects are not trained in conflict resolution. To consider how the built environment produces or diffuses conflict is to rethink the role of the designer, imagine new interdisciplinary interactions, and clarify the social, political, and technological motivations for architectural pedagogy.

Building on agonistic models of democracy which present conflict not as an obstacle but an opportunity, this conference acknowledges that conflict is inevitable and asks how architectural education and practice can respond to the increasingly palpable conflicts around us. Differences of opinion in the studio, curricular obstacles, preservationist activism, the architectural labor movement, tactical and humanitarian architecture, war and urbicide—how can the discipline actively engage difference to move beyond polarization? Educators today have been tasked with equipping the discipline with a toolkit for vastly divergent concerns. Yet even macro-conflicts linked to humanity’s addiction to oil, reparations, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and migration policy demand highly localized spatial actions that can ripple within communities. At the middle scale, the global crisis of public space can also be considered: with the increasing privatization of space, what room is there for dissent and democratic rebuilding? Conversely, emergent material investigations and design-build work can be starting points for rethinking conflicts linked to extractive systems and resource scarcity.

Beyond mapping architectural “controversies,” this conference asks how conflict situations can be reframed as sites of design. In this international conversation on pedagogy and research, there may be divergent frames of reference for the relationship between politics and architecture. Acts of representing, making, spatializing can render the mechanics of disagreement visible and suggest alternate pathways for equitable futures. The task is also to assess architecture’s disciplinary vulnerability: interdisciplinary alliances or “cross-appointed” experts can produce nimble models of practice that reconsider how institutions can legitimately participate in social change. Conflict reorganizes the relationship between construction and repair. What new structures for resolution are possible?

Steering Committee

Michael Faciejew
Conference Co-Chair, Dalhousie University

Roger Mullin
Conference Co-Chair, Dalhousie University

Oya Atalay Franck
EAAE President, ZHAW Zurich University of Applied Sciences

Cathi Ho Schar
ACSA President 2024-2025, University of Hawaii

Mia Roth-Cerina
EAAE, University of Zagreb

Massimo Santanicchia
EAAE, Iceland University of the Arts

Michael Monti
ACSA Executive Director

Eric W. Ellis
ACSA Senior Director of Operations and Programs

Location

Halifax, Nova Scotia

Halifax is the capital city of Nova Scotia. It is located on the east coast of Canada on the Atlantic Ocean. Influenced by the land, sea, history, and people, Halifax has a distinct character and charm you won’t find anywhere else. Halifax is diverse, bold, beautiful and home to come of the friendliest people in the world. No matter who you are or where you are coming from, Halifax welcomes you.


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Michelle Sturges
Conferences Manager
202-785-2324
msturges@acsa-arch.org

Eric W. Ellis
Senior Director of Operations and Programs
202-785-2324
eellis@acsa-arch.org