103rd Annual Meeting

The Expanding Periphery and the Migrating Center
March 19-21, 2015  |  Toronto, Ontario
Host Schools: Ryerson UniversityUniversity of Toronto, & University of Waterloo
Co-chairs: David Ruy, Pratt Institute & Lola Sheppard, University of Waterloo


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Conference Overview
In recent years, discussions and conferences within the discipline have debated how architecture should respond to the radical technological, social, and environmental changes happening in societies around the world. A crisis is perceived with the concern that architecture is out of touch with the ever-emerging present and is being marginalized through its inability to adapt. Nonetheless, many new practices have emerged, seizing the opportunities that present themselves as situations change.

Despite architecture’s anxieties of being compromised by external forces, architecture has demonstrated a remarkable ability to appropriate and contaminate other fields—turning seemingly everything into a potential architectural problem. Architecture’s perplexing promiscuity raises many difficult questions about the coherence of the discipline’s history and the integrity of its current practices. At the same time, architecture’s promiscuity has been remarkably beneficial. In the past two decades, we have seen architecture grappling with the sudden and complete incorporation of digital technologies, the emergence of new models of collaboration and professional responsibility, the opportunities and traps of intensive globalization, and the unavoidable exigencies of ecological imperatives. Throughout it all, given the complexities and burdens of the contemporary situation, architecture continues to demonstrate the innovative power of its thought and imagination through its elasticity and comprehensiveness in an age of specialization.

Shadowing new forms of practice, academia has also been quietly reconfiguring curricula to address architecture’s migrations. What are the limits of architecture’s domain? And if we can map the positions of architecture’s new territories, what can we conclude about how the core of the discipline has changed? The 2015 ACSA conference aims to simultaneously look outward toward the expanding periphery of architecture and inward toward its migrating center. The dual focus of this call for proposals seeks to examine the implications of architecture’s recently colonized frontiers while also bringing scrutiny to architecture’s core discipline, examining what remains essential within a mutable disciplinary terrain.

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Eric Wayne Ellis
Director of Operations and Programs        
Angela DeGeorge
Programs Manager