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OCCUPATION: Negotiations with Constructed Space - call for papers

Date posted: 15/09/2008

'OCCUPATION: Negotiations with Constructed Space is to be held at the University of Brighton School of Architecture and Design: Interior Architecture and Urban Studies Programme

The Conference
An abiding concern for designers of interior space is the way that buildings and places are used or occupied. Issues of inhabitation, enclosure and containment are of critical importance in this new century and an understanding of relationships between politics, place and space is indispensable for any sort of practice today. Researchers, practitioners and students in the fields of interiors, art, architecture and spatial design must be open to alternative readings of territory and a range of spatial practices. This three-day conference will be concerned with the motivations, forces, constraints and drives in design for occupation.

Fred Scott states that "The function of buildings in human affairs is more correctly described through patterns or rituals of occupation. Buildings will otherwise resist description in terms of more precise functions; as James Gowan has sometimes commented to me, 'I can eat a sandwich in any size of room'. The intended fit between function and space can be elusive, unfocused, but the image is vivid, which is the reason why the idea of obsolescence is so uncertain with regards to buildings" (Fred Scott, 'On Altering Architecture', Routledge, 2008).

Occupation may be benign or may be achieved through the acquisition of territory by force - processes of control of people and places. Occupation may also be a state of mind where daily routines and activity are curtailed, moulded and adapted to a particular environment. Equally, spaces may be composed or formed through processes and layers of inhabitation. The conference theme, 'Occupation‚ will address the friction and negotiation that exists between built space and Inhabitants.

Presentations will be divided into four areas in order to open ways of thinking about designing for occupation. Contributions are invited from designers, artists, practitioners, teachers, students and all those interested in the disciplines of architecture, interiors and spatial design, around the following themes:

Occupation and Place

The relationship of an occupier to a particular place, site specificity, issues of purchase, ownership, possession and inhabitation, the proportion or extent to which a property is occupied or used.

Occupation and Time

Time and transience, temporal occupation through the marking out of territory, work and employment, ways of keeping busy, obsolescence, alternative ways of occupying territory (squatting, alteration).

Occupation and Appropriation

States of forced control, the state of being occupied, claims to property and territory, acts of dispossession and exclusion, the occupation of interstitial or unusual spaces.

Occupation Memory and Imagination

Acts of consciousness or forms of belief that lead to occupation and/or the redrawing of boundaries, occupation and memory, building an occupation through representation or making a claim on imagined space or territory, film and virtual and space.

These categories are loosely held and may easily overlap in the presented papers.
Names of keynote speakers will be confirmed shortly.

A one-week student event - ŒStudent Occupation‚ - will run concurrently with the conference and participation will be invited from students in the UK and abroad. Conference delegates will be invited to participate in a review of work produced.

Conference Presentation Format

The invited papers will be twenty minutes oral presentation. The conference language will be English.
Data Show - Completed papers of between 3000 - 4000 words, conforming to the template that will be supplied to selected authors.

Conference Dates

The conference will last for three days from Thursday 2nd to Saturday 4th of July 2009. It is intended that a book based on the conference papers will be published after the event.

The cost for attendance at the conference will be £340 for three days, including a conference dinner at the Royal Pavilion in Brighton.

Early Registration for the conference, (available until 11 May 2009) £300
Student concession (not including conference dinner) £160
Single day attendance (not including dinner) £100

Guidelines for the submission of Abstracts
Self-contained abstracts are invited of up to 500 words that outline the aims, scope and conclusions of the paper.

  1. State the theme of the proposed paper.
  2. State the structure of the argument and show how it will develop.
  3. Show how the evidence and the argument will lead to a conclusion.
  4. Follow the abstract with a list of up to five keywords that describe the paper.

Abstracts will be peer reviewed blind. Therefore please provide a digital document (Microsoft word preferred). The first page to contain the abstract itself and the second to supply name, institutional affiliation, contact details and a 200 word CV.

Submission of Abstracts (max 500 words) ˆ 1 December 2008
Submit Abstracts to
Notification of acceptance of Abstracts ˆ 5 January 2009
Submission of full papers ˆ 2 March 2009
Return of Referees report ˆ 20 April 2009
Final Date for submission of revised papers ˆ 5 June 2009

Further Information:
A website containing more information about the conference is under construction. In the interim period please contact
Terry Meade or Irene Smith
University of Brighton
School of Architecture
Mithras House
Lewes Road
Brighton BN2 4AT
+44 (0) 1273 64 2366