CFP Apr 3, 2024

The Project of History – Histories of Projects (Lyon, 14-15 Nov 24)

Museum of Fine Arts of Lyon, Nov 14–15, 2024
Deadline: Jun 30, 2024

Benjamin Chavardès

International Conference:
The Project of History – Histories of Projects.
Architects/Historians in Post-war.

The project "The Project of History - The Histories of the Project" is conceived through the organization of two international conferences examining the relationship between history and architectural and urban design in the post-war period. The first conference, to be held at the University of Florence on 16 and 17 November 2023, focused on the Italian context, on the assumption that Italy is the focal point for the development of the figure of the architect-historian. The second conference, scheduled for 14 and 15 November 2024 in Lyon, aims to broaden the investigation to an international scale. The two conferences are supported by the same international scientific council, whose members have undertaken to promote the two events.

The multifaceted and nuanced relationship between history and design has marked late twentieth-century Italian architectural culture, and have been its most distinct characteristic on the international scene. A first conference held in Florence in November 2023 focused on this transalpine context. This second conference, to be held in Lyon in autumn 2024, aims to broaden investigations to Europe and beyond. This conference aims to explore the exchanges, tangencies, overlaps and frictions between designers – of the architectural object as much as of the city and the territory - and architectural historians in the cultural, political, economic and social context of the second half of the twentieth century. Intended to discuss the specific contributions of individual figures, moments, and sites of exchange, it invites studies based on archival research that are also open to questioning the broader historical, cultural, and disciplinary conditions that shaped dialogues between architects and historians. The goal is to promote new and broader research directions through critical interrogation of well-identified case studies.

Proposals may include, but are not limited to, the following research directions:

1) Architectural historians directly involved in architectural and urban projects, such as Kenneth Frampton and the Corringham Building (1960-1962), or Charles Jencks and his Thematic House (1978-1983) or his Garden of Cosmic Speculation (2003), or Bernard Huet and his projects for the Parc de Bercy or the historic centre of Amiens. What was the methodological terrain that prompted those architectural historians to engage in the profession and design activity? What were the prospects, ambitions, and outcomes of this engagement? And how did these design interludes influence contemporary architectural history research?

2) Architectural designers who engaged in historical and/or theorical research, such as Peter Eisenman with The formal basis of modern architecture (1963), Rem Koolhaas and Delirious New York. Why did those architects feel the need to engage in extensive and thorough historical research? And how was this work reflected in their design practice?

3) Peculiar figures of architect-intellectuals who throughout their careers consistently intertwined historical research and design practice: Why and how did these disciplinary fields overlap? Where were intersections and influences located? What models did they follow?

4) Long-lasting friendships and cultural exchanges between architects and historians. How did these intellectual associations begin, and how did they evolve over time? What did historical research bring to design practice, and what did design bring to historical research?

5) Schools that developed around a fulcrum of exchanges and mutual influences between architects and architectural historians, in the image of the Versailles school around figures such as Philippe Panerai and Jean Castex. Which figures established this direction? What are the cultural assumptions, methodologies and outcomes of such an intellectual and didactic commitment?

6) Events, exhibitions, conferences and debates on Italian territory that represented fundamental moments of encounter, confrontation, and deepening of the links between design and the history of architecture.

Interested contributors should send an abstract (300 words) and a short biography with institutional affiliation (100 words) to, and by 30 June 2024. The proposals will be selected through a preliminary evaluation by the scientific committee and a double-blind peer-review process. Developed versions of selected contributions to both conferences are intended to be included in an international peer-reviewed publication.

Additional Information:
Venue: Museum of Fine Arts of Lyon
Dates: 14-15 November 2024
Accepted Languages: French and English

Scientific Supervisors:
Benjamin Chavardès, École nationale supérieure d’architecture de Lyon
Lorenzo Ciccarelli, Università degli Studi di Firenze
Philippe Dufieux, École nationale supérieure d’architecture de Lyon

Scientific Advisory Board:
Marco Biraghi, Politecnico di Milano
Denise Costanzo, Penn State University
Philippe Dufieux, École nationale supérieure d’architecture de Lyon
Sabine Frommel, École Pratique des Hautes Études
Andrew Leach, University of Sydney
Paolo Portoghesi, Sapienza Università di Roma †
Philippe Prost, École nationale supérieure d’architecture de Paris-Belleville
Franco Purini, Sapienza Università di Roma
Daniel Sherer, Princeton University
Paolo Zermani, Università degli Studi di Firenze

École nationale supérieure d’architecture de Lyon
Università degli Studi di Firenze, Dipartimento di Architettura


École nationale supérieure d’architecture de Lyon
Università degli Studi di Firenze, Dipartimento di Architettura
Institut Français Firenze
Istituto italiano di Cultura Lione
Fondazione Architetti Firenze

CFP: The Project of History – Histories of Projects (Lyon, 14-15 Nov 24). In:, Apr 3, 2024 (accessed Jul 18, 2024), <>.