CFP: Architecture and Wars: Forms of Constructions and Destructions in War Zones

Deadline:  8 February 2017

Institute for the History and Theory of Architecture, Department of Architecture, ETH Zurich, Switzerland

2-3 June 2017

From ancient Troy or Carthage, to Kabul and Aleppo in our own century, architecture has been unceasingly subjugated to the strains and constraints of warfare. Built environments, be it barricades, bastions, battlefields, borders, bunkers, camps, fortifications, hospitals, infrastructure, monuments, military bases, prisons, towers, or tunnels have continuously served both civil and military purposes of armed conflicts. Architects, engineers, officers, and civil servants have strategically designed spaces in order to wage wars, disrupt revolutions, or fight extremist attacks. How were these designs adapted to war strategies and tactics? How to articulate the intimate legacy between civil and military policies and architecture? How did military built environments occupy civil purposes and functions?

The two-day international conference aims to investigate how various forms of warfare have influenced the design of destructions and constructions of buildings and spaces since the French Revolution (1799) to our days. The conference is centred on the mechanisms of the development and transformation of territorial conditions, infrastructure, buildings, and typologies in war zones.

We seek papers that focus on one particular aspect or built environment in a specific armed conflict region. Abstracts of maximum 250 words should be submitted to Dr. Samia Henni ( by 8 February 2017, along with a short curriculum vitae. Accepted speakers will be notified by 12 February 2017. Conference papers of about 2’500 words should be submitted by 15 May 2017. The conference will be held at the Institute for the History and Theory of Architecture, Department of Architecture, ETH Zurich on 2 and 3 June 2017. Limited funding for travel expenses are available.