Call for Papers: “Dealing with risks, Architecture and Philosophy” Deadline: 25 Sept

Call for Papers: “Dealing with risks, Architecture and Philosophy”
Deadline: 25 September 2020

International Symposium, organized by GERPHAU Lab (philosophy, architecture, urban world, EA 7486 Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture de Paris-La Villette) and the ARENA Association. Paris, 11-12 March 2021

No one knows what the real consequences for habitat, climate change and the degradation of the biosphere will be in the next fifteen, thirty or fifty years. But the disasters are already there. Whole neighborhoods collapse and their inhabitants are drowned, burned, swept away, suffocated by physical phenomena that clash with human settlements. New threats are intensifying. The recent Covid-19 pandemic also highlights the toxic synergies that are woven between pressures on natural ecosystems, loss of biodiversity in the environment, global warming, emergence of new viruses, and the fragility of human organizations.

So, lifestyles, but also local implementations must be rethought, put back to work, without waiting for the extension and intensification of the cataclysms.

This conference will aim to take stock of the complex and disturbing naturo-cultural dynamics, which destroy the very habitability of the planet, in order to promote what they engage in return as renewed cultures of architectural and urban planning and design.

In addition to the already very extensive range of risks, and which is constantly widening, we may have to face the business-as-usual post-pandemic activities, which would express our collective inability to get out of the repetition of a model that has already demonstrated its catastrophic horizon.

How to initiate a path to something else? What to learn from this high-risk context, from the encounter with these hazards?

We have to tackle evolutionary, cyclical situations as well as their representations, put into discussion new practices (as constructive as conceptual), within the framework of a specific meeting between architecture and philosophy.

This symposium, carried out by the GERPHAU laboratory from the Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture de Paris la Villette and the European research network ARENA, aims to highlight the potential of architecture in such a context.

The symposium wants to bring together the power of intelligibility of philosophy and the capacity for concrete architecture. Three areas of reflection and practice are open to contribution:

  • Building from shared vulnerabilities;
  • Debating other settlements figures and stories;
  • Document the collapses, prepare the refoundations.

The full call for papers with extended descriptions of these themes and ways to participate can be downloaded here.

Please send proposals for papers (maximum 300 words in French or in English before 25 September 2020) to

For more information, please go to ARENA website.