Thematic Areas

The Organizing Committee of the 1st Edition of the Valencia International Biennial of Research in Architecture encourages the submission of papers concerning the hereunder thematic areas:

Research by design in architecture

The discipline of architecture carries since the middle of the 20th Century a deep segregation between scientific and rational knowledge and factual knowledge which is derived from the experience of the building itself. Hence the distinction between objectivity and subjectivity has been undermined since the 60s. Different paths can be followed when facing this polarity and not necessarily self-sufficient: case research than can provide knowledge for the group, or the group research that tends to provide guidelines of interest for the case. But from the whole to the parties or from the parties to the whole are not the only possible approaches, since systemic architecture considers the case as an example of the behavior of the general organism and consequently connects with it bay means of the rules and laws that govern it. Anyhow, the inexistence of consistent accounts on an uncertain and undervalued future makes each project experience an opportunity, maybe unique, for enjoying and experimenting, turning it into a sounding board of what we have and what we miss. In this context, four possible challenges in design research emerge: revising again the dissociation between theory and practice; deepening in that rupture through time dimension; taking back research to widened disciplinary keys, which are also reviewed, transversal and pierced by the changing social and cultural foundations; and finally fostering that the aesthetic review leads the way for transformation.

Ethics, critical thinking and narrative in architecture

Architectural narratives refer to a kaleidoscopic approach from architectural practice due to the lack of universalizable certainties. The necessary factual enlargement is linked to a troublesome scenario: society prescribes educational profiles endowed with a decreasing critical force, favoring profitability; the hermeneutic hurricane of the turn of the century has skirted intrinsically architectural debates, so as to deepen in speeches highly influenced by the exterior such as identity-autonomy, authenticity-simulation, and so on; and finally the fight among three different positions regarding the information overload typical from the information age which are the need of scientific communication for concordance between rational true and factual true, the formal postmodernity relativism; and the post-structuralism or those oppositions between critical postmodernity and radical criticism which bear the debate on the lack of limits for interpretation. This thematic area welcomes papers of any kind related to ethics, critical thinking and narrative in architecture and encourages debate on totality and territory, technology and nature, design and action, multidisciplinarity, aesthetics, etc.

Ideation and representation in architecture

Graphic expression appears as a vivid field for architectural experimentation and research in synergy with many other disciplines related with research in architecture. This thematic area encompasses contributions from different fields of graphic expression focused on new methods for conceiving and narrating architecture, such as new graphic survey techniques; new modelling and render methods; and even new ways for depicting urban flows and dynamics.

City, territory and landscape

City, territory and landscape with their own internal and external dynamics and with their different scales constitute thrilling research scenarios to be tackled from multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary points of view. Among these contexts, urban fabrics and public space constitute a base for research from morphological, functional, social and environmental perspectives. This thematic area includes reflections on the geographic field of the city, the territory and the landscape, also including those tools for its analysis and interpretation such as cartography, big-data, etc. Among many others, the hereafter topics can be addressed: human scale, morphology and activity in the city; occupation, sustainability, permanence, transformation and mobility regarding territory; and landscape as cultural heritage, natural scenario to be protected or recovered, rural or urban, etc.

Building technology and advanced materials

Only innovative building systems and evolved materials will make possible to satisfy the ever more demanding comfort levels and social ambitions. This thematic area welcomes papers on, among many other topics, building smart monitoring; innovative solar and wind control systems; building techniques for a better building energy efficiency; implementation of renewable energy systems; building materials and techniques which reduce CO2 emissions; continuous innovation and improvement in conditioning techniques; and new materials, methods and building techniques in structures for architecture.

Theory and criticism in architecture

In the current architecture context it is important to reflect upon the role of theory and criticism in order to determine strong foundations for knowledge, evaluation and design in architecture. On one side, it would be helpful to review the current validity of contributions in theory and criticism from the past, as well as relevant contributions from other disciplines such as philosophy, arts, science, sociology, engineering and so on. On the other side, it is also interesting to track links between theory and criticism with the current architectural practice and the goals of contemporary society, focusing our attention in specific questions such as housing which should provide a response for the new ways of living and for the different society groups.


Architectural heritage and conservation

The interpretation of history has traditionally opened new ways to build the future. The geographical and timescale framework is vast enough to cover stages which comprise from ancient cultures to contemporary times, being a transversal and multidisciplinary approach an interesting endeavor. This thematic area focuses on the critical reading of history of architecture as a matter for any architect research. Papers on history of construction will be welcome as well. Architectural heritage and conservation constitutes an extremely window of opportunity in modern practice that has induced the development of many fascinating research lines.