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Association of Architectural Educators Conference 2023

Productive Disruptive AAE conference

12-15 July 2023, Welsh School of Architecture, Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK.

Productive-Disruptive: spaces of exploration in-between architectural pedagogy and practice

"Many of us tried to answer why the architecture course is so far away from the real world. However, a question about why the real world of architecture is so far away from the imagination and the creativity of the architecture course could be posed too. (MArch1 student reflection, 2018)"

The Association of Architectural Educators (AAE) 2023 Conference will bring together architectural academics, students, practitioners and built environment stakeholders to collectively question the productive/disruptive capacity of ‘gaps’ between architectural education, architectural practice, and current social, economic and environmental challenges.

The relationship between architectural pedagogy and practice has been under review ever since their formalisation. As architectural educators at the Welsh School of Architecture, we have witnessed a shift amongst master's degree students returning from a year out in practice. More of their design and research projects are interrogating the adequacy of architectural education and practices’ responses to global crises in environment, race, economy, health, equality and justice. Their critiques and sense of urgency extend beyond questions of gaps between pedagogy and practice, framing broader requisites of ethical practice.

The question of whether graduating students are ready for practice is thus now increasingly interwoven with the question of whether practice is ready for them.

  • How might the gap between architectural education and architectural practice be probed to productively expose and disrupt ways of working which are no longer fit for purpose?
  • What are potential intermediary roles in proposing effective drivers for change?
  • How can architectural education, including curriculum design, evolve to better address the issues and challenges that cities and societies face?

This conference will invite contributions which explore the productive / disruptive capacity of gaps between architectural pedagogy, practice, and the global context they shape and respond to, exploring spaces between expectation and experience; autonomy and collaboration; learning and becoming; idealisation and consequence; professional, conceptual and physical boundaries; and which propose and test definitions of expertise, agency, power, value and success in-between architectural education and practice.

Productive-Disruptive: spaces of exploration in-between architectural pedagogy and practice will be held at the Welsh School of Architecture, Cardiff University, between 12-15 July 2023 and will offer dedicated online session options. We encourage collaborations between educators, practitioners, students, and stakeholders in the built environment.

Key dates

29 September 2022 Call for papers and workshop proposals
16 November 2022 Deadline for abstract submissions for papers and workshop proposals
14 December 2022 Notification of acceptance / Registration opens
31 January 2023 Early bird registration deadline
1 March 2023 Deadline for draft papers for peer review feedback
3 May 2023 Deadline for full papers for conference proceedings
14 June 2023 Deadline for registration
12 July 2023 Conference evening launch event
13-14 July 2023 Conference paper and workshop sessions
15 July 2023 Conference field trips

Call for submissions

We invite contributions which celebrate the productive / disruptive capacity of gaps between architectural pedagogy and practice to broaden understandings, challenge assumptions, nurture ambitions, expand boundaries, invite collaborations, and test and put into practice new ideas.

Paper and workshop themes could include (but are not restricted to):

Pedagogy urgently productively disrupting practice and vice versa: are graduates ready for practice or is practice ready for graduates; gaps in inclusion in education and practice; skills, behaviours and codes of conduct; individual autonomy or collaborative practice; assessment and metrics of success; concepts of failure and risk; unintended outcomes; commodification of education; routes into and through architecture; pedagogy in practice; idealisations and consequences of live projects; pedagogy and practice in a climate crisis.

Ethical and political productions / disruptions:  moral and philosophical duties of care; voluntourism and saviour syndrome; architecture as activism in pedagogy and practice; feminist perspectives; postcolonial and decolonising perspectives; critiques of modes of production; concepts of value; social and cultural capital and the production of the built environment; complicity and responsibility; gaps between architects’ idealisations and stakeholders’ interests.

Interdisciplinary and Multidisciplinary modes of production and disruption: boundaries of expertise; collaboration, co-production, power and agency; multi and inter-disciplinary pedagogy and practice; translations from concept to action; communicating and acting across and between disciplines; digital and physical modes of production; multi-disciplinary methodologies.

We invite 500-word abstracts for:

  • 3000-6000 papers (inclusion in conference proceedings and a 20-minute presentation at the conference)
  • Workshop proposals (may be proposed as up to 1 to 1.5 hour workshops)
  • A1 poster Case Study proposals (may include models if transported by author)
  • Films (specify length – maximum 10 minutes)

Abstracts should be submitted via MS Forms by 16 November 2022. Notification of acceptance will be sent out by 14 December and registration will open on 14 December 2022.

AAE abstract submission form

Book your place

Register for a place from 14 December 2022.

Contact the organisers

Productive-Disruptive: spaces of exploration in-between architectural pedagogy and practice is chaired by

  • Caroline Almond
  • Professor Juliet Davis
  • Dr Julie Gwilliam
  • Professor Mhairi McVicar
  • Professor Andrew Roberts

at the Welsh School of Architecture, Cardiff University, UK, and is an Association of Architectural Educators (AAE) conference.

To get in touch with the conference organisers, please contact