CONFERENCE by: Department of Architectural Science, Ryerson University. Published: September 7, 2018.




The proceedings of the ARCC-EAAE 2018 Conference are now available for download on the ARCC website. The two-volume proceedings feature 90 blind-peer-reviewed papers selected from 236 submissions. The proceedings can be downloaded here 

In the world of increasing complexity and competing ideas, approaches, resources and techniques, how does architecture mediate these tensions? What is the role of academics and researchers in developing research outcomes that are meaningful and measurable? What is the role of practicing designers (architects, engineers and scientists) in developing an applied research agenda in architecture?

The ARCC 2019 Toronto Conference wishes to explore applied or practice-based research in architecture.
RMIT professor Laurene Vaughan’s 2017 book, “Practice-based Design Research”, argued for the validity and importance of practice-based design research. In the same book, Cameron Tonkinwise of Carnegie Mellon University apologized for practice-based design’s “defensive insularity as it tried to shore up its epistemological claims throughout the 2000s”. He concludes that applied or practice-based design research, today, has a valid and important status as a discipline: “This means that the practice of expert designing involves precisely the sorts of meta-cognitive, processual knowledges that characterize a discipline.”

The conference seeks the identification, definition, positioning, defense and formalization of applied research as a bridge between theory and practice in the future praxis of architecture. This call is for papers on research, scholarship and professional/creative work – in history, theory, criticism, science and technology, and management – with a particular interest in the following themes:

  • Design Thinking in the conception and realization of buildings and infrastructure. The late architectural theorist Dr. Marco Frascari argued that an architectural detail underpins techniques and bridges the concept and the realized. When an architectural theorist argues for architectural production, there must be something cogent in the argument. Could it be that architecture design is primarily celebrated – and understood – in its built form?
  • Applied History, a term first used by political scientist and historian Benjamin Shambaugh in 1909, saw a re-emergence in 1974 when Harvard University historian Ernest May used history to improve policy making by studying precedents to understand and examine the challenges of the present. Architecture, rooted in history, can benefit from such an applied approach and can answer to the criticism that questions the practical applications of architectural history and theory.
  • The role of the built environment in the Production of Culture – as our buildings project the ideals of the individuals and groups whom inhabit them, the study of such reveals much about ourselves that might not at first be apparent. Cultural and humanities-orientated research in architecture might leverage history, social interaction, formal artifacts and the effects of built form on human relationship structures. Can it be that understanding the role of buildings in the construction of multiple scales of cultural identity can help us understand who we are?
  • Autonomous and Smart buildings, and Infrastructure. The late Dr. Stephen Hawking (and the billionaire Elon Musk) cautioned us against AI and even predicted an apocalyptic end of the human race. Could AI be the salvation for future buildings and infrastructure, in an industry that still builds very much by hand, or does it represent a curse?
  • Environmental Stewardship of buildings and infrastructure. The Iroquois believe that the decisions we make today should result in a sustainable future seven generations away. Can we, as designers, affect such a future without resorting to certifications and checklists? Is there something very meaningful and measurable in this First Peoples’ refrain and their approach to the world around us?
    • Fabrication as centered on Resource and Process Management. Future makers, fabricators and constructors continue to be engaged in the application of management, design, and technical skills for the design and integration of systems, the execution of architectural designs, the improvement of manufacturing and assembly processes, and the management and direction of physical and/or technical functions of a project, firm or organization. What are the ways of managing the project, firm or organization in the future age where ideas and making are becoming much more digitized?
  • Practicum-focused Pedagogy, which bridges theory and practice, and is the hallmark of professional education. Clinical skills education is the keystone in medical schools, as are moot courts in law schools and laboratories in STEM education. In architecture, the Studio is meant to be this juncture, but increasingly the Studio has move from a medium of applied learning to that theoretical explorations and speculations. Can applied research re-inform the Studio, and return it to its keystone relevance?
  • Architecture for Health and Well-Being, exploring the impact of the built environment on human health, satisfaction, and well-being. In particular, this theme seeks holistic approaches to promote healthier lifestyles, facilitate health-supporting human behaviors in buildings, as well as link design with health-outcomes. Projects exploring the relationship between architecture, urban design, and public health are also sought.
  • Open Category, including papers and projects with origins not specifically related to the categories above that offer interesting perspectives on the larger conference theme.


The conference invites submissions of research work from both academics and practitioners in any of the following tracks. Submissions must be made through this website:

Full Papers are solicited for each of the conference themes. Selection of papers will be based on a two-stage double-blind peer review process. Authors of selected abstracts will be invited to submit full papers for peer review. Authors of abstracts not accepted for full paper submission may be invited to submit posters. Abstracts are limited to 500 words and may include supporting graphics. Guidelines for full paper submission will be provided at a later date.

Research Poster abstracts may be submitted for peer-review. Authors of selected abstracts will be invited to submit a full poster to be exhibited in the conference. Abstracts are limited to 500 words and may include supporting graphics.

ARCC Doctoral Student Workshop invites doctoral candidates working on their dissertations to submit dissertations. The second annual workshop is a forum for students at the proposal phase or the interpretation phase of their dissertation work to present and discuss their work with senior mentors in architectural research. The workshop strengthens thesis/dissertation work and supports development of networks for young researchers in architecture and related disciplines. Applications consist of a 500-word abstract on the doctoral work that should discuss why the applicant seeks feedback in this venue and how it can further their research.

Plenary Session Presentation applications focusing on the conference’s main theme of “Future Praxis: Applied Research As A Bridge Between Theory And Practice” are invited. Submissions should be limited to 1000 words and may contain supporting graphics. Applications will go through a peer-review process and authors of selected submissions will be invited to participate in the plenary session.




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Department of Architectural Science,
Ryerson University


Department of Architectural Science, Ryerson University