Following the success of the recent symposium Ficto-Critical Approaches to a Writing Architecture, hosted on 4 & 5 August 2016 at the ATCH Research Centre in the School of Architecture at the University of Queensland, a scholarly book addressing themes that emerged at the event will be edited by the conveners Hélène Frichot and Naomi Stead.  

In addition to papers selected from the symposium, we invite the submission of additional abstracts addressing explorative approaches to ficto-critical writing methodologies, directed at research across the fields of criticism, theory and history in architecture. We are also interested in similar research undertaken in related fields, including cultural studies, art history, anthropology, literary studies, philosophy, and others where an emphasis on place and spatio-temporal relations is evident.

Ficto-criticism fuses the forms and genres of essay, critique, and story. It combines the techniques of fiction and critical theory with the aim of challenging assumptions about our contemporary social and political realities. Although fiction is never obliged to be faithful to reality, when combined with the emancipatory potential of criticism it holds the power to disrupt habitual ways of seeing and acting amidst our everyday lives.  

Ficto-criticism is a method that innovatively combines the disciplines of architecture, cultural studies, literary theory, philosophy and ethnography in order to enable both the critique of, as well as speculative explorations of world-making practices. While fiction is a powerful means by which we can speculatively propel ourselves into other imagined worlds, past, present and future, criticism offers the situated capacity to ethically cope with what confronts us.

Ficto-criticism for architecture assumes the constructive, creative and critical situatedness of the thinking-designer in the midst of their problematic field, suggesting both a means of speculating on near futures as well as the capacity to critique the present where it has become oppressive. The power of conjoining fiction and criticism across the linking punctuation of the hyphen as a ficto-critical practice provides opportunities for writers both within and without the discipline to explore ‘a writing architecture.’ 

Subjects of specific interest include:

  • the role of images, still and cinematic, explored through ficto-critical writing practices;
  • how scale plays out in architectural and writing projects;
  • walking – as a device, structure, or method in ficto-critical writing practices;
  • the role of radical pedagogies in the creative disciplines;
  • the role of judgment, or the deliberate absence thereof, in ficto-critical writing practices;
  • how literary genre can be exploited and/or subverted for ficto-critical ends;
  • questions of race and indigenous politics and place making, as reflected in ficto-critical writing practices;
  • the uncertain status of narrative within experimental writing practices, within and outside architecture;
  • the precarious relationship between subjectivities, social collectivities and environmentalities.

Please submit an abstract of 300 words, with a title, and a biographical statement of 100 words to: fictocritical at

Please address enquiries or correspondence to <n.stead at> and <helene.frichot at>

Deadline for submission:  9 September 2016


  • Dr Hélène Frichot, Associate Professor Docent - Critical Studies and Gender Theory in Architecture, School of Architecture KTH (Royal Institute of Technology), Stockholm
  • Dr Naomi Stead, Associate Professor – Deputy Director of the Research Centre ATCH, School of Architecture, The University of Queensland, Brisbane 

The symposium Ficto-Critical Approaches to a Writing Architecture was hosted by the Research Centre ATCH (Architecture Theory Criticism History) in the School of Architecture at The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia, in collaboration with Critical Studies in Architecture in the School of Architecture, KTH (Royal Institute of Technology) Stockholm, Sweden.


Associate Professor Naomi Stead PhD, BArch
Acting Head of School
School of Architecture
The University of Queensland
St Lucia, Q, 4072

e. n.stead at