Studies in History and Theory of Architecture vol. 6 / 2018

The journal studies in History and Theory of Architecture (, published by the Department of Architectural History & Theory and Heritage Conservation at "Ion Mincu" University of Architecture and Urbanism in Bucharest, Romania, invites submissions for the 2018 issue

POLITICS. Too much or not enough

Architecture and politics make an odd pair, whose meaning changes if regarded from either end. The recent history of architecture has put time and again under scrutiny this ambiguous relationship, wavering between the autonomy of a "free play with forms" and the total dependence upon politics.

In 1933, Sigfried Giedion asked Le Corbusier whether architects should be technicians or politicians. The answer favored the withdrawal of architects from any politics. Different individual and collective answers to Giedion's question have, however, engendered influential architectural profiles throughout the rest of the twentieth century, in the "free world" as well as in the "communist camp", despite the ideological differences that significantly determined the destinies of generations of architects.

May 1968 promised to lay new grounds for almost everything in the West, including a renewed relationship of architecture with government policies. One of the issues to be addressed is the extent to which this really happened. Besides the pioneering theoretical researches of the late 1960s and the 1970s, and despite the political involvement of certain influential professional groups and media, it seems that, presently, the critical dimension of architecture is lost when confronting political or commercial forces.

Nonetheless, in recent years, the social and political responsibility of architecture has gained considerable ground through participatory architecture, social housing for the very poor, temporary, movable shelters for the refugees of natural or human catastrophes, ecological experiments, and so on. These have been either assumed by some singular architectural practices or taken over by non-governmental organizations; they have been catalyzed by the public debate and the new media, and even celebrated by established institutions of the profession such as the Pritzker Prize or the Venice Architectural Biennale.
In various forms, architects have always been responsive to politics (no matter the polity, from liberal to authoritarian), either complying and profiting, or criticizing, opposing and reacting against. Thus, we invite contributors to delve anew into the relationship of architecture and politics, throughout both its historical stances and its contemporary expressions.

For this sixth issue of sITA, we suggest some interrogative directions:

  • political history of architecture vs. an architectural history of politics;
  • architectural assistance for ideological narratives; utopias and political representations;
  • episodes of significant encounters between politics and architecture;
  • political dynamism and the intransience of architecture;
  • the architect as an active or alternative political actor;

These headings are not meant to restrict the reflective horizon of the volume, since our aim is to gauge the dimensions of the relationship that architecture maintains with politics and through this to examine the status of the profession, its contemporary transformations and possible future.


A preliminary abstract of 200 - 200 words should be submitted by March 15, 2018. Selected contributors will be notified by e-mail on March 31. The final article should be submitted for review by June 1. Contributions will undergo a double-blind peer review procedure by independent reviewers.
All correspondence should be addressed to [email protected], to the attention of Dr. Arch. Radu Tudor Ponta. Please see detailed guidelines for authors at