CR|PT|C Agora III International Symposium: Call for Papers

June 9, 2024

The Carleton Research Practice of Teaching Collaborative – CR|PT|C has issued a call for papers on the theme MEDIATING MATTER(S) Architecture and Bodily Affects. The event will be taking place on October 23-24, 2025, at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada.


The deadline for the submission of abstracts is August 15, 2024, at 11:59 p.m. EST. All submissions will be blind peer-reviewed.


CR|PT|C Agora III is co-curated by faculty and students at the Azrieli School of Architecture & Urbanism (ASAU): PhD students Ahmed Elsherif, Ushma Thakrar, together with Dr. Menna Agha, Assistant Professor, and Dr. Federica Goffi, co-chair of the PhD in Architecture program.


MEDIATING MATTER(S) seeks to unpack, contest, and subvert normative relationships between matter and bodies as they take place within architecture practice and discourse. This call asks: How does the mediation of matter(s) through architecture and by architects (broadly understood) normalize certain modes of being while undermining others? Expanding discussions on how the scales, movements, animacy, and vibrancy of matter affect and act on diverse bodies and how these are objectified, thingified, and transformed into labour force, our goal is to engage in a conversation probing architecture’s complicity in rendering “some beings as more human than others.” 

The aims of Mediating Matter(s) are twofold: to explore how architecture’s “orderly arranging of materials and bodies”[6] affirm the discipline’s violent legacies of exclusion and how bodies that fall beyond dominant norms of the human disrupt these configurations through non-normative entanglements with matter. This call hopes to bring together work from a broad range of disciplines in the humanities and social sciences to explore the intersections of architecture and urbanism with critical new materialism and colonial, subaltern, disability, queer, gender, sexuality, Black, and Indigenous studies.


Mediating Matter(s) welcomes papers that respond to the following topics:



What are the effects of architecture’s organizing of matter on various bodies? In what ways have architecture’s material flows inscribed colonial, racist, sexist, and ableist legacies on and into the surface and substrata of the earth? How have architecture practices of material sourcing, extraction, construction, and discard reshaped the bodies of those who physically enact these processes? In what ways do the constructed differences between the bodies of workers affect and disrupt assemblages of labour and architecture?



How do architectural material and architecturally generated matter unevenly enter and traverse through diverse bodies? How do flows and transformations of particulate matter within and through surfaces and subsurfaces of bodies materialize and/or disrupt the myths of hierarchical differences of being? How does architecture reconfigure atmospheric and environmental matter to support normative modes of being and hinder those praxes that exist outside of its logic? In what ways does architecture facilitate or hinder the flows of (toxic) matter through varying bodies, producing narratives that maintain, reproduce, and/or disrupt dominant onto-epistemologies? How does architecture orchestrate the transformation, depletion, and/or negation of bodies?



How have architectural assemblages of matter mediated relationships between human and non- human beings? In what ways has architecture directed flows of matter to sever connectivity and affinity between diverse bodies? What solidarities have been formed around matter, and working with matter, and what forms of bodily intimacy with matter have disrupted the exclusionary legacies of architecture? In what ways have non-normative modes of relationality or kinship between all those who live in “the undercommons”[7] altered the flows of architecture materiality and matter?



What have been the roles of architects and architecture media and representation in inventing, accepting, resisting less-than-human labour practices by which some beings have been transformed into workforce? In what ways have representations of architecture communicated with and presumed the existence of a dehumanized and de-skilled labour force? What is the difference between a tool and an instrument, and what transforms a maker into a labourer? Which industries of architecture have relied on labour (de-humanized, de-skilled, or otherwise) and what are the mechanisms and the processes of invisibilization of labour by which it remains undervalued in architecture—as if drawings translated themselves into buildings and the lines that separate design and construction ended within construction drawings, details, and specifications?




The event includes two workshops with the invited keynote speakers:


Important Dates

Deadline for submission of abstracts: August 15, 2024

Acceptance notification: September 20 2024

Symposium: October 23 – 24, 2025


The event will be open to the public.

About CR|PT|C Agora


CR|PT|C Agora series is a biennial event hosted by faculty and doctoral students of the Azrieli School of Architecture & Urbanism at Carleton University. The first symposium, Architectures of Hiding, took place on September 24-26, 2021. The second symposium, (Un)common Precedents took place September 22-23, 2023.


Each symposium focuses on different themes while addressing questions about the history and theory of architecture in relation to practice. The symposia invite contributions from a multiplicity of fields to consider and discuss the nature of architecture today and the impact it makes on the world. Starting from the doctoral program’s intention to fuse research with critical practice in architecture, each event invites contributions by written and/or creative work, expanding the dialogue between both mediums and allowing for further speculation on the relationship between the two.


Some of the work presented in CR|PT|C Agora is disseminated to a wider audience through the CRIPTIC website and other forms of publication. Agora I led to the publication of the Routledge book Architectures of Hiding (2024). Agora II led to a contract with Routledge, with a publication titled (Un)Common Precedents which is forthcoming in 2025.