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Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology
University of Pécs
Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology

Building Beyond Borders: Fall Symposium

CALL FOR ABSTRACTS: Fall Symposium Building Beyond Borders - Reflecting on the dynamisms of intercultural collaboration in build projects

Dear Colleagues,

We are very pleased to announce the first Fall Symposium Building Beyond Borders - Reflecting on the dynamisms of intercultural collaboration in build projects that will be organized in Hasselt, Belgium, on 9-10 November 2020.

Several universities have developed educational programs (master and postgraduate programs) in which students learn to design for and even build in a context that is beyond their own cultural and social context. Examples are European universities that set up design studios and design & build projects in African or Asian countries, or Schools of Architecture that realize projects in remote rural areas or in informal settlements in their own country. Also many architectural practices have been designing for and building in contexts that are far beyond the socio-cultural background of their designers.

Most of these universities and architectural practices see this as an opportunity to exchange expertise among different cultures and try to realize these projects in a strongly participatory way with local stakeholders. Students get to know different visions on reality, learn to build with local materials and building techniques, … and try to integrate it in their projects. Architects expand or change their role from designer for a specific client to manager of a building community, coordinator of participatory workshops, developer or producer of new building materials, …

Schools of Architecture and architectural practices consider this ‘building beyond borders’, not just beyond geographical borders, but more importantly beyond cultural, social, intellectual, professional, … borders.

Yet what building beyond borders means for those at the other side of the border remains quite often implicit. What is building beyond borders for them? How do they experience a project in their community on which students or architects from another socio-cultural context work? What are the keys to reassure equivalence in the collaboration in such intercultural building projects? Are all stakeholders aware of all the borders that are crossed? What is the impact of such projects and of crossing these borders on both sides of the borders?

With this first Fall Symposium Building Beyond Borders we would like to set up a broad conversation on this topic, by reflecting on the dynamisms of cross-border collaboration in build projects, especially in contexts with a risk of imbalance between the different stakeholders.

We invite academics, practitioners, students, NGO’s, community members, … to contribute to this conversation, through an active contribution by means of a presentation or lecture or by attending the symposium and participating in the discussions that will be organized. 

During the Fall Symposium, 2 keynote speakers (one academic and one practitioner) who have an extensive expertise in this domain will highlight different perspectives on the topic of dynamisms in building beyond borders.

In view of the uncertainties on the COVID-19 situation in November 2020, we offer the opportunity to participate in the Fall Symposium in a remote way, both for active contributions and for attendees of the Symposium. If necessary, the whole Fall Symposium will be held remotely, but hopefully this will not be the case.

More information on the type of contributions and the Symposium’s themes can be found in the Call for Abstracts (see attachment) or on our websiteDeadline for abstract submission (max. 300 words) is 15th June 2020 (Abstract submission form).

We look forward to receiving your contribution and meeting you at the Fall Symposium!

Best regards,
Organizing Committee Fall Symposium

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