Designing Urban Universities

Date / time: 24 February, 5:00 pm

Designing Urban Universities. Conference on Thursday 22 to Saturday 24 June 2023 at Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin 


Call for Papers, deadline – 24 February 2023 at 5 pm 

There is a growing dissonance between the urban university as often perceived—its physical, architectural, and emblematic form, legacy structures and spaces, its time-honoured functions and traditions—and the university as a knowledge factory within the city, subject to political, commercial, and environmental pressures. But this is not a new dissonance. Architectural and design histories can uncover how, across diverse cases, it has often shaped the urban university internally and in its relationship with the city.

This three-day conference, hosted by the Department of History of Art and Architecture at Trinity College Dublin, will debate the significance and development of urban universities through their architectural and design histories. These will be examined in relation to such areas as urban planning and design, materials and resources, professions and trades, the methods and media of pedagogy, the design of curricula, and sources of funding and investment

We welcome contributions on all aspects of architecture and design histories of urban universities, especially but not limited to the following topics:

  • How the design of urban universities has produced and disseminated knowledge, directed research, or supported new curricula.
  • How we might rethink the architecture and design of urban universities to include, for example, the infrastructures, material culture, and media of knowledge production.
  • How urban universities have conserved, developed, or adapted their historic buildings and grounds.
  • How planning strategies have influenced or been impeded by the design of universities and the relationship with their host cities.
  • How urban universities have interacted with and affected the neighbouring city and its communities.
  • The role of architectural and design professions and related trades with the development of urban universities.
  • How urban universities have acted as planners, employers, landlords, or property developers, in their host cities.

Our keynote speakers are Shelly McNamara and Yvonne Farrell of Grafton Architects, and Reinhold Martin, Professor of Architecture in the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation at Columbia University, and Director of the Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture.

The organisers are Drs Timothy Stott, Maria Elisa Navarro Morales, and Christopher Cowell.

Please submit an abstract of 250 words (for a 20-minute paper) to:

The deadline has been extended to 5 pm (GMT) on Friday, 24 February 2023.