New Publication: Pavilion Propositions: Nine points on an architectural phenomenon

Pavilion Propositions addresses the contemporary pavilion phenomenon and those often temporary and functionless architectural structures commissioned and exhibited by art institutions around the world. This thought-provoking book reclaims the pavilion as an architectural topic, against those who would dismiss the phenomenon as symptomatic of a simple or absolute exhaustion of the critical potential of architecture’s intersection with art. The pavilion phenomenon also occasions a timely interrogation of larger questions that concern the changing relations between culture and the economy – changes that are shifting the planes on which architecture and art meet. Pavilion Propositions is available through Valiz and Perimeter Books.

New Publication: “Looking Back, Seeing Through: Contemporary Australian Pavilions”

Dr Susan Holden (UQ) and Dr Ashley Paine (UQ) examine Australia’s high-profile pavilion programs through the lens of shifting global practices in art and architecture in the latest edition (March-April) of Architecture Australia. For the full article, please click here 

ISAA Is Architecture Art? at Melbourne Design Week

Professor John Macarthur (UQ) discusses “Is Architecture Art? And, Why the Question Persists” at the National Gallery of Victoria (Melbourne), in a lecture presented by Monash Art Design and Architecture (MADA) as a part of Melbourne Design Week   For more information on the lecture, please click

Postdoctoral Research Fellow, ATCH Research Centre, The University of Queensland

JOB: Postdoctoral Research Fellow, ATCH Research Centre, The University of Queensland

A one year research Postdoctoral position is available as part of the “Is Architecture Art?” project at the ATCH Research Centre, School of Architecture, The University of Queensland.

Prospective applicants may contact Professor John Macarthur directly on +61 432 753 431 or


Call for Papers: SAH 2018, St Paul, MN

We are pleased to announce that we will be convening a session at the Society of Architectural Historians (SAH) 2018 Conference in Saint Paul, Minnesota, April 18–22, 2018. Details are below, including a link to the conference page:—saint-paul/2018-call-for-papers

CfP: Alternative Histories of the Pavilion

Few would argue with the claim that the pavilion is one of the twentieth century’s most significant building types, employed by some of modernism’s most important architects. In the new millennium, the pavilion has again come to prominence. Programs such as the annual Serpentine Galleries’ summer pavilion in London have popularized the type, turning these often modestly-scaled temporary structures into a global phenomenon. While many recent pavilions share the formal novelty of their twentieth-century predecessors, the context and purpose of their exhibition is much changed. Few maintain the proleptic attitude and teleological drive of modern pavilions. Rather, today’s pavilions are highly aestheticized spectacles: they leverage architecture as a democratic art and use it as a vehicle for branding. Despite these differences, critical discourses tend to historicize the contemporary pavilion phenomenon through the narrow lens of the heroic avant-garde of modernism. It is also against this legacy that the success of contemporary pavilions tends to be measured, often unfavorably. More than a simple misalignment of modern and contemporary motivations, the hegemony of the Serpentine pavilion as a model obscures other, more complex and nuanced histories of pavilions from around the world, and limits our understanding of the pavilion type.

This session welcomes papers that explore alternative histories of the pavilion, and studies of practices that exist outside the dominant Eurocentric modernist tradition. We invite papers that attend to unexamined case studies and histories of the pavilion, especially those that have been overlooked, obscured by hegemonic narratives, or forgotten in architects’ formative oeuvres. Original analysis concerning trans-historical themes of function, temporality and scale is encouraged. We also welcome contributions that explore the history of pavilions in garden expos, programs for urban renewal and other interdisciplinary contexts, including artist-designed pavilions and their reception in architecture.

Session Chairs: Ashley Paine, University of Queensland, and Susan Holden, University of Queensland