Call for Abstracts

Call for Abstracts: The atmospheric approach to architecture in the Anthropocene

In the past two decades, architectural research has been increasingly focused on understanding architecture and urbanity within the context of the Anthropocene – the current geological epoch (Prominski, 2014; Turpin, 2013). The Anthropocene is defined by the effects that human activity has on global eco-systems and argues for an understanding of humans as intrinsically intertwined with the environment and the non-human. Nature and culture can no longer be separated. However, as philosophers argue, the effects of this entanglement between humans and the environment appear in the geological time scale referred to as deep time and in the invisible, minute changes happening in the air around us (Morton, 2013; Latour, 2016). This makes it difficult to experience on the human scale and to address with design approaches. As a response to this development, architectural research is beginning to explore non-anthropocentric design strategies and new sensibilities. However, this research is primarily theoretical and has yet to develop an understanding of how non-anthropocentric thinking might influence design in practice (DiSalvo & Lukens, 2011; Luusua, Ylipulli, & Rönkkö, 2017).

An interesting perspective to this issue could be found by revisiting the concept of atmosphere. This concept has a long history in architecture, where one of the most influential traditions is focused on the phenomenological approach (Bohme, 1993; Zumthor, 2006). However, in recent decades, this concept has been evolving far beyond phenomenology in architectural and urban research, touching on aspects of climate, public affect, politics and ethics. Within this field, both architects and researchers argue that atmospheric architecture can lead to new sensibilities, languages and link quantitative and qualitative understandings of space (Latour, 2003; Borch, 2014; Smailbegovic, 2015; Anderson & Mostra, 2014). Atmosphere, in this research, refers both to the minute changes of the climate happening in the deep time of the Anthropocene and to the momentary multisensory human perception. This leads to new research questions: Could understanding architecture and environment as atmosphere open up strategies and perspectives for addressing how the Anthropocene is concretely present in the multisensory experience of the everyday? Could designing with atmospheres open up new strategies for sensitizing people to the Anthropocene? Does engaging with the Anthropocene in this way necessitate rethinking atmosphere, and how?

In this issue, inspired by the research network Atmospheres in the Urban Anthropocene, we aspire to bridge architectural research on atmosphere and on the Anthropocene. We invite contributions that critically examine this link and/or research and practices that explore how an atmospheric approach to design might allow architects to engage with issues of the Anthropocene. In particular, we are interested in contributions exploring how an atmospheric approach might help develop the sensibilities of both architects and future users, allowing them to sense the Anthropocene entanglements in their everyday.

Abstract Deadline: Febrary 20, 2020

Theme Editors: Stefan Darlan Boris and Polina Chebotareva; Nordic Journal of Architectural Research: Daniel Koch; Nordic Association forArchitectural Research: Lars Brorson Fich
Abstracts should be sent to Polina Chebotareva ( and Stefan Darlan Boris ( Submissions of abstracts should further be cc:ed to Daniel Koch (

Please note the following dates

Call announced: November 20

Abstract Submission: February 20, 2020

Notification of abstract acceptance: March 1, 2020

Preliminary date for full paper submission: September 1, 2020 (to be confirmed with letter of abstract acceptance)
Prominski, M. (2014). Andscapes: Concepts of nature and culture for landscape architecture in the ‘Anthropocene.’ Journal of Landscape Architecture, 9(1).

Andersson, S. L., & Mostra Internazionale di Architettura (Eds.). (2014). Empowerment of Aesthetics: catalogue for the Danish Pavilion at the 14th International Architecture Exhibition; La Biennale di Venezia 2014 (1. ed). Skive: Wunderbuch

Bohme, G. (1993). Atmosphere as the Fundamental Concept of a New Aesthetics. Thesis Eleven, 36(1).

Borch, C. (Ed.). (2014). Architectural Atmospheres: On the Experience and Politics of Architecture. Basel: De Gruyter.

DiSalvo, C., & Lukens, J. (2011). Nonanthropocentrism and the Nonhuman in Design: Possibilities for Designing New Forms of Engagement with and through Technology. In M. Foth et al. (Eds.), Social Butterfly to Engaged Citizen: Urban Informatics, Social Media, Ubiquitous Computing, and Mobile Technology to Support Citizen Engagement. Cambridge: MIT Press.

Latour, B. (2003). Atmosphère, Atmosphère. In S. May (Ed), Olafur Eliasson: The weather project. Exhibition catalogue. London. Tate Publishing.

Latour, B. (2016). Sensitizing. In C. A. Jones, D., Mather & R. Uchill (Eds.), Experience: culture, cognition, and the common sense. Cambridge, Massachusetts London, England: The MIT Press.

Luusua, A., Ylipulli, J. & Rönkkö, E. (2017). Nonanthropocentric design and smart cities in the anthropocene. It - Information Technology, 59(6).

Morton, T. (2013). Hyperobjects – Philosophy and Ecology after the End of the World. London, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press

Smailbegovic, A. (2015). Cloud Writing: Describing Soft Architectures of Change in the Anthropocene. In H. Davis & E. Turpin (Eds.), Art in the Anthropocene – Encounters Among Aesthetics, Politics, Environments and Epistemologies. London: Open Humanities Press.

Turpin, E. (Ed.). (2013). Architecture in the anthropocene: encounters among design, deep time, science and philosophy. London: Open Humanities Press.

Zumthor, Peter (2006). Atmosphären. Basel: Birkhaüser.