7ICCH, Lisbon, July 2021 / CFA 12 juillet 2020

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12 – 16 July 2021

In the context of the 7th Internatonal Congress on Construction History which will be held in Lisbon, Portugal, on 12–16 July 2021 (http://www.7icch.org/), we obtained to chair a thematic session about building appraisals. We launched a call for abstracts on the following theme : Understanding the culture of building expertise in situation of uncertainty (Middle Age-Modern Times).

Session chaired  by:  Robert  Carvais  (Centre  National  de  la  Recherche  Scientifique,  France), Michela  Barbot  (Centre  National  de  la  Recherche  Scientifique,  France), Emmanuel Château-Dutier (Université de Montréal, Canada) and Valérie Nègre (Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, France)

In the building domain, only the three most common actors working in the art of building have been the subject of ongoing study – contractors, architects, and engineers. Even if these figures deserve considerably more research (1), the expert, or surveyor, is still widely unknown. He is expected to help to take a decision in an atmosphere of uncertainty. His advice may be evaluative of a past or present situation, or even predictive (to solve a crisis situation) or preventive (to avoid a disaster).

Experts serving as superior authorities gave their advice on situations either out of court, to appraise a piece of heritage or work, or in front of a court in the case of a trial between two or more protagonists. In the latter case, experts would assist the judge, who was not, a priori, a building specialist but was nonetheless required to decide. The tasks assigned to experts took three different forms: technical (to assess the quality of materials, a building process or proceedings at the building site); economic (to estimate the building for an estate, the cost of work relating to a building, or to approve the amount of wages or an architect’s fees); and legal (to check whether a building complied with official construction, architectural and urban regulations, particularly in relation to alignment and easements).

In France, experts were members of building trades only. In all communities, there was an elite corps that was more learned than the other members of the community. Initially, they were elected by their peers and described as “jurés”, or “sworn”. In the 16th century, after their specific skills had been assessed, they had to acquire an “office” from the King. In 1690, the Corps was officially divided into two columns: architects “bourgeois” on the one hand, and contractors on the other. However, the invention of experts in other “professions” with no official statute, such as architects or engineers, requires some clarification. How did contractors, architects, and engineers distribute their activities between building and surveying? Was expertise a way to gain access to architectural patronage? Did experts play a key role in the normalization and theorization of building rules through treaties and handbooks? Were they involved in building innovation? The analysis of such experts as a community could prove very enlightening, according to their expert work, their aggregation of functions, their social networks (family, sponsorship, partnership, clients), or their wealth (financial activity, possessions).

Though we are beginning to discover their statutes in France, we do not yet have a precise understanding of their real practice and know nothing about their statutes and importance abroad. We wish to gather contributions on building experts and expertise in different European countries, as well as in countries from different continents, over a long or short time period. This initiative should enable us to draw broad comparisons between the statutes, tasks, and practices of different types of building experts, revealing their similarities and differences. This would bring to light the different kinds of sources that can be used to draft a history of expertise.

(1) We must not overlook the role played by another figure involved in the act of building, the client or financial sponsor, who has been entirely neglected by historians.

For those who are interested, please read the attached  Instructions for authors.

Robert Carvais

On behalf of the Chaired Committee

Other Topics

With the main theme “History of Construction Cultures”, the Congress will provide an opportunity to celebrate and expand our understanding of the ways that everyday building activities have been perceived and experienced in different cultures, times and places. The study of construction cultures entails the analysis of the transformation of a community’s knowledge capital expressed in the activity of construction. As such, construction history is a broad field of knowledge that encompasses all of the actors involved in that activity: collective actors (contractors, materials producers and suppliers, schools, associations, and institutions) and individual actors (engineers, architects, entrepreneurs, craftsmen).

In each given location and historical period, these actors build using particular technologies, tools, machines, and materials. They follow specific rules and laws, and they transfer knowledge on construction in a certain way. Their activity has an economic value and belongs to a particular economic context, and they organize themselves following a set of social and cultural models.

Within this main theme, the Congress will focus on the history of building construction, and although a cross-over into other disciplines is strongly encouraged, the Congress will not accept papers that focus solely on the history of technology, architectural history, architectural theory or conservation and repair. A broad range of topics will be debated during the Congress, with general open sessions as well as special thematic sessions.

Open sessions cover a wide variety of topics related to all aspects of Construction History.

Thematic sessions were selected after a call for proposals: they highlight themes of recent debate, approaches and directions in construction history research, fostering transnational and interdisciplinary collaboration on promising and propitious subjects.

Open Sessions

In the open sessions, the following topics will be discussed

OT1. The discipline of Construction History (e.g. epistemological issues, methodology; teaching; historiography; sources on construction history);

OT2. Building actors (e.g. contractors; architects, engineers; master builders, craftspeople, trade unions and guilds; institutions and organizations);

OT3. Building materials: their history, extraction, transformation and manipulation (e.g. timber; earth, brick and tiles; iron and steel; binders; concrete and reinforced concrete; plaster and mortar; glass and glazing; composite materials);

OT4. Building machines, tools and equipment: (e.g. simple machines, steam operated-machines, hand tools, pneumatic tools, scaffolding);

OT5. Construction processes (e.g. design, execution and protective operations related with durability and maintenance; organization of the construction site; prefabrication and industrialization; craftsmanship and workshops; foundations, superstructures, roofs, coatings, paint);

OT6. Building services and techniques (e.g. lighting; heating; ventilation; health and comfort);

OT7. Structural theory and analysis (e.g. stereotomy; modelling and simulation; structural theory and structural forms; applied sciences; relation between theory and practice);

OT8. Political, social and economic aspects (e.g. economics of construction; law and juridical aspects; politics and policies; hierarchy of actors; public works and territory management, marketing and propaganda);

OT9. Knowledge transfer (e.g. technical literature, rules and standards; building regulations; training and education; drawings; patents; scientific dissemination, innovations, experiments and events);

OT10. Cultural translation of construction cultures (e.g. colonial building processes and autochthonous cultures; hybridization of construction cultures, local interpretation of imported cultures of building; adaptation of building processes to different material conditions).

Papers may cover any time period (from ancient times to the 20th century), have any geographical scope (local to intercontinental) and discuss any type of buildings and structures (e.g. vaults; shells; spatial structures; trusses; bridges; industrial buildings; residential buildings; public buildings; religious buildings; stadiums and pavilions; military constructions; infrastructure and public works).

Thematic Sessions

In parallel with the open sessions, there will be thematic sessions. The call for thematic sessions, received a significant number of proposals from senior and young researchers coming from all over the world (New Zealand, Australia, China, Mexico, Canada, Germany, Spain, France, Portugal, United Kingdom, Belgium, Russia and Switzerland) aiming to cover important problematics, historical periods and different regions of the globe. Themes have been suggested by the session chairs, who share the scientific responsibility for these sessions with the Scientific Committee.

TS1. Rising of the codes – the history of building controls

Nigel Isaacs

TS2. General contractors: practice, organization and collaboration (19th and 20th centuries)

Rika Devos; Jelena Dobbels

TS3. Modern materials and networks – the agency and entanglement of things, people and institutions

Mario Rinke and Inge Bertels

TS4. Construction cultures of the recent past. Building materials and building techniques 1950-2000

Stephanie Van de Voorde and Ine Wouters

TS5. Historical timber constructions between regional tradition ad supra-regional influences

Clemens Knobling

TS6. Writing construction History from a Global Perspective: Eurasia

Chang-Xue Shu, Krista De Jonge and Thomas Coomans

TS7. South-South Cooperation and Non-Alignment in the Construction world, 1950-1980s

Amit Srivastava, Peter Scriver and Ljubica Spaskovska

TS8. Form with no formwork (vault construction with reduced formwork)

Ana López-Mozo, Enrique Rabasa-Díaz, José Calvo-López and Rafael Marín-Sánchez

TS9. Can Engineering culture be improved by construction history?

Annette Bögle; Ignacio Payá-Zaforteza and Nicolas Janberg

TS10. Hypar concrete shells. A structural, geometric and constructive revolution on the mid-20th century

Juan Ignacio del Cueto Ruiz and Joaquín Antuña Bernardo

TS11. Understanding the culture of building expertise in situation of uncertainty (Middle Age-Modern Times)

Robert Carvais, Michela Barbot, Emmanuel Château-Dutier and Valérie Nègre

TS12.Bricks: manufacturing and use, 1700-1850

James W.P. Campbell and Philippe Sosnowska

TS13. Historicizing Material Properties: between technological and cultural history

Robby Fivez, Simon De Nys-Ketels and Katie Lloyd Thomas

Call for abstracts : Instruction for authors

Instructions for authors

Deadline : The submission of abstracts will be allowed until 28 June 2020 (23h.59m GMT time)

Language : The official language of the conference is English. All proposals must be submitted in English and all presentations must be delivered in English. Translation and interpreting services will not be available.

Proof-reading : Authors are encouraged to give great attention to the English grammar level of their own proposal texts and submitting them after being previously checked by a native English speaker. Texts
poorly written in English will be refused by reviewers.

Field of knowledge : The Congress is focused on the history of building construction and although the cross-over with other disciplines is strongly stimulated, the Congress will not accept papers that focus solely on the history of technology, architectural history, architectural theory or conservation and repair.

Abstract content : The text should explain in a clear and concise way the main argument, the methodology used and the major results and trends found by the research work. The relation of your work with one of the topics or themes of the 7ICCH should be also briefly justified. All abstracts and papers must be original and not simultaneously submitted to another journal or conference.

Title length : the title for a communication at the 7ICCH should not exceed 18 words.

Content length : Abstracts cannot exceed 400 words.

Keywords : the maximum number of keywords is 5.

Number of authors : the maximum number of authors for the same proposal is 4.

Number of topics and thematic sessions per abstract : for each abstract 1 topic and/or 1 thematic session must be proposed.

Maximum number of proposals by participant : Each participant can take part in a maximum of 2 paper proposals: one as first author and another as a co-author. Papers whose first authors and co-authors are
the same as those of another two proposals already submitted will not be accepted.

Instructions for chairs of Thematic Sessions

Chairs of the thematic sessions are expected to be present at the 7ICCH and give a short introduction to their session. They are, in collaboration with the Scientific Committee, responsible for the selection process of the submitted abstracts and for the editing process of the submitted papers.

Four or five papers will be selected for each session. No more than one paper from the chair’s research team can be selected. The Scientific Committee reserves the right to redirect papers towards other thematic or general sessions.

Call for abstracts – Instruction for authors

How to submit your abstract

  1. First of all, create your own EasyChair Account signing in https://easychair.org/
    Each co-author for an abstract proposal must do the same and have also his/her own EasyChair Account.
  2. To create an EasyChair Account:
    2.1. Fill in your Last Name, First Name and e-mail address;
    2.2. Confirm your email address;
    2.3 Choose your user’s name and create own password.
    N.B. Save and keep confidential your user’s name and password to be able to login the EasyChair.org platform in the future. Your user’s name and password will be used also to upload the file of your paper, in case the abstract is approved by the Scientific Committee.
  3. Once you have your own EasyChair Account you must use the 7ICCH submission link
    Select Conference: 7ICCH
    Select Role: author4.
  4. Proceed to your abstract submission:
    4.1. Fill in the personal data for each author (name, affiliation, etc.)
    4.2. Fill in the title, the text of the abstract and the keywords.
    4.3. Choose 1 Topic and/or 1 Thematic Session.
    4.4. Check always the complementary functions on the right up corner of the screen on EasyChair.org
  5. Press “Submit”
  6. For further access to your submission, choose the option login and introduce your user’s name and password to have access to your private page in EasyChair.org
    Select Conference: 7ICCH
    Select Role: author
    ATTENTION : During the Call for Abstracts please, do not upload any file !!!!!