London 2018
Tangible-Intangible Heritage(s)

Design, Social & Cultural Critiques
Event Date: June 13-15, 2018
Abstract Date: April 1, 2018
Tony Fretton. Architect. Former Professor within the Chair of Architecture and Interiors at TU Delft, Netherlands and Professor of Architecture at the University of East London.


In a time when the construction of New Towns is on the agenda in UK; when climate change threatens historic cities and landscapes in Asia; when the cultural industries turn our art and architectural history into economic models of development; when entire cities are being built from scratch across rural China; and socio-economic change is destroying industrial communities leaving people in the West in search for answers from politicians like of Donald Trump, what can we mean by ‘heritage’?

Our built environment of buildings, towns, cities and infrastructures are always, at inception, visions of a future. They also become – very quickly – the markings of the past. Framed as architectural history, these markings tend to be what we think of when discussing heritage. However, heritage is more than this. It is equally a question of artistic and media representations of the present and the past; the social milieus we destroy or reinforce as economies fade or grow; the societies we construct through varying forms of city governance; the artistic and political legacies we use as points of rupture in building the future.

Our buildings, towns, cities and their artistic and media representations then, are all visions of an aesthetic present. They are the realisation through design of what we can and wish to build. They are social constructions defining the way people live, think, develop and desire. They are economic contrivances marking out the interests of capital. They are expressions of knowledge and skills which can inform innovation. They are phenomena mediated equally by the arts, medias and actual experience. They are inevitably political at every level.

This conference suggests we cannot think of heritage in reductive terms, neither as isolated objects or images nor as a purely historic phenomenon. The decisions we take about this ‘heritage’ today are not only based on the past, they will inform the future. In redefining heritage as a historic, artistic, design, media, social, political, and economic issue, this conference attempts to open up the concept to a reading that is interdisciplinary. In questioning these relationships over time, it seeks to understand the past in light of the present and identify creative ways of operating in a globalised future.


  • Art
  • Architecture
  • Social history
  • Cultural theory
  • Architectural heritage
  • Urban design
  • Social history
  • Urban history
  • Anthropology
  • Human geography
  • Art history
  • Conservation

Key Dates

Abstract Submissions
01 April 2018 Nb. Abstracts submitted early will be reviewed on a rolling basis, starting from 01 Jan 2018. This is to allow international delegates time to arrange travel plans.
Abstract Feedback
15 April 2018
Registration closes
15 May 2018
13 – 15 June 2018
Full Paper Submissions (where applicable)
01 September 2018
Feedback for publication
01 December 2018
Publication process commences
01 April 2019


Art and Design
What role did and will art and design economies have on city development?
Media and Communications
How do the arts and the media create and distort our vision of built and social urban heritage?
Heritage and Preservation
How have and can we preserve the architecture of the past while building for the present?
Social and Community History
What happens to community and social bonds when cities are replanned? How do changing economic conditions alter how we build and live in cities?
Architecture and Design History
How has craftmanship and knowledge typically informed contemporary modes of production and work through innovative processes


The conference welcomes case studies; design proposals, research projects, investigative papers and theoretical considerations in various formats allowing people to attend in person, present virtually or have presentations permanently available via the AMPS Youtube channel:

Pre-recorded video (20 minutes)
Skype (20 minutes)
Conference Presentations (20 minutes)
Written Papers (3,000 words)*


The publishers that AMPS works with include UCL Press, Routledge Taylor & Francis, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Vernon Press, Libri Publishing and Intellect Books.


Conference outputs include the AMPS Proceedings Series, ISSN 2398-9467; Special Issue Publications of the academic journal Architecture_MPS ISSN 2020-9006; Books with the publishing houses listed above and short films available on the AMPS Academic YouTube Channel.


Written papers are optional.  If submitted they should be 3,000 word length. Formatting instructions to follow after the conference. All papers are double- blind peer reviewed for the AMPS Conference Proceedings Series. Subject to review, selected authors will be invited to develop longer versions as articles in the academic journal Architecture_MPS or in specially produced conference books.


Image: C+S Architects