Design and Environments
Event Date: December 2-4, 2020
Abstract Date: November 5, 2020
Sally Stone: Reader in Architecture, Leader for the MArch Architecture programme, Director of the Continuity in Architecture Atelier. Manchester School of Architecture.


This virtual conference seeks to engage education professionals in debate and best practice sharing with educators in the fields of art, design and social science disciplines. The backdrop to the event is the varied interpretations of teaching as it relates to research. This is often contested, with definitions of ‘academic research’ often excluding analysis, experiment, knowledge transfer and critical debate stimulated in the classroom, studio or lab.

Educationalists however, routinely define the classroom as a ‘laboratory’ and use it to monitor how space influences learning. In architecture, landscape and urban design, however, the idea of a ‘design studio’ as a vehicle for research in and of itself is gaining traction. In construction and engineering schools the notion of problem based curricula is common place, with student initiatives such as the Solar Decathlon turning learning into experiment by default.

Programs of sociology and human geography routinely collect data on communities and neighbourhood initiatives as part of classroom exercises. Public health educators engage in critiques of urban infrastructure in developing arguments around issues like the healthy city. The growing number of urban economics professors worldwide, debate and explore the finance of housing, real estate and city infrastructures, forging new theories of city finance in the process.

Teachers of art and social history reconsider and critique the cultural and social movements of cities in the very act of explaining them. In exploring the city as both dynamic and time-place bound in the classroom, cultural theorists engage in the very act of defining it as such for a new generation of researchers in the field. How we represent the city and its communities is not only a theme in media and communication studies, it is a practice we study.

What then, of the distinction between research and teaching as it manifests itself in disciplines that relate to the life and design of the built environments of our towns and cities?

Image: DCMA


  • Art
  • Design
  • Architecture
  • Sustainability
  • Construction
  • Geography
  • Urban Economics
  • History
  • Media
  • Communications
  • Teaching
  • Learning
  • Education

Key Dates

Abstracts (Round 1)
30 June 2020
30 July 2020
Abstracts (Round 2)
05 November 2020
15 November 2020


Art+Design Teaching
Design studio initiatives; problem based projects; peer-to-peer learning in art and design
Theories of Learning
Pedagogical methodologies; teaching and learning theories; ways of learning; educational psychology
Teaching and Research
Research that feeds into teaching learning & projects; research and the workplace; projects that break disciplinary boundaries
Educational Technologies
Critiques of how technology is changing teaching; remote teaching and learning
The Education Sector
Educational and research infrastructures; global changes to academic funding priorities and more


This conference is global in its reach. The issues it deals with cross geographical boundaries. As a virtual conference it has several presentation formats available:

Zoom: for real-time interaction between presenter and audience
Pre-recorded film: for presenters who wish their work to be permanently available
Streaming: for audience members who wish to view all presentations in their own time
Written Papers: for delegates who seek publication


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.

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