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The journal studies in History and Theory of Architecture, published by the Department of Architectural History & Theory and Heritage Conservation at «Ion Mincu» University of Architecture and Urbanism in Bucharest, Romania, invites submissions for the 2022 issue.

Traditionally, architecture has been aimed at defying time. The very basis of architectural culture rests on the pre-modern hypothesis that architecture should last, that buildings outlive their makers, bearing over time the prowess of their authors and the greatness of their patrons. Is this only a vain aspiration to immortality that modernity has disavowed?

Modernity, with its programmatic rejection of the past and incessant quest for renewal, has left an indelible mark of transience on architecture. Sant’Elia proclaimed in 1914 that buildings will last less than us. Again, in the 1960s, Frei Otto suggested that buildings should not apply only for construction permits, but also, every five years, for permits to remain.

Whenever an established architectural stance was questioned by a revolutionary vein, the former’s inadequacy was to be replaced by the latter’s convenience, while age and permanence were being perceived as obsolete. Have any of these instances come up with a theoretical model to replace “permanence”?

Despite its anticipations, the twentieth century has not transformed this model; on the contrary, its architecture is also built to last, but ages faster, quickly becoming out-of-date, while producing more waste than ever. Maybe, the twenty-first century’s urge for sustainability would reveal that architecture’s durability resides precisely in its ephemeral nature.

Thus, the relationship between architecture and time — be it the impersonal and continuous time flow or time experienced as present, past, and future — remains a matter to be reflected on. Architectural time can multiply in alternate perspectives and it can also end. How are different aspects of temporality acknowledged in architecture today?

For the tenth issue of sITA, we invite contributions willing to reconsider history and theory by focusing on the topics that emerge from architecture’s correlation with time:

  • Reflections on architecture’s claim to permanence or transience;
  • The less conspicuous presence of ephemeral architecture, and architecture designed not to last;
  • Historical accounts of changes that define distinct layers of architecture — solid/durable and light/shifting;
  • The contemporary need for the ephemeral: programmatic flexibility, user interventions adjusting and revising more rigid projects, projects aimed to be complemented by usage, architectural emergencies that channel invention and imagination;
  • Critical examples of fleeting architecture aimed at either illustrating or probing new technologies, ways of life, new attitudes concerning architecture and time, etc.