Five colleges will host a symposium on contemporary architecture from September 30 to October 30. 1: UMass Amherst

The five colleges will host a virtual symposium titled “Multiplicity: Agency, Constraint, and Freedom in Contemporary Architecture” from September 30 to October 30. 1, an event that will bring together scholars, theorists and architects to energize a conversation around the conditions of architecture today and imagine its future trajectories.


The event is co-organized by Pari Riahi, associate professor of architecture at UMass Amherst, Laure A. Katsaros, professor of French at Amherst College, and Michael T. Davis, professor emeritus of history of the art at Mount Holyoke College.

“Multiplicity” will include two days of panels, lectures and discussions during which speakers will situate architecture within a larger framework and examine how it interacts with complex climatic, economic and demographic crises. This is the second of three five-college architecture symposia on contemporary architecture. “Accuracy” was held virtually in October 2020, “Multiplicity” takes place in 2022 and “Quickness” is scheduled for September 2024. Inspired by Italo Calvino’s “Six memos for the next millennium”, the three symposia are autonomous but interdependent.

In “Accuracy,” the group examined the ever-increasing demand for precision in architecture at a time when the parameters of the profession are changing, while “Quickness” will address the rhythms and cycles of architectural production, from early conception to completion. , scrutinizing the speed and duration of the translation of ideas into artifacts through digital and material means.

A full calendar of events can be found at Revised and expanded essays from each symposium will appear in a volume edited by UMass Press. The first in the series, “Accuracy: On Precision and Play in Contemporary Architecture” (UMass Press 2022), is available now.

The symposium is free and open to the public. Register for the live stream at

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