Five College Architecture Symposium Examines Themes of Precision and Creativity

Exactitude: a Five College Architecture Symposium, to take place online
5 college symposium

AMHERST, Mass. – Working with colleagues in the five college network, faculty in the UMass Amherst department of architecture have planned Exactitude: a Five College Architecture Symposium, to take place online from October 2-3, 2020.

Convened by Pari Riahi, assistant professor of architecture at UMass Amherst, Michael Davis, professor and chair of architectural studies at Mount Holyoke College, and Laure Katsaros, professor of French at Amherst College, this symposium brings together academics and practitioners to engage in critical conversations about contemporary architecture. Distancing itself from the often repeated themes of the past 20 years – sustainability, performance, formal innovation – the symposium pursues a longer narrative arc, one that places architecture back in its creative position through engagement with a theme evoked by Italo Calvino in his Six Memos to the New MillenniumExactitude.

By opening up the field and asking questions that are mindful of the ongoing dilemmas in architecture today, the symposium is an invitation to re-engage a discipline adrift between technophobia and technophilia, confronted with escalating demands for precision, production and consumption, and mired in issues of agency and authorship while simultaneously mandated to meet countless ethical and aesthetic needs. The structure of the symposia – made up of a constellation of voices including those of theorists, historians, editors, architects, and writers – reflects a genuine desire to spark dialogue and exchange.  

Speakers include Ada Tolla and Giuseppe Lignano with Thomas de Monchaux, Alejandro Zaera-Polo, Alicia Imperiale, Antoine Picon, Christopher Benfey, Cynthia Davidson, Eric Höweler, Francesca Hughes, Mark Wigley, Sunil Bald, and Teresa Stoppani. 


Exactitude 2020 will be held virtually via a Zoom webinar. More information can be found on the registration page.  Registration is free and open to the public.