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International Congress on Construction History

The next International Congress on Construction History will be held in Paris from the 3rd to the 7th of July 2012. You will find the "Call for Abstracts" and the "List of Topics and Subjects" below. Additional information is available on the Congress website: www.icch-paris2012.fr

We invite researchers from all disciplines concerned with the history of construction—whether they be historians or experts, experienced or young researchers—to submit 20-minute paper abstracts for the 4th International Congress on Construction History. The proposal should include:

  • a title followed by the name(s) of the author(s) and institutional affiliation(s);

  • an abstract of 400 words maximum that must contain mention of the sources consulted.

  • six key words (selected, if possible, from the list of topics and subjects);

  • a short curriculum vitae of one page maximum indicating contact information, status, laboratory affiliation if relevant, as well as a list of your most important or most recent publications.

Prospective speakers should submit proposals to us by e-mail (tricia.meehan@paris-malaquais.archi.fr) no later than 15 April 2011. Two members of the Scientific Committee will evaluate each proposal. The results of these deliberations will be communicated before 31 June 2011. This will give authors of accepted proposals six months to complete their papers—following the publication format guidelines that will appear on the web-site under the header “Instructions for Papers”—to be sent no later than 31 December 2011. The paper will then be evaluated by the Scientific Committee, which has the right to accept the text as it is, request modifications or refuse the text submitted.

After approval by the Scientific Committee, the papers will be published in both paper and electronic versions. In the electronic publication, authors who would like to may, in addition to the English version of their article, also publish a version in the language of their choice.

We have drawn up a thematic list of topics and subjects attempting to cover the various aspects of the history of construction. Undoubtedly, the submitted and accepted abstracts will challenge this scheme, thereby revealing the state of research in construction history in 2012. They will intersect with the suggested thematics, giving rise to new and stimulating debates. One of the interests of the Congress is just this: to discover the richness of research today in construction history.

However, as you are aware, the history of construction should not be confused with the history of architecture, of urbanism or of heritage, even if it maintains privileged and sometimes direct links with these disciplines. Any proposition must therefore make sure to respect the distinctions that constitute construction history.

Furthermore, we would like to draw your attention (and especially that of non English speaking researchers) to the fact that the texts must be written in impeccable English in order to not detract from the quality of the publication that will result from this congress.


Deadline for abstracts: 15 April 2011

Decision regarding abstracts: 31 June 2011

Deadline for papers: 31 December 2011

Decision regarding papers: 31 January 2011

Topics and Subjects in Construction History

History of Construction: Object of Study or Discipline?

  • Definitions of construction history and/or its components

  • Relationships to related disciplines (history of technology, archaeology, geology, ecology, urbanism, landscape)

  • Sources: buildings, archives and documents

  • Methods of research, analysis and evaluation; communications tools

  • Teaching, pedagogy with regard to engineers and architects

Theoretical Thought and Applied Sciences

  • Ideas, design, competitions

  • Applied Sciences: engineering, natural disasters and fire, interior environment (heating, ventilation, air conditioning, lighting, acoustics), hydraulics, structural morphology, ergonomics

  • Scientific and technical controversies

  • Function, feasibility, sustainability

  • Model, modeling, analytical methods

  • Invention, innovation

  • Constitution, diffusion and transfer of knowledge

  • Models, drawings

  • Relations between science and practice

  • The technical publication: technical writing and drawings

  • Experimentation, control, quality

Constructive techniques and materials

  • Techniques and applied arts: Stereotomy, carpentry, masonry, engineering (civil, military, maritime), technology, cladding, decoration

  • Heritage: expertise, preservation, restoration, rehabilitation

  • Constructive elements: foundations and floors, walls, bays, elements of support and stability, spanning (lintel, arc, vault, ceiling), frame, roofing, staircase.

  • Constructive process: prefabrication, standardization, technical gestures, disorderliness and faulty workmanship, reuse

  • Materials: earth, wood, metal, stone, concrete, glass, fabric, composite materials, binders

  • Tools, instruments, apparatuses, machines, heavy equipment

  • Places of practice: workshops, lodges, construction sites

  • Infrastructure and public works: bridges, dams, roadways and diverse networks

Social and cultural perspectives

  • Law: estimates and contracts, legislation, regulations, codes, technical norms and trade practices, customs, expertise, control, patents, ownership, leasing, easements, neighborliness, responsibility, architect, client

  • Economy: history of companies, construction trades, economic analyses of construction, accounts, prices, cost, wages, financing, production, quantity surveying, estimating, risk, speculation

  • Social history of labor: training, teaching, academies, technical literature, archives, corporations, craft industry, trade-guilds, emigration/immigration, organization of work

  • Construction professions and knowledge of the trades, biographies

  • Construction politics and policies

  • Cultural influences of the society on construction and vice versa (construction history in literature, cinema and television).

Rubriques à consulter