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Call for Papers

Sixth Colloquium on Architectural Theory at the Werner Oechslin Library, Einsiedeln, 20 – 23 April 2017

(German version)


Autodidacts, Workshops, Academies – Architectural Education 1400–1850

Before the establishment of the major schools of architecture in the nineteenth century, there were various ways to become an architect, each with different focuses. A canonical system did not exist. Studies based on books or travel, apprenticeships in workshops and studios, a training in the military or building administration, as well as academic lessons could all be part of the education of a prospective architect. A talent for drawing was always a prerequisite, as were the economic possibilities of the surroundings. Aspiring to a secure position in the military or administration motivated the young candidates, and family connections and knowledge fostered their development. Furthermore, beginning in the 17th century, textbooks were published specifically for the needs of the students. This gradually led to the consolidation of formats and didactic conditions for training architects, including (teaching) collections that made available illustrative material - similar to the artists' training for sculptors or painters.

Research to date has focused primarily on architectural training in the art academies, yet beyond this, no overview considers the other relevant domains. At this upcoming event, the numerous paths to knowledge and the varied acquisition of competencies will be presented and compared in individual studies and analyses. Relying closely on historical sources, the contributions will enable us to form a general outline of the topic.

The event addresses architectural theoreticians, architects, art historians, historians of technology and science, and others, and seeks to bring together leading experts on the topics as well as, in particular, young researchers from various countries.

Papers should be limited to twenty-minute presentations.

Languages for paper proposals and presentations: German, English, French, Italian.  At least a passive knowledge of German is expected of all participants.

The Foundation assumes the hotel costs for course participants, as well as for some group meals. Travel costs cannot be reimbursed.

Please send short paper proposals and CVs by e-mail to:

Deadline: 5 October 2016 

Concept & Organization: Dr. Anja Buschow-Oechslin, Dr. Martin Pozsgai, Prof. Dr. Werner Oechslin (Einsiedeln, Stiftung Bibliothek Werner Oechslin), Prof. Dr. Christiane Salge (Freie Universität Berlin/Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften) and Prof. Dr. Dr. Andreas Tacke (Universität Trier)