Call for Abstracts: ICSA 2025 ‘Repurposing the past: unpacking material properties’

On 8-11 July 2025, the next ICSA Conference will be held in Antwerp, calling for “reimagination of current practices intersecting structures and architecture in response to the pressing global environmental, social and economic crisis”. As part of this international conference, a special session on reuse practices from the mid-20th century to the present day will be organized, entitled “Repurposing the past: unpacking material properties”.

Repurposing the past: unpacking material properties

Building upon the central theme of this conference, this session aims to explore how (intrinsic) characteristics of building components are reimagined when they undergo reuse. We invite papers that unravel the intricate balance between the inherent and historically ingrained features of reclaimed items (e.g., cultural, technical and economic properties), as well as the essential adaptations and transformations required to repurpose them for novel uses. Contributions may encompass theoretical contemplations and practical illustrations of reuse practices, with a temporal focus extending from the mid-20th century to the present day. Potential topics of interest include an examination of the key stakeholders actively engaged in the reuse process, an analysis of the transformations undertaken to tailor materials and components for new applications, and an exploration of the knowledge, expertise, and infrastructure intrinsic to these processes. These insights are crucial in advancing our understanding of sustainable practices, preserving cultural heritage, and optimizing resource utilization in an era where environmental considerations are of paramount importance to the future of architecture and construction.

More information on participation can be found the website.

The deadline to submit an abstract is 28 February 2024.