National Library of Estonia
June 13–16

Architectural Humanities Research Association (AHRA)
Annual Research Student Symposium

Aalto University, Helsinki
11 – 12 June 2018


Using History

Recent decades have seen several critical accounts of history, reviewing its methods and premises, questioning its narrative techniques and revealing its uses and abuses for political ends. Against becoming a refuge from the present, or a consolation, this kind of history sees its task as reminding societies and collectives of things that have been forgotten or covered up.


Additionally, architectural research has been in dialogue with different specialised fields of history: cultural and political history, but also economic history, history of media and technology, history of everyday life. Studies in conservation history have relied on technical history and history of science.

To study this multi-faceted relationship, our conference calls PhD candidates to reflect on the various uses of history and historical knowledge in architectural research and practice in the most broad sense. Speakers are also welcome to reflect on the role of history in their own research. Proposals will be welcomed from PhD candidates in the areas of theory and history of architecture and landscape, conservation and heritage, urban design and history, as well as relevant adjacent fields and interdisciplinary research.


Keynote lecture Prof. Juhani Pallasmaa, “STRATIFICATIONS – memory, experience and imagination”




To apply to present a paper at the symposium, please send an abstract of your proposed presentation to Professor Aino Niskanen, and Dr. Andres Kurg, to arrive by February 16th 2018. The abstract should be no more than 300 words in length and address the theme of the conference ‘Using History’ as outlined above.


There is no fee for attendance at the AHRA Student Symposium.


Participants may wish to attend a part of the European Architectural History Network (EAHN) conference in Tallinn, 13-16 June 2018. Travel between Helsinki and Tallinn is easily taken with a ferry, they take around 2 hours.



Key Dates

16 February 2018

Deadline for submission of abstracts


13 March 2018

Successful applicants informed


1 June 2018

Submission of extended abstracts (1200 words)


11–12 June 2018

AHRA Symposium


12 June 2018

Tour on Finnish modernism and the architecture of Alvar Aalto (optional)



Key Contacts

For enquiries relating to the student Symposium in the first place please contact:


For submission of abstracts:


For enquiries relating to the EAHN conference please contact: