CFP - Architecture & Non-Philosophy: Non-philosophical Encounters with Built Environments

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Call for Papers
November 8, 2021
Subject Fields: 
Architecture and Architectural History, Borderlands, Cultural History / Studies, Environmental History / Studies, Philosophy

Oraxiom Issue no. 3 - Non-philosophical Encounters with Built Environments

Submissions Due: Nov 8, 2021

Guest Editors: Hannah Hopewell & Yehotal Shapira

Email submissions to: and

Cities and their design are loci for re-imagining ways of relating and living together. The city and urban space also bring systemic challenges into sharp focus, such as accelerating spatial injustice, climate change induced effects and capitalist exploitation. The current Covid crisis intensifies this imperative by demanding reevaluation of how the city and its design might be presently approached. Taking this provocation further, we seek to consider how the current epoch shakes the very ground of philosophical thought substantiating notions of the city, and in turn, its attendant imaginative possibilities?

This special-themed issue examines ways François Laruelle’s non-philosophy and non-standard theory bears upon concerns within practices and theories associated with city making. Non-philosophy opens a space for radically immanent, democratic experiments with thought without subservience to the particular philosophical circularity upon which city-thinking is found. Analogous to how Laruelle (2012) posits non-philosophy as, “…not a conceptual art but a concept modelled by the art, a generic extension of art”, could we consider ‘generic extensions’ of how the city is thought?

We suggest non-philosophical encounter in this context performs a critical spatial practice potentially relating the built environment to a mode of ‘decolonised thought’. We seek to critically explore what and how this non-philosophical agency is performed or demonstrated within the built environment fields and related spatial arts and practices. We are therefore interested in how non-philosophy is used, or what it can do. Accordingly, this issue gathers ways spatial practices experiment with the modelling of concepts, and performing non-standard thought in the context of various urban histories and places. Concurrently, occasions of non-philosophy’s transmutation is of interest.

The issue will be organised across the following three tracks:

TRACK I: Non-philosophy and disciplinary knowledge: Limits and Borders

Here we question the disciplinary boundary. We ask how spatial relationships can be re-evaluated beyond any common regulation, as well as the situated meaning and expression of a heretic position within each of the fields of built environment practices. We also seek to examine how this affinity plays out to extend the capacities of creating new theoretical knowledge in this context that is indifferent to philosophy or theories external to them.

TRACK II: Non-Philosophical humanity: Ethico-ecological comportment

Here occasioning’s of non-philosophical humanity and non-ecological thought in built environment practices are opened to questions of relationality and nature beyond anthropocentric humanisms. Laruelle writes, “It is urgent that we test with new principles the knowledge we are able to have about life and recenter ethics and epistemology on the “encounter,” as we now say, with the animal and plants. This encounter calls for a new concept of MAP equality, a reevaluation of the notion of “human nature” and its degree of destruction” (Laruelle 2020). What might non-philosophical encounters avail for architectural and related practices in addressing forms of exploitation of the earth, plants and animals. How might non-philosophical humanity influence built environment practices towards greater care and equity in the city?

TRACK III: Non-philosophy as method: Thinking writing knowing designing with

Non-philosophical practice offers a method of bringing the real—pure immanence—into built environment thought, whereby the real is never claimed but is, rather, cloned. Such approach addresses legitimacy, self-assertion of identity (“The stranger”, l'Étranger) and identity-in-the-last-instance (the utmost self (the real) thereby disrupting notions of the individual and the inherited ontological contexts constructing built environments of living in the city. Here we seek to discover variants of urban thought practice that ‘bypass’ binaries defining the real and unreal and ensuing ontological categorisation. Submissions may include methodological strategies to ‘think-with-write-with-live with-design-with’ the city immanently, thereby triggering reimaginations of the city and forms of the human that exceed the possibilities of self-reflective consciousness and free-will. Questions involving truth, evidence, narratives and beliefs and how they evolve in processes of defining identity, building and living in the city are anticipated.

We welcome contributions from academia, professionals and practitioners across architecture, landscape architecture, architectural history, urban design, urban planning, environmental studies, geography and related spatial arts.

Submissions can take a variety of forms including, but not limited to:
Refereed Articles/Essays (4000-6000 words)
Provocations (~1000 words)
Visual Submissions (~300 word explanation)

Please submit your Paper by Nov 8, 2021 to and

Contact Info: 

Hannah Hopewell & Yehotal Shapira

Contact Email: