Since the 1960s, art and architecture have experienced a radical and reciprocal trade: while artists have simulated ‘architectural’ means such as plans and models, built actual structures outside art institutions, or intervened directly into urban and public spaces, architects have evoked ‘artistic’ strategies such as sculptural objects and installations, inside art institutions, in exhibitions, biennales and art events. At the same time, art institutes themselves have combined both activities in an interdisciplinary, hybrid field, playing with the conditional differences between the literal and institutional boundaries of inside and out.

Expanding one’s practice was not only a matter of repudiating and transgressing the disciplinary limits and medium-related dogmas of modernism, however. It was also a question of choosing and evaluating instruments. After all, when “there’s only art” (Burgin) or when “everything is architecture” (Hollein), the methods and concepts of cultural practice, as well as the status of disciplinary objects, are up for grabs.

The conference Inside | Outside will focus on specific examples or ‘cases’ of the two-way directions of transaction: artists adopting architectural means on the one hand, and architects adopting artistic strategies on the other. In particular, it will study both historical and contemporary examples of the transposition of means and strategies from architecture to art, and vice versa, up to the point where their status, meaning or function is dislodged and transformed.

The conference wants to investigate the potential openings and possible deadlocks of such exchanges, both in terms of the means and strategies they displace and the context in which they happen—that is, inside or outside institutional spaces and venues. In this sense, the interest lies less in how means and strategies mobilize disciplines than the other way around.

Each speaker is invited to discuss a singular project that exemplifies the reciprocal trade between art and architecture. Papers will address iterations of the current phenomenon of art institutions commissioning architects to produce temporary, largely function-less pavilions and installations; the exhibition of architecture; collaborations between artists and architects; and the use of architecture as a medium or subject by artists.

The conference Inside | Outside: Trading between Art and Architecture is the inaugural event of the ‘Is Architecture Art?’ research project funded by the Australian Research Council, and the centre for Architecture, Theory, History and Criticism (ATCH) at the School of Architecture, University of Queensland.


Organising Institutions

Centre for Architecture, Theory, History and Criticism (ATCH), School of Architecture, University of Queensland (AUS) 

Department of Architecture & Urban Planning, Ghent University (BE)

Supporting Institutions

Australian Research Council (ARC)

Royal Academy of Fine Arts (KASK)

School of Arts, Ghent (BE)


Conference Convenors

Associate Professor Wouter Davidts, Department of Architecture and Urban Planning, and Department of Art History, Musicology and Theatre Studies, Ghent University

Professor John Macarthur, School of Architecture, University of Queensland

Dr Susan Holden, School of Architecture, University of Queensland

Dr Ashley Paine, School of Architecture, University of Queensland

Keynote Speakers

Artist Sarah Oppenheimer (US) 

Architect John Körmeling (NL) 


Angelique Campens (KASK Ghent)
Guy Châtel (UGent)
Wouter Davidts (UGent)
Mark Dorrian (The University of Edinburgh)
Susan Holden (University of Queensland)
Maarten Liefooghe (VUB)
Mark D. Linder (Syracuse University)
John Macarthur (University of Queensland)
Ashley Paine (University of Queensland)
Emily E. Scott (ETH Zurich)
Léa-Catherine Szacka (Oslo School of Architecture and Design)
Annalise Varghese (University of Queensland)
Stefaan Vervoort (UGent)
Stephen Walker (The University of Manchester)
Rosemary Willink (University of Queensland)

Key Dates

Conference: 05-06 May 2017


KASK / School of Arts, Louis Pasteurlaan 2, 9000 Ghent