Appel à contributions : Modern Living In Asia


Dates: 10-11 April 2017
Venue: City Campus, University of Brighton
Hosted by the, University of Brighton, UK
Supported by the University of Brighton’s Rising Stars Award, Internationalising Design History Research Cluster and College of Arts and Humanities.

Convenors: Dr. Yunah Lee and Dr. Megha Rajguru (University of Brighton)

Deadline for proposals: 30 September 2016


This conference aims to develop the study of modern living in Asia between 1945 -1990 from a transnational perspective. Scholarship on Modernism in architecture, interior design and ideas of modern living in Asian countries in post-civil war, postcolonial and pre- globalised years of 1945-1990 has been steadily rising. Most research, however, focuses on certain geographical pockets and within particular national boundaries such as China, India, Japan, and Korea, examining major architects and key architectural projects. In the midst of acutely debated theoretical positions of globalization, transnationalism and multiple modernisms, in works by Arjun Appadurai (1996), Homi Bhabha (1994), Shumei Shi (2013), Duanfang Lu (2011), we will explore cultural flows beyond borders (national, regional and political) that informed notions of modern living in Asian countries. We also aim to expand the discourse to include geographical areas or countries in Asia that have been under- explored or entirely ignored in scholarly debates.

Key themes that will be explored in the conference include the introduction and adaptation of Euro-American ideas of Modernism in local contexts, the development of ‘critical regionalism’ (Kenneth Frampton, 1983) and inter-Asian exchanges of ideas of modernity and modern design in living spaces. The conference will also consider methodological approaches in examining the notion of the ‘modern’ within an Asian context, from postcolonial perspectives and within the context of the Cold War. It will develop theoretical understandings of modernity and modernism, whether the term ‘modern’ was employed within these culture-specific contexts and the variations in the ‘modern’ or modernisms across these.

We seek papers that will examine one or more of these areas. We also welcome suggestions.

  • Adaptation of vernacular forms of architecture and interior spaces into modern models of living such as apartments.
  • Relation of culture-specific living practices to new forms of modern and modular lifestyles.
  • Interior design magazines and their consumption.
  • Women and modern lifestyles.
  • Standardisation in housing and interior design
  • Modernity, modernisation and Modernism: theoretical trajectories in relation to the living space
  • Modern living and modernity in postcolonial contexts
  • Cold War and Modern living
  • Architecture and Interior Design professions
  • Exhibitions of modern living spaces and modern life
  • Art in the modern home


Please submit a 300-word abstract and short 100-word biography to by 30th September 2016.

All proposals will be peer- reviewed. Papers will be given in English.

Please do contact us if you have any questions. 


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