Repurposing Places for Social and Environmental Resilience

International Conference  2023

International Conference

23-24 March 2023

Repurposing Places for social and environmental resilience 

Whilst the 20th century was mostly about starchitects, 21st century is about synergies and the relevant complex dynamics that these allow to grow. This shift happens in parallel to others; reusing, retrofitting, and giving a new life to the existing places, buildings and neighbourhoods, in an environmentally and socially resilient manner, developing ways for the existing communities to grow in a symbiotic relationship with new ones, designing processes of circular economy and upcycling, which allow people to collaborate and find viable solutions. Participation in architecture is a notion that continuously evolves, even more so in recent years. Knowledge and innovation that contributes to social justice and responsible design practices, emerges from complex networks and agile cross-disciplinary collaborations.

In this context, this conference examines the relationship between social and environmental resilience, by looking into designed projects, cross-disciplinary research and investigations, participatory and collaborative design methods. It welcomes architects, designers, artists, planners, urbanists, engineers, academics, educators, as well as researchers and practitioners of other relevant disciplines, who have addressed some of the above themes through their work. Projects on adaptation and retrofitting of places in an environmentally and socially responsible way, as well as participatory projects, are particularly welcome. It also welcomes presentations of ongoing projects and collaborations, which will drive the relevant conversations forward.

It is often argued that: environmental resilience = social resilience. Indeed, there is an inextricable link between environmental (spatial) resilience and social resilience and the former leads to, or effects, the latter. However, in the context of this conference, we do not consider this as a simple one-way equation, and we aim to investigate further the complex relationship between the two.

Indicative topics:

Topic 1: Designed and built projects that address the conference theme.

Topic 2: Critical analysis of case studies and places in relation to the conference theme.

Topic 3: New approaches to participation and mapping, in the context of architecture, arts, urbanism, social sciences.

Topic 4: Educational briefs and student projects that address the conference theme.

Venue: Arup, 8 Fitzroy St, London W1T 4BJ , UK

Keynote Speakers:

Simon Allford

Juliet Mian 

Anna Minton

Prof Doina Petrescu

Alex Scott-Whitby

Conference organisers: 

Dr Anastasia Karandinou (UEL) and Prof Florence Lam (Arup)

Advisory Committee:

Prof Hassan Abdalla 

Carl Callaghan

Alan Chandler

Prof Richard Coyne

Prof Gail Findlay

Prof David Tann

Dr Julie Wall

Organising Committee: 

Dr Deborah Benros

Dr Christian Groothuizen

Dr Debra Shaw

Catalina Pollak

Clare Penny

Scientific Committee:

Prof Ela Aral

Dr Aghlab Al-Attili

Pauline Desouza

Dr Angelique Edmonds

Prof Heba Elsharkawy 

Prof Ozlem Erkarslan

Armor Gutierrez

Prof Luisa Maria Gutierrez

Dr Arman Hashemi

Carsten Jungfer

Assoc Prof Roland Karthaus

Prof Fabiano Lemes de Oliveira

Prof Anastasios Maragiannis

Dr Kat Martindale

Prof Anna Mavrogianni

Dr Antigoni Memou

Prof Rosa Mendoza-Robles 

Fernanda Palmieri

Sowmya Parthasarathy

Melina Philippou

Prof Christine Schwaiger

Dr Sally Shahzad

Dr Renee Tobe

Amanda Wanner

Adam Wiseman

Key dates

Presentation mode

In-person: We strongly encourage colleagues to take part in person, as the main aim of this event is to exchange knowledge and develop potential collaborations through this real-life event.

Online: You can submit your presentation as 10-minute video file, which will be uploaded online. 

How to submit your pre-recorded video LINK

Note: You need to apply for one of the two presentation modes when you submit your abstract and this cannot change.

Certificate of attendance:

Certificate of attendance can be provided upon request in the form of a digital PDF file.


Proceedings: Proceedings including all short articles (1000 words each) will be published after the conference as a digital book.

How to submit your short article (1000 words) LINK

Book/Academic Journal: Authors will be then invited to submit a longer paper for peer-review for an edited book or academic journal publication.

Please note, although all short articles will be included in the Proceedings, only selected ones will be included in the later book/journal publication.

Conference fees

Early-bird delegate conference fee (authors): £400

Standard delegate conference fee (authors): £460

Attendance-only conference fee: £80

Additional author attending in person fee: £80

Conference organisation:

The conference is co-organised by Counterarchitecture, the University of East London and Arup. It is also supported by the University of Edinburgh. 

Important information:


Each delegate presentation is 10 minutes long.



Conference Proceedings

Proceedings of the International Conference_Repurposing_Places.pdf


You can attend the conference LIVE presentations online via the following links:

23rd March – Keynote lectures and parallel sessions in room A

23rd March – Parallel sessions in room B

24th March – Keynote lectures and parallel sessions in room A

24th March – Parallel sessions in room B

You can watch the virtual pre-recorded presentations here

 (all copyright rights and responsibilities stay with the authors, whose names appear next to each presentation)


 banner image: created by the UEL MA Interior Design student Rushil Gaba, 2021