2023 BTES Conference


Conference Theme: “Beyond the Artifact: Constructability, Complexity & Constraints”
Hosts: The Cosanti Foundation (TCF) and Kennesaw State University (KSU)
Venue: Arcosanti & Cosanti | June 1-4, 2023    
“Buildings for me represent opportunities of agency, transformation, and storytelling. They are
not just artifacts. There is this big tradition of buildings-as-artifacts - constructed artifacts
but for me they are these incredible sites of negotiation.”
_David Adjaye  
Interpreting architecture as artifact is a matter of reading a building and its environment. To best comprehend the language of buildings, designers often consider form and material
grammar in terms of assemblies, details, and systems. How a building reads depends on
how all these elements are composed with the intent of being realized as a built object.
Today, we are witnessing a reformulation of the grammar of materials leading to a more
eco-sustainable syntax of construction and building structure through experimentation and
innovation. Rather than seeing architecture from the ‘outside as object’ or built artifact, we
need to instead understand the built realm as a form of production ‘from within’ to create a
site of negotiation.

This conference will explore this intention to demystify architecture by reconsidering how
we critique a discipline whose role in the built world lies mainly in the reception of its built
products, and not in their material production. In using the term ‘material production,’
Adjaye means more than just detailing a building. He is discussing the realignment of the
profession concerning the democratization of knowledge, acknowledging architects as
active protagonists rather than the consumers that we have arguably become as a

Meeting at 2-locations: Arcosanti and Cosanti, this gathering of minds will engage
architecture in its role as a cultural agent and examine the way buildings establish and
organize dynamic relationships not only between site, program, and material but also
architecture and ecology. Attendees will experience both Cosanti and Arcosanti that were
built by hand by more than 8000 students and volunteers who came from all over the world
to participate in The Cosanti Foundation’s signature multi-week workshop program.

The four-session topics described below, are intended to represent opportunities of
agency, transformation, and storytelling as a point of departure for BTES 2023:
[1]- Constructability. The awareness for the method of construction of buildings, their systems,
materials, and assembly.
[2]- Complexity. The theories that seek to clarify the relationship between people and places.
These include, among others, historical, archival, ethnographical, experimental, simulational,
survey, mapping, statistical, and qualitative analysis methods.
[3]- Constraints. The range of techniques on gathering, assessing, interpreting, and comparatively
evaluating relevant information for inquiry, education, and methodologies.
[4]- Open Artifact. The process of ‘making’ through abstraction and autonomy as a speculative
mode of architectural production.
Further information regarding the Call for Submissions can be found on the conference website:

September 19, 2022 Call for Papers and Posters announced
October 3, 2022 Submission portal opens
October 31, 2022 Abstract submission deadline
December 5, 2022 Preliminary notification to authors
January 16, 2023 Full Papers and Posters due
February 27, 2023 Notification of Paper and Poster acceptance
April 3, 2023 Final revised Papers and Posters due
April 10, 2023 Early Bird Registration Deadline
April 24, 2023 Deadline for accepted authors to register