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| Architectures of Hiding |

| Crafting Concealment  | Omission | Censorship | Erasure | Silence |


“The greatest thing a human being ever does in this world is to see something... To see clearly is poetry, prophecy and religion all in one.” 

― John Ruskin


1.Palazzo Spinola di Pellicceria, Genoa | 2. Reichstag wrapped up by artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Berlin | 3. Mississippi River drawn by Harold Fisk


Architectural creation, its representation, interpretation, and associated activities more often than not are seen as processes of revelation. However, one can argue that architecture hides as much as it reveals. The Purloined Letter, a detective story written by Edgar Allen Poe, describes the chase to look for a stolen letter with confidential information. The story revolves around the search for a letter hidden by being left out in the open. Allen Poe highlights a complicated relationship between visibility, revelation, clarity and its complementary hiding, concealing, camouflaging. 


In the realm of architecture, are there examples of ‘hiding’ in teaching, representing, knowing, writing and building architecture? If so, how do those manifest themselves? 

How is hiding practiced under other terms that obscure the practice of concealment? What does it result in? What sources does it emerge from and who operates it? 


This call for papers and works encourages the exploration of ideas revolving around the theme of hiding. We invite proposals that examine ‘hiding’ in varied manifestations – camouflage, censorship, omission, curation, dissolution, fragmentation, simulacrum, silence, secrecy... We envision this symposium as an opportunity to question the boundaries of architecture seeking inter-disciplinary contributions that interrogate topics such as:


  1. The apparatuses for hiding: language, artifacts, discourses, buildings…

  2. The modes of hiding: leaving in plain sight, camouflaging, burying, wrapping, censorship, disguising, omission...

  3. The temporalities of hiding : fragmentation, dissolution, continuity, discontinuity...

  4. The motives for hiding: ulterior (hidden) motive for hiding, obvious reason for hiding, an act of subversion...

  5. The materialities of hiding: joints, glass, wall, serving/served spaces, water and mechanical structures, locksmithing...


This symposium aims to explore processes of hiding which can take representational, material and theoretical forms.


Proposals can be for:

  1. Paper presentations – critical investigations of the theme.

  2. Creative work – to be exhibited/demonstrated (artwork, videos, cartoon strips, poetry, visual essays, performances, and more).


Contributors are welcome to submit proposals in one or both formats.


Presenters will have fifteen minutes to present their papers in English, followed by a discussion period. Abstract proposals for papers must be approximately 350 words and submitted in a .docx format and a maximum of 3 images. Creative pieces proposals must be accompanied by a 350 word description and a maximum of 4 photos/videos. All proposals should be emailed to The symposium will take place on September 24th and 25th, 2021 at Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada. All submissions will be kept anonymous and will be blind peer-reviewed by a committee of invited scholars. Please include your name, institution affiliation, four descriptive keywords, and a brief bio (100 words) in the email body. Applicants will be contacted in March 2020 with a decision.


Proposals are due by January 30th, 2020 AT 11:59 EST.


Papers and creative works will be invited for consideration for publication in the first issue of the CR|PT|C journal which will be blind peer-reviewed.


Important Dates

Deadline for submission of proposals: January 30th, 2020

Acceptance notification: End of March 2020

Free Registration: information forthcoming soon

Symposium: September 24th and 25th, 2021

Ottawa Hidscapes Walking Tour: September 26th, 2021



CRIPTIC Coordinators/Organizers: Rana Abughannam | Émélie Desrochers-Turgeon | Pallavi Swaranjali |

CRIPTIC Chair/Supervisor: Dr. Federica Goffi ASAU 

Exhibition Advisor: Dr. Monica Eileen Patterson Curatorial Studies Carleton University

Download the call in PDF

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