entry deadline abstract: October 14, 2013 /
entry deadline final contribution: December 9, 2013
Zurich, September 25, 2013. ‹trans› is a semi-annual professional journal of the Department of Architecture at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology ETHZ and has been managed by an independent student editorial team since 1997. The journal addresses current issues in architecture and urban development from a variety of perspectives, such as the humanities, politics, philosophy and the arts. ‹trans› thus sees itself as a platform for interdisciplinary discourse.
Guidelines, regulations and laws determine what is permitted and what is not. Norms, however, are not just forced onto a society but rather reflect a society’s inherent limits and conventions. After not too many semesters at the architectural department of the ETH Zürich, students will perceive a certain normality settling over their daily lives. The phase of wildly experimental designs has come to a close, and an internal consensus prevails over what is considered to be good, clearly bad, normal, or just plain abnormal. Both students and Professors determine the standard, the norm. The term ‹norm› is derived from ‹norma›, the Latin word that originally denoted a carpenter’s square. To norm means ‹‹to straighten, adjust or bring back into a plumb line››1. A norm is defined by what is considered normal. Conversely, normality is defined by norms. But what is actually ‹normal›? Who determines normality? How are norms created? When are they to be followed, and when may they be broken? Do norms serve as a guideline in the grey area between safety and risk, or do they standardize something that should be left unregulated? Do norms lead to a legible simplification of a chaotic reality or do such frameworks just generate monotony and boredom? Are norms signs of a stable culture or of a collective resignation? ‹trans24› will concern itself with a subject that lies somewhere between pattern and chaos, mass production and mass customization, totalitarian synchronization and everybody’s wish to stand out against the normed mass.
We are interested in fostering discussion of different positions, directions, and perspectives. The form of contributions to this discussion can be diverse, ranging from scientific articles, personal essays, comments, and portraits to illustrations, photo series, or collages, depending on the content. We welcome a short description of your proposed submission in the form of an abstract. This should be no longer than one DIN A4 page or 600 words, possibly supplemented with a few pictures. Please send us your abstract by October 14, 2013. The final contribution is due by December 9, 2013. ‹trans24› will be available in selected bookstores in March 2014.