Conference „Beauty in architecture – meanings and symbols”

Call for papers

We would like to inform you that the 3rd International Scientific and Technical Conference entitled beauty in architecture – meanings and symbols will be held on 18 and 19 May 2023 at the University of Applied Sciences in Nysa.

The conference will continue the discussions of the issues of beauty in architecture undertaken during the previous editions of the conference:

The conferences are interdisciplinary, gathering researchers from foreign and domestic scientific circles – architects, urban planners, art historians, monument conservators, cultural experts and philosophers from Polish and European academic institutions. The conference is organised as part of the “Excellent Science” programme of the Polish Ministry of Education and Science.


The conference themes are related to the multi-layered analysis of architectural and existential space in terms of authentic as well as imagined urban structures as well as public and neighbourly spaces, which are linked to the ideological message, shaped objects, urban complexes referring to symbolic content and signs encoded in functional and spatial structures, detail, equipment or decor of people-shaped environment.


The conference aims to show the timeless values of the symbolic and meaningful layer of architecture and urban planning as well as the internal, sometimes hidden, beauty that affects the human being who is present in its space. The symbolic structure organises the architectural space, setting its basic references in the ontological, axiological, cultural, social, personal and spiritual aspects. It also situates man in the mutual interaction of axis mundi and axis personae, enabling – through aesthetic values (e.g., beauty, sublime, monumentality, intimacy, character, ugliness, etc.) – their integration and disintegration, the harmonisation of the human life environment as well as its decomposition, orientation and familiarity with the world and, at the same time, confusion and alienation (homelessness). The applicative goal of the interdisciplinary approach to the issues of architectural symbolism is to develop good practices in shaping the spatial order, balancing the aspects of human life, revealed in the figures of homo technologicus (homo faber), homo sociologicus, homo ecologicus, homo ethicus, homo religiosus.


According to the Greek primary meaning of the word, which significantly shaped European architecture, art and perception (U. Eco), “beautiful” means ordered, fit for something, noble, good and true. Going beyond Greek and European cultures, the universal recognition of beauty expresses the unity of the three fundamental dimensions of human existence: the ontological, ethical and aesthetic orders, which are the primary experience of the world. As relevance, appropriateness ‒ kalon and prepon ‒ it refers to the truth, goodness and divinity (H. U. von Balthasar), which are the conditions for the demonstration of humanity in its proper form. That is why the opposite of beauty – ugliness – is related to disorder, lack of measure, evil and unattractiveness. Human striving for beauty points to desire, or more precisely to hope, even if their realisation is eschatological and is moved to a “different world” – life in order, measure. They aim to find the spatial boundary (centring, direction, form), which becomes present in the architectural space, within which man exists in harmony with his essence. 
According to the theology of the Christian East, the true man is a beautiful individual, depicting and embodying divine beauty: the beauty of divine love. The temporal human condition, however, is marked by the presence of ugliness and evil, distorted (ontically impoverished), without harmony and torn apart. That is why man needs to constantly and therapeutically stay in what is beautiful, its mediation integrating with what is good. He needs art that “restores his sight”, sensitivity to the presence of beauty in the world, in other people and in himself. The world deprived of beauty, going beyond its utilitarian and hedonistic meaning, is a world without goodness, truth and love; a world that is inhuman in its essence. This aspect of kenosis (destruction) of beauty, associated with the disintegration of form and content, is evident in contemporary art. As noted by Paul Evdokimov, “Every artist has the terrible freedom to transform the world according to their own image, to project a desolate landscape into it, which is an expression of the darkness of their own soul, to impose on others a vision of a giant latrine that is swarming with undefined monsters”. This loss, “limitation of the soul”, “meaningless” existence is a correlate of spatial and axiological loss of the contemporary man who desires beauty and, at the same time, facing the call to make beauty present – is unable to articulate it as he has lost access to the proper content of beauty and its corresponding forms. Openness to beauty means openness to the world and other people, the affirmation of ugliness and imperfections. Man’s proper response to beauty is expressed in his belonging to the world, the correlation between the spatial and spiritual centres.
Beauty, as implied by the name of the philosophical discipline exploring its essence, is “aesthetic” and thus spatial, making itself present in relation to the corporeality of man, his existence in a certain world as a spatial and significative whole. Man, let us refer to phenomenological analyses, does not exist in natural or geometric space but his world is each time opened and constituted by architectural space (Ch. Norberg-Schulz), through connection with objects whose structural order is organised by architecture, creating the whole that makes sense, offering him domestication – being with others. This indicates the relationship among beauty, architecture and ethos as three inseparably intertwined components.
Since the dawn of human history, architecture has been an essential link in the socio-cultural continuum; it is a testimony to the surrounding reality. The meanings and symbols it contains are a record of important events, the transmission of important information, and a reflection of the prevailing views. The content message expressed through the urban layout, the language of forms and details, a specifically shaped structure, works of art that are part of architectural objects are extremely rich ways of influencing people, shaping perception, experience and understanding.
Therefore, the analysis of beauty in architecture is of a fundamental nature, conditioning studies on the essence of beauty, the essence of architecture as well as the essence of humanity. It is a fundamental ontology of beauty (in analogy to Kant’s grounding of metaphysica generalis in metaphysica specialis and its Heideggerian interpretation), which is translatable both into application issues and the practice of everyday life.
The detailed topics of the conference will be related to the conditions of shaping, experiencing as well as understanding symbols and meanings functioning in the architectural and urban, artistic, sociological and philosophical perspectives. The interdisciplinary nature of the conference will foster cooperation between scientists and practitioners, aiming at getting to know and improving the shaping of the space of the human life environment. Papers will be published in a national scientific journal.


The presentation duration is 15 minutes, which will allow for a discussion and, during the accompanying events, an experiment of practising and perceiving the impact of specific public spaces, which are considered by their users to be harmoniously shaped and characterised by the value of beauty. Thus, the organisers want to strengthen the practical dimension of the conference, which will be the basis and context for making theoretical generalisations.
We would like to ask you to send proposals of presentations in English or Polish by 28 February 2023 to the following e-mail address:
The abstract should contain the title of the presentation, a description of the content not exceeding 300 words and the author’s data (name and surname, academic degree/title, institutional affiliation). We ask (without interfering with the creative contribution of the speakers) that your presentations attempt to answer why and how the symbols and meanings contained in specific spaces of architecture and urban planning evoke feelings of beauty and what premises (objective, cultural, individual) determine the occurrence of this phenomenon.

Papers will be published in a national scientific journal.

Conference languages:


Organising Committee:

dr hab. inż. arch. Bogusław Szuba, professor of the State University of Applied Sciences in Nysa
mgr inż. Marcin Zdanowicz – Vice Dean of the Faculty of Technical Sciences
dr inż. arch. Grażyna Lasek
dr inż. arch. Agata Pięt
mgr Dagmara Bojda
mgr Andrzej Jaworski
mgr inż. arch. Michał Kaczmarzyk

Chairman of the Scientific Committee:

dr hab. inż. arch. Bogusław Szuba, professor of the State University of Applied Sciences in Nysa


Nysa District Office

The most important information:

Submitting applications – a topic with a short abstract (until 28 February 2023) to the following e-mail address:
Sending texts by 30 May 2023 to the following e-mail address:


Participation with publication – EUR 110/PLN 500
The deadline for paying the conference fee is 15 April 2023

The conference fee does not include accommodation.

Payment Method:

Interbank transactions:
Name and address of institution: Państwowa Akademia Nauk Stosowanych w Nysie, ul. Armii Krajowej 7, 48-300 Nysa
Account number: PL 50 1020 3714 0000 4102 0012 7415
Transfer title: Conference – Beauty in Architecture 2023

Information For Authors

Submission deadline of papers is May 15th.

  1. Please send finished texts to the e-mail address, attaching a Word file (.doc or .docx). The article should not exceed the size of one publishing sheet (40 thousand characters including spaces).
    The article must include an Abstract in Polish and English (up to 2 thousand characters with spaces). The Abstract should include the following elements:
    • the purpose of the article
    • the characteristics of the source material and literature
    • the characteristics of the research method
    • the main thesis and conclusions.
    The text must be accompanied by Key words (5-7) in Polish and English.
  2. The Journal also publishes reports and reviews up to 10 thousand characters.
  3. Illustrations, tables, text fragments, etc.: the Authors should provide a written consent of the copyright owner. The Authors are obliged to specify the format of any illustrative material in advance before submitting the text to the Editors.
  4. 4. The text should be formatted according to the general principles: Times New Roman 12; 1.5 line spacing; Margins of 2.5 cm; Footnotes.
    Footnotes: Times New Roman 10, single space.
  5. Footnotes according to the Chicago Manual of Style (cf. below).



First mention: John Alberth, The Black Death. The Great Mortality of 1348–1350. A Brief History with Documents (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005), 51–63.
Next mentions: Alberth, The Black Death, 72.

Chapter in a monograph:

First mention: Dionysios Stathakopoulos, “Crime and Punishment. The Plague in the Byzantine Empire, 541–749”, in Plague and the End of Atiquity. The Pandemic of 541–750, K. Lester Little, Ed. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007), 106.
Next mentions: Stathakopoulos, “Crime and Punishment”, 100.

Article in a journal:

First mention: Stefan Swieżawski, „Z antropologii filozoficznej XV wieku. (Problemy i trudności w jej studium)”, Studia Mediewistyczne 9 (1969): 238–242.
Next mentions: Swieżawski, „Z antropologii filozoficznej XV wieku”, 240.
Short citations (publications cited immediately above): ibidem, 242.

Collective works:

If the work has 3-5 authors, provide all the names and surnames when first quoting, and then only provide the name of the first author followed by et al. If the work has more than five authors, name and surname of the first one should be provided followed by et al.

Manuscript sources:

Author, title, date (if known), the name of the archive (for the first time the full name, then an abbreviation in parentheses), name of the file (first quoting the full name, then an abbreviation in parentheses), number of the document, number of the file, library card number.

Online sources:

Provide a full link to the source and add the date of access in brackets.


Texts should be provided with an alphabetical bibliography prepared in line with the above formulas, while keeping a complete record of names and surnames, also in collective works. Classic system of bibliography: manuscripts, printed sources, books and monographs, magazines, Internet sources.


More about the principles of the Chicago Manual of Style

The conference focused on the issues of beauty in architecture – in the current edition is devoted to the issues of symbolism and meanings. The above syntax for considerations of philosophical, historical, cultural, and architectural nature. This remark is important from the point of view of the journal (Rocznik filozoficzny Ignatianum) to which your articles will be submitted. 

The journal publishes articles in the field of broadly understood humanities, including: philosophy, cultural and religious sciences, history, theology, but also Polish and foreign literature (considered in a broader cultural perspective). An important section of the journal is content referring to the religious and cultural heritage of Europe and its impact on other continents and civilization circles.
Conditions for publication of articles in the journal:

The review process

Articles accepted (as a result of internal assessment) for review are sent to two External Reviewers. Reviews are Double-Blind Reviews: no Reviewer knows whose article they are reviewing (the Editors provide them with an article without the Cover Sheet containing Author names and notes, as well as possibly other identifying information), and no Author knows who reviewed their article.

Specific rules:

  1. Editors ask Professional Peer-Reviewers for permission to review a text for publication and when possible,
  2. they provide them with an anonymous text and relevant editorial information, asking a few questions to help them evaluate the content.
  3. By accepting a paper for review, a Reviewer undertakes to act in a scientifically sound manner and to uphold all rights belonging to the Authors of the papers he/she reviews. The Reviewers’ opinions are not conclusive for publication.
  4. The Editors provide the actual reviews to the Authors without the Reviewers’ names and without comments intended for the Editors.
  5. Based on the reviews, the Editors, in dialog with the Authors (and possibly Reviewers and Scientific Council), decide whether the text should be printed, corrected or withdrawn from the Journal. One negative review (also an internal one) is enough to refuse to publish the article.

Pay attention to the structure of the article, which should be of a scientific nature:

The size of the article should be between 20000-40000 characters

The above remarks are important from the point of view of accepting and reviewing candidate articles for publication in the journal.

Projekt dofinansowany ze środków Ministerstwa Edukacji i Nauki