The 8th International Architectural Finishes Research Conference organizing committee is sending out a call for papers and posters for its next meeting in Amsterdam, May 29- June 1, 2024. Submissions are invited from specialists dealing with AFR and advanced students.

  • All work submitted for this conference should not have been presented elsewhere or been published before June 2024.
  • Preference will be given to papers addressing AFR issues and practices not discussed at previous AFR conferences.
  • Papers providing systemic reviews and broader overviews of AFR are encouraged.
  • All papers and posters must be supported with data which illustrates the interpretative process such as: archival documentation photomicrographs of cross-sections, advanced material analysis.
  • Research into the development of finishes materials and techniques may include archival research and the practical replication of historic finishes. Such studies provide new understandings of specific materials, techniques of application, colourmens’ practices, workshop procedures and the evolution of the technology of particular historical finishes and their composition.

Conference themes

1. Moving on to Standards 2.0

What can we learn from issuing and using European or national standards such as the European CEN 17543 and the Dutch ERM URL 2004? Presentations are invited to review to what extent these standards support the conduct of AFR, and discuss which solutions and new challenges they bring.

2. The benefits of hindsight

Which project management arrangements, AFR processes, conservation methods did or didn’t work in retrospect? All conservation projects involve subjective decisions. What lessons can be learned from revisiting completed projects? Would other options have been more appropriate? Topics may include the re-evaluation of: AFR briefs and methods, collaboration with other disciplines, the status of AFR research within project, how replicated finishes and colours have fared over time, or how public interacted with your work and/or what lessons did you learn that carried over into future projects.

3. Identifying innovative 21st century techniques and skills to fast forward AFR

The use of digital tools in AFR such as micro-cameras, advanced software, data mining, databases, is increasing. Practitioners are now looking to other research disciplines and the roll and further development of education training courses to encourage innovative thinking and perhaps leading to reinterpretation and reinvention of AFR.

4. Finishing materials and techniques in the Low Countries – Similarities and  Differences

The Low Countries it is not a fixed concept. Over the centuries borders between France, Belgium, Luxemburg, Germany, Spain, Austria and The Netherlands have been fluid and cultural centers have shifted. AFR papers are invited which consider the period from the late fourteenth century when the Low Countries first came into existence, until the present day.

5. Trans influences through the ages

How has conflict, migration, religion, colonization and world trade issues impacted on styles, fashions, materials and techniques of applied decorative finishes? What was the impact of war on the availability of materials? What innovative measures were taken to provide substitute materials? Which impact did collaboration with different parts of the world population have on historic finishes, including different cultures, world or local traders, colonized people, colonizers and settlers, asylum seekers, etc.

6. Health and climate awareness

Climate, environment and health & safety regulation can sometimes take precedence over research we want to conduct. What measures should we take in view  current and future legislation and regulations, and climate disruption, with regards to toxic materials, sustainable processes and products, documentation and the monuments themselves.

Call for Research Questions

Prior to the conference the organizing committee wishes to take the opportunity to collate the unasked, or difficult questions of AFR, and make use of the expertise of the delegates gathered at the conference to engage in an open discussion of these issues.  Please provide us with your ideas. These will be used to program workshops, thematic networking or mentoring sessions which will be held during the conference. We will be considering ways to distribute and disseminate expertise to ensure that it is readily available to the current and next generation of AFR conservators and scientists. The aim is to develop cross-country collaborations, and draft a white paper which outlines an agenda outlining training needs and specific areas for future research.

If you have any suggestions, please contact

Submitting an abstract

  • Abstracts must be submitted by 1 January 2023.
  • The 500 word abstract must be written in English.
  • Selected speakers will be notified by February 6, 2023.
  • Submitting an abstract is a commitment to deliver a draft version of the paper by May 8, 2023 for editing.
  • Speakers will be requested to submit a full-text, illustrated article for publication in the conference pre-prints series published by Archetype Publishers. This article will be peer-reviewed.
  • Submitting an abstract is also a commitment for an oral presentation of the paper in 15-20 minutes at the conference.
  • Please take note that it is expected that the presentation will be given from memory using notes, and not simply the text of the article read aloud. (Contact the organizers if it will be a problem to this in English) .
  • Presentations in abstentia are not possible. Speakers will have free access to the conference.
  • We encourage submissions from advanced students working on AFR related projects for a dedicated “Student Research Session”. When submitting your abstract, please indicate if this is a student submission.
  • Please submit the abstract via, including:
    • a provisional title
    • a summary of 500 word maximum
    • the name of one author. The names of any co-authors can be submitted in the body of the abstract.
    • a short CV, one paragraph long.
  • Details regarding guidelines for the conference presentations and accompanying articles will be provided at the time of notification.

If you have any questions, please contact us via

See for more information about the 8th Architectural Finishes Research Conference in 2024.