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The plenary sessions will be held on 29 – 31 May in the afternoon. Each day holds two sessions, each dedicated to a separate theme (see below). The plenary sessions will consist of keynote speeches, lectures, poster pitches and panel discussions.

Poster presentations will be on display in the foyer area of the Trippenhuis and on the virtual conference space for online delegates. 

An online moderator will guide virtual visitors through the programme, they can follow the live stream or watch the lecture(s) at a later time. 

In-person attendees are welcome to join our social events and interesting on-site visits (pdf) on the mornings of 30 and 31 May and during the entire day of 1 June, in and around Amsterdam.

Programme 29 May - 1 June 2024

See the programme for more information on the paper topics, lecturers and poster presenters. Please find the detailed programme here.

Note that this conference takes place in Amsterdam, which means the timetable is in Central European Summer Time (CEST). 


Keynote speakers & themes

Keynote speakers

We proudly present keynote speeches by Prof. dr. Claudine Houbart (ULiège) and Prof. dr. K. Katrien Keune (UvA Faculty of Science, Van 't Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences). More information about their bios and the abstracts of their speeches can be found in this pdf document.


Based on the following themes, the conference will delve deep into the world of finishes in built architecture:

  • 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? 

  • 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? 

  • 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 further development of education training courses to encourage innovative thinking and perhaps leading to reinterpretation and reinvention of AFR.

  • Finishing materials and techniques in the Low Countries – Similarities and  Differences: The Low Countries 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. 

  • Transcultural 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? What 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.

  • 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 of current and future legislation and regulations, and climate disruption, with regards to toxic materials, sustainable processes and products, documentation and the monuments themselves.

On site visits

On-site visits

In order to delve deeper into the theme of AFR in the Low Countries, a wide variety of on-site visits in Amsterdam and the surrounding areas have been arranged. These visits can take place due to the generous collaboration of the Dutch heritage field. Besides finding out more about the specific locations, these visits offer the best opportunity to discuss AFR with your peers on location.

The visits will take place on the mornings of Thursday 30 and Friday 31 May and during the entire day on Saturday 1 June. These on-site visits are optional. However, we do ask you to make a choice during registration. To facilitate registration, we kindly ask you to read the range of tours on offer carefully before you fill out the registration form and decide which ones you would like to participate in. During registration you will also find an option “I have other plans and will not participate in the excursion”.  Please note that there are a limited number of spots available for each visit. They are subject to change, e.g. in the event of insufficient participants.

The schedule of the on-site visits can be found in the programme, or read for more indepth info about the visits via this link (pdf)

Social Events

The AFR Conference is the ideal opportunity to meet each other and form networks. Therefore, we would be happy to welcome the participants who join us in person in Amsterdam at our various social events. Several of these are included in the ticket fee, while others are to be paid for separately. See Registration Fees for more information.

For our online delegates we will facilitate online meet & greet opportunities.

Other activities


As in the case of all previous AFR/APR conferences, this 8th edition will also offer a preprints publication with about 20 high-quality papers written by the speakers of this conference. Delegates will receive a digital copy of the Architectural Finishes Research Conference Preprints. It is also possible to buy a paperback version of this publication for GBP 55,00 (British pounds, the publisher is based in the UK). During the conference, participants can purchase the paperback book at a 40% discount by going to Archetype Publications website and ordening it using a discount code from the first day of the conference through 8th of June. The discount code will be shared with the participants during the conference.


Do you have any questions about the event? Please contact us via

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