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Submit a Manuscript to the Journal
Architecture and Culture

For a Special Issue on
Fluid Regions

Manuscript deadline
31 May 2022

Cover image - Architecture and Culture

Special Issue Editor(s)

Simon Richards, School of Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering, University of Loughborough, UK
[email protected]

Rob Schmidt III , School of Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering, University of Loughborough, UK
[email protected]

Cagri Sanliturk, School of Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering, University of Loughborough, UK
[email protected]

Aya Jazaierly , School of Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering, University of Loughborough, UK
[email protected]

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Fluid Regions

For much of architectural and urban history the ‘region’ signified a clear locus of social, ethical and aesthetic value. It was a ‘place’ – whether geographically real, theorized, or conjured into artistic and literary imagery - where ‘authentic’ regional culture was sustained and refreshed. Sometimes this was in opposition to the city: the rural idyll of the countryside. And sometimes this was in opposition to the expansionist West: the vernacular architecture of indigenous communities.

In part this was sustained by the somewhat clearer physical, cultural and geo-spatial boundaries of the past, but increases in mobility and digital culture have dissolved these, giving birth to much more fluid notions of region beyond the earlier polemical formulations of centre-periphery, city-suburb, administration-colonies. As the philosopher Giorgio Agamben argues, this fluidity has created ‘zones of indistinction’ both geographically and politically that have become spaces for appropriation, exceptions, possibilities and gaps.

The last eighteen months have only served to exacerbate this. We have witnessed the dramatic emptying out of metropolitan centres that were already in sharp decline, to the backdrop of a Populist political turn towards ever-increasing insularity and localism. Both have forced people to take a fresh look at the regions of their everyday experience. But what remains there? Bucolic idylls still rich in the traditions of local craft? Volume built suburbia? Industrial tracts and the vast human-free hinterlands of automated farms and distribution centres? Landscapes of wildlife in resurgence, perhaps? Or the containment cities of refugees in limbo, fleeing war and environmental disaster, even while carrying their own troubled regions within themselves?

This special issue of Architecture and Culture (Volume 11, No. 3) seeks to explore what region means as a sphere of thinking, imagining and acting in the current moment. We are interested in the region as a real geographical site of evolving socio-economic activity, as a mythical locus of enduring societal value, as a gatekeeper of indigenous crafts and vernacular techniques, as a site of architectural and artistic imagination, and as a repository of contested and mobile identities. But what other new and emerging formulations of region might there be? Themes to be explored might include, but not be limited to, the following:

• Craft 2.0: evolutions and interpretations of craft, tradition and the vernacular.
• Sustainability/Ecologies: the terrain of networked grids, floating farms, wildlife conservation, biodiversity, and plastic waste recycling plants.
• Cartography: new ways to map, code and communicate the complexity and connectivity of these diffuse ‘operational landscapes’.
• Networks/Infrastructure: the physical and digital systems that enable the flow of resources and re-define the local, regional and global dynamic.
• Populations: the political, economic, and environmental pressures that drive the migrations of ever greater numbers of people.
• Contested Borders: the dystopic architecture of zones of indistinction, including war zones, refugee camps, and other conflicted sites.
• Hinterlands: the colonisation of vast regional tracts for robotized agriculture, server farms, and fulfilment centres.
• Natural Assets/Heritage: the terrain and commerce of escapism and leisure.

Submission Instructions

We invite contributors to engage with these and other region-related themes, thinking about their current and future spatial and architectural implications from a variety of disciplines including architecture, urbanism, literature, the arts and film, anthropology, sociology, philosophy and geography. We welcome contributions across all expressive media. This may involve standard academic papers or take more creative approaches, such as poetry, short story, drama, film, graphic cartoon, or indeed visualisation through new regional cartographies. To this end contributions may be linked to digital sound recordings, videos or other interactive forms of media. The maximum length for a submission is 8,000 words, including notes and references, and the maximum number of images to appear in print form is 8.

Please select 'Region’ when submitting your paper to Editorial Manager. Those submissions that are selected to be taken further will be anonymously peer reviewed. Our editorial practice aims to be constructively critical, respecting an author’s voice and position while working to tune submissions to the highest level of quality and readability.

Expected publication date: Autumn 2023.

Guest Editors

Simon Richards is a Senior Lecturer in Architectural History and Theory with research specialities in comparative aesthetics, heritage and behaviourism.

Cagri Sanliturk is a Lecturer in Architecture with research specialities in transdisciplinary architectural practises taking in the arts, law, ethnography, politics, community engagement, urban design and planning.

Rob Schmidt III is Reader in Architectural Design, whose research interests include Designing for adaptability, Urban transformation strategies, cultures of architectural practice.

Aya Jazaierly is a University Teacher in Architecture concerned with the creative and managerial procedures that define the intellectual, formal and aesthetical parts of the practice and the architectural production.

Simon, Cagri, Rob and Aya all work in Lu-Arc, the School of Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering, University of Loughborough, UK.

Please feel free to contact them at [email protected] with the subject line ‘Rethinking Region’.

Instructions for AuthorsSubmit an Article

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