CfP: Planning the defense, designing the city, Studi e Ricerche di Storia dell'architettura, No.7

Call for Papers: Planning the defense, designing the city, Studi e Ricerche di Storia dell’architettura, No.7

Edited by Annalisa Dameri (Politecnico di Torino)
The seventh issue of the magazine wants to explore the structure of the city in the modern age, a subject with a rich bibliography that requires, today, updated information, in the framework of international researches, including those with interdisciplinary contributions. The relationship of strict dependency between the cities – its limits, its road plot and its design – and the fortified systems will be analyzed through projects and realizations.
In over two centuries, the “military” choices shape the city in its fortified margin and its innermost parts: the forced cohabitation between the “civil” and “military” city (as for the agricultural territory and the external fortifications) triggers the design of the territory and, in particular, of the areas behind the walls that, must necessarily succumb to the better structured and rational fortified circuit, often leading to sacrifices.
Architects and military engineers draw surveys and projects thanks to complex skills. They are the vehicles of architectural culture, mathematics, geometry, ballistics and other disciplines necessary to adapt cities to the war needs: they bring knowledge, experience and tools with them. Military engineers are responsible for the construction of the territory, bridges, ports, canals, walls, citadels and forts: their drawings are the result of a close correlation between art and science, between theory and practice, between experience and experimentation.
The circulation of ideas and workers, set in motion by the fortification and infrastructural enterprise, had decisive effects on the construction of the city, on cartography, on architecture. These movements trigger a crucial technical, theoretical and professional thrust, as shown in the activity of numerous military engineers, who move to Europe (and overseas, in Latin America), conveying their architectural culture that reverberates from the military to civil constructions.
The military archives throughout Europe, the public and private collections – not only European – preserve a copious and intricate cartographic heritage: between the Sixteenth and Seventeenth centuries the city is studied, often spied on, analyzed, detected, drawn (with omissions and accentuations), with punctual and detailed surveys. Military engineers are the “photographers” of weaknesses and backwardness of the city and they are the authors of projects aimed at modernizing existing areas or creating completely autonomous structures from scratch.
Paper submissions are sought on, but may not be limited to the following topics:
– Traumas and borders: changes and demolitions of the city for defensive purposes
– City walls and urban development projects
– The art of thinking about war: surveys, projects, city atlases
– Serving the king: military engineers and architects
The proposals that will include a dialogue with subjects close to the history of architecture – such as history, the history of art, the history of technology and the history of drawing– will be particularly appreciated.
The issue editor invites:
– essays dedicated to general themes, which open up innovative perspectives, with a length between 20,000 and 40,000 characters (spaces and notes included) and 10 illustrations maximum;
– short essays dedicated to individual architectures or groups of buildings, reserved especially for young researchers, with a length between 5,000 and 10,000 characters (spaces and notes included) and 3 illustrations maximum.
Proposals for essays or short essays (up to 10 lines) must be sent by 15 November 2019.
Full articles must be sent by 15 January 2020.
For the final submission, the authors must include the following materials:

  • the essay (Italian, English, French, Spanish)
  • English abstract (up to 1000 characters)
  • low definition images, insert in a single PDF or Word file with captions
  • bibliography

The writings will be evaluated by the scientific committee and through a double-blind peer-review process. Please email your proposals to: 

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