Submission deadline:

April 7, 2024


Twenty years ago, architecture schools in Europe start acknowledging they had a major problem with research. Cambridge University planned to close its School of Architecture in 2004, because Architecture was the only disciplinary field in the University that underperformed in terms of research. This was not just a problem of architecture’s status among other academic fields. As Hilde Heynen remarked at the time, architectural research was “a contested domain” even inside the discipline itself: it meant different things to academics and professionals; it borrowed tools from many other fields, using perspectives and codifications from both science and humanities; and it often escaped into artistic and designerly modes of exploration. However, the problem was not as much its lack of academic rigour assuring the truth of new knowledge, as the lack of a clear knowledge about its own truth: there was no definite idea of what architectural research truly was. Has anything changed in the two decades since that critical moment of disciplinary self-consideration? What is the truth of architectural research? 

The organizers invite researchers in architecture––practitioners and academics, doctoral and post-doctoral researchers––to reflect upon their own quest for truth in their research, as well as on what the true nature of research in architecture could be. They welcome contributions in a wide array of themes:


• The aim of research is truth – but which truth? There is a multiplicity of architectural discourses professing many truths today, and one issue may allow different perspectives, with alternative truths, even conflicting truths. How does architectural research deal with the plurality of truth?

• In the era of post truth and populist political manipulation, we should not underestimate the ability of architectural discourses to lie too. When and how does architecture lie?

• Theory does not necessarily operate with truths only. As Karl Popper has shown, false theories are paradoxically most useful for acquiring true knowledge. Researchers should take the risks of peculiar hypotheses and explore the limits of truth. When should we push theoretical interpretations to the limits of truth in architectural research?

• Architectural discourse must be interesting just as much as truthful. We should distinguish between trivial truths (uncontested and obvious) and a true idea (the positive assertion of a new truth). How does architectural research avoid the trap of trivial truths and let genuine ideas emerge?

• The truth of architecture and the truth of the city are not always the same. Is the contemporary city the reality check for the truthfulness of architecture, a casualty in the battle of conflicting architectural truths, or the most powerful truth of them all, which prevails eventually? 


• Architectural history relies on archives, for discovering factual truths in primary sources. But architecture archives are often inaccessible, incomplete, scattered or absent altogether (as is the case in Romania). How can a truthful picture of historical interpretation be constructed with many of the pixels missing?

• Truth and facts are not the same. There can be tension between truth and facts when facts are selectively considered or misread. When should we mistrust facts and search for the truth beyond factual “truths”?

• Architectural heritage is legitimated through historical narratives and, in its turn, legitimates collective memory. But history and memory have different truths, even conflictual sometimes. How can we reconcile historical truth and collective memory in heritage research?


• The remarkable technological advance of the last two decades revived the optimism about architectural futures. According to Mario Carpo, architecture – of all disciplines – now leads the way in digital technology research: it is in architecture schools that we can best see our future in the making, Carpo claims. If we rely entirely on a digital future, how should digital technology fulfil the other architectural truths, beside its own?

• The emergence of Artificial Intelligence opens many doors for new knowledge, but at the same time casts doubts on the reality of what we learn; we don’t even trust what we see with our own eyes. How can we use AI technology in the quest for truth in architectural research?

• Exactly twenty years ago we entered the age of social media and now reality is covered with a veil of self-deceit. Truth seems now easily accessible to everybody, with little doubts and minimal research. How can we cut through the increasing noise of popular truths in architecture?

• It is now widely acknowledged that the planet is in real danger and we face a dramatic climate crisis. But this truth about environment is often relativised. Most buildings claim they are “green”, “sustainable”, “minimum carbon footprint” etc.; but in truth, most of them are not. How can architecture be not just less and less harmful to the environment, but truly beneficial to the future of planet Earth?


• Research is always a quest for truth, but the quest itself should be truthful as well – to the discipline’s own values and realities. Architecture’s field is diverse and intersects other disciplines too; it cannot be contained within strict disciplinary limits. Still, some areas are more truthful to architecture’s specificity than others. What kind of investigations are proper to the discipline of architecture, defining the true field of architectural research?

• The value of research output is measured through scientometrics, and notably through citation indexes. In architecture, they are among the lowest. Rather than the low value of its research, this shows that citation culture is underdeveloped in the field of architecture. How could the value of research in architecture be truly assessed? What makes an architecture research paper worth citing?

• Architectural practice cannot assess its own value, as self-reference is unreliable, biased, or even deceitful; it needs the meta-language of independent research to state its truth. The basic principle of research that guarantees the truthfulness of its results is to be pursued in a disinterested manner. How is the principle of disinterested research defended and promoted in the field of architecture?
All abstracts and reviews will be sent to the following email address:

Submission of abstracts: 7th of April, 2024

Notification of acceptance: 14th of April, 2024

Full paper submission for double-blind peer review: 16th of June, 2024

Peer review results sent to authors: 14th of July, 2024

Final paper submission: 25th of August, 2024

Journal publication: November, 2024

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