Call for Papers International Journal of Architectural Computing​​​​​​​

"Technology Is the answer, but what was the question?" Cedric Price

The prevalence of ubiquitous computing offers new territories for engagement within design and technology. As the world’s resources decline and conditions of scarcity and inequality define many communities, the role of architectural design must shift towards amplifying impact. Investments in technological innovation have historically been used to augment, or restore dwindling resources via efficient material productions and assemblies. In the architectural design discipline, where the use of technology has predominantly taken place within high-investment contexts, such as research institutions or academia, influence is often contained to a select audience, and value is predominantly placed on novelty over equity, empathy and accessibility. However, the reach of distributed and adaptable design solutions within communities of limited resources has been equally important in shaping diverse contexts, through work that leverages existing technologies in innovative and meaningful ways. Between high and low-tech, we invite works that aim to diversify the definition of technology and question intrinsic metrics of value to address collective subjectivity, social disadvantages, tactile and sensorial inequalities, offering important connections to diverse contexts through the application of calibrated, co-opted, and commodified technologies.

We are in search of new forms of design empathy: work that is inherently intentional, resourceful and accessible to appropriation within varied conditions. Moving away from an in-depth focus on computational tools of unprecedented levels of specificity, this issue of IJAC seeks to embrace introspectives and speculations on the localized impact of digital technologies.

This issue of IJAC calls for work (essays, projects, provocations) that questions notions of impact and accessibility of research, design, and action engaging technology at multiple scales and contexts. By using technology as a projective engagement with multiple social, cultural, and material contexts, the design discipline can reorient its reach towards a true democratization of tools and a more just use of resources. How can technology be used as a tool to engage issues of equity in design at all levels of resource availability and cultural diversity? What can we learn from working with minimal resources to challenge and redefine established thinking and methodologies? How do we measure impact both inside and outside the research and academic environment?

Scope of the Special Issue

  • Access: Enabling or enhancing access to technology, resources, or knowledge for communities with limited resources.
  • Effectiveness: Addressing scarcity and new forms of resource effectiveness within material and economic contexts.
  • Empathy: The humanization and tactility of design processes, new forms of collective metrics across scales, ecologies, technologies and cultures.
  • Empowerment: The use of data as power to address issues of ownership, access, transparency, control, clarity, ethics and privacy.
  • Engagement: Technology as a projective engagement within varied educational, social and economic contexts.
  • Impact: Impact as a social or cultural construct, juxtaposed with impact as a metric of research value.
  • Sensing: “Distributed Infrastructures” or metrics used to support diversity of human interests.

The International Journal of Architectural Computing is published by SAGE Publishing. Further information is available at: