How might we think differently about materiality and ways of working together for a more sustainable built environment?
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How might we think differently about materiality and ways of working together for a more sustainable built environment?


How might we think differently about materiality and ways of working together for a more sustainable built environment?
By Editorial Staff -

We are presenting some enlightening excerpts from The Plan Journal’s most recent themed issue— The Good Material as well as an introduction to a recent book that encourages us to also broaden our roles as designers.


The Good Material call for submissions stated:

... the world [is] facing increasing environmental challenges amidst an unprecedented public health crisis and rising social inequalities and racial tensions, the call for a healthier and more sustainable physical environment is becoming an unavoidable imperative. The design fields have a responsibility and a unique opportunity to answer this call, and thus the need for a new materiality is emerging with urgency. We need more sustainable materials, more efficient and lasting construction systems, less waste, smarter recycling processes, community driven experimentation, research and innovation for a new tectonics capable to leverage our collective design intelligence across disciplines, communities and cultures. (Maurizio Sabini, Editor-in-Chief of The Plan Journal)

>> We encourage you to browse The Plan Journal and explore for yourself.


In this editorial entitled “Beyond Performance,” the author and TPJ’s Editor-in-Chief Maurizio Sabini states:

Technological research and innovations have heavily influenced the development of architecture through its history. Modern architecture itself would have not been possible, with its formal, spatial and symbolic characters, without the new possibilities offered by new material technologies. Advancements in engineering and technology allowed to build taller, larger, and faster, but also with lesser internal supports and larger cantilevered volumes, and larger transparent surfaces. And, they allowed the fundamental principle of the separation between structure and envelope, thus unleashing a revolutionary linguistic research. And the digital revolution at the turn of this century allowed, through unprecedented computational performance, unimaginably complex forms. All the while, by building cheaper, faster, and through pre-fabricated (thus industrially controlled) components, which now can be digitally custom-fabricated. In other words, form followed (also) performance. (301)

Sabini continues to remind us: “As materiality is one of the founding aspects of architecture, we need to get it right for our time, needs and aspirations, so that architecture is better positioned to play an increasingly important role for the future of our built environment and our communities.”

>> The editorial is available in THE PLAN Journal Volume 6/2021 – Issue 2


Architects After Architecture: Alternative Pathways for Practice


Expanding our ways of thinking about designing for the future and considering alternative materials and processes will allow us to find new solutions to our ever-changing environment. The recent book Architects After Architecture: Alternative Pathways for Practice (2020) edited by Harriet Harriss, Rory Hyde and Roberta Marcaccio includes case studies, interviews and profiles of forty inspirational designers who are tackling the problems of our time for a better tomorrow.

Architects After Architecture: Alternative Pathways for Practice

“It is this flexibility of mind that society needs most of all today. The great challenges we face, from the climate emergency to the housing crisis, the rise of the right to global pandemics, do not conform to heat disciplinary silos, but cross over into the messy space between politics, economics, culture and – critically for architects – spatial thinking. These challenges are defined by their interconnectedness and by change. They cannot be solved with the old processes, but require new forms of thinking and working, combining a planetary consciousness with a responsible humanism that respects and enables local expertise.” (14-15)


Architects After Architecture: Alternative Pathways for Practice
ISBN 9780367441210
Published December 21, 2020 by Routledge
320 Pages 75 B/W Illustrations


>>To learn more check out: Architects After Architecture: Alternative Pathways for Practice


Why support + read TPJ?

The Plan Journal is intended to disseminate and promote innovative, thought-provoking, and relevant research, studies, and criticism related to architecture and urbanism. The journal grew out of an awareness that academia is all too often engaged in research that’s disconnected from the real-world challenges that face different professions, and that research is only possible for a small number of professional organizations, and, even then, with limited platforms for its dissemination. The overarching aim of TPJ is therefore to enrich the dialogue between researchers and professionals so as to foster both pertinent new knowledge and intellectually driven modes of practice.


How does it work + why does it matter?

Prospective contributors are encouraged to submit proposals or complete manuscripts to the Editor-in-Chief. Subject to positive feedback, proposals can then be developed into complete manuscripts and submitted for review, using the dedicated portal on the TPJ website. 

After preliminary approval, manuscripts will be forwarded to suitably qualified people for commenting. TPJ is committed to following a rigorous double-blind peer review process using at least two reviewers. The Editor-in-Chief may also occasionally invite recognized academics, critics, or professionals (including members of the editorial board) to contribute to the journal without going through the peer review process, if warranted by the author’s reputation.


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