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Publishing Research in Architecture, Urban planning and Landscape Architecture: Aims and Perspectives

Yankel Fijalkow, Caroline Maniaque et Frédéric Pousin
Traduction de Danya Kiernan
Cet article est une traduction de :
L'écosystème éditorial des revues d'architecture, d'urbanisme et de paysage : enjeux et perspectives [fr]

Texte intégral

1How do we characterize our journal? How do we simultaneously integrate it into intellectual, pedagogical and professional milieu? Which equivalents exist in the world with which we enhance intellectual exchange? While the current Cahiers de la recherche architecturale, urbaine et paysagère is the result of a long institutional, academic and editorial history, this issue falls within a broader reflection that allows us to better investigate our identity in the wake of an incursion of publications in our field throughout other parts of the world.

Intellectual ecology and the notion of milieu

2Our call for papers hypothesized that the notion of “intellectual milieu” allowed us to understand architecture, urbanism and landscape journals’ interest in “research” articles, alongside the emergence of research journals presenting themselves as vehicles of scholarly reflection.

  • 1 Jacques Simon started his collaboration at the landscape journal Espaces Verts in 1966, became dire (...)
  • 2 Frédéric Pousin, “Donner forme par la photographie,” Les Carnets du paysage, n° 38 “Jacques Simon a (...)
  • 3 Whether it be Espaces Verts, a column and journal, Aménagement des espaces libres, or works such as (...)

3Although perhaps less true for urbanism, it must be said that these disciplines have close ties to artistic fields, so much so that they participate in the very definition of this professional universe. Theses disciplines also aim to develop a dialogue between actors, architects, developers, designers, and inhabitants establishing de facto a specific milieu. For example, in the 1980s, Jacques Simon, a French landscape architect and journal editor,1 worked in an artistic context that informed his practices, especially photography.2 His attraction to artistic practices was clearly present in his publications from the 1990s and 2000s. We highlight that Jacques Simon’s publications3 bear witness to a redefinition of the landscape architect’s profession with regard to its means of expression and communication.

  • 4 Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, Mille plateaux, Paris, Éditions de Minuit, 1980.
  • 5 Christian Jacob, Qu’est-ce qu’un lieu de savoir ?, new edition [online], Marseille, OpenEdition Pre (...)

4Another notion coined by Deleuze and Guattari (1980) seemed important for our reflection: an ecosystem of ideas.4 This term allows us to avoid reasoning in terms of domain, field, and all notions relying on spatial metaphors that homogenize and draw perimeters. We wish instead to focus on the notions network and connection, which articulate heterogeneous entities without being preoccupied with boundaries. ‘An ecosystem of ideas’ incorporates the notion of intellectual milieu, while presupposing a world of ideas in which it is no longer possible to dissociate actors from the groups that animate them, their areas of interest, as well as ways of thinking and communicating. Following Deleuze and Guattari, we seek to position intellectual approaches, debates and controversies in their human and material realities. As anthropologists and historians have demonstrated with regard to education and university training, it is important to jointly understand discourses, the places in which they are expressed, as well as the programs and the institutional frameworks in which they take place.5 We are therefore led to consider research in architecture, urban studies and landscape not as a thing in itself, nor as isolatable data, but rather as the product of actors who work in teams, coming from or attached to a place of training (colleges, university departments), research (national centers, funds, foundations, etc.) or profession. These actors can immediately integrate into collectives, but can also individualize themselves or look to regroup outside of their respective trainings by creating generational movements. The result is a human milieu that complexifies as soon as we consider the media outlets through which research is communicated and diffused, among which are journals. The publishing world is thus led to interact with that of research.

5The research and publishing milieux not only mingle, but also overlap, thus establishing permeability. Which cultural and artistic references do these actors share? What are their shared codes? Which milieux are brought to interact through article collection and evaluation methods? The very medium of publication (layout, graphic strategy, etc.) constitutes the interface between those who produce knowledge and those who use it. We therefore wish to question the medium, its structure, and the form it adopts to spread content and address the reader. Knowledge formation methods, intellectual techniques, and know-how shared by actors cannot be dissociated from editorial practices. Further, the emergence of knowledge, its recognition or its profusion is connected to the mediations that carry it. Indeed, like editorial resources, the flow of knowledge production depends on the ability to reach the most receptive and proactive audience. The circulation of knowledge, and therefore that of articles and journal issues, is thus dependent on a milieu’s structure and the exchanges established by it. What impact does this have on the institutions involved? Questions of scale should also be explored, whether these are global, international and local circulation, or institutions from the same region or the same country. The geographical dimension of circulation will obviously have to be considered, insofar as the crossing of borders and oceans reshapes ideas and practices.

6These perspectives also give way to another set of questions that we are unable to address in this current issue: what forms of sociability are developing within an individual’s different spheres of action, as well as in private, public, and institutional realms? In other words, is the sociability of an editorial committee comparable to that of a school, a university, or a research team? How is the relationship between public and private negotiated? How does the balance shift according to historical moments as well as social and cultural contexts?

  • 6 Christophe Charle and Laurent Jeanpierre, La Vie intellectuelle en France, Paris, Le Seuil, 2019.

7As shown by recent works on intellectual life in France,6 a long-term historical perspective allows us to relativize the event-based phenomena that indicate decline, revolution, or generational effects claiming to be in rupture. Certain actors, like the modernist avant-gardists, have built their doctrinal legitimacy on this notion of ‘opposition.’ These indications and stances are recurrent throughout history, each time taking on specific characteristics, while renewing the same patterns and resources. Within the framework of this article, we are not able to adopt such a perspective on research and journals, as it requires work which, to our knowledge, has yet to be done. We strive, rather, to grant full importance to historical moments generating profound change, such as the unprecedented expansion of higher education in the 1960s in France. This was accompanied by the emergence of new media outlets, altering dissemination outlets which, until then, had been dominated by books and periodicals, resulting in the separation between schools of architecture and schools of fine arts in the early 1970s. As for media, we highlight the increase of personal computers in the late 1980s and the emergence of the web in the 1990s, as well as the digitalization of “design“ practices. We will thus explore the effects of these on architecture, urban studies and landscape research and journals.

8In France, architectural research has gradually become institutionalized, due to the popularization of training. In doing so, it took advantage of a proximity to research in the humanities and social sciences, as well as research in science and technology. From these, it integrated analytical reasoning, intellectual references and the search for increased knowledge, instead of or beside the logics of “doing.”

9These observations are also valid for the field of landscape, whose related disciplinary milieux nevertheless vary due to the prevalence of living organisms. Urban studies research has developed, for its part, in interaction with the practice of urbanism and research on urban life. In turn, urban research tends to constitute its own milieu, with subgroups such as research in urban history.

10The computer and the web clearly represent means of societal digitalization. Furthermore, digital publishing and the web have already brought structural transformation in both practices and media. We can only note that the digital switch is fundamentally transforming the habits of readers, who now access a journal issue through individual articles and no longer have the perception of an issue as its own virtuous ensemble. The challenges of open edition will be discussed later on in detail.

  • 7 See Yves Chevrefils Desbiolles “Revues d’architecture : définitions, méthodes, usages”, La Revue de (...)

11Beyond evolutions and transformations, the periodical has always been presented as an effective means of knowledge circulation and debate within circles involved in the formation of ideas.7 Institutions’ and libraries’ subscription to electronic platforms and bundles renew these forms of circulation and availability. Nevertheless, several structural functionalities persist: the selection and development of articles to produce a current state of knowledge at a given moment, the regularity of publication attesting to the productivity of knowledge actors, the reflection or creation of debates intended to stimulate public authorities, etc.

12Stability also involves many characteristics found in any journal, such as its form, its division into sections, the affirmation of an editorial line, the implementation of dialogue tools such as reading reports or letters from readers, and the search for an identity through diverse processes.

13Finally, going beyond the motivations that bring actors together to give life to a journal, it is also necessary to look at the institutions that support the publication of journals productions; as well as the availability of financial resources and intellectual itineraries.

Research and Journals: the questionnaires approach

14To understand the place of research in journals, it seemed essential to question the milieu and deploy its multiple implications from the outset, as we have just done. Such reflection led to the structuring of a set of questions, including the materiality of journals according to three directions represented by contributors, publishers and organizations. More pragmatically, our intention was also to collect materials and narratives from journals disseminating research in different languages. By means of such a collection, we sought to identify what understanding of architectural, urban studies and landscape research is emerging through overall varied editorial projects.

15In order to sketch a first international overview, it was decided to send a questionnaire to the editorial committees of journals disseminating research. The questioning was laid out following three main directions. A first set of questions sought to shed light on the governance of journals and the composition of their committees. A second set focused on understanding the very term “research” through expectations, target audience, and the inclusion of research articles or output in their work. A specific question on the difference between innovation and research leads us to reflect on its connection to action and the status of applied research, a subject that the questionnaire invited participants to address by commenting on developments in research materials over the past ten years. The last set raises strategic questions about both the selection of experts and the processing of evaluations, as well as the choice of cover and layout. Finally, as an indicator of an intellectual and editorial context, the editor-in-chief was sent a notice on the refereed journals or those simply consulted when the journal was created. The questionnaire was widely diffused to research journals, or those hosting research output within its columns. There were no specific cultural areas prioritized or neglected. It must be said, however, that some proved to be more accessible than others, with pre-existing contacts turning out very useful in prompting editorial committees to respond. A first collection of answers offered an initial overview, which then had to be supplemented.

16Examination of the twenty responses to the questionnaire reveals that the intellectual ecology of journals, or what we can call their milieu, is defined differently according to their respective institutions (schools, universities, professional institutions, associations). Furthermore, disciplines revealed an unequal porosity with regard to the humanities and social sciences, issues and potential readership.

17These four elements – institutions, disciplines, issues, readership – invite us to identify a first type of journal, distinguished by those supported by local organizations and associated with a network, such as Projets de paysage. Revue scientifique sur la conception et l’aménagement de l’espace (France),8 those aiming to be a space for debate, such as matières (Switzerland)9 and OASE Journal for Architecture (Belgium/ Netherlands),10 those relying on international funding or scholarly institutions, such as Planning Perspectives: an international journal of history, planning and the environment which belongs to the International Planning History Society (IPHS),11 those connected to universities, like Ardeth (Italy)12 and the Politecnico of Torino, and finally, those emanating from institutions governed by public organizations, like Urbanisme (France)13 and Urbanistica (Italy).14

18This classification also makes it possible to differentiate between journals founded around shared objectives and those closely reflecting the organizations that formed them. On the one hand, there are those with a well-defined purpose, like Projets de paysage, which intends to promote landscape research having, in recent decades, given way to a new space for the construction of knowledge and know-how. We can also mention Summa + (Argentina),15 which defines itself as “a specialized magazine for practicing architects. It presents emerging architectural ideas and practices, selecting works and papers that inform and are useful for our audience,” or Tracés (Switzerland), 16 which emphasizes the notion of professional milieu to define its readership and its profile, and supposedly meet their expectations. This is also the case for the journal Urbanisme (France), which is part of the urban planning and urbanism milieu, but targets a wider audience of readers in the fields of urban planning, architecture, urbanism and landscape; that is, students, researchers, teachers, professionals, practitioners, real estate development and construction companies, operators of urban services, social housing organizations, public and urban planning structures, local authorities (elected officials and technicians), etc. This diverse readership including public administrators, is also targeted by the journal Urbanistica, which seeks to make available the interpretative and critical frameworks generated by research, to inform debates on the city and subjects of collective interest, or even – through thematic issues – to suggest research topics. On the other hand, we find journals like Planning Perspectives, that are defined by their supporting scholarly institution or reflect, to varying degrees, the organizations or establishments to which they are linked: the journal Anales del Instituto de Arte Americano e Investigaciones Estéticas (Argentine)17 promotes academic research from its home institution; or journals from schools of architecture, such as ARQ (Chile),18 which is both a journal and a publishing house; or, in the case of Cahiers thématiques (France), a research laboratory such as the LACTH19 of the Lille National Graduate School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (ENSAP Lille). The representation of research thus depends on the place it occupies within an institution.

19The most interesting results from our survey relate to the claimed porosity of journals from other disciplines, and the appropriation of questionings from the humanities and social sciences. This point, which is often discussed with regard to Les Cahiers de la recherche architecturale, urbaine et paysagère, is quite fundamental. For example, JoLA - Journal of Landscape Architecture (Europe)20 considers itself in dialogue with the field of humanities and social sciences, although it aims to propose a platform in the field of landscape architecture for quality academic output, as well as innovative projects linking theory and practice. It is a journal about humanities and design projects. The humanities and social sciences appear to provide tools for academic output. Planning Perspectives is situated “on the history of urban planning and dedicates a special attention to the disciplinary borrowings and cross-fertilizations.” Here, the interdisciplinarity called upon is a driving force behind the publication. With this in mind, the journal Cahiers thématiques21 also claims to be part of the research communities of architecture, landscape and beyond (the humanities and social sciences, as well as sciences and technology). One could wonder about this expression of “beyond,” which marks a certain border that is admittedly permeable. However, urban studies journals do not develop this argument to the extent that they are based on principles of professional practice.

20Research is generally produced outside the milieu of professional architectural journals but nevertheless has a role in nourishing reflection and providing essential criticism for practising architects. A landscape journal like JoLA adopts this stance, notably through its critical section, but it also intends to contribute to the development of research that is not strictly academic, borrowing from the artistic realm’s visual practices. Urban planning journals, for their part, intend to contribute to the involvement of research in society and on subjects of collective interest (Urbanistica and Urbanisme).

Production conditions and peer reviews

21We can thus distinguish four types of journals according to their funding:

- Those from a local or national academic institution, whether it be from a school of architecture or a country (Cahiers thématiques);

- Those who define themselves as professional journals and rely on their subscribers (Tracés);

- Those who are backed by intellectual networks or learned societies (Planning Perspectives);

- Those who are supported by public institutions and professional networks (Urbanistica).

22These arrangements influence the balance between the publication’s directors, employees, editorial committee and experts. An absence of academic support does not necessarily exclude experts, even if they are then chosen by the editorial committee or the editor in charge of the issue. This expertise is characteristic of journals, often in the English language, which rely on a renowned publisher (Routledge, Taylor and Francis) to certify a mechanism for selecting articles, thanks to a specific digital platform on which authors and experts meet double-blindly.

23Indeed, the system of peer review, or judgment by peers, is valued in the academic world to protect its independence from external economic, political, or ideological influences. Coupled with a “double-blind” methodology, the peer review consists of anonymizing the authors and experts responsible for evaluating the articles received. For many in the academic world, it represents the backbone of the intellectual calibre of journals, separate from any other type of judgment. It has certain drawbacks, however, such as the management of procedures, which are long, and the difficulty of finding experts on increasingly specialized topics. It is understandable that, in this context, the “double-blind peer review,” although particularly costly in time and energy, is the prerogative of journals with significant financial support and a substantial editorial partnership.

24To work more quickly, and thanks to the development of open edition on the internet – which considerably lightens their costs –, some journals maintain an editorial committee. It is up to the network of this committee to solicit experts, and the quality of the evaluation therefore depends on the social capital of committee members. However, it may occur that some journals ask the authors for a list of experts to evaluate their articles. This broadening of double-blind peer review’s design allows journals to enrich their expert lists and even offer to pay them, which is possible when an author’s research lab agrees to financially contribute to the publication.

25From these elements, the result is that the publication of journals in architecture, urbanism and landscape obeys a diversity of economic models in which the variables – such as the composition of the editorial committee, its network and its social capital, or the support of professional or academic institutions – can correspond to major publishers and therefore to material and human resources sufficiently efficient to publish several issues per year. From this point of view, there are a variety of journals that demonstrate their intellectual positionings as well as their institutional means.

What do the articles in this issue tell us?

26The articles in this issue simultaneously bring together editorial project narratives and studies focusing on corpuses of print and online journals. Editorial projects are analyzed in detail, through their different forms developed over time. The journals’ origins and the strategies revealed by these narratives take on their full meaning with regard to the study of corpuses and interpretive frameworks mentioned in this issue.

27Like other journals of architecture, OASE originated in the 1960s and 1970s in a university context and amongst the energy of the student community. The journal emerged out of the need to create a place for critical debate in architecture teaching in the Netherlands at the time. The resulting form of publication sought less to respond to an academic model than it did to fill a double void: the lack of both an international debate on architecture and a reflective platform within the professional community. Véronique Patteeuw’s article, “Searching for Voices: On the history of OASE, Journal for Architecture” chronologically presents OASE since its creation, outlining different periods and editorial positionings. Throughout the issues, its thematic evolution testifies to the composition of an increasingly constructed critical program. Opening up the publication to Dutch-speaking Belgium, along with the journal’s international assertion marked by its bilingualism (Dutch-English), led to a change in editorial strategy that ushered the search for a publisher who could effectively distribute internationally: NAI Publishers. This strategy enabled the journal to acquire the academic status it holds today, nevertheless conserving its collegial governance with a large number of editors (bringing it closer to an independent online journal such as Metropolitics22, but in another area of topics.

28The journal matières was created in 1997 as an initiative of several faculty members from the Institute of Theory and History of Architecture at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL), in order to establish a research milieu within a department of architectural teaching. Its editorial committee and contributors reflected this unique situation. Driven by editor-in-chief Bruno Marchand for some time, who recounts his experience in the article “matières, in continuity,” the journal slowly opened up to outside contributions, widening its readership and gaining a foothold in the international journal community focusing on critical architectural debates. Throughout its history, the journal has always paid great attention to the links between form and content, seeking to build its identity even within its graphics.

29From its inception, the Italian magazine Urbanistica has been linked to the Italian National Institute of Urban Planning (INU), a professional institution recognized for its cultural and technical coordination missions that cooperates with national and regional public administrations. The journal’s history shows diverse periods reflecting debates spanning the urban planning institute as well as society more broadly, along with the vicissitudes specific to its economic support. This history is also closely linked to the personalities of the editors-in-chief, who guided the editorial line of Urbanistica. Paola Savoldi’s article, devoted to a pivotal period of Urbanistica (1985-1990), analyzes it as a key period in the debate on urbanism, granting a central role to research, which has seldom been adressed until now. During this unusual five-year period in the history of the journal, Bernardo Secchi was editor-in-chief. As a renowned academic and professor, Secchi strengthened the reflective dimension of the journal. He also developed operational practices, transforming the journal into a place where field experience was explored in-depth. Through a detailed survey, Paola Savoldi shows that Urbanistica’s editorial staff took part in a milieu that went beyond the realm of urbanism alone. During this period, the journal was printed by a private editor, which ultimately created distance between the journal and its home institution.

30Based on the observation that journals are at the interface of professional and intellectual milieux, the seminar for international students of the Politecnico di Milano, which has been held for about six years, questions architectural journals as sources and tools for the teaching of architectural history. This educational device made it possible to capture a corpus of 50 journals from 18 different countries, offering the possibility of adopting a quantitative approach and deviating from monographic case studies.

31The article by Gaia Caramellino, Valeria Casali, and Nicole De Togni, “Mapping the Discourse. Architecture Periodicals in/for the Teaching of Architecture History” proposes to adopt a transnational perspective for the study of journals, highlighting interconnections and the circulation of ideas. Visual analysis is a powerful tool for understanding the materiality of journals. Coupled with the analysis of output conditions, it deconstructs the journal as a complex device for the production of knowledge. The cross-referencing of the multiple journals in the corpus shifts the gaze from the European and North American editorial scene, offering a more nuanced understanding of the production of architectural culture.

32Consideration for the great diversity of regional and national traditions is applied to both landscape studies and creative practices in this domain. These are reflected in many editorial projects, not least from northern to southern Europe. The field of landscape architecture is the result of a transcultural construction that must be understood from an epistemological, as well as a material and economic point of view. Kamni Gill and Bianca Maria Rinaldi’s article, “Between Research and Design: The Evolution of the Journal of Landscape Architecture” provides a chronicle of JoLA, a journal supported by the European network of landscape schools, since its “foundation” up until its current and future issues, positioning the objectives and commitments of the editorial committee in relation to issues apparent in various landscape journals. The journal’s sections thus reflect various standpoints of the committee, namely a smooth relationship between research and design, the importance allotted to the artistic field and visual culture, and the search for interdisciplinarity, particularly within the humanities.

33Questions of open access are complex, as they change the way journals are produced and received. Indeed, open access is part of a “philosophy” of scientific output called “open science,” which actively seeks to liberate the production of knowledge from economic, and even commercial judgment alone. Driven at the European level, and reflected in national laws such as France’s Digital Republic bill, this movement is built on the fundamental change of publication digitalization, specifically that of scientific publishing. This results in a set of intersecting legal, technical, economic and scientific questions, requiring the use of a large number of notions and concepts which should be stated. The article by Béatrice Gaillard, Laurence Bizien and Véronique Cohoner, “Is Open Access the Future of Architectural and Urban Research Journals?” offers a very clear overview of the renewal of forms of scientific publication and related issues, based on the French context. The article focuses particularly on the field of urban and architectural research, providing precise information on the journals available online in this field, as well as on the transformations underway and their pace. It analyzes systems of actors (researchers, publishers and librarians) and action logics by emphasizing political and economic components. Conditions for the success of open access for architecture, urbanism and landscape journals supposes, in the eyes of the authors, institutional support, the sustainability of the editorial staff and the distribution of journals, as well as a rigorous process of scientific assessment. Moreover, such conditions should make it possible to move towards a diversification of open access distribution models.

34Based on her experience as an open access journal editor, Sandra Breux’s article, “The Journal Environnement Urbain/Urban Environment: Between the Relevance of an Intellectual Project and the Quest for Legitimacy,” shows how the creation and maintenance of a journal in urban studies coincides with a desire to structure the field and provide a framework for innovation, with regard to both practices and theories. She concludes that the existence of independent journals funded solely by the public sector and supported by researchers does not always make it possible to “fight” on equal ground with dominant business models, creating the risk of a “form of smoothing” of thought.

What this issue is and what it is not...

  • 23 Hélène Jannière, Politiques éditoriales et architecture “moderne”. L’émergence de nouvelles revues (...)

35Our goal is not to create an exhaustive map of architecture, urbanism and landscape journals dedicated to research. Our initial strategy consists in a preliminary survey, to be followed by more detailed research. This approach contrasts with that of Hélène Jannière in her excellent book Politiques éditoriales et architecture “moderne”. L’émergence de nouvelles revues en France et en Italie (1923-1939).23

  • 24 Cf. Hélène Jannière and Kenneth Frampton, Les Cahiers de la recherche architecturale et urbaine, n° (...)

36This issue of Les  Cahiers de la recherche architecturale, urbaine et paysagère is not a historiography or even an X-ray of architectural periodicals, since we tend to consider research journals in architecture, urbanism and landscape architecture, and not architecture periodicals; nor does it seek to provide an overview of critical thinking, like the issue proposed by Les Cahiers de la recherche architecturale et urbaine in 2009.24 However, these works offer useful methodological frameworks to specify the study topic, and are thus difficult not to reference.

37Here, our objective is therefore to position this issue in relation to existing works and to underline the role played by refereed journals. In doing so, we highlight the original, yet inevitably limited nature of our approach.

38The first work on periodicals as bodies of research and topics of historical investigation began at the end of the 19th century in Germany, the United States and Great Britain. Hélène Jannière notes that the “German model” of journal analysis (notably dedicated to art and architecture), developed at the end of the 19th century, made it possible to recognize a specific academic discipline starting in the 1930s. In the 1960s and 1970s, this model favored taxonomic and quantitative criteria which allowed for the definition of corpus and the creation of repertoires.

39These studies demonstrated characteristics of architecture journals and criteria such as frequency, current events, and extent of publicity and selectivity. Researchers quickly recognized that analysis could not be about discourse alone, as journals also constitute an intellectual milieu, with their own codes, internal regulations, and hierarchies.

40The editorial undertaking is almost inevitably collective (a group comes together to produce a collective object). Approaching this multifaceted object (the journal) requires intersecting perspectives of analysis.

  • 25 Alexis Sornin, Hélène Jannière, France Vanlaethem, Revues d’architecture dans les années 1960 et 19 (...)
  • 26 Hélène Jannière and France Vanlaethem, ibid., p. 16.

41The historiographical and methodological essay by Jannière and Vanlaethem25 offers a very thorough analysis of the architectural periodical as a genre. The authors recall conferences and study days devoted to journals, events that have taken place since the 1970s. The authors thus mention that, in 2000, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the North American journal Perspecta (active since 1952), Yale University looked into the fate of architectural discourse by giving voice to the editors of contemporary journals close to their editorial line, such as the North American east coast architectural theory periodicals ANY Architecture New York (since 1993), Grey Room (since 2000) and Oppositions (1973-1984). Kenneth Frampton pointed out that, in the second half of the 20th century, architectural journals moved away from professional practice and focused on metatheoretical questions.26

  • 27 Kim Förster, “Institutionlizing Postmodernism: Reconceiving the Journal and the Exhibition at the I (...)
  • 28 Stephen Parnell, “Architecture’s expanding field: AD magazine and the Post-Modernisation of archite (...)

42In the articles collected for this issue of Les Cahiers de la recherche architecturale, urbaine et paysagère, the journal Oppositions was mentioned several times as a reference model by editors-in-chief. In New York in 1967, when Peter Eisenman founded The Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies (IAUS), he made sure that the institute was independent from the control of professional or academic circles and detached from the constraints of undergraduate teaching. This institute was considered a think tank, producing surveys on the history of architecture and texts on urban theory. Becoming the center of architectural culture in New York, Peter Eisenman launched Oppositions: A Journal for Ideas and Criticism in Architecture (23 issues from 1973 to 1984), with successive editors-in-chief Peter Eisenman, Kenneth Frampton, Mario Gandelsonas and later Anthony Vidler.27 The IAUS and its periodical hardened a self-referential discursive scene for the architectural elite surrounding its founders.28

  • 29 Ibid.

43The analytical aim of the coordinators of this current issue of Les Cahiers de la recherche architecturale, urbaine et paysagère is similar to that of Stephen Parnell, in an article about the British journal Architectural Design (AD) in the 1980s. Also examining the corpus of architectural journals, he particularly explores the role of journals in a complex communication system.29 Architecture periodicals reflect a cultural engineering that takes on different forms: exhibitions, competitions, symposia and conferences. It thus demonstrates the role taken by the British journal AAFiles, launched in 1981 by Alvin Boyarsky at the AA School in London, which serves as a business card for the school, just like Oppositions did for the Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies. As a mirror of the school’s theoretical ambitions, AAFiles thus testifies to this school’s transformation into a space of exchange and not of production. During the 1980s, at a time when work was hard to come by architects turned to journals in order to position themselves rather than designing buildings.

44Today, it is likely that the injunction to publish (an essential criterion in the university evaluation system for faculty members) is a primary force for establishing a journal within an academic institution. The journal is thus both a unifying space and a tool.

  • 30 Marnes, ddocuments d’architecture, revue de l’École nationale supérieure d’architecture de la ville (...)

45This observation pertaining to AAFiles or Oppositions allows us to put into perspective the scientific ambitions of journals such as Marnes, documents d’architecture 30or matières, mentioned above. In both cases, the journal functions as a sort of social condenser, bringing together a collective project where everyone produces knowledge and culture.

46Architectural research journals focus more on questions of architectural culture rather than serving as a showcase for practice, and on “the intangible” rather than material production. The analysis of material architectural production (buildings) is ultimately little covered.

47Also cited as a refereed journal is the North American journal Grey Room (86 issues since 2000), which aims to collect academic articles in the fields of architecture, media and politics to forge a trans-disciplinary discourse dedicated to contemporary investigations. With original articles, translations, interviews, issues, and cross-interviews between researchers, the Grey Room targets a specific audience, including architects, artists, researchers, students and critics.

Coping with the explosion of communication

48Our contemporary context attests to an explosion of communication outlets, as well as the rapid circulation of output. Websites, blogs, research blogs, audiovisual productions, audio books, and video books are plentiful... as was said during the round table discussion devoted to communication, publication, and dissemination of research, organized as part of the 10-year anniversary of the LabEx Urban Futures of the Université de Paris-Est.31 Representatives of the publishing world emphasized the public’s appetite for the many formats and hybrid forms that disrupt traditional forms of publishing and necessitate a production tailored to specific audiences. Anne Jarrigeon, from the cross-cutting research group “Approaching the urban through the image,” 32exposed the importance of image and video in arranging autonomous forms of discourse within the humanities and the social sciences.

49In France, journal projects such as Métropolitiques33 were motivated by the desire to facilitate a debate exceeding the academic world, as well as the prospect of giving a voice to researchers in society and addressing all the actors involved in spatial production. The journal was built according to an original format, bringing together a large number of editors to build a broad editorial program. The format of the texts, the choice of images and the sustained frequency of publication make it possible to keep up with current events in metropolitan areas, and reflect the concerns of a non-specialized readership. Such attention to fluid writing, free from over-specialized terminology and aimed at a cultivated but non-expert audience, is a commitment shared by many journals in the humanities and social sciences, seeking the right expression of research on civil society.

50Research journals developing as open edition with the support of their academic institutions, such as Les Cahiers de la recherche architecturale, urbaine et paysagère, only represent a drop of water in a sea of publications. We can criticize them for not reaching the general public, but their mission is to ensure the coherence of different stances on disciplinary, academic, professional, and even pedagogical levels are already very broad.

51For journals, the dual objective of coherence and cohesion is not easy. Like certain journals founded in the 20th century, within intellectual circles who were recruited through co-optation around ideas or even shared ideologies (remember that Les Cahiers de la recherche architecturale, urbaine et paysagère publishes a call for candidates, approved by a vote, each time their editorial committee is renewed), they are far from representing a school of thought. Contemporary publications seem to join around a desire to act in favor of an intellectual milieu, due to the interference of academic, professional and educational fields. The thematic issue is the appropriate place to consider the same question proposed by the journal from different points of view. The peer review procedure, specific to the academic world, makes it possible to protect it from the effects of assessment and gratification from actors in other fields.

52Could this internal coherence get the better of production conditions and the dissemination of scientific outputs? Readers of 19th century journals received their issues on a regular basis, reading the entire issue devoted to a topic covered by various authors. The 21st century reader types keywords into a search engine, finds articles, and downloads them without worrying about the rubric of the journal the article is taken from. Rather, to verify the quality of the article, they will be concerned with the journal’s international ranking, which also depends on other factors, such as the presence of English citations. In this regard, one could wonder about the energy deployed by journals such as Les Cahiers de la recherche architecturale, urbaine et paysagère, which strive to problematize, within the editorial committee, controversial research questions, to produce calls for papers and, on this basis, to solicit experts to evaluate them. But it is precisely during these debates, both in terms of form and content, that a coherent editorial collective is being formed, with the help of experts. It is therefore in the form of a network that we must understand the coherence of academic journals, one that can just as easily be institutional or founded by associations, as it can by scholarly societies, universities, or actors. More flexible than that of the circle and specific to the intellectual milieux of the 19th and 20th centuries, the shape of the network is characterized by a greater permeability of different types of authors and actors. However, it integrates itself into forms of regulation (such as peer review), which is the basis for its cohesion.

53From this perspective, an international network of research journals in architecture, urban studies and landscape that fall within the idea of advancing a distanced reflection on spatial practices in our field (of all kinds, professional, residents, museums, etc.), would further strengthen the coherence of each journal in its own country.

Analysis of the media ecosystem

  • 34 Cf. Irina Davidovici, “Issues of Realism: Archithese, Postmodernism and Swiss Architecture, 1971-19 (...)

54Léa-Catherine Szacka and Véronique Patteeuw’s book, Mediated Messages: Periodicals, Exhibitions, and the Shaping Postmodern Architecture (Bloomsbury, 2018) presents a series of articles exploring the role of the media in post-modern culture and clearly identifies publishing initiatives as central to academic and professional ambitions, helping to solidify the intellectual profile of architectural milieux and complexify the networks between architects, architecture and media systems (with regard to this, see the article devoted to the Swiss journal archithese).34

55The social context of journals and their interdependence with other forms of cultural expression have been especially featured in works from the field of literary studies.

  • 35 Alexia Kalantzis, “Les études périodiques au croisement des disciplines”, Revue d’histoire littérai (...)
  • 36 Julien Schuh, “Les ‘petites revues’ dans l’écosystème médiatique fin-de-siècle”, Revue d’histoire l (...)

56A special issue of the Revue dhistoire littéraire de la France devoted to periodicals defines them as a “hybrid and multifaceted medium, [...] which necessitates methodological flexibility and an interdisciplinary approach”.35 Instead of considering the journal as a historical resource, its editors invite us to consider it as a research topic in its own right, considered as much in terms of its content as its materiality, placed in a cultural environment. In this vein, the work of Julien Schuh, Associate Professor of French Literature at the Université de Paris-Nanterre, on what he calls the fin-de-siècle media ecosystem of ‘small journals,’ opens up new perspectives on periodicals that are relevant to our undertaking.36

  • 37 Ibid., p. 94.

57Schuh underlines that the analysis of the media ecosystem must take into account “the material integration of these practices in a territory, an economy, a communication network, and the co-dependence of various levels: there is no ecosystem of journals, newspapers, theaters, galleries, etc., but rather they work together (and in a more or less connected way)”.37 By transposing urban and landscape studies to the world of architecture, we notice that there does not exist an ecosystem of research journals in architecture, schools, museums, galleries, or professional worlds, but that these different worlds work together.

  • 38 Ibid.
  • 39 Ibid.

58The author insists on anchoring media practices within a reality: “the functioning of a periodical implies funding, office space, supplies, and communication networks”.38 Small literature reviews not only require “a physical infrastructure (offices for production) but also only exist within a socio-geographic framework”, with places where people could meet and socialize framework39 but also funding to promote authors when events are organized. Doctoral study days and international conferences are events that collect original material suitable for a special issue of a journal. Interdependence therefore creates an academic event and a scientific output, one being the first step of the other.

59The term “small journals” is hardly ever used when referring to a research-related publication. Their academic character (the “theoretical language”) and the devices imposed for the recognition of peers result not only in a uniformity of layout, but also a conformity to models. The periodical and its editorial committee, along with the places that bring them together, constitute space(s) of sociability, collegial academic initiative, and emulation. As such, journal analysis nurtures a social history of cultural practices, which reign over those who produce the journal and those who read it. Publication strategies are indeed aimed at creating an audience.

  • 40 Beatriz Colomina and Craig Buckley (ed.), Clip Stamp Fold. The Radical Architecture of Little Magaz (...)
  • 41 “New York-Barcelona-Milan. Peter Eisenman, Kenneth Frampton, Mario Gandelsonas and Anthony Vidler d (...)

60The collective work undertaken by Beatriz Colomina and her doctoral students at Princeton University takes a retrospective look at architectural publications on an international scale (referred to as Little Magazines, even if some cannot be classified within this category, it exposes the different aspects that characterize them).40 The work Clip Stamp Fold: The Radical Architecture of Little Magazines 196X to 197X is valuable, not because it talks about research journals (not all periodicals studied have this ambition), but for the interviews that it contains, carried out with the editors-in-chief of several periodicals that helped to unite the intellectual milieu of the 1960s and 1970s (Peter Eisenman, Kenneth Frampton, Mario Gandelsonas, and Anthony Vidler together discuss the journal Oppositions, mentioned above).41 Their testimonies thus point out the attention focused on the output of one another, or the intersected networks that irrigate these journals. These connections are made possible through the analysis of these exchanges, which were collected during round table discussions organized as part of events linked to the presentation of the eponymous exhibition. Retrospective (and historicized) debates reveal links and shed light on connections, which were perhaps barely perceptible at the time.

Constructing an enlarged Space: the international network

61Regarding questions concerning refereed journals, the articles collected provide us with information about an international space of journals dedicated to research but also of journals attentive to the built space.

  • 42 Historically, the Bulletin technique of 1876 emanated from the Société des ingénieurs et architecte (...)

62The journal Tracés. Revue suisse romande des techniques et cultures du bâti, for example, (which is a professional and not a research journal, and separate from an academic institution),42 cites the names of two sister journals, Archi and Tec21, along with the journal werk, bauen + wohnen , Hochparterre, archithese, Faces, AS (Architecture Suisse) matières (Switzerland), d’a-darchitecture (France), L’Architecture d’aujourd’hui, Les Cahiers de la recherche architecturale, urbaine et paysagère, Les Carnets du paysage (France), OASE (Belgium/Netherlands), Volume (United States/Netherlands), Log (United States), The Architectural Review (Great Britain), Arch +, Zeitschrift für Architektur und Urbanismus (Germany), etc., demonstrating its in-depth knowledge of research-dedicated publications in Germany, Switzerland, France, England, the United States, and state-of-the-art university libraries (ETH Zurich or EPFL where all of these publications are visibly available in paper format). Marc Frochaux, however, points out that

  • 43 Marc Frochaux, response to CRAUP’s questionnaire, April 2021.

there is a third term between profession and research, and that is criticism. In a professional journal, this is a critical position that must be developed. However, criticism relates primarily to practice and feeds on academic research. It is dependent on it, it exploits it: the very exercise of criticism (description, analysis, data comparison and, above all, the deconstruction of unfounded discourse) requires knowledge of research methods. In the day-to-day life of a writer, knowledge of current scientific happenings is thus essential.43

63The journal Ardeth (Architectural Design Theory), based at the Polytechnic University of Turin (and in relation with the schools of Milan, Venice and Roma), cites the following periodicals: Arch + (Germany); Log (United States); Architectural Theory Review (Australia-Great Britain); Footprint (Netherlands); Perspecta (United States). Like the journals it cites, the research published by Ardeth, in fact, aims to study project processes, the role of actors, and the elements that interfere with architectural projects. These studies look at built space and take a scientific approach (in the broad sense of the social sciences), with identifiable sources and the possibility of generalizing the questions addressed in the selected case studies.

64As for JoLA, which is very close to European schools of landscape education, it refers to journals that offer a wide range of educational issues, such as Landscape Research (international), Journal of Architectural Education (United States), ARQ (Architectural Research Quarterly) (Great Britain) and OASE, Les Carnets du paysage and the Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians (United States).

  • 44 Gaia Caramellino et al., in the article “Mapping the Discourse. Architecture Periodicals in/for the (...)

65Thanks to a fine comparative analysis of journals published on an international scale around the same time, Gaia Caramellino et al. identify transfer and permeability processes between different geographical, cultural and disciplinary contexts. Architectural and urban knowledge can also migrate from technical journals to theoretical ones. The crossed perspective thus makes it possible to identify examples of architectural or urban culture that are disseminated in a particular publication in sections dedicated to what other journals publish.44

  • 45 Call for European tenders such as ANR, ERC, grants and allocations of international funds.
  • 46 This differs from the work of the artist, as shown by Pierre-Michel Menger, Le travail créateur. S’ (...)

66Ultimately, each journal is distinguished by its intellectual ecosystem, which is more or less cohesive and permeable, integrated in institutional and editorial infrastructures well identified by their places of production. But if ways of journal distribution are being rebuilt, as we can see with open edition, new readership habits impose other types of existence, where research keywords, funding sources and international research networks45 influence journal content. In the current globalized space of intellectual exchange, the journals giving themselves regular investigative objectives work towards a cohesive milieu. They create a market of ideas that secures the uncertainty of authors by providing theoretical and methodological guidance for valorizing research work, unrelated to talent, productivity, or fame.46 Although they do not fall into mono-oriented reflection circles, as we still find in the humanities and social sciences, academic journals such as Les Cahiers de la recherche architecturale, urbaine et paysagère constitute an ecosystem whose advantage is their openness to international collaboration in a secure environment, where the practice of interdisciplinarity predisposes the patient observation of complex translation situations, particularly in terms of architecture, urbanism and landscape. More pragmatically, this issue also aims to initiate a network of architectural research journals to identify colleagues, communicate on editorial practices and establish a system of reciprocal exchange between journals. These are the intentions that this issue wishes to put forth.

The questionnaires are published in the Research Materials section

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1 Jacques Simon started his collaboration at the landscape journal Espaces Verts in 1966, became director in 1970 and then owner. Espaces Verts established another journal, Aménagement des espaces libres, which was published irregularly from 1974 à 1985.

2 Frédéric Pousin, “Donner forme par la photographie,” Les Carnets du paysage, n° 38 “Jacques Simon agitateur du paysage”, 2021, pp. 36-59.

3 Whether it be Espaces Verts, a column and journal, Aménagement des espaces libres, or works such as Tous azimuts. Sur les chemins de la terre, du ciel, du paysage, Pandora Éditions (Ombres vives), 1991, or Articulture, Stichting Kunsbœk, 2006.

4 Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, Mille plateaux, Paris, Éditions de Minuit, 1980.

5 Christian Jacob, Qu’est-ce qu’un lieu de savoir ?, new edition [online], Marseille, OpenEdition Press, 2014, [], DOI : 10.4000/books.oep.423].

6 Christophe Charle and Laurent Jeanpierre, La Vie intellectuelle en France, Paris, Le Seuil, 2019.

7 See Yves Chevrefils Desbiolles “Revues d’architecture : définitions, méthodes, usages”, La Revue des revues, n° 29, 2000, pp. 11-22. See also works pertaining to art journals: Rossella Froissart, “Les revues d’art, un chantier”, in Rossella Froissart Pezone and Yves Chevrefils Desbiolles (dir.), Les revues d’art: formes, stratégies et réseaux au XXᵉ siècle, Actes du colloque (Aix-en-Provence 2008), Rennes, Presses universitaires de Rennes, 2011, pp. 21-36.


9 The periodical matières is declined without the capitalisation of the first letter.






15 Summa, architecture journal published in Buenos Aires was active for 29 years starting at the end of 1969 up until 2008. It was a monthly journal. Cf. Natalia Lubiana, “Politiques éditoriales en Amérique latine: la revue comme media pour l’architecture (1980-1995),” in Éléonore Marantz (dir.), L’atelier de la recherche. Annales d’histoire de l’architecture #2018#, travaux des jeunes chercheurs en histoire de l’architecture (année universitaire 2017-2018), Paris, Université Paris 1-Panthéon-Sorbonne, UFR 03 (Histoire de l’art et d’archéologie), site de l’HiCSA, put online in 2020, pp. 117-130.




19 Laboratoire Architecture, Conception, Territoire, Histoire (LACTH).




23 Hélène Jannière, Politiques éditoriales et architecture “moderne”. L’émergence de nouvelles revues en France et en Italie (1923-1939), Paris, Éditions Arguments, 2002.

24 Cf. Hélène Jannière and Kenneth Frampton, Les Cahiers de la recherche architecturale et urbaine, n° 24/25 “La critique en temps et lieux”, 2009, and more specifically, Hélène Jannière, “La critique architecturale, objet de recherche”, pp. 121-140.

25 Alexis Sornin, Hélène Jannière, France Vanlaethem, Revues d’architecture dans les années 1960 et 1970 : fragments d’une histoire événementielle, (colloque, Montréal, 2004), Montréal, Institut de recherche en histoire de l’architecture, 2008. Cf. in particular Hélène Jannière and France Vanlaethem, “Essai méthodologique : les revues, source ou objet de l’histoire de l’architecture ?”, pp. 13-40.

26 Hélène Jannière and France Vanlaethem, ibid., p. 16.

27 Kim Förster, “Institutionlizing Postmodernism: Reconceiving the Journal and the Exhibition at the Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies in 1976”, in Véronique Patteeuw and Léa-Catherine Szacka (ed.), Mediated Messages. Periodicals, Exhibitions and the Shaping of Postmodern Architecture, London, Bloomsbury, 2018, pp. 213-229.

28 Stephen Parnell, “Architecture’s expanding field: AD magazine and the Post-Modernisation of architecture”, arq, vol. 22, n° 1, 2018, pp. 55-68, p. 58.

29 Ibid.

30 Marnes, ddocuments d’architecture, revue de l’École nationale supérieure d’architecture de la ville et des territoires, Paris-Est, [on line] [].

31 10 Years of LabEx Urban Futures from the Université Paris-Est, Re-Penser les futurs de la ville, June 15 and 16 2021. Round table « Diffuser la recherche urbaine : enjeux et formats », [online] [].



34 Cf. Irina Davidovici, “Issues of Realism: Archithese, Postmodernism and Swiss Architecture, 1971-1986”, in Véronique Patteeuw and Léa-Catherine Szacka (ed.), Mediated Messages. Periodicals, Exhibitions and the Shaping of Postmodern Architecture, London, Bloomsbury, 2018, pp. 101-119.

35 Alexia Kalantzis, “Les études périodiques au croisement des disciplines”, Revue d’histoire littéraire de la France, “‘Petites revues’, grande presse et édition à la fin du XIXᵉ siècle”, mars 2020, p. 6.

36 Julien Schuh, “Les ‘petites revues’ dans l’écosystème médiatique fin-de-siècle”, Revue d’histoire littéraire de la France “‘Petites revues’, grande presse et édition à la fin du XIXᵉ siècle, mars 2020, pp. 91-105.

37 Ibid., p. 94.

38 Ibid.

39 Ibid.

40 Beatriz Colomina and Craig Buckley (ed.), Clip Stamp Fold. The Radical Architecture of Little Magazines 196X to 197X, Media and Modernity Program, Princeton University, Barcelone, Acta, 2010.

41 “New York-Barcelona-Milan. Peter Eisenman, Kenneth Frampton, Mario Gandelsonas and Anthony Vidler discuss Oppositions, New York, January 23, 2007”, in Beatriz Colomina and Craig Buckley (ed.), Clip Stamp Fold., op. cit., pp. 58-69.

42 Historically, the Bulletin technique of 1876 emanated from the Société des ingénieurs et architectes (SIA). The journal Tracés is part of a publishing house that groups the three German, Ticino and French-speaking Swiss-based technical journals as well as an online platform (

43 Marc Frochaux, response to CRAUP’s questionnaire, April 2021.

44 Gaia Caramellino et al., in the article “Mapping the Discourse. Architecture Periodicals in/for the Teaching of Architecture History”, thus observe that “the cross-perspective examined, as an example, its multiple translations as ‘Dergilerden’ (‘From magazines’) on the Turkish Mimarlik, as ‘Rivista delle Riviste’ and ‘Revista de Revistas’ (both meaning “magazine of magazines”) on the Italian Metron and the Catalan Cuadernos, while for the North American Architectural Forum it was ‘Recent foreign periodicals’.”

45 Call for European tenders such as ANR, ERC, grants and allocations of international funds.

46 This differs from the work of the artist, as shown by Pierre-Michel Menger, Le travail créateur. S’accomplir dans l’incertain, Paris, Gallimard-Seuil (Hautes études), 2009.

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Yankel Fijalkow, Caroline Maniaque et Frédéric Pousin, « Publishing Research in Architecture, Urban planning and Landscape Architecture: Aims and Perspectives »Les Cahiers de la recherche architecturale urbaine et paysagère [En ligne], 13 | 2021, mis en ligne le 24 décembre 2021, consulté le 02 mars 2024. URL : ; DOI :

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Yankel Fijalkow

Sociologist and town planner, Full Professor at the École nationale supérieure d'architecture de Paris-Val de Seine (ENSAPVS), researcher in the UMR 7218 LAVUE (Laboratoire architecture, ville, urbanisme, environnement), codirector of the Centre de recherche sur l’habitat (LAVUE).

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Caroline Maniaque

Architect-historian, HDR Full Professor at the École nationale supérieure d'architecture de Normandie (ENSA Normandie) in the field of Architectural history and cultures (HCA), Director of the ATE research laboratory (Architecture, Territoire, Environnement), associate researcher in the UMR 3329, AUSser, member of the IPRAUS team (ENSAPB).

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Frédéric Pousin

Architect, CNRS Research Director HDR, UMR 3329 AUSser (Architecture, urbanisme, société), member of the IPRAUS research team, École nationale supérieure d'architecture de Paris-Belleville (ENSAPB).

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