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Éléments d’enquête sur la recherche et les revues d’architecture, d’urbanisme et de paysage

ARQ (Chili)

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Présentation de la revue

Année de création : 1980.

Institution porteuse : École d’architecture de l’Université catholique du Chili.

Éditeur : maison d’édition ARQ.

Langues : espagnol, anglais.

Disciplines/thématiques : architecture. Chaque numéro est thématique.

Problématique/objectifs : diffusion d’une sélection critique de projets d’architecture contemporaine et d’articles théoriques issus également des disciplines connexes. L’excellence et l’hétérogénéité des articles sont recherchées, tant dans les documents théoriques que dans les ouvrages et projets. La relation avec le milieu universitaire permet un contact permanent avec des revues internationales d’architecture.

Lectorat : milieu académique et architectes professionnels.

Système d’évaluation : évaluation en double aveugle par les pairs.

Périodicité : 3 numéros par an.

Mode de publication : numérique.

Site internet :

Questionnaire filled up By Francisco Díaz, Editor-in-Chief

The Journal Governance and Committees’ composition

What is the percentage of members holding a PhD on the editorial board?

40 %

Is there a reading committee? Who participates in it?

There’s no reading committee. Only the Editor-in-chief and the Managing Editor.

Does the journal develop a special relationship with an academic institution? If so, what is it?

ARQ belongs to the School of Architecture at the UC, Chile. It was founded in 1980 as an internal pamphlet, which began to grow, and in 2002 became a bilingual scientific magazine. It was edited by Montserrat Palmer for 30 years, since its foundation to her retirement in 2010 — always in an ambiguous dependency/independence relationship to the School of Architecture. Today, in order to maintain a high-level quality, it has to keep a certain degree of independence from its umbrella institution.

Are there debates within the editorial board? If so, how are they made visible in the journal?

We have a lot of debates. These are reflected both in the topics of each issue as well as in the ways in which we publish the content.

What are the economical, formal and intellectual relations to the publisher (resources and constraints)?

We are both a magazine and a publishing house. Therefore, the team is the same, and actually, our books help us fund the magazine. In intellectual terms, we are independent, though both the Editor-in-chief and the editorial board are appointed by the director of the School of Architecture at the UC, Chile. In fact, the school only provides the offices and pays the salary of the Editor-in-chief. The rest of the team (8 people) is afforded the revenues coming from books' sales.

Research and Journal

What milieu does the journal plug into? What audience is targeted?

To be sincere, we don’t try to target a specific audience. Rather, we simply trust the quality of the content we publish. Of course, we have a base readership in Chile, among architects and academics, but also abroad, through our open-access formats, so it would be hard to think of targeting a specific audience. In fact, we have realized that our readership goes even beyond architects, reaching intellectuals at large.

From the journal’s point of view what are the outcomes expected from the research in architecture? (urban planning and landscape architecture)?

For us, research has to conquer new frontiers of knowledge. It has to go beyond what is known and discover or propose new territories that expand our fields. In that sense, we think that research has to have the ambition of shaking our foundations. It has to make us think in a different way or open up new possibilities.

According to you is there a difference between research and innovation? If there is, what does it consist of? And what about research and expertise?

Innovation is an improvement of what is already done; thus, it works within the frontiers of what is technically possible and economically feasible. Research, in turn, does not need to be feasible — it just needs to be thinkable. Research has to cross the frontiers and limits of knowledge, whereas expertise is the best possible outcome of knowledge within its own limits. Since innovation improves and expertise deepens, both are functional to the status quo. Research, on the contrary, is precisely that which challenges it.

How does research content fit into the journal’s plan?

Our magazine is made for research. At least in the editorial plan that we have undertaken in the last six years, research is the magazine’s core. It’s not only that we publish research. Also, by giving it a proper space and presenting it attractively, we promote the development of more research. That’s perhaps why, more and more, research is becoming a content much more interesting than professional practices (projects or buildings) — which was the previous focus of our magazine.

During the last year, how many researchers contributed to the journal?

45 researchers in the three issues published in 2020.

Considering the past ten years, what transformations have occurred concerning the relationships between research and the profession? between research and public discussion?

I see at least four key transformations. First, after the 2008 crisis, it was clear that architecture became a tool for financial speculation — which led to the discredit of spectacle architecture. Second, the expansion and democratization of architecture education forced many architects to look for fields beyond professional practice; many became researchers who nurtured universities. The third transformation was a widespread understanding of architecture as a part of the culture; that is, as a field of knowledge rather than a field of practice. Finally, these last ten years have shown a (somehow ridiculously) large number of events (biennials, events, festivals) related to architecture, which have provided an arena for different modes of practice and research while conceding a space for architectural knowledge to reach new audiences and constituencies.

How do you select peer-review experts? How do you deal with peer reviewed assessments and disclose them to the authors? (Problems and anecdotes)

We receive the comments and evaluations in a.doc form. Then we copy the comments and paste them anonymously into another.doc file, as a letter, in which the decision of publication is informed to the author. Of course, we edit the comments to avoid hurting the author’s ego.

What is the part played by the lay out management? (Text/image, typography, cover-front)?

Design is a key aspect of ARQ. A big part of what makes our magazine attractive to read has to do with design, the percentage of white, the highlights, titles, and images. On its part, the cover gives an identity to the magazine and, as we include the list of authors on it, helps both promote the content and prompt more people to submit articles to our magazine because they want to see their names on the cover.

Editor-in-Chief’s Statement

What kind of journal did you have in mind when the journal was launched or when you were appointed Editor-in-chief and has it evolved?

When I was appointed as Editor-in-chief, I proposed an ice-breaker-like journal. That is, a magazine that is not afraid of entering unexplored territories and, in so doing, it opens the path for others. On the inside, however, the magazine has to be a welcoming space, a public space open and comfortable to everyone. In this space, we can talk about interesting things without the forced academic jargon. That is a space where rigor meets humor and where architectural research presents its discoveries to a broader, non-exclusive audience. Understanding the magazine as an archive in progress, as a blueprint for history, the key question is to decide what we will leave to the future. In that sense, the idea of the ice-breaker strengthens: it is not only contents that are left to the future, but also new paths to be walked by others.

What journals in the field of architecture, urban planning and landscape architecture do you read regularly? occasionally? What journal do you read outside the field?

Log, The Funambulist, Perspecta, Grey Room.
Outside the field:
New Left Review, London Review of Books, The New Yorker.


Do you have remarks or suggestions in relation to the call for papers?

Calls for papers can be used as promotional tools. They circulate much more than a research paper.

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« ARQ (Chili) »Les Cahiers de la recherche architecturale urbaine et paysagère [En ligne], Matériaux de la recherche, mis en ligne le 01 mars 2022, consulté le 13 août 2022. URL : ; DOI :

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