HERITAGE CITIES AS PROJECT | Journal of Architectural Design and History | Call for Contributions

Elena Montanari's picture
Call for Publications
June 6, 2022
Subject Fields: 
Architecture and Architectural History, Art, Art History & Visual Studies, Teaching and Learning, Urban Design and Planning, Urban History / Studies



| Thematic Issue | Call for Abstracts | HERITAGE CITIES AS PROJECT |


Une heure n'est pas qu'une heure,
c'est un vase rempli de parfums,
de sons, de projets et de climats
[Marcel Proust, À la recherche du temps perdu, 1913-27]

Is it possible to imagine the future through the interpretation of past?
Or, further ahead, is it possible to critically read the historic city through the project – intended here in its
broadest meaning – to turn it into the basis for envisionments to come?
In the book “The culture of Time and Space 1880-1918” (1983), Stephen Kern identifies three relative polarities
referred to the nature of time: number, composition, and direction. Concurrently, he introduces us to the search
for a “sense of time”, which emerges from the tensions and debates pertaining to the various domains of
human culture, where past, present and future arrange the structure of culture through conflict.
The Journal of Architectural Design and History grows out of the need to critically, theoretically, and empirically
reflect on the questions related to the reading, interpretation, and enhancement of Heritage Cities.
Drawing on the notion of subtraction, which archaeologists refer to as the underground structure bearing an
above building, we can imagine to compare the same – often hidden – bond between “Heritage Cities” and
“Project”, hence transforming the usually consequential pairing into a strict dependence (underlined by the
conjunction “as”), which redefines the balance among the real and deeper value of the single parts, in their
autonomy as well as in their interplay.
The first issue of the journal aims at investigating the visions and the multiple forms of the project as
(transformation, enhancement, exhibition, …) intervention in World Heritage Cities. Namely, the research area
of the thematic volume “Heritage Cities as Project” is focused on the various types, intentions and outcomes
of the design actions that can be applied in these contexts – e.g. in the tangibility of architectural projects
(observed in the framework of the different scales and disciplinary fields coalescing in the city), in the
processes and means pertaining to knowledge, interpretation and representation (physical as well as theoretic,
photographic, etc.), in the images and strategies tackling the relation among true, false and plausible.

To contribute to this issue, we invite groundbreaking investigations and reflections about the themes revolving
around (but not limited to) the following fields:
- Project of knowledge as critical basis for the architectural practice
- Project as critical interpretation of history
- Project as network of identity, especially at the territorial scale
- Cultural project as archival enhancement
- Project as gaze (e.g., elaborated through photography, visual arts, etc.).



→ The participation to the call is open to national and international structured and independent scholars
(PhD students, postdoctoral fellows, research fellows, researchers).
→ The issue will host essays and articles selected through a double-blind peer review process.
→ To apply, please send an abstract of max. 400 words in English and a short CV to adh.journal@polimi.it
by June 6th, 2022.
→ The outcome of the selection and the judgments of the peer review will be communicated by e-mail to the
author of the article.
→ Proposals selected for publication must be developed into unpublished texts, complete with bibliography
and images, and sent to the editorial board by September 5th, 2022.
→ Editorial rules and all necessary information can be found at: https://www.unescochair.mantova.polimi.it



• Launch of the Call: May 12th, 2022
• Abstract submission deadline: June 6th, 2022
• Notification of acceptance: June 27th, 2022
• Text delivery for peer review: September 5th, 2022
• Notification of full-text acceptance: October 3rd, 2022
• Final text delivery: November 7th, 2022


The Journal of Architectural Design and History is a biannual magazine, undergoing a double-blind peer review process, realized within the framework of the UNESCO Chair in Architectural Preservation and Planning in World Heritage Cities at the Mantova Campus of Politecnico di Milano. This editorial project intends to generate and disseminate a critical and multidisciplinary debate around the past, present and future of heritage cities, by soliciting the international scientific community to reflect on the related themes through the analysis of architectural, historic, interpretive, and didactic experiences that operate on Heritage as a laboratory of knowledge. The selection of the contributions will draw on the exploration and the comparison of different theories, techniques and practices tackling the complex questions pertaining to the transformation, conservation, and enhancement of historical contexts, with the aim to unfold connections and exchanges among different disciplines, technologies and perspectives, and to promote a strategic and evolutive notion of the interventions on built heritage.

Deputy editor:

Federico Bucci (Politecnico di Milano)

Editorial board:

Elisa Boeri, Elena Fioretto, Elena Montanari, Claudia Tinazzi (Politecnico di Milano)

Scientific committee:

Ángela García de Paredes (Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Spagna)
Jean-Philippe Garric (Université Paris-1, Francia)
Ana Tostões (Universidade Técnica de Lisboa, Portogallo)
Elisa Valero Ramos (Universidad de Granada, Spagna)
Bianca Gioia Marino (Università degli Studi di Napoli “Federico II”)
Andrea Sciascia (Università di Palermo)
Giovanni Leoni (Università di Bologna)
Filippo Lambertucci (Sapienza Università di Roma)
Anthony Vidler (Cooper Union, New York)


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