Call for papers | Special Issue: Design of and with the “past”

Image: Window in to another wall, Zapotec ruins at Mitla, City of the Dead. Photo: Lorena Cassady. Source: Flickr. Licence: CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.
Image: 6th Century Monastery at Sceilg Mhichíl (Skellig Michael), Co. Kerry, Ireland. Photo: Source: Flickr. Licence: CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

Call for papers now closed.
Submission deadline 20th November 2023

The intention of this special issue is to explore the politics of shaping designed environments by navigating the shifting (temporal) relations and conflicts between the “past”, “existing” and the “new”. We invite contributions in the form of design research, (visual) reflections, inquiries, cases – empirical or critical, as well as speculative. We look forward to submissions which unsettle hampering knowledge regimes and break new ground with regard to how practices, methodologies and theories – across binary constructs – situate themselves in, and grow out of, the existing designed environment:

–  What critical junctures between the “past” and the “future”, or the “existing” and the “new”, can be taken as starting points in thinking about such transdisciplinary approaches in design contexts? For example, how do societal challenges expressed in the Climate Crisis, such as resource exploitation, energy efficiency, sustainability, circular economy and the Anthropocene shape design politics, strategies and ways of thinking about and doing research in the designed environment?

–  How do phenomena such as erosion, breakdown and decay invite the surpassing of disciplinary knowledge silos? What new forms of design practice, inspired by heritage conservation emerge from working in and with more-than-human and material ecologies? This poses the challenge of how to develop effective more-than-human living places and less damaging ways of living, within the conservative constraints of living with what is already here.

–  How can situated, more integrated and everyday practices of designing with the past and the existing, challenge cultural, expert-led, institutional demarcations which define access and privilege in the designed environment?

–  How does the engagement with the past and questions of maintenance, care, repair, and reuse lead to new and different kinds of transdisciplinary approaches to working with the existing designed environment? How can this, in turn, generate design approaches that strive towards more pluriversal politics, policies and legislation?

Editorial team: Liesbeth Huybrechts (UHasselt), Henric Benesch (University of Gothenburg), Mela Zuljevic (Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography), Colm mac Aoidh (UHasselt), Dean Sully (University College London), Moniek Driesse (University of Gothenburg).

20/11/2023: First round of submissions (3000-4000 word draft paper)
21/12/2023: First decision on papers and review
23/02/2024: Online workshop to discuss and revise the accepted papers with all authors involved
16/04/2024: Submission of revised papers, first revision
17/05/2024: Results of first peer review
28/06/2024: Submission of revised papers, second revision
06/09/2024: Results of second peer review
27/09/2024: Final decision on papers
October 2024: Issue in production


Could it be a good idea for authors to write an abstract first about the article we think would be interesting for this special issue on designing with/for the past, before writing an entire article and have it possibly be rejected? In any case, this is a very good idea for a special issue and I look forward to both, reading the papers and submitting a paper myself. Wonderful and good idea!

Dear David,
Thank you for your comment, a number of others have also been in touch with the same query.
We have updated the call to clarify that for the first submission we are expecting 3000-4000 word draft papers, with the intention that the selected papers will be revised and developed with the authors involved during an online workshop timetabled for February 2024.
We hope this answers your query, thank you once again for your interest and for getting in touch.
Best regards,
The Editorial Team

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