Call for Submissions - vol. 3 [2018], no. 2 [Fall] | The Plan Journal

The Plan Journal, vol. 3 [2018], no. 2 [Fall]


The Shared Project

How modes of operation, design strategies and public engagement are being redefined by new technologies for the architectural project of “the sharing society”


“… to restore architecture and planning to a position where they can have a real positive
impact on society may even demand destroying the mythology of the architect as visionary.”
(Wouter Vantisphout) 1
“…today, not letting others use your work can mean irrelevance.”
(Cathy Casserly, former CEO at Creative Commons) 2


The “sharing economy” and the “sharing society,” made possible by the new technologies of the last decades, have significantly changed our culture. Architecture and the other design fields have not been immune from this epochal change and, in some instances, have in fact tried to embrace it and leveraged it to their own advantage. New communications technologies, shared design platforms, interactive ways of engaging the wider public of design projects, as well as the explosion of social media itself, have triggered a series of changes that have gone beyond superficial fashion trends to really transform the way the project is conceived, developed, assessed, constructed and used.

Increasingly collaborative and cross-disciplinary modes of practice are shaping up the landscape of the design professions by exploiting, as well as demanding, new technologies that foster a peer-to-peer culture of design thinking – or, rather, of design “thinkering,” as Paola Antonelli has observed, “brought to life by the act of tinkering productively, experimenting, testing, re-testing and adjusting, and all the while enjoying it with many like-minded spirits and engaging with the world in an open, constructive collaboration with colleagues and other specialists. In other words, in open-source mode.” 3


Some authors, like Carlo Ratti, have expanded on this notion of “open source architecture” and see in this pervasive change a wide range of opportunities to make architecture and design (through the profile of the “choral architect”) more attuned with contemporary culture and more impactful in supporting new ways of life. 4

Others, like Mario Carpo, have drawn even more extreme conclusions and have gone as far as defining this current revolution comparable to the one at the dawn of “identicality,” or of the “typographical era” of the reproducibility of the object. Carpo posits an epochal paradigm shift: from the (Albertian) architect of objects, to the (digital) architect of “’objectiles,’ [which] belong to the new digital world of variability and process, of participation and community.” 5


Are these changes a sustained paradigm shift or temporary cultural shocks? How is the nature of the architectural project being transformed vis-à-vis these changes in the economy, society and culture? How are current and future digital technologies going to morph the statute of the architectural project as we know it? How are the dynamics among the traditional professional design fields going to be revised? And/or which other professional expertise/s will emerge? How is the public going to be impacted by this change? How will the appreciation of the power of architecture by society at large going to change?

The TPJ seeks contributions, analyses, explorations, reflective practices and case-studies from a variety of perspectives, on these and other related questions, capable to cast a meaningful light on this massive transformation impacting architecture and its related design fields.


Submission Options

Priority for peer-review evaluation and publication will be given to complete manuscripts, but proposals in the form of long abstracts [300/500 words] are also encouraged as a first step in the editorial review process. Authors of accepted proposals will then be invited to develop complete manuscripts, which will then go through the peer-review process. 

Submitting proposals as a first step is only an option and full manuscripts are encouraged also as first submissions.



Proposals due by June 18, 2018

Invitation to develop proposals into full manuscripts sent to authors by July 2, 2018

All complete manuscripts due by September 3, 2018

Accepted and edited manuscripts expected to be published on-line by December 15, 2018

Print version of the issue expected to be available by January 31, 2019


To Submit

Please log in and register on the TPJ manuscript management system “Editorial Manager”:  Once registered, from the “Author Main Menu” go to “New Submissions,” then select “Submit New Manuscript,” then, from the scroll down menu, select the article type “Article/Essay/Research” for a full manuscript submission or “Abstract (only)” for a proposal submission. Then, either way, follow the prompts.


Questions Any question can be directed to:


1. Wouter Vantisphout, interviewed by Rory Hyde, “Historian of the Present: Wouter Vantisphout,” Australian Design Review (August 12, 2011):

2. Cathy Casserly, currently Research Affiliate at the Institute for the Future, and former CEO at Creative Commons, “The Future of Creative Commons,” press statement, 2013.

3. Paola Antonelli, Senior Curator of Architecture & Design + Director of R&D, MoMA, New York, “States of Design 03: Thinkering,” Domus 948 (June 2011), published July 4, 2011: . As Antonelli notes, the notion of “thinkering” was first introduced in 2007 by John Seely Brown, chief scientist at Xerox and, until 2000, director of the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (Xerox PARC).

4. Carlo Ratti, with Matthew Claudel, Open Source Architecture (New York: Thames & Hudson 2015); or. ed. Architettura Open Source (Turin, It.: Einaudi 2014).

5. Mario Carpo, The Alphabet and the Algorithm (Cambridge MA, USA and London: The MIT Press 2011), 126.