Call for papers – IJAC | International Journal of Architectural Computing

IJAC | International Journal of Architectural Computing

We invite authors to submit original research papers for the issue scheduled for August / September 2012, under the title:

Architectural Robotics: catalyzing  new design opportunities

Guest editors:
Michael Fox, Aaron Sprecher, Doug Noble, Mike Christenson, Anton Harfmann, Aron Temkin, Nancy Cheng

Architectural robotics defies definition.  It is an area of architectural research which is constantly shifting as designers attempt to harness the elusive developments in robotics.  Current terminology such as “intelligent environments,” “interactive architecture”, “responsive environments,” and “smart architecture” abounds and signals the need for architects to be savvy about exploiting this opportunity of ambiguity to redefine our profession.  While not so long ago it could have effectively been defined as embedding microcontrollers, sensors and actuators into our physical environments, recent developments have fostered an umbrella of inclusivity that has begun to touch every aspect of our lives. Advancements in mobile devices and web interface technologies have signaled the availability of previously unimaginable means for gathering data and information.  We have only begun to explore the potential for the vast data available today to affect our physical environment in ways that extend digital media into the physical, tangible and temporal aspects of architecture.  We are at a point where the emerging capabilities for complex behaviors can allow for physical things to communicate with each other and have the capacity to sense, learn and adapt autonomously. Such a proposition prompts the question: How we are to control or even communicate with such an emergent and evolutionary built environment? Further, it potentially defines an architecture that goes beyond the mere capacity to interact; to define a world that repositions the role of the designer as a catalyst of architecture that can adapt and evolve.

Architectural robotics is also ensnared in an accelerated technology transfer of production modes and design methodologies tied to form-making that have brought innovations in materials to architectural reality faster than ever. The increased relationship between digital fabrications fostered by evolving Solid Freeform printing capabilities for multi-material objects and the ability to print the robotic components into the fabric of our buildings opens up an entirely new platform for working with architectural robotics and distributed intelligence.  Digital fabrication advancements are also poised to foster developments in both the scale and materials used in architectural robotics. As physical robotic parts scale down it will become increasingly necessary to integrate the intelligence of the objects into the physical form itself and reconsider traditional mechanical preconceptions of dynamic behaviors.

The influence of physical computing on our contemporary design activity and research reveals that today’s architectural systems areprimarily responsive to our cultural, social and even political environment. Such automated systems are evolving and mutating according to the information processing, connectivity and media that generate them. « Architectural Robotics » will focus on the nature of automated processes, physical systems and tools that propel today’s most innovative digital design research and experiments. This issue of IJAC proposes to observe, analyze and question the conditions associated with these information mechanisms through a series of critical questions: What is the nature of architectural systems and design platforms with regard to the intensification of information assets? How does increasing desire for responsiveness and interactions affect digital design thinking? Are there technological limits to our ability to automate architectural systems? What is the relevance of evolutionary models for today’s physical computing? How can one integrate the complexity of our physical environment in the automation of architectural systems? How does physical computing impact cultural, social, political and economic dimensions in the field of architecture?

Architects, engineers, scientists, researchers in related design disciplines, and graduate/post graduate students in related field of inquiry are all invited to submit complete and original papers that have not been published elsewhere and are not currently under consideration for another journal. The submissions should be full-length papers (3000 – 5000 words, maximum length 6000 words) complete with illustrations reporting original research or practice.

Papers must be submitted only by the IJAC online system at
Please type « Catalyzing Architectural Robotics » in the « Optional Comments » box in the form.

More information about IJAC can be seen at:
Detailed instructions for authors can be seen at
A template can be downloaded from:

Important dates
Deadline for submitting papers: March 12th, 2012.
Notification of acceptance sent to authors: April 6th, 2012
Final papers due: May 4th, 2012
Publication date: August / September 2012

IJAC is a scientific, peer-reviewed journal, published by Multi-science

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