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FAmagazine. Research and project on architecture and city

On the occasion of ANVUR’s acknowledgement of its scientific nature, FAmagazine. Research and Projects on Architecture and the City, proposes an international Call for Papers concerning topical themes and problems in the debate on architecture and the contemporary city. FAmagazine is a scientific Open Access magazine, which publishes bi-lingual articles in ITA-ENG identified by the DOI code after submitting them for Peer Review, and possesses an International Scientific Committee. It is index-linked in the main international databases (DOAJ, DSPACE, URBADOC – ARCHINET)


Participation in the Call is open to national and international architectural academics (PhDs, researchers, professors and architects).

The Call is divided into 3 sections, each of which will represent one or more monographic issues.

The paper sent (in conformity with the instructions and belonging to one of the 3 sections) will be subjected to double-blind peer review. Based on a motivated assessment, the reviser can decide whether the article:

a) is acceptable as it is;

b) is acceptable, but only if the author modifies it following the indications in the comments/suggestions;

c) is refused for the moment, encouraging a revision and re-submission, on the basis of some suggested lines of improvement;

d) is refused, suggesting that the author present it elsewhere to more suitable destinees.

The peer review assessments will be communicated to the author of the article via mail.

Every academic may participate in more than one section.

Also projects may be submitted. In this case, please remember that these must be accompanied by a report/article with the characteristics described at point C.


B.1. city

B.2. theory

B.3. education

B.1. city

Smart design for a Smart city

After the debate over sustainability seen as the mere superimposition of a technological code on the architectural project with a view to covering it up, the city project risks finding itself having to tackle a further quandary: that of the Smart City.

Instead, just as the sustainability project is nothing more than a set of good practices or rules for architectural or urban composition that have determined the growth of the city according to a sequential progressive relationship of formally and functionally completed parts so, in a similar way, also the “intelligent” project is such if it finds in the fabric of the city some rules for future building.

The use of technology or the latest electronic discoveries to support the complex mechanical functioning of the city can only be welcome. To avoid it becoming like the chimera of domotics, which, to automatically deal with domestic chores burdens man with actions thereby reducing him to a robot controller, architectural and city design needs to find the right balance between internal and external regulations.

The Smart City of the 21st century cannot be built solely through the application of technologies (even if intelligent) that implement the city's functionality and that can unquestionably be of service to certain processes of urban development and support for daily living.

Hence, while admitting a certain faith in the architectural project, in the traditional sense, and its extension to include urban design like the experience that made the era of the 1960s-1980s one of the most interesting in reflections on the city project, we are convinced that this still lies (and always will) at the basis of any urban intervention, including technological improvements in the switch from city to Smart City.

The CITY section is for researchers who tackle the theme of the Smart City and the role of the urban project in the transformation from city to Smart City.

B.2. theory

Dispositio and architectural composition

“Architecture consists of putting in order, which in Greek is taxis, in arranging, which the Greeks call diathesis, of eurhythmics, symmetry, decorum and distribution, in Greek oikonomia.” (Vitruvius, Book I, I.II)

Vitruvius laid down two principles of order: ordinatio and dispositio.

Ordinatio has a quantitative, concrete nature.

The dimensions of the work are obtained through the choice of a module, which corresponds to the measurement of one of its main parts. It is not fortuitous that Vitruvius calls the number of modules attributed to each member quantitas, and the relationship between members commodulatio.

Dispositio consists in an appropriate collocation of things and in the choice of the work's effect (elegansque effectus operis) in quality composition.”

An apparently simple definition introduces a theme of great topicality and complexity in relation to the condition of the contemporary city and that of architecture and city. The phrase “appropriate collocation of things” establishes a dialectic between “things” and “place”. It introduces a binary opposition, which, by extension, concerns the relationship between figure and background, object and field, structure and form, whether in a) geometric-topological terms or b) meaning.

A) The geometric-topological terms concern the selection of models of spatial configuration, which establish a positional logic between one element and another, and between element and field, (the Greek term that Vitruvius translated with ordinatio is taxis, which means, “order on the battlefield”). The same category embraces the elementarist research of John Hejduk into the dynamic relationship between elementary figures and field: “In the ½ House, the barriers of equal length define the field of action.” - “This system establishes front, back, left and right sides in the field.” - ”The ½ House comes about through the subdivision of the foundation field into individual sections. (...) The exterior spaces thus defined expand on the sides beyond the limits of the field.”

B) It is clear that, within this so-called “binary opposition”, “structure” and “background” must also be understood as “rhetorical structure” and the very referents through which signs, in their undifferentiated and arbitrary value, assume a figurative consistency. In this regard, Yve-Alain Bois speaks of “substitution or metaphoric displacement".

The THEORY section is for researchers who, within the architectural project and specifically in architectural and urban composition, can correlate their studies to the Vitruvian term “dispositio”, in its various meanings and in the topicality of urban design processes.

B.3. education

Building and/is building ourselves. The complex relationship between architecture and education.

Architecture belongs to an order of studies that enjoy no pre-university teaching. Apart from the avant-garde pedagogies widespread among primary schools during the last century, which acknowledged a formative role in experiencing space and its construction, until university studies a sensitivity for space and its symbolic, functional, and aesthetic implications, was entrusted to play, to the environment we live in, to the spatial experience that the school building itself can offer, defined by the pedagogist Loris Malaguzzi as “the third teacher”.

E. N. Rogers defined architecture as “fecund activity” since, like having children, it presupposes trust in the future and he asked that the architecture of schools be “educative architecture”.

If we understand the term "education" in its etymology, from ex-ducere, bringing out, in the Nietzschian sense of “becoming what you are” through a formative process, then every work of architecture should be educative: allowing us an authentic life that represents us in our potentiality, being bildung, construction and education.

Therefore, the eduction of the architect cannot avoid being bildung: training in the capacity to build one's own knowledge and skills and put them to use within one's own humanistic critical vision, which only radical pedagogy, like that described by Beatriz Colomina, can elicit. (Exhibition Radical Pedagogies: Action, Reaction, Interaction, 14th Biennial of Architecture of Venice, on pedagogical experimentation in architectural education).

A school building project is the most emblematic challenge in this sense: it requires the management of a complex programme in an interdisciplinary dialogue with scientific sectors, which, by their very nature, tendon to dictate programmes. Hence the outcome of some experiences of scholastic architecture: pedagogy arranges, the regulations respond, the technician applies the regulations. Instead, if architecture is not identifiable with the programme but is experience and interpretation of the world, the search for and expression of meanings, itself hermeneutic and pedagogic, all of this needs to be demonstrated first and foremost by designing a place in which values, meanings and ideas are discussed, sought and transmitted.

It is necessary to design new places for learning (e.g. by going beyond the division between service spaces and served spaces, and extending to all spaces a role in the educative process as a total and physical experience), as it is to reflect on the centrality of schools in the city, on the opening up to community and a multiplicity of uses, designing education as a collective process that continues beyond class time, beyond the scholastic period, throughout life, aspects which a regulatory/performance approach risks excluding.

The EDUCATION section is for researchers who wish to question the relationship between education and architecture in its various guises: research into works of architecture as education (the “third teacher”), research into architectural education (inside but also before university), and research into architecture through didactic experimentation.


By 30 January 2015, 15 febbruary 2015 (new deadline) academics must mail to

- the paper of 9-11,000 characters (spaces included) in Italian and/or English in Word format;

- the abstract of 500 characters (spaces included) in Italian and/or English in Word format;

- a variable number of images (min. 3, max. 15) in JPG format with a resolution of at least 300dpi base 10cm, labelled sequentially e.g.: img01, img02, etc;

- captions for the images in Italian and/or English in Word format;

- a biography of the academic of 700 characters (spaces included) in Italian and/or English in Word format;

- key words (min. 3, max. 6) in Italian and/or English in Word format;

- a bibliography in Italian and/or English in Word format;

- A PDF file containing the article complete with abstract, images, captions, bibliography, biography of the author/s and the key words. (See link below).

The text must be written in accordance with the magazine's editorial standards.

The contribution must be unpublished.

Also projects may be sent, as long as they are accompanied by an article/report with the characteristics mentioned above.


The magazine's international scientific committee for the call consists of 15 lecturers in architectural design. See LINK


by 30 January 2015 sending of papers;

by 28 February 2015 communication of the peer review assessments;

by 30 March 2015 sending of papers with any modifications;


by 15 February 2015 sending of papers;

by 15 March 2015 communication of the peer review assessments;

by 15 April 2015 sending of papers with any modifications;




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