|Charrette Call for Contributions| Beginning Architecture: Contextualising thresholds in architectural education

Guest Editors: Raymond Quek (Norwich University of the Arts), Angeliki Sioli (TU Delft), and Jodi La Coe (Marywood University).

Charrette, the journal of the association of architectural educators (aae), first published in 2013, is now well established as a pioneering journal for academics, practitioners, and theorists engaged in design teaching practices and theoretical debates. For this issue (Volume 9, Issue 1), Charrette invites papers – essays, projects/narratives, polemics and book reviews – that explore the changing global contexts of the initial threshold when beginning architectural education.


Beginning Architecture is a threshold experience that has taken on many guises – from benign to radical – within distinct cultural contexts over the centuries. Annual academic events, like the National Conference for the Beginning Design Student in the United States, attempt to shed light on the first steps that a student takes towards a professional education. This issue investigates the conditions that define the education of architects at the commencement of their studies, exploring these conditions through the educational philosophies employed within diverse academic environments around the world.

The beginning educational context incorporates the introduction of a body of knowledge and the cultivation of design thinking through topics of creation, communication, history, theory, ethics and the environment. At the same time, a beginning design student navigates a world riddled with complicated realities – anthropological and cultural diversity, climate, vulnerable economies and the politics of communities, inhabitation, and well-being. Underneath are traditional aspects of scholarship, studentship, enterprise and aspiration. Intersecting all of these are developing technologies, radical changes in access to information, and a profession that is ever-evolving its tools, methods and processes. For this issue, we invite papers that examine these changed and changing conditions in beginning architectural teaching and learning. How does one begin, or how should one begin, architecture in the 21st century?


This issue of Charrette seeks to foreground the beginning stages of architectural education—including themes of information, entrepreneurship, experimentation and new curricula. How has an instantaneous access to a changing landscape of information changed beginning architecture? Is a student’s access to information enabling different kinds of pedagogical experimentation when they start navigating the world of architectural education? Are changes in the architectural field, where entrepreneurship is a necessity, captured in beginning architecture? Are the unit system, the atelier style or the studio format responding to contemporary ways architecture is created? What educational management strategies and organisational platforms are positioned to leverage design thinking and transferable skills? Are studio projects championing individual genius as the best preparation for future professional team working? How should the communication of knowledge take place? Is the traditional in-person lecture format sufficient for the way students gain an understanding of the material? How are courses on building technologies, environmental studies, philosophy, history, ethics, and professional practice, connecting students with the bigger questions confronting architects? Are students prepared for the ethical challenges of the changing world beyond the University?

Possible Topics for Articles:

Contributions are invited from teachers, mentors, and learners (past and present) that address one or more of the following areas as they relate to Beginning Architecture:
● access to information;
● necessity of entrepreneurship;
● experimentations in design thinking; and
● the development of new pedagogical models.

Submission Formats:

In their expression of interest, authors should clearly indicate which of the following formats they are submitting under and whether the submission will be in written and/or graphic form:
● Conventional Essays – 5,000-8,000 words (including all references and endnotes) – must demonstrate their intellectual and theoretical context, method and data, and have a clear conclusion.
● Projects / Personal Narratives – 3,000-5,000 words (including all references and endnotes) – substitute traditional “academic” data with descriptive and reflective content related to personal, educational experiences and/or projects. Narratives may include more images, diagrams, and illustrations.
● Freespace – 3,000-5,000 words (including all references and endnotes) – allows for authors to develop accessible, provocative, and/or polemical work which may be written or illustrated.
● Book Reviews – 1,000-3,000 words (including all references and endnotes) – examine a contemporary book that is relevant to the theme of this issue. Authors are encouraged to choose texts that have been published within the last five years.

Publication Timeline:

Queries regarding the theme of this special issue should be directed to the Guest Editors – Raymond Quek, Angeliki Sioli, and Jodi La Coe at AAEbeginningarchitecture@gmail.com.
500-word expressions of interest should be submitted in the body email, containing author name(s), affiliations and contact details to charrette@architecturaleducators.org according to the timeline below. Selected authors will then be invited to submit a full paper for double-blind peer review and editorial review.

● Call for contributions distributed: May 2022;
● Expressions of interest due: 8 July 2022 at 12:00GMT;
● Notification of selected contributions: July 2022;
● Submission of full contributions: 31 October 2022 at 12:00GMT;
● Notification to authors: December 2022;
● Collaborative editing process: January 2023;
● Publication Charrette 9(1): Spring 2023.

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