Monocultural production—the dominance of a single raw material in a regional economy—has figured strongly in the designs and representations of the Global South. From the intimacy of sensory experience to the ravages of war, raw materials have linked disparate territories through transnational circuits of exchange, imperial regimes, and technology transfers. What remains under examined is the relationship of these commodities to aesthetics and the construction of the built environment in connection to the rise of global capitalism. This special issue of Architectural Theory Review will argue that the extraction, processing, storage, and circulation of commodities has shaped images, buildings, and landscapes across Latin America, Asia, and Africa.
What are some of the methodologies required by this shift from the iconic, singular object to the infrastructural network linked to the trade of primary materials and transfer of technologies? In exploring these themes, this special issue will examine architecture’s links to a larger constellation of disciplines, from graphic design to photography to infrastructure. Potential papers might treat the role of cattle, grain, or coffee as architecture and design participate in their commodification. For instance, how does oil figure in the architecture of Iraqi modernism? How does the sugar industry inform the logic of Cuban urbanism? We are interested in research that addresses a wide range of geographical areas and time periods, from the conquests of the fifteenth century to our neoliberal present, paying close attention to the relationship between aesthetics, politics, and economics.
Architectural Theory Review, founded at the University of Sydney in 1996 and now in its twentieth year, is the pre-eminent journal of architectural theory in the Australasian region. Published by Routledge in print and online, the journal is an international forum for generating, exchanging, and reflecting on theory in and of architecture. All texts are subject to a rigorous process of blind peer review.
The deadline for the submission of completed manuscripts is 30 January 2017. Please submit manuscripts to the journal’s website: https://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/ratr
When uploading your manuscript please indicate that you are applying for this special issue: vol. 21.3 – Designing Commodity Cultures. For any questions regarding this issue, please directly contact Ana María León and Niko Vicario.
Manuscript submission guidelines can be found on the Architectural Theory Review website.