Call for papers - JOELHO - Journal of Architectural Culture #15 - Architectural Design as a Co-Creation Process



Architectural Design as a Co-Creation Process


Guest Editors

Gonçalo Canto Moniz, Luís Miguel Correia, José António Bandeirinha


The central theme of JOELHO 15 is urban architecture of the 20th and 21st centuries, with a special focus on the way in which a project is revealed as a space for collective engagement. The processes of producing architecture and urban environments have always arisen from transformations brought about by the collective, i.e. by society. The city, moreover, is the space in which these changes are engraved in our collective memory, their origins embedded in cultural, social, economic-financial, and political phenomena, among others.

The intense social and artistic movements that emerged from the political struggles of the 1960s spurred many European architects to seek new ways to conceive of the public as the ultimate consumers of architecture. Answers were sought to the challenges engendered by the urgent need to house urban populations who were living in precarious conditions; new paradigms for architectural education were being advanced; and the uses of public space in the city became a prominent concern. In response, architects were motivated to explore design practices that involved members of the public in the decision-making process, especially during certain of its stages. Architecture became more deeply embedded in human concerns. Nevertheless Giancarlo De Carlo’s pilot projects for Urbino and Terni, the housing programmes proposed by the Service of Local Ambulatory Support (Serviço de Apoio Ambulatório Local – SAAL), or Sherry R. Arnstein’s theoretical framework (“A Ladder of Citizen Participation”), among other contributions, created a legacy that architectural projects of the later 1980s and 1990s would abandon.1 This was mainly due to an emerging neoliberal political model, the emergence of the star system in architecture, and the limitations of such participatory processes.

Today, political, sociocultural, economic, financial and, in particular, climate crises pervade the five continents to varying degrees. This has reawakened a need to foster greater dialogue between those responsible for spatial planning—architects, urban planners, and landscape architects—and the publics, whether those who live, study, and work in a particular environment or its visitors. In this context, the promotion of urban regeneration processes is taking place both in the cities’ central areas, in which tourists and a new generation of citizens are welcomed, and in their outskirts, with the aspiration of offering better conditions for the local communities. In many of these processes, citizens are being invited to participate along with design technicians to develop solutions.

This openness of the citizenry to participative processes of urban regeneration has brought about a growth in public awareness of the issues associated with social inclusion and climate change, such as the seventeen sustainable development objectives established by the UN (see

Broadly speaking, participatory processes operate on the principle of combating inequalities and guaranteeing an inclusive life for all, as in the case of feminist, intersectional perspectives. The present-day practice of architecture is inherently linked to these global debates. As always, the city constitutes a privileged space where society’s intentions for the future are expressed.

The artistic, social and technical dimensions of the architect’s work, which left a mark on 20th-century practices, have accordingly evolved to engage different forms of thought and knowledge, leading many architects to rethink their position towards the architectural project. In this revision of the architect’s role, it is now, more than ever, necessary to reflect on new epistemological and evolutionary aims, with attention to the ontological crisis of the city, as the low density of urban sprawl entails challenges to the city as an eminently political entity.

JOELHO 15 will explore whether citizen participation in the different stages of the design process has, or may have, tangible consequences for the way the city is projected and experienced. Researchers, educators, and professionals are invited to submit proposals that can contribute to critical discussion on the co-creation of architectural and urban spaces.

We welcome contributions that relate theoretical positioning to practical cases, through graphic and written architectural argumentation, which may be complemented by interdisciplinary dialogue with scientific areas relevant to the co-creation process. Proposals should be framed within the following areas:

  1. a critical review of processes, projects, and works of architectural and urban design that are the result of participatory processes;
  2. contemporary co-creative practices that include new models and tools for participation that affect action upon the city;
  3. pedagogical or research experiments that apply models and tools of urban design and participatory architecture in particular contexts.

1 Sherry R. Arnstein, “A Ladder of Citizen Participation,” JAIP, Vol. 35, no. 4 (July 1969): 216–224.



Authors need to register prior to submitting ( If already registered, simply log in and begin the 5-step process.

First stage: potential contributors should submit the full article in English (4,000 to 6,000 words, plus footnotes and captions), an abstract (with no more than 1000 characters, including spaces) and illustrations until January 31st, 2023. These will be subject to a blind peer-review process.

Blind peer-reviews will be reported to the authors until April 1st, 2023.

Second stage: Articles found suitable for publication must take into account the reviewers’ comments. A revised article must be then submitted until May 1st, 2023.