About the Journal

Peer-reviewed journal for interdisciplinary research in architecture, urban design and planning

Current Issue

There is something about invention in architecture and art that cannot be properly willed, cannot be reduced to a minimum effort for a maximum effect. Almost counter-intuitively, it is through repeated practice that something that was not possible suddenly becomes so. Whether it is addressed in education, practice or research, this poses a particular challenge, because it seems to preclude recourse to any single normative and prescriptive design methodology or pedagogy. If future architects and artists are no longer simply to emulate unquestionably the ‘geniuses’, how can educators, practitioners or researchers work with the technics available today not as tools to be learned, but as instruments with which one cultivates, through repeated practice, a literacy or a mastership?

This special issue of Contour features contributions from a session chaired by Michael R. Doyle (U. Laval) and Diana Alvarez-Marin (ETH Zurich) as part of the Scaffolds symposium organized by the ALICE lab at the EPF Lausanne and held in Brussels in 2018.

Includes contributions from: Adil Bokhari (ETH Zurich), Emmanuelle Chiappone-Piriou (TU Wien), Diana Cristobal-Olave (Princeton), Nick Mols (U. Edinburgh) and Riccardo Villa (TU Wien).

Published: 2020-06-19


When Tools Become Instruments: Introduction to the Special Issue

Michael Doyle; Diana Alvarez-Marin
Abstract 65 | xml Downloads 6 pdf Downloads 27

The Space Within. Notes on the Architectonics of the Mirror

Riccardo M. Villa
Abstract 66 | xml Downloads 6 pdf Downloads 23

Step-by-Step: The Algorithmization of Creativity under Francoist Developmentalism

Diana Cristobal Olave
Abstract 61 | xml Downloads 17 pdf Downloads 11

Uncertainty and Poetic Inhabitation: Or how to articulate chance

Emmanuelle Chiappone-Piriou
Abstract 50 | xml Downloads 10 pdf Downloads 19

Early Modern Emulation as Contemporary Representation

Nick Mols
Abstract 169 | xml Downloads 9 pdf Downloads 6