Innover ?

Call for articles for the Cahiers de la recherche architecturale, urbaine et paysagère journal

Appel à articles des « Cahiers de la recherche architecturale, urbaine et paysagère »

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Published on Tuesday, February 21, 2017


Cahiers de la recherche architecturale, urbaine et paysagèr initiate a new online formula: an international scientific journal, aimed at research communities concerned with intentional spatial transformations, whatever the scales. The Cahiers aim to answer today's interests and questions, but also to renew them, thus opening up new avenues of research. Innovation is the theme of the first thematic notebook of the new formula.



Our society thinks of itself as innovative, in progress. Institutional pressure to innovate is constant and is resisted by a number of professional architects, urban and landscape planners, and scholars of these disciplines. The word “innovation” eventually carries with it negative connotations, which are associated with a reductive focus on form or technology, and within the framework of industrial processes and market economy.

Nevertheless, designers legitimately claim the uniqueness of every project, each being a prototype in itself; invention is now being considered as a necessity to address the specific demands of the situation. Moreover, as designers, they also aspire to participate in the renewal of their art9. Finally, there is only one step between inventions and innovation. They merely must meet the needs, aspirations and desires that reach beyond each case. They must find an expression that carries meaning and resonates with contemporary culture.

The notion of innovation thus implies social and cultural phenomena. Our relation to innovation is embedded in a complex system that economy itself is unable to apprehend. For this reason, the transposition of well-defined tools for innovation management, from the industry to the fields of architecture, urbanism, and landscape architecture raises questions. Its classical applications listed by the Oslo Manual10 (products, processes, services, commercializing and organization) are too restrictive. The terms of “product”, “market penetration”, “customer”, “performance” and others, must find specific translations in the field of architecture. These terms (at least in France), are primarily the expressions of culture and are of public interest, before being considered a commercial product.

Nowadays, new theoretical models formalize a decade of experiments that were conducted outside of a framework suited solely for the commercial sector. Innovation has become "frugal", "by intrapreneurship", "by algorithmic optimization", "technological by Research and Development", "by usage", "open source", "by crowdsourcing", "in business model" or "social"11. It is deployed and validated through in-vivo experiments, urban demonstrators, and territory-laboratories12. A good number of current trends in our disciplines pertain to these categories, and each of them are challenging in their own way the figures of the designers and of the users experimenting their work. .

With respect to these new trends in innovation, the first thematic issue of the Cahiers, proposes to examine the concept of innovation in architecture, urbanism and landscape architecture through four families of questions:

What can be considered as “new”?

On what basis? By whom (which group of actors)? Why do practitioners or artists (and which ones) refuse the term of innovation and prefer that of invention? How do innovative objects or devices interact with traditional ones, what alternative is there to disruptive innovation (Christensen)? What do innovation theories bring to the understanding of history? Which disciplines (history, sociology, economy, anthropology) are able to support new innovation theories specific to architecture, urbanism or landscape architecture? And finally, considering that innovation cannot be isolated from national and international circulations, what would be the role of these disciplines in that perspective?

Aims of innovation

Applied to the domain of culture, where marketing is debatable, can we say, as Etienne Klein does, that "innovation is an unfinalized necessity, which responds to a constraint without aiming at an objective"13? The aims of innovation are widening, both in terms of disciplines and spatial scale. It applies to a product or a manifest, of industry or art, or even to the very experience of their elaboration. While the architect, urbanist or landscape planner can precisely overcome this cleavage of our societies, how does one innovate with usages that are also routine habits? Are social or technical standards tools to enforce new solutions, or obstacles that hinder them? Between total respect for the inhabitants’ way of living and their complete negation, what balance can be found between listening and convincing, between education and manipulation of the user? Under what circumstances, can the reformulation of the social demand in spatial questions lead to innovation?

Innovation methods

The previous questions lead us to investigate the manner in which innovation may spring from processes. The artistic practitioner seems to be courted by innovation managers today. But according to what process can he best contribute to support ingredients towards innovation such as: subversive and ethical viewpoints, systemic and transdisciplinary visions, and intellectual (and transposable) frameworks for action? On the other hand, the processes in creating living environments such as: co-creation, bottom-up logic and the integration of ever more varied competences constitute research fields that are among the most productive in innovation. Can theories of innovation management be tried, criticized and enriched from these experiments, and seen as action-research? What new physical places (fab-labs, construction sites, co-working spaces, etc.) or institutional frameworks (public management, metropolitan pacts for innovation, etc.) will come from this? And what new convergences and new tools do these processes generate?

Pedagogy for innovation

Finally, on a pedagogical level, the problematic relationship between knowledge and innovation is a meaningful way of approaching teaching. New pedagogies emerge that claim innovative practice as a learning objective, focusing on experiential learning14, "digital materiality"15, collaborative design16, and so on. Students are often considered as resources for research and development projects. Do these situations allow bridging the persistent gap between creativity, which teachers know how to stimulate, and the true posture of innovation? What are the specific tools andtheir corresponding pedagogical strategies and what are the theoretical foundations and their limits? Who are these teachers and how do they present their actions? What drives them to innovate?

The aim of this first issue of the Cahiers de la recherche architecturale, urbaine et paysagère is thus to collect contributions that reflect the diversity of innovation models for the production of the living environment.The first issue will specify their concepts, aims, processes, actors and tools so to make them operative and teachable. Confronted with what the term "innovation" bears as a political and strategic tool, these works will naturally enrich the way in which architecture, landscape architecture and urbanism think themselves as academic disciplines, artistic fields and professional actors of environmental transformation.

Procedure for the transmission of draft articles

Proposals for articles will be sent by e-mail before 30 April 2017

to the editorial office of the Cahiers de la recherche architecturale, urbaine et paysagère secretariat-craup@culture.gouv.fr

For more information, contact Aude Clavel at +33 (0)6 10 55 11 36

The articles must not exceed 50,000 characters (spaces included), with notes and bibliography.
Reports must not exceed 30,000 characters (including spaces), notes, abstract and bibliography included.
Languages accepted: French, English.

Articles must be accompanied by:
− A biobibliographical record between 5 to 10 lines (name and first name of the author (s), professional status/titles, possible institutional link, research themes, latest publications, e-mail address).
− 2 abstracts respectively in French and English.
− 5 key words in French and 5 in English.

Instructions to authors

1 / General rules
Italic: words in foreign languages in relation to the language used, therefore op. cit., Ibid., cf., a priori, a posteriori, etc.
No use of bold (with the exception of titles) nor capitals (with the exception of the beginning of proper names, institutions, capitals for titles in English, etc.).
2 / Body of the text
The text must be entered in the Word software, using Times New Roman, size 12, line spacing 1.5, without any special formatting, except titles, headings, captions and paragraph breaks.
3 / Quotations
Quotations of less than 3 lines will be inserted into the text and placed between quotation marks.
Quotes of more than five lines will be indented to the left and right, size 10 (not 12), and without quotation marks.
4 / References
The bibliographical references will be grouped according to author’s name alphabetical order at the end of the article in a section titled "Bibliography", according to the following model:
For a book: First name Last name, Title, City of publishing, Publishing house (Collection), year of publication, page.
For a collective work: First name Last Name and First name Last name of dir./coord./eds./etc., Title, City of publishing, Publishing house, year of publication, page, or First name Last name et al., Title, City of publishing, Publishing house, year of publication, page.
For a chapter of a collective work: First name, Last name, (dir./coord./eds./etc.), Title, City of publishing, Publishing house, year of publication, page.
For a journal article: First Name Last Name, "Article Title", Journal Title, Vol./N °, Date, City of publishing, Publishing house, year of Publication, page.
For electronic reference: First name Last name, “Title of article”, Journal title, vol./n°, date, [online] [url], accessed on [date].
5 / Illustrations, charts and tables
The photographs accompanying the text should be scanned in high definition (300 dpi) in Jpg or Tiff formats. Text files will be distinct from graphic files.
The author must verify that the images / figures of which he is not the author are free of rights.
Otherwise, he must apply to the owner of the image / figure before submitting it to the magazine.
Illustrations, charts and tables must be legendary in a specific way:
− The title of the illustrations should be placed above the illustration.
− The legend and credits (source, copyright, etc.) must be placed under the illustration on two separate lines.

Editorial line

Placed in the fields of architectural, urban and landscape research, the Cahiers initially developed from the 1970s in research labs of the French schools of architecture. On becoming an online international journal, the Cahiers initiates today a new formula targeted towards the research communities concerned by intentional transformations of space, whatever the scales. The journal aims at meeting current interests and issues in these fields, seeking to renew them and to open new directions of research. Three main research issues are more directly questioned. One specifically concerns theoretical aspects, in order to develop exchanges and discussions between theories of design, planning, architecture and landscape. Another issue refers to the materiality of the city, the technical know-how involved in spatial transformation, but also the material dimension of of transfer and mobilization phenomena, often analyzed in other journals from a-spatial angles. Lastly, the third issue questions the project and its design, which holds a special place in the sciences and the practice of space (performative roles of projects, theories of practice). These three poles call for interdisciplinary works, dedicated to trace in-depth explanations of the transformations of the built environment at the Anthropocene Era. The expected scientific production refers to common criteria of peer reviewing processes. It could pay a particular attention to the issues of pictures and visual production in a field where images can serve as discourse.

Thematics folders

Les Cahiers de la recherche architecturale, urbaine et paysagère online issue two or three time a year a thematic folder dedicated to a specific and problematized theme, and which consists of around ten articles in French and English.

A call for papers is broadcasted for each thematic heading. Proposals may be in French or English. The evaluation is peer-rewiewed.


The online magazine has 3 headings to accommodate miscellaneous articles, and outside thematic folders.

Research news: Various reports: theses, entitlement to supervise research , reviews of works, exhibitions
Research materials: interviews, practitioners’ discourses, translations, reference texts ...
Debates and controversies: young researchers/doctorates, debates and controversies
Proposals may be in French or English. The texts are evaluated and peer-rewiewed.


  • Sunday, April 30, 2017


  • innovation


  • Aude Clavel
    courriel : craup [dot] secretariat [at] gmail [dot] com

Information source

  • Aude Clavel
    courriel : craup [dot] secretariat [at] gmail [dot] com


CC0-1.0 This announcement is licensed under the terms of Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal.

To cite this announcement

« Innovation », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Tuesday, February 21, 2017, https://doi.org/10.58079/wzw

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