Call for Papers Informa Issue 14: “Guilty Pleasures: Spaces, Places, and Routines”

Where uncertainty, division, separation, havoc, and disease befall communities worldwide, many folks have resorted to embracing ways to bring solace, gratification, indulgence, and joy into the spaces we inhabit. instead of beginning to figure on a problem that directly and explicitly discusses the issues of our times because the focus, our 14th Issue sets bent critically examine the spaces, places, and routines that give us pleasure because of—and despite—the chaos. Reminded of Bernard Tschumi’s words in “The Pleasure of Architecture”, where he posits that “the ancient idea of delight still seems sacrilegious to contemporary architectural theory”, this issue of informa aims to review pleasure as a tool with agency.

What is there to be said about pleasure, through the lens of architectural discourse? within the context of a worldwide pandemic, quarantine, and lockdown, what creative strategies for placemaking have we imagined? How does the connection between public and personal get reconfigured, when the architectural and concrete typologies meant to intentionally exude pleasure to users—theaters, plazas, beach clubs, gyms, churches, amusement parks, restaurants, etc—become high-risk sites for contagion? What unexpected places can we “escape” to, no matter an individual’s economic resources? How has the very idea of home been challenged to satisfy our current needs? When our bodies are both what’s at danger, also as what endangers others, how have we reimagined intimacy and therefore the spaces where it unfolds?

This issue, themed ‘Guilty Pleasures’, is about questioning and unpacking the role of delight within the places we inhabit, also as any aspect of shame—social or individual—associated with it. we would like to explore these at different scales, from the private to the collective, from private to public spheres, from the individual to the planetary. We have an interest in pleasure as performed and embodied, also as spatial, material, and aesthetic. Through incorporating guilt and pleasure, not even as the objects of study, but also as design processes, as relational artifacts, research methods, modes of escaping, agents for individual survival, and even ecological inquiry, Issue 14 seeks to celebrate, critique, and rethink the connection between our bodies and our built and natural environments.

We are seeking research papers, short essays, photo essays, book reviews, and architectural projects that are heavily informed, contested, and driven by pleasure and its reference to spaces. Likewise, we have an interest in discussing pleasure alongside pain, distress, and desolation. We particularly welcome interdisciplinary crossings between the fields of architecture, queer theory, media studies, urban studies, environmental studies, decolonial studies, and art . Notably, we are committed to foregrounding and publishing work about and by minorities, especially BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) women, LGBTQ+ folk, and Latin Americans; we highly encourage their submissions.

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