CALL FOR PAPERS
International Journal of Islamic Architecture (IJIA)
Special Issue: The Urgency of the Digital
Thematic volume planned for July 1, 2025
Proposal submission deadline: June 1, 2023
This special issue focuses on the critical and urgent use of digital tools, interfaces, media, and methods for the study and design of Islamic architecture, cities, and the built environment. Over recent decades, architectural historians, architects, and other specialists of the built environment have drawn increasingly on digitized databases, digital data, and processing software to reimagine the history, documentation, design, and construction of buildings, gardens, and cities wholesale. Representations of historical, contemporary, razed and never-built structures are now fully realizable, and massive corpora of information that once took many months or years to sort can now be analyzed in seconds. Yet, digital tools, infrastructures, and databases bring their own set of concerns. Databases, like all archives, do not merely contain information, they are information. And as such, they bear the marks of the epistemologies that shape them. Digital files are always remediated, meaning that they are the products of multiple human interventions, just as analogue media are. Some of the platforms that facilitate virtual reality simulations of architecture, cities, and transcontinental migrations enjoy an uncomfortable kinship with the pervasive governmental and private surveillance technologies in use today. Artificial intelligence (AI) has enormous potential to transform the way that architects, city planners, and historical preservationists work, and yet racial, gendered, ethnic, and religious biases in the datasets that machine-learning algorithms employ raise questions about the ramifications of these undertakings. Digital frameworks enable more expansive, multi-layered, and speculative investigations of buildings, cities, and spaces, but they also demand rigorous scrutiny.
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