Call for Articles: ENQ Special Edition on Architecture, Waste and the Circular Economy

FRAC Dunkerque, Halle AP2, Lacaton & Vassal (photo: Phillippe Ruault)

ENQ Special Edition: The ARCC Journal
Architecture, Waste, and the Circular Economy

Guest Editor:
Ahmed K. Ali, Ph.D.
College of Architecture
Texas A&M University

Call for Articles
Waste is a global crisis. The world is drowning in an unprecedented amount of waste due to an increasing linear economy model that drive humanity to consume more every day. It was reported that the average American citizen consume nearly 32 times more that the average Indian citizen. Companies, businesses, and corporates are continuously racing to deplete the planet’s natural resources in an astonishing rate. The design and construction sector alone are responsible for 30-40% of total solid waste worldwide, yet as architects, designers, and planners the waste problem is almost absent from the current discourse, both in practice and academia. Beyond sustainability, and as ideas such as the Dutch “CircularCity” become more appealing to architects and designers, the architectural education must adopt a transformational shift in the design thinking process to prepare a more responsible future architect. A shift from goal-oriented design to means-oriented design requires a shift in the design studio pedagogy. A transformation is needed in education, practice, research, and related professions to address the current and emerging economic challenges post pandemics, and through the built environment lens. It is time to define the role of architecture and design in the circular economy paradigm shift. What is the role of the architect and architectural education in the waste problem? How design thinking can address the unavoidable crisis? Could the design studio be activated as a catalyst to provide holistic solutions to the problem? This call is intended to push the research agenda and to highlight the possibilities for scholars, designers, academics, and architects for research, teaching, and scholarship on the role of both the Higher Education and practice in the Circular Economy.

With this special edition of ENQ: The ARCC Journal, we invite submissions of manuscripts that address research questions that encompass the broad issues of the relationship between architecture, design, and the circular economy. Articles addressing the broad topic in the built environment across different theoretical perspectives, epistemologies, and methodological approaches are encouraged. Scales addressed could be from the detail to the building to the city. We welcome also empirical research, literature reviews, theoretical arguments, and methodological outlines.

This issue of ENQ is open to contributions that reflect upon (but not limited to) the following questions:

  • Design thinking: Redefining the architectural design framework and design process for a circular economy paradigm. How does architecture contribute by humanistic approaches adding the sublime and poetry, instead of basic pragmatic expectations?
  • Materiality: Mapping and engagement in a resource-based project delivery system. How does architecture contribute to synergies between industries for circular economy material choices?
  • Design validation: Adding value to waste streams from manufacturers and industries. Quantifying value by data analysis for material efficiency. Generating awareness for the potential of data driven design for a CE approach.
  • Interdisciplinary studies: integrating ideas by collaborating across disciplines at early design stage. What are the possible disciplines the architect could partner with for CE design approach?
  • Design efficacy: Introducing methodologies to address untapped opportunity in design within a CE paradigm. Can architecture lead to new methodologies for sustainability? What new methods could arise from engaging architects in the circular economy paradigm?


  • January 15, 2021: Announcing the call for articles
  • May 1, 2021. Deadline for submission of articles
  • October 30, 2021. Publication of the Special Edition

For more info, click Special Edition of ENQ.

ENQ (Enquiry), an open access journal for architectural research, is an online journal (ISSN 2329-9339) published by the Board of the Architectural Research Centers Consortium (ARCC) as a source for information on research in architecture. ENQ is committed to open sharing and persistent access to knowledge as a key element in building and maintaining an architectural research community.