Shifting needs and circumstances demand architecture and design become fields adaptable to change. Adaptive reuse, for example, emphasizes the ways in which buildings can be altered to serve new functions and conform to the requirements of their users. Similarly, this concept can be applied to how we design our built environment to better respond to the impacts of climate change and the needs of our communities.
Adaptation in architecture and design can take various forms, from minor modifications to a building's layout to significant renovations that completely alter its function. One of the main challenges in architectural adaptation is finding a balance between the preservation of historical and cultural heritage with the creation of functional, sustainable, and resilient buildings that meet our current and future needs. Architects and designers must also consider how their designs will adjust to the repercussions of climate change, such as rising sea levels and extreme weather events, and how they can create more sustainable and resilient built environments.
Although adapt means to make suitable, to make fit, and to update in response to dynamic surroundings, it can also mean to conform and comply. In times of change, architecture’s adaptability through the design of spaces, material systems, urban environments, and policies should be measured against its purposes. Sometimes, a decision not to adapt could be a viable architectural intervention.
In this issue, we encourage submissions that investigate the theme of adaptation through the lens of architecture and design. From examining how buildings can meet the needs of their users, to how architects and designers respond to shifting societal and environmental conditions, we encourage authors of this issue to delve into the intricacies of adaptation.
Our goal is to shed light on the different strategies and approaches that architects and designers can employ to create adaptable and resilient built environments that can withstand the ever-changing needs and conditions of our society.
Two submission types are currently accepted for publication in the CAJ. Submissions are to align with one of the following: research essay or visual essay.
__Research essay submissions (3000-4000 words) are intended for text-based work pursuing an academic research question in a particular field of study. Accompanying visual materials (5 images max.) are highly encouraged.
__Visual essay submissions are intended for image-based work illustrating a developed concept. A sequence of visual materials (10 images max.) is to be accompanied by a piece of text (300-600 words) that clearly presents the topic, concept, or point of view of the work.
The topics of all submissions should relate to space, design or architecture in some form while also addressing the issue theme.
All submissions are to be formatted in a Microsoft Word document (.docx) using Times New Roman, size 12 font. Double spacing and standard 2.5 cm margins should be used. Citations are to conform with the Chicago Manual of Style, with footnotes and a bibliography. All images should be at least 300 PPI and be captioned by the author. Authors will be responsible for securing permissions to publish any images not created by them (i.e. third-party images).
Please include a cover page with project title, type of submission (research essay or visual essay), your name, date of completion, level of study (U1, U2, M1, M2…), and faculty of study. If completed as part of a registered course, the name of the professor in charge and the course name are to be provided as well. Both French and English submissions are welcome.
Please note, submissions are restricted to current and former undergraduate and graduate students from McGill University.
Deadline for submissions: May 5th 2023.
For infos and submissions, please send at