This issue of dearq  seeks to shed light on a spectrum of spatial, material, and research practices intertwining architecture, design, and computation. We welcome contributions that address these from critical, de-colonial, and local perspectives, with a non-exclusive focus on Latin America and the rest of the “Global South”.

Recent debates on the role of computation in architectural practice and education tend to be framed within theoretical armatures that originate in the global centers of knowledge and economy.

Likewise, dominant discourses on computation in architecture and design often normalize technologies as autonomous forces that trigger inextricable historical ‘turns.’ It is thus tempting, but questionable, to understand the adoption of these technologies —software, hardware, simulations, algorithms, formal systems, digital fabrication, robotics, etc.— as a one-way process; a linear path between ‘past’ and ‘future’; and, at the same time, between ‘province’ and ‘metropolis’.

Our purpose is to avoid reinscribing these narratives by incorporating discourses form other physical, cultural, and ideological geographies that explore the historical, political, and sociomaterial complexities of computation in architectural practice and research. For example, recent studies have shown that histories of computation in Latin America and Oceania hold important clues to rethink diverse fields including digital music, computational economics, and management cybernetics.

How do such trajectories intersect with architecture?

We invite articles that mobilize histories, theories, or projects across the architectural, the artistic, and the pedagogical, which shed light on computational practices such as appropriations, reinterpretations, and hacks; indigenous, local, or community-based computation; culturally-situated applications of formal systems or human-robot manufacturing in design —as well as analyses of colonial and developmentalist paths of architectural education and practice—. Our goal is to challenge linear histories and center-periphery splits, and highlight the nuances and inflection points that usually go unnoticed in technological narratives. To move the inquiry away from a universalist computation  to plural, situated, and local computations.

Guest editors:

Daniel Cardoso Llach, Carnegie Mellon University, United States

Andrés Burbano, Universidad de los Andes, Colombia

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