Events And Opportunities

CFP: Journal of Technology | Architecture + Design (TAD) - Measured

Measurement is fundamental to the discipline of architecture. Through measurement, one gains a more complete understanding of what is intended to be produced and how to produce it. Designers test ideas through digital and physical analyses, and communicate design intent through dimensioned drawings. Even after construction, predicted performance is measured against actual effects in post-occupancy evaluations. In this sense, measurement is a way to negotiate between the built construct and the ideals, performances, and evaluations that frame it. Thus, measurement is a form of translation and assessment that is both quantitative and qualitative.

Technology plays a vital role in the mediation between design ideas and their physical manifestation. Increasingly more precise digital design, analysis, and fabrication processes allow for more efficiency in architecture, a goal driven in part by the desire to curb waste and lessen the negative impacts of construction.  Through this measured approach, structures and systems can be lighter and perform better, thereby enhancing environments and experiences. Similarly, measurements of admired built constructs can help to establish new design goals. In this way, the act of measuring can be aspirational.

Yet through stipulations ranging from statistical tolerance and standard deviation to verify in field, the discipline acknowledges the lack of absolutism in measurement, which is not always easy or even possible. With new material assemblies, for example, their performance may be difficult to assess without physical testing. On the other hand, an optimized daylighting design might not consider the variety of occupants’ habits, complicating performance analysis. Consequently, some have argued that measurement, especially in terms of optimization, can be a hindrance to design and the designer’s intuition about aesthetic experiences. So, like simulation, measuring is not always clear-cut. Some measurements require deep knowledge for interpretation and comparison. Similarly, depending on the context, there may be a small tolerance for inaccuracy, whereas other times there is a wide acceptable range. This suggests there is both a science and an art to measurement.

This issue of TAD seeks scholarly submissions and primary research concerning measurement in technology, architecture and design. Have new forms of measurement caused us to rethink architecture?  How is quantitative research translated qualitatively? What are the frameworks, standards and scales that impact measurement in research? Have engagements with other disciplines caused us to measure or evaluate architecture differently? Through examining these and other questions, Measured intends to provide a forum for expanding the discourse on measurement and its implications for architecture and design.

Submit manuscripts at

SAH thanks The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Fund at The Chicago Community Foundation for its operating support.
Society of Architectural Historians
1365 N. Astor Street
Chicago, Illinois 60610
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