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Knowledge spaces in architecture and urbanism – a preliminary five-year chronicle

Ashraf M. Salama (University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK)


ISSN: 2631-6862

Article publication date: 3 February 2022

Issue publication date: 14 February 2022




Commemorating the 15th year anniversary of discourse, knowledge dissemination in architecture and urbanism through the contributions published in Archnet-IJAR: International Journal of Architectural Research, since March 2007, this article aims to capture, unpack and categorize the key content of published research outputs during the last five years into knowledge spaces.


While referring to key statistics of various recognized databases in order to highlight the journal growth, development and performance, the approach to the analysis is inspired by Crysler's Writing Spaces: Discourses of Architecture, Urbanism and the Built Environment. This is established through a preliminary conceptual content analysis that enables the development of specific content categories representing knowledge spaces based on the overall contributions to the journal since its inception in 2007 and then mapping the recent contributions, developed over the past five years (2017–2021), to these knowledge spaces. The thrust of the analysis is to instigate a structured understanding of Archnet-IJAR role in the development and dissemination of knowledge in architecture and urbanism.


The examination of the content and the analysis reveal two broad categories of knowledge spaces: established and evolving. Established knowledge spaces are recognized in terms of theorizing architectural and urban production; the public realm and assessment of designed environments; housing, the informal and the vernacular; urban heritage and historic environments; and architectural and urban politics. Evolving knowledge spaces were acknowledged in terms of architectural education and design pedagogy; collaborative planning and community design; architectural and urban sustainability and resilience; health, wellbeing and engaging with nature; and COVID-19 spatial and pedagogical implications. Characterized by clear definition and at the same time transparent borders, the identified knowledge spaces have the potential of generating further possibilities for future knowledge spaces.

Research limitations/implications

In addition to a holistic analysis based on the scrutiny of contributions as they progressed from submissions to reviews to publishing, future work would involve more systematization, in-depth engagement with metadata and should benefit from IT applications and data mining software packages.

Practical implications

This article is regarded as a cognizance platform and an enabling mechanism for researchers and future contributors to identify the unique particularities of their research, the nature of the content they aim to develop and the way in which that content may contribute to one or more knowledge spaces.


Establishing an understanding of the knowledge spaces which represent contributions published in Archnet-IJAR, the knowledge spaces identified demonstrate diversity and plurality; diversity in ontological interpretations of the nature of reality and plurality and pluri-epistemology in terms of how methods are pursued and the way in which such interpretations are developed, recorded, documented and communicated. These are knowledge spaces of possibilities and anticipation of growth, evolution and development.



Thanks are due to the authors, reviewers and advisory board for the support they have given to Archnet-IJAR over many years. They have offered significant insights to generate the knowledge spaces presented in this article.


Salama, A.M. (2022), "Knowledge spaces in architecture and urbanism – a preliminary five-year chronicle", Archnet-IJAR, Vol. 16 No. 1, pp. 1-25.



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