Manifest, issue #1: call for proposals

MANIFEST, a new annual independent print journal on American architecture and urbanism, is requesting text, project, and photographic proposals for its first issue entitled, “Looking Inward.” Edited by Anthony Acciavatti, Justin Fowler, and Dan Handel, and supported in part by the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, MANIFEST was founded to initiate a critical conversation about the state of American architecture, its cities, and its hinterland, tackling head-on what others have abandoned. While MANIFEST intends to question the assumptions behind singular constructions of America by tracing its origins and its global influence, the journal also strives to define the uniqueness of American forms of
city-building and the distinct set of material and political parameters through which these forms are shaped.

The theme of our first issue, “Looking Inward,” is broadly construed as an interrogation of a “New World” taken for granted. Rather than abandoning this new world for a newer world to the east or or circling the wagons here at home, this issue of MANIFEST speaks less to a continual rehearsal of the initial American experiment in favor of a prompt toward the active shaping of its evolution. “Looking Inward” asks how can we take the reigns of a process once deemed to be a function of destiny. Why does America merit scrutiny? Assuming America deserves scrutiny, what parts have been overlooked and are deserving of attention? Of the areas that have received attention, how can they be amended, broadened, or rendered new and unfamiliar? What are the projects of America? For this issue, MANIFEST encourages a range of narratives, from the panoramic to the miniature, so long as they recast our understanding of how America is artificial, peculiar, and intriguing.

While one measure of the issue will be to articulate the necessity of the American project (the “why”, “when”, “where”, and “why now?”), we also hope to jump right into the “how” by suggesting approaches through which to re-ignite the formal, political, economic, and perhaps even the poetic efficacy of the American built environment. The publication will act as a forum—though not a disinterested one—and in this effort, no ideological or methodological precept will be taken for granted. As withdrawal and engagement are never acceptable as ends in themselves, we ask that claims of autonomy, revolution, pragmatism, continuity, advocacy, and/or activism offer compelling narratives of the ends that inspire their means.


— For essays, please submit an abstract of 500–750 words + images, along with a brief bio or CV.

— For columns (op-eds or historical vignettes), please submit an abstract of 250–500 words + images, along with a brief bio or CV.

— For projects, speculations, graphic narratives, or photo essays, please submit relevant drawings and images, along with 250–500 words of text. Please also include a firm profile, bio, or CV.

— For reviews, please submit a 250–500 word description of the project, exhibition, or book under consideration and the critical approach to be explored. Please also include a bio or CV.

We encourage abstracts and proposals to provoke as much as describe and each should offer an insight into the narrative threads driving the work. Authorial tone can range from academic to irreverent and text lengths will vary (750–1500 words for columns and 3000–5000+ words for essays). The subject matter is wholly up to the discretion of the authors. MANIFEST encourages the submission of pieces of historical interest alongside more projective tracts and speculative arguments. Please submit all material in a single PDF (5MB maximum file size) to by Friday, 14 December 2012. Authors of selected proposals will be notified by late December and the editors will work with authors to develop their pieces.