Founded in 2009, PLAT is an independent architecture journal published by the students of Rice Architecture. Through a combination of open submissions and commissioned pieces, the editors seek out contributions from various disciplines to generate a vibrant conversation.

PLAT offers a place to share work of all varieties and mixes writing from established professionals and emerging voices. Each new editorial team develops a unique and timely theme to explore in their issue. While the .0 issues always come in a standard print format, the .5 issues responses to the previous .0 publication, and this can take various forms. PLAT prizes agility and remains committed to advancing a provocative set of ideas that are always in flux.

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PLAT 11 Cover

PLAT11: Soft

Our provocation for PLAT 11 is to search for softness in architecture, to engage with the ground and atmosphere, to question its mass, its mark, its permanence. Soft is a quality of material things, of touch, of sounds, of sights, of words, of time. PLAT 11: Soft asks,

How often have our efforts to describe the limits of architecture, limited the capacity architects have to enter into relationships with others? What might it mean for architects to speak softly? What does it look like when we redefine the boundaries of buildings, or push back against easy claims of permanence? Could we shift our focus from producing the built environment to caring and attending to it? Soft explores these questions, and begins to ask new ones.



PLAT 10 speculates on the significance of a parallel audience distinct from the user: that of the beholder. The former implies experiencing an architectural object. The latter involves interpreting the intentions embedded in said object. To use architecture means to engage only with the physical existence of a work; to behold it considers a built work as the conveyor of ideas. If a project acknowledges and engages with this distinction, it can begin to resist its commodification. This aspiration may seem naively heroic, but does architecture have a choice? How can it uphold a status as an active agent in society while being constantly subsumed by the market?


PLAT 9: Commit

The articles that comprise this issue of PLAT operate toward, around, and against this understanding of commitment. Contributors to the issue approach the idea from a variety of perspectives, from the architectural to the literary and beyond. Topics covered include the question of architecture as building or as art, authorship and intentionality, pragmatism and economy, and the aestheticization of austerity. 


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