The publishing house ACTAR was founded in 1993 in Barcelona with the objective of publishing titles that are a representative demonstration of the most influential practice and theory of established and emerging architects, designers and thinkers of contemporary culture. Consequently, ACTAR’S publishing program has become known internationally for disseminating the most innovative and risky works in the ambit of architecture, landscape architecture and urbanism.
In 2015 ACTAR founded and launched URBANNEXT.NET, a digital platform that allows for the creation and diffusion of architecture, landscape architecture, urbanism, and related technologies linked to the urbanized environment content. For this purpose, URBANNEXT uses digital media tools such as audiovisuals, hypertext, animations, and interactive platforms, enlarging its audience globally. All these tools have enabled URBANNEXT to become a recognized platform which is accessible to disciplines other than only architecture and building. URBANNEXT thus emerges as the logical evolution of publishers who are committed to the challenges that the urbanized environment needs to address on a global scale.
The URBANNEXT project arises as the logical evolution of the classical publishing business accomplished to date by the company ACTAR D, Inc. — a publishing house and distributor of architecture and design books in New York and Barcelona. Besides the website urbanNext.net, part of URBANNEXT’s business consists on the organization of public events such as cycles of conferences, congresses, expositions, documentaries and the edition of printed and digital publications.
With the objective of invigorating the international debate on the immediate future of urbanized environments, the group ACTAR PUBLISHERS has at its disposal the platform URBANNEXT.NET and the publishing house ACTAR and its distributor ACTAR D, Inc., whose partent company is URBAN NEXT EUROPA SL.
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Selection Criteria of Manuscripts/Publications
The criteria for the deciding process of the books that ACTAR publishes are:
- Scientific criteria: interest and scientific and academic quality of the work;
- Economic criteria: foreseen salability of the work;
- The interest of the publishing house in certain topics, approaches or authors which are key elements in the definition of ACTAR’s project;
- Revision by a peer review commitee for the scientific and academic work, essays and knowledge transference derived from well-known research works. The peer review comitee is formed by: Areti Markopoulou, Phd Architect, Academic Director and Prof. at Institute of Advanced Architecture of Catalonia. Elisa Cattaneo, Phd Architect and Prof. of Landscape Design, Politecnico di Milano. Lluís Ortega, Phd Architect and Prof. at Illinois Institute of Technology and ETSAValles, Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya. Roi Salgueiro, Phd Architect, Researcher and Instructor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology School of Architecture + Planning. Ricardo Devesa, Phd Architect and Prof. at ETSALaSalle, Universitat Ramon Llull.
The criteria which the original scientific books must follow are:
- The director and editor in chief’s opinion;
- The intern reading committee report;
- The external specialists report.
These proceedings of evaluation and selection are in process of being made public in the website of the publishing house.
Presence in quality indices
Note: As a commercial pubilshing house, we would like to emphasize that ACTAR has globally acknowledged prestige due to its long trajectory which started 26 years ago.
Currently, the publishing house ACTAR is in process of being included in the following database:
- Book Citation Index (Thomson Reuters)
- Scopus Book Titles (Elsevier)
- Norwegian list (norwegian categorization of publishers used in different European countries)
- Scholarly Publishers Indicators / Editorial prestige (Grupo ÍLIA/CSIC)
- Finnish list (Finnish categorization of publishers)
Remarkable aspects about quality
ACTAR has stood out since its foundation by its selection of original works, both from emerging and established architectural, urban and landscape practices. Some of our publications have received remarkable prizes, for instance: the Deutsches Architekturmuseum DAM Frankfurt/Main; “50 Books | 50 Covers” the contest AIGA (The Profesional Associaton of Design); LAUS-FAD (Fomento de las Artes Decorativas, Barcelona); and numerous grants from The Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts.
Actar is also noted for its co-editions which it publishes together with the most prestigious universities such as Harvard University Graduate School of Design (GSD), Columbia University Graduate School of Design, Planning and Preservation (GSAPP), Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), Cornell AAP Architecture and Planning, The Architectural Association School of Architecture in London, among many others.
To this date, the publishing house ACTAR has in its catalogue 311 titles in distribution from the over 600 titles published since its foundation.
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