Archis International, which preceded Volume, was a cultural magazine focused on the social role of architecture published by the independent Archis Foundation, which came into being after the Netherlands Architecture Institute ceased publishing Archis just at the turn of the century. Through an intervention of the Dutch national parliament and the establishment of an independent Foundation, Archis was able to continue its mission to investigate the social motives of architecture - not just presenting what was happening in the built environment, not just presenting how things were made, not just creating exposure to the practitioners. Rather than asking “what”, “how” and “by whom”, its early twentieth-century predecessors R.K. Bouwblad, Goed Wonen, Tijdschrift voor architectuur en beeldende kunsten, Wonen TA/BK, and finally Archis, asked the ultimate question of architecture’s raison d'être as a medium of culture. Why? None of these titles was satisfied with merely updating their constituency with the latest professional news. Rather, they explored the architectural expression and embodiment of society and in so doing supported its legitimacy.
During the last 15 years, this critical tradition has been continued by Volume. In the wake of a massive disruption of architecture due to globalization, digitization, neo-liberalism and the introduction of technologies that impact on the essential features of the architectural discipline, Volume went beyond the question of “why” per se, and began to explore how architecture could find new territories beyond itself: an agenda for a new self-confidence and sense of urgency in the oldest human endeavor: creating a place on earth.