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What architecture does to ecology

Ce que l’architecture fait à l'écologie

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Published on Monday, July 18, 2022

Abstract

All over the world, the fight against global warming, the management of resource scarcity, and the preservation of biodiversity increasingly determine the design and construction of buildings and urbanized spaces. This symposium aims to wonder about the possible retroaction effects: if ecology undoubtedly changes architecture, to what extent does architecture also change ecology?

Announcement

Argument

All over the world, the fight against global warming, the management of resource scarcity, and the preservation of biodiversity increasingly determine the design and construction of buildings and urbanized spaces. All of the protagonists in the building industry, which is one of the main contributors to CO2 emissions, strive, in this context, to adopt eco-responsible practices, sometimes out of conviction and activism, sometimes out of opportunism or under duress. Thus, in the context of the relationships they forge with politicians, developers, experts, industrialists, residents, etc., architects have been working for a quarter of a century to respond to environmental issues.1 They thus see not only their profession transform, but also their discipline, that is to say the knowledge and know-how that belong specifically to them. Therefore, in recent years, critics and historians have largely documented and analyzed the progressive development of an architecture characterized as ecological, bioclimatic, sustainable or more prosaically green.2

Having said that, it is not usual but nevertheless legitimate to wonder about the possible retroaction effects: if ecology – understood here as a science, but above all as an ethics of action3 – undoubtedly changes architecture, to what extent does architecture also change ecology? This question arises not only in regard to the bricks-andmortar creations of architects, but also in regard to the doctrines and theories that they formulate. If they respond to strong injunctions from private clients, public authorities, and users, do they then not contribute in return, through their practices and discourses, to shaping the reflections and behaviors of different social actors, and enriching the public debate on the means of dealing with the environmental crisis? This hypothesis, which ultimately questions the capacity of architects to transform society today, also questions afresh the supposed autonomy of their profession and discipline.

Conference Topics

In the perspective of this international conference, which will be held at ENSA Normandie in April 2023, we invite not only researchers but also practitioners to propose presentations corresponding to two articulated thematic areas:

  • That of the architects’ concrete practices who, deliberately or fortuitously, act through their projects on social concerns, and modify the relationship of the various actors to ecology;
  • That of discourses and theories that take architecture and urban planning as their subject, but go beyond the internal considerations of the discipline and contribute to the public debate concerning the fight against global warming and the depletion of resources.

While the symposium principally focuses on the contemporary situation, more historical presentations are equally welcome; they will indeed allow us to grasp the way in which architects have participated, over the last decades and from different positions, in the transformation of society and its representations from an ecological perspective.

Submission guidelines

A 400-word (maximum) abstract summarizing the proposed presentation should be sent to the address cqafe[at]rouen[point]archi[point]fr

before 15 September 2022 at midnight (CET).

Please include a title, three to five keywords and a short bibliography. Attach a short CV and the author’s contact details to the submission (max. 1 page). Please submit the documents in a single PDF file named as follows: LAST NAME_cqafe.pdf.

The conference languages are French and English. Presentations will be 25 minutes maximum.

The Steering Committee will notify the selected speakers no later than 1 December 2022.

The deadline for sending the final presentation text is 1 March 2023 at midnight (CET). As part of the exchange with the Scientific Committee, the presentation texts may also be selected for inclusion in a publication, which will follow after the conference.

Calendar

  • Call for proposals opens: 8 July 2022
  • Deadline for receiving proposals: 15 September 2022
  • Announcement of decisions: 1 December 2022
  • Submission of presentation text: 1 March 2023
  • Conference: 20-21 April 2023

Sterring committee

  • Valéry Didelon, ENSA Normandie – ATE
  • Tricia Meehan, ENSA Normandie – ATE
  • Guillaume Nicolas, ENSA Normandie – ATE

Academic coordination

  • Claire Rosset, ENSA Normandie – ATE

Scientific committee

  • Lionel Devlieger, Universiteit Gent
  • Valéry Didelon, ENSA Normandie – ATE
  • Michelle Dobré, Université de Caen - CERREV
  • Wandrille Hucy, Université de Rouen – UMR 6266
  • Panos Mantziaras, Fondation Braillard architectes
  • Tricia Meehan, ENSA Normandie – ATE
  • Roberta Morelli, ENSA Paris Belleville – IPRAUSS – UMR 3329

Notes

1 See: Victor Papanek, The Green Imperative: Ecology and Ethics in Design and Architecture, London: Thames & Hudson, 1995.

2 For example, James Steele, Ecological Architecture: A Critical History, London: Thames & Hudson, 2005.

3 Notable authors being, for example, Ivan Illich, Jacques Ellul or Hans Jonas.

Event attendance modalities

Full on-site event


Date(s)

  • Thursday, September 15, 2022

Keywords

  • architecture, écologie

Information source

  • Claire Rosset
    courriel : claire [dot] rosset [at] rouen [dot] archi [dot] fr

License

CC0-1.0 This announcement is licensed under the terms of Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal.

To cite this announcement

« What architecture does to ecology », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Monday, July 18, 2022, https://doi.org/10.58079/199p

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