On behalf of the Design History Society, we seek proposals for a sponsored session at the CAA annual conference scheduled to take place on 10-13 February 2021 in New York.
Approach to the environment has recently undergone a fundamental reconsideration. Le Corbusier´s urban visions of high-rise structures marked a radical disparity between nature and human interventions in it, which shaped the human-designed environment enormously. Many of the transformations of the urban landscape took place in the name of economic interests; cities and built environment became sites where political and ecological interests clashed. After celebrating the revolutionary and progressive outcomes of such collisions, attention to negative human impact on natural environment has come to the fore in the last decades. Practitioners started implementing into their practice knowledge of the effects of extreme weather, insensitive transformations of landscape, abandoned architectural sites and the impact of reckless human actions.
Focusing on the 20th century, this session will explore urban projects, buildings, and product design that were affected by the impact of human activity on the environment. These could be both pioneering as well as failed attempts to “improve” the environment, approached from a historical perspective or as case studies. We invite papers that consider the aftermath of design practices on the environment and explore the following questions:
- How did the knowledge of natural disasters and limited resources affect the methods and approaches to the design of objects, buildings, cities, and landscapes?
- How can largescale urban redevelopments be sensitive to nature?
- Who were the pioneers of implementing sustainable growth in architecture and design from transnational, national, and local perspective?
Topics may include investigations of:
- Responsible heritage preservation
- Urban landscapes and sustainable cities
- Regeneration projects
- Urban aesthetics
- The afterlife of extreme urban redevelopment, including Olympic games and world’s fairs sites
- Early examples of environmentally friendly buildings and product design