Latour spent his career, or has spent his career arguing that scientific facts need to be seen as a product of scientific inquiry. In his terms that they’re networked, meaning that they stood or fell not on their strength or inherent veracity but on the strength of the institutions and practices that produced them. And so, in a panel session that’s discussing architectural futures, I wanna ask how we can address roles of our institutions and practices in shaping these future realities.
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Projecting Change was part our post-professional MA in Adaptive Reuse program. It was inspired by the effects of Hurricane Sandy, which turned Newport, Rhode Island into a lake.
I think that Damian asked me here in large part to talk about this essay from last spring in Places Journal that begins pretty timidly with this line,
I don’t know when the myth of designers as climate saviors began, but I know that it’s time to kill it. Which as you can imagine got me invited to lots of dinner parties at Harvard.
Comfort, like capital, is unevenly distributed—not everyone gets to have the same amount. When you have it, it’s hard to let go. It’s even harder to convince someone to give it up—and I think this is a major challenge we’re facing. Comfort feels normal, expected, obvious—deserved.
I think our work is much more interested in questioning the notion that architecture is a static entity. Part of our thinking in terms of architecture is how we make a building breathe. How do we give a building a kind of like, almost a nervous system.
The framing of what we design is very important to how we go about it. We have not been framing these things as contexts. We’ve been framing them as products, services, and a whole other series of terms that are— Tools, for example. And these are things that are mostly transactional. They’re not things that are meant to be inhabited.