Design Philosophy Architecture

Coordinator: Professor Hélène Frichot

Design Philosophy Architecture (ABPL90421) is a subject that tracks contemporary socio-political and environmental concerns and the associated discourse and practices that attempt to respond to such concerns. Climate crises, species extinctions, resources depletion, extractivism, general exhaustion, we examine how these phenomena relate to design and architecture understood as a world shaping activity. In this subject we take the broadest possible understanding of architecture defined as designed living environments, thereby associating it with basic definitions of ecology as the fundamental relationship of dependency between an organism and its environment. Some designed environments foster life, while others render life unliveable. As creative practitioners we need to understand our role amidst these power relations.

What did we do together? We developed skills in telling environmental stories by using combinations of image and text, learning from and responding to the philosophical thinkers and creative practitioners we engaged with from week to week. We told material stories of local environment-worlds; stories that in the telling divulged how design acts in one milieu end up impacting on other milieus, even at a great distance away. We did this by following a non-human actor in order to understand its mesh of environmental relations. Each participant in the Design Philosophy Architecture seminar chose a material to learn about and to follow throughout the semester, these materials included copper, chalk, MDF, iron ore, sand, marble, and so forth. The chosen materials became companions, providing the lens through which to read the theories that were introduced with a focus on the Environmental Humanities, New Materialism, and the (Feminist) Posthumanities.

Tile image: Yuhui Zheng
Banner image: Lachlan Welsh

Architecture 2021_winter