Within practice. Architecture in the Anthropocene.

In collaboration with the Treignac Project I organize a series of workshops in november 2013. The workgroup is open to a wide range of disciplines that cross with the stated arena of interest, from architecture and geography to anthropology, philosophy, arts, and politics.

The ubiquity of global urbanisation as an indefinitely extendable and seamless envelope is increasingly being contradicted by a number of phenomena that, through geological, social andpolitical layers, profoundly challenge the position, role and practice of architecture. Within Practice is conceived as a series of workshops and collective processes of thought-in-practice. Examining architecture in the Anthropocene Withing Practice proposes to focus on a variety of unconventional architectural propositions that challenge the dominant logics of accumulation and densification. Far from considering that these propositions can merely be seen in the terms of opposition, this workshop series suggests that they produce encounters that play out through an increasingly complex dynamic field. This field is inherently interconnected and no longer allows for the extrinsic relation that design used to have to its chosen problems.

These encounters generate essential questions for thinking architecture’s relation with the hyper-interconnected and highly contingent era that the concept of the Anthropocene defines. The Anthropocene defines a time made distinct through the significant impact that human activities are having on geological strata. What becomes apparent passing through the threshold of the Anthropocene is the difficulty of navigating the increasingly complex landscapes we find ourselves confronted with. Former critical assertions are seeing their grounds vanishing and while this affects Reason and epistemological constructions in ways that may extend well beyond previous critical stances, it notably transforms the position, role, and reality of architecture and design in the larger sense.

However, it is clear that propositions within the architectural field are also propositions for accommodating different subjectivities and their communal interactions, while increasingly expanding beyond this reality. We no longer stand outside the ‘design problem’ and with this an opportunity arises to reconfigure architectural practice in relation to the rapid changes that are marking the contemporary moment. The Anthropocene indexes unfamiliar territories and this ungrounding space will give the workgroup its starting point. The hyper-scaled, volatile, high-velocity world that conventional discourses calibrated to the human have not fully apprehended, will be examined in order to propose tools and techniques for occupation and action beyond architecture’s traditionally defined relationships to space.