Braving a New World : Design Interventions for Changing Climates. Papers from the Subtropical Cities 2013 Fall Conference of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA)

Abbate, Anthony & Kennedy, Rosemary (Eds.) (2013) Braving a New World : Design Interventions for Changing Climates. Papers from the Subtropical Cities 2013 Fall Conference of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA). ACSA Press, Washington DC, USA.

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Abstract

We no longer have the luxury of time as the effects of climate change are being felt, according to the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, on every continent and in every ocean. More than 50% of the population of the United States and 85% of Australians live in coastal regions. The number of people living in the world’s coastal regions is expected to increase along with the need to improve capacity to mitigate hazards , and manage the multiple risks that have been identified by the scientific community. Under the auspices of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) design academics and practitioners from the Americas, Asia, and Australia met in Fort Lauderdale, Florida for the fourth Subtropical Cities international conference to share outcomes of research and new pedagogies to address the critical transformation of the physical environments and infrastructures of the world’s vulnerable coastal communities.

The theme of Subtropical Cities, adopted by the ACSA for its Fall 2014 Conference, is not confined entirely to a latitudinal or climatic frame of reference. The paper and project presentations addressed a range of theoretical, practice-led, and education-oriented research topics in architecture and urban design related to the subtropics, with emphasis on urban and coastal regions. More than half the papers originate from universities and practices in coastal regions. Threads emerged from a tapestry of localized investigations to reveal a more global understanding about possible futures we are designing for current and future generations.

The one hundred-plus conference delegates and presenters represented 33 universities and institutions from across the United States, Mexico, Canada, Australia, the Middle East, Peru and China. Case studies from India, Morocco, Tahiti, Indonesia, Jordan, and Cambodia were also presented, expanding the global knowledge base. Co-authored submissions presented new directions for architecture and design, with a resounding theme of collaboration across diverse disciplines. The ability to deal with abstraction and complexity, and the capacity to develop synthesis and frameworks for defining problem boundaries can be considered key attributes of architectural thinking. Such a unique set of abilities can forge collaboration with different professional disciplines to achieve extraordinary outcomes.

As the broad range of papers presented at this conference suggest, existing architectural and urban typologies and practices are increasingly considered part of the cause and not the solution to adapting to climate change and sea level rise. Design responses and the actions needed to generate new and unfamiliar forms of urbanism and infrastructure for defense, adaptation, and retreat in subtropical urban regions are being actively explored in academic design studios and research projects around the world.

Many presentations propose provocative and experimental strategies as global climate moves beyond our “comfort zone”. The ideas presented at the Subtropical Cities conference are timely as options for low-energy passive climatic design are becoming increasingly limited in the context of changing climate. At the same time, ways of reducing or obsoleting energy intensive mechanical systems in densely populated urban centres present additional challenges for designers and communities as a whole. The conference was marked by a common theme of trans-disciplinary research, where design integration with emerging technologies resonate with a reaffirmation of the centrality of design thinking, expanding the scope of the traditional architecture studio pedagogy to integrate knowledge from other disciplines and the participation of diverse communities.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 74653
Item Type: Book
Keywords: climate responsive design, architecture, sustainable design, subtropical, sea level rise, tropical, post disaster response
ISBN: 9780935502909
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (120000)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Design
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Current > Institutes > Institute for Future Environments
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2013 Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture
Deposited On: 04 Aug 2014 02:35
Last Modified: 27 Nov 2016 22:11

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