How do we conceptualise nature in the designed environment 2021 onwards? What are the dream possibilities of urban, suburban and rural interventions in which the architecture becomes a background and nature is the real protagonist? How do we continue to challenge boundaries between city and nature, between inside and outside? Predominantly, nature has been conceptualised as an obstacle to be overcome or utilised by human capabilities, whether humanity is situated within or outside of it (Phelan 1992). This theme invites proposals, projects and ideas that develop new radical conceptualisations of nature in the designed environment whereby new architectural habitats and typologies can evolve such as urban green meal mines, digital colosseums, parking towers, functional bridges, as well as innovative habitat concepts, signalling what could be the next step in the development of cities that mitigate rising climate emergency issues.
Necessarily building design practices are interdisciplinary and involve a broad range of vocational actors. Some have wrongly claimed that sustainability in architecture is predominantly a question for Building Services Engineers. But what is the specific role of the architect and architecture in the sustainability transformation? Where are the unique skills of architects? What are promising intervention actions? Rethinking the role of the architect in sustainable futures and her relation to an issue action-based approach to practice. How can an architect initiate sustainability? How should the architect as a steward of the environment practice responsibly?
The culture of unlimited economic growth and modernist passion for the new has come to an end. Built space is a precious resource, that has a heavy ecological footprint. How can architects develop new sustainable practices that begin with the paradigm of not building? Sharing, new forms of ownership, building as a service, reduction, virtualisation might be possible directions. What else can you introduce to us?
Societies are shaped by discourses and visualisations. The “World of Tomorrow" in General Motors' Futurama exhibit at the New York World's Fair of 1939 was powerful example to visualise and forestall the car-centred city, that later materialised in US American cities in the 1950s. How to develop radical visualisations of sustainable futures? Visualisations can open up new opportunities, make them tangible, discussable and bringing them from the future into the present. Visualisation help aligning diverse stakeholders around a shared vision. How do we want to live in the future? How to visualise our dreams?
Radical approaches beyond our wildest dreams!