Crisis Mitigation: Restructuring the Architect’s Role

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The role of the architect is multi-fold and ambiguous - with a desire to have knowledge in everything, we seldom find refined expertise in anything. Contrary to the Vitruvian principle, architecture is no longer an imitation of nature, but rather contributes towards one of the greatest threats to natural systems: the built environment. With the climate crisis increasingly posing a threat to the pursuit of human survival, the building, design and construction industries must take on a critical view of their current operational systems in an attempt to restructure the overall generation and maintenance of the ecological landscape. Through studies conducted in studio and elective courses over a three-semester period, discussions centered around tackling this crisis at a wide variety of scales and media have presented a diverse platform in which the role of the architect can be productively restructured. A seemingly dramatic conclusion to the impending issues at hand, the end of the world is more discernable than substantive change to our socio-economic and political systems; however, while we can utilize technology to address many issues concerning productivity and production, ultimately change is needed within academic and practical application settings. In challenging what, how and how much we build, we can begin to substantially tackle the core issues that architecture perpetuates in educational discourse and industrial practices. Coupled with a fundamental understanding of factors such as the current energy paradigm, our production and consumption practices, global infrastructural systems, and architecture’s ability to operate as a transdisciplinary facilitator, the architect has a responsibility to address the climate crisis head-on.

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32 pages


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Adaptive Reuse; Assembly/Disassembly; Built Environment; Capitalism; Climate Crisis; Ecology


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Heisel, Felix Korbinian

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Ochshorn, Jonathan

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M.S., Architecture

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Master of Science

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Government Document




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Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International


dissertation or thesis

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