Events

Past Event

Climate Change and the Scales of Environment

December 4, 2015
10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Avery Hall, Columbia University, 1172 Amsterdam Ave., New York

Buildings are responsible for nearly half of all energy consumption and CO2 emissions in the United States today. This startling link between climate change and urbanization should spur architects and scholars of the built environment to rethink everything about the way they practice and teach. And yet, it hasn’t.

Climate change is too often addressed in schools of architecture and design in terms of technological solutions and their implementation—from “green” building techniques to the myriad challenges of fortifying metropolitan centers against extreme weather patterns. Climate Change and the Scales of Environment is a daylong symposium that aims to gather frameworks for action with thoughtful cultural debate, bringing together a group of scholars, historians, scientists, architects and designers to critically rethink architecture and urbanism in light of climate change as our most urgent concern.

As the defining factor of our precarious contemporary condition, the real and lived threat of climate change, exacerbated by uncertainty and shifting cultural contexts, invites us to move beyond technocratic conversations to interrogate the terms of debate. The symposium will be arranged around questions of scale—space, but also time—to articulate climate change as a necessary agent of change in architectural history, theory, discourse, and practice. Together with the question of scale—from the geographic and economic systems that produce climate change to the human conflicts and ecological disasters that ensue—the symposium will open up the term “environment” to underscore its past histories and constructions and allow for the possibility of recasting the term, and our relations to it, for the future.

Please visit the conference review for more information. This program is sponsored by the Columbia Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation