After a great week in the Highlands & Islands with Eilidh she hands the baton to over to Felicity Fairclough. For many Felicity will be a new face in the GLM team and we’re looking forward to her sharing her first Instagram Takeover!
Felicity has joined GLM as Part 1 Architectural Assistant on summer placement from the University of Bath. Felicity brings a passion for working towards the countries carbon goals, minimising waste and enhancing sustainability across the built environment alongside solid, practical skills that are applicable particularly as she works on projects at various stages ranging from feasibility to site delivery. Felicity has a particular interest in social geography and its impacts on architecture. These will all influence what she shares on her takeover, for sure!
Over to you and your #WorldoftheFuture Felicity! To stay connected with Felicity and continue the conversation connect with her on LinkedIn.
- Archifutures 5: Apocalypse- A field guide to surviving the future of architecture. (Image: Above, Centre)
Last year I came across this book while researching post-apocalyptic design as part of my then-current University project. It immediately struck me to due to its unique stance on the word ‘apocalypse’ and its insight into how the role of architects fit into creating our future, all of which is artfully conveyed through shifting chapter by chapter narratives. Personally, it has helped frame some of my own thoughts on how architecture currently is as well as challenge me to think about what it could be. As such I thought it only fitting to add my own narrative to its collective and use it as the focus for my post this week. (More information at these links https://futurearchitectureplatform.org/about/
- Everyday end of the world. (Image : Above, Right)
The first chapter sets the tone for the rest of book, as it states the founding idea that “the apocalypse is not an imminent event, but an insidious process that is already happening”. This is something that can be seen throughout the media, as we are all constantly bombarded with news of ‘natural disaster’ devasting building, whether it be in the UK with flooding or major earthquakes and landslides elsewhere. Having studied geography at A level, a large part of the issue can be attribute to bad planning; for example, something as simple as building on floodplains and decreasing the lag time thereby increasing flood chances. As such we do obviously recognise the issue, and innovative solutions have and are being designed, but as the chapter concludes its up to people to take the responsibility and all of us to adjust our thinking. Something easier said than done, which is why I love this book as it starts the discussion of way to do just that, providing the ultimate field guide.
- Adapt and survive. (Image : Above, Left)
The second chapter develops on and suggests a way in which we can adapt our thinking: through building our resilience in an everyday kind of way. Here an article by Anastassia Smirnova on the epidemic of loneliness stood out to me as it suggested enhancing the spaces in which we experience it as opposed to focusing all efforts on the creation of communal and shared spaces to combat it. This definitely resonates with life at the moment, with self ( and home improvement) more central to everyone’s lives. And in the future this simple distinction in design could help up be better prepared for lockdown lifestyles. (Links to further reading : https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/09/opinion/sunday/loneliness-health.html
- Radical Hope. (Image : Above, Right)
The third chapter is perhaps one of my most favourite, as it offers a positive view for the future and one which looks at the potential out of problems ( something I would say is crucial to design!). As you might guess education is key to this brighter future, with children and their imagination at the forefront. Which I can totally agree with as I know personally that when I was younger, I was a lot freer with my ideas, and that now my younger brother is also now always coming up with amazing games and ideas for the whole family. The example given is from a project called ‘Apartment House of the Future’ from the Architectural Thinking School for Children located in Minsk, Belarus where architectural teaching is used as a tool for understanding the contemporary world.
- Between consensus and dissent. (Image : Below, Left)
The fourth chapter at the most basic level focuses on the necessity of a future where there are constant negotiations, with people agreeing to disagree. With a complex article by Stefan Gruber and Ann-Linh Ngo looking at this at a deeper level through commoning and its possibilities, it argues that it will start with small individual changes which then consolidate into norms and finally architecture. It is not something I know much about but the main advantages it highlights in p116 about combating historical overconsumption of resources, environmental devastation and human exploitation are points which I know I would not want present in my world of the future. (Links to further reading: https://blog.p2pfoundation.net/commoning-as-a-pandemic-survival-strategy/2020/04/02)
- Progressive degrowth. (Image : Above, Right)
The fifth chapter talks about how growth can no longer be the sole aim , as it is no longer sustainable, and suggests that it does not mean we have to go back and reverse all that is done, but simply go along a ‘new path’. Restoring old buildings and maintaining them to fit new purposed fits nicely into this path. The example given simply looks at the Gldani neighbourhood and how people have adapted their building themselves to overcome the restraint posed to them. This more bottom-up approach is something which planning and design should take note of in the future.
- Inter-dependent individuality. (Image : Above, Left)
The sixth looks at technologies can help overcome some of the issues which politics could also fix, but in a more instantaneous way. The particular study which interested me was that of the Institute for Autonomous Urbanism by Jason Hilgefort as it looked at the possibilities and relationship of urban spaces, infrastructure, and technology. Essentially how different communities reinterpret space. The example shown is that of furniture designer Fernando Abellana, with his studio built under a very busy traffic bridge in Valencia, Spain.
- Our future. (Image : Above, Centre) The final chapter is simply one page which sums up how in order to achieve the future we envisage, it starts now with now us deconstructing and reconstructing our view to design and the part architecture, and by default the wider construction industry, plays in the current state of affairs, whether that is social, political, economic, or environmental. And as such is the current climate, I cannot implore you enough to read it, learn and design! (Links to their website and a platform to buy the book: https://futurearchitectureplatform.org/about/ https://www.abebooks.co.uk/9788494938818/Archifutures-Apocalypse-Field-Guide-Surviving-8494938819/plp)
Head over to our Instagram – @weareglm – and follow along as Finn MacMillan (Image : Above, Right) takes over Week 12!