REsilience and adaptablily

Economic decline, natural and manmade disasters, war and destruction, acts of devastating violence, the 21st century has witnessed a climate of crisis, most often immediate and unpredictable but, at times, foreseen, impending and even expected. Such events and the ability for continuity, recovery and change, require strength borne from adaptability. 

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By Marco Vanucci, Fabrizio Gesuelli, Richard Goodwin, Iris Mach, Sally Harrison, Pari Riahi, Jorg Sieweke, Jeffrey Bolhuis, Naomi Hay, Krishna Bharathi, Susan Rogers, Gregory Marinic, Dana Hamdan, Bie Plevoets, Emily Yeung, Sylvia Leydecker
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RESILIENCE

THE URBAN LANDSCAPE AS A SOCIAL-ECOLOGICAL SYSTEM 

by Krishna Bharathi

Although twentieth century representations of the urban landscape have predominantly been divided between the ‘built environment’ and its surrounding ‘naturalized landscape,’ a wider range of imagery has gained traction in recent decades. These descriptions span multiple scales and conceive of the building stock: as a collective research object;(1) as protected heritage structures in relation to larger landscapes;(2) as systems of manmade artifacts which are slowly evolving and have long-term impacts while changing in use and form;(3) in addition to more essential depictions which recognize the urban landscape as a mediator between man and the elements.(4) Surveyed collectively, these characterizations resonate in varying degrees with facets of the concept of resilience; a perspective that has been employed in greater frequency across a broad cross-section of disciplines and to date has been most associated with the “ability of an element to return to a stable state after a disruption.”(5) In regard to the urban landscape, resilience thinking asserts that the boundary conditions separating urban settlements from their wider environs is on a certain level artificial and would be better understood as parts of a multi-scalar dynamic that share a spatial and temporal interplay.(6)

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TAKING ON THE SHAPE OF THINGS

ROBERTO COLLOVÀ: THE SPIRIT OF RESILIENCE

by Liliane Wong

Although twentieth century representations of the urban landscape have predominantly been divided between the ‘built environment’ and its surrounding ‘naturalized landscape,’ a wider range of imagery has gained traction in recent decades. These descriptions span multiple scales and conceive of the building stock: as a collective research object;(1) as protected heritage structures in relation to larger landscapes;(2) as systems of manmade artifacts which are slowly evolving and have long-term impacts while changing in use and form;(3) in addition to more essential depictions which recognize the urban landscape as a mediator between man and the elements.(4) Surveyed collectively, these characterizations resonate in varying degrees with facets of the concept of resilience; a perspective that has been employed in greater frequency across a broad cross-section of disciplines and to date has been most associated with the “ability of an element to return to a stable state after a disruption.”(5) In regard to the urban landscape, resilience thinking asserts that the boundary conditions separating urban settlements from their wider environs is on a certain level artificial and would be better understood as parts of a multi-scalar dynamic that share a spatial and temporal interplay.(6)

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THE full Italian interview

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CORAL TYPOLOGY

THE ARCHITECTURE OF TRANSFORMATION

By Richard Goodwin

Coral reefs form the edge condition of certain continents, exhibiting exquisite fragility and complexity of life. They are a metaphor for the complex equation of transformation within all natural systems. This article posits that coral typologies can provide a set of imaginative resources, metaphors and experiments for grasping and reimagining the changing nature of cities in the 21st Century. Fundamental to this argument is the belief that a system of complex and continuing transformation of existing structure (buildings), within cities, is more desirable than seeking the cleared site or the modernist “tabula rasa”. Urban development is perpetually in a state of becoming, forming the architecture of accumulation within the age of contingency, despite Modernism’s attempts to create permanent order. Hence it follows that the city is like a coral reef and as such needs re-classification that has an equal complexity to that of our complex environment with all its current dilemmas. Coral Typology is as much an experiment as it is a true typological study of the architecture of transformation. 

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