After decades of neglect, the topic of infrastructure has enjoyed a recent surge in popularity following seismic shifts in the American political and economic landscape and its central role in the Obama stimulus package. However, there has been little discussion about the role of the architect, if any, in the shaping of our infrastructural future.
This conference, scheduled for November 20, 2009, will consider infrastructure through an architectural lens. Our aim is to ask fundamental questions regarding infrastructure’s definition and scope, while demarcating more speculative strategies for architectural involvement.
We invite papers and projects that consider infrastructure through a broad range of lenses, both historical and contemporary. What can we learn from precedents in which there were sudden ‘bursts’ of infrastructural investment (Olympic cities, for example) versus long-term projects (the Big Dig in Boston)? How can we evaluate global models vs. American approaches? What intersections and overlaps exist between architecture and engineering in the creation of infrastructure today? How can we evaluate “hard” vs. “soft” infrastructure and what are the hidden “suprastructural” ideas at play? How can we think productively about the future of infrastructure and architecture?
Abstracts due: June 1, 2009
Submit to: Amanda Lawrence,
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