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The book approach taken is to define new relationships between nature, man and society by creating new organizational models, wherein architecture is designed to permit a balance. By becoming the environment for these relationships, these models can become a benchmark, guaranteeing equilibrium and integrity even in the midst of the crises that...
The book approach taken is to define new relationships between nature, man and society by creating new organizational models, wherein architecture is designed to permit a balance. By becoming the environment for these relationships, these models can become a benchmark, guaranteeing equilibrium and integrity even in the midst of the crises that transformed them. What drives the approach used in this book are some of the unanswered questions being posed in the contemporary built environment which becomes even more urgent to address because of environmental changes. These questions push us to better understand our hopes and the need for change. The book aims to contribute to defining this hope but also exemplify the limit of that hope, since it shows examples that attempt to avoid the potential constraints raised by these questions by more directly answering them. Author philosophy: In the face of environmental crisis and globalization, architecture is becoming indispensable as an instrument to reconcile man with his (cultural, social and environmental) milieu, by either re-investing in this milieu to mitigate the structural deficiencies and/or by fostering its recovery. Taking this view, architecture is an ongoing experiment that constantly adjusts to contextual needs, implementing the new strategic and innovative interventions necessary to improve on man s milieu; a process that redefines architecture. This approach provokes architecture to become a threshold over which or, a channel through which to renegotiate the relation between man and nature and a focal point for reducing the imbalance between extremes (social and environmental). Architecture becomes second nature, man s link between human nature and society. Book synopsis: Resolution, Repositioning the Relation between Man and Nature moves beyond the present understanding of sustainable design to one of critical realism. The book approaches existing constraints on the built environment social, geopolitical and ecological as assets for the evolution of society, understanding that architecture crystallizes the relationship between man and his environment. Recognizing that outcomes change with inputs, Resolution investigates potential changes in defining elements of planning and design that could overturn existing conditions and present proactive solutions. In her introduction, American critic Joan Ockman qualifies these as 'radical realism'. The detrimental effects of current planning practices and building typologies are common knowledge, but existing strategies to remedy past errors do not address the growing problems at their source. Sustainable architecture, with its emphasis on low-carbon design and ecological sensibility, is a purely quantitative means that only addresses effect, overlooking causal, structural and other relational issues. The text and projects laid out in this book consist of ten years of research addressing these contemporary predicaments in a North American context. Situated at the nexus of theory and practice, the solutions presented here depart from existing conditions as catalysts whose positive effects radiate outward. In this way, architecture serves as an intermediary between man and nature, a means to emancipate man from his present condition, to amend the natural environment and to open choices for future evolution. The book is divided into four chapters, each of which deals with different contemporary human environments. These include the postindustrial city, the superhighway, suburbia, and the issue of social and humanitarian architecture. Transformation can only be brought about by establishing new structural relations (spatial, programmatic and functional) and by designing new building typologies.
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