Charles Waldheim, The New Heliomorphism



The topic of solar orientation and urban form is both perennial and, once again, timely. The discourses and practices of ‘ecological urbanism’ have turned our focus to the terrestrial topics of hydrological connectivity and ecological function. Heliomorphism proposes to revise and extend the ecological urbanism agenda by returning to solar performance. Recent projects a number of leading architects and urbanists have suggested new forms of urban order through solar orientation. In many of these projects, designers correlate the shape of the city to a complex and contradictory economy of solar performance.

Charles Waldheim is the John E. Irving professor of landscape architecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design.

UCLA Architecture and Urban Design’s (AUD) 2017-18 public lecture series “This, Not That” invited thought-provoking speakers to present arguments for their respective positions, or ideological stances, toward the design of the built environment. Arguments were supported by presentations of creative efforts in research, pedagogy or professional practice. The series staged an ongoing debate around the shifting perspectives that frame creative practice.

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