Kiel Moe: Climate change, architecture change



To begin to address the salient environmental, social, and political crisis of our world, many of the basic theoretical and practical assumptions about what we think architectural design is and does will also fundamentally change.

Kiel Moe, Gerald Sheff Chair in Architecture at McGill University, approaches this issue via mathematician and philosopher Alfred North Whitehead’s theory of the fallacy of misplaced concreteness, especially as it is evidenced in modern architectural production. “Architecture is not simply located; a building is not simply located,” Moe remarks as he pushes back against the framework of understanding architecture as purely terrestrial. He proposes alternate modes of reference that go beyond the Cartesian plane, which, as Moe argues, fails to elucidate the political, social, and ecological dimensions of architecture, instead providing the disabling illusion that architecture exists as a single object in a frozen shape-space.

The talk is followed by a discussion with Sanford Kwinter, professor in graduate architecture and urban design at Pratt University and co-author of the forthcoming book “What is Energy and How (Else) Might We Think About it?” with Moe.

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