Climate, design, and the status of the human

Obstacles and opportunities for architectural scholarship in the environmental humanities

Authored by: Daniel A. Barber

The Routledge Companion to the Environmental Humanities

Print publication date:  January  2017
Online publication date:  January  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138786745
eBook ISBN: 9781315766355
Adobe ISBN: 9781317660194

10.4324/9781315766355.ch34

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Abstract

Scholarship in architecture has a complex relationship with the environmental humanities. This has to do with three important ways that architectural history and theory have edged close to concerns now seen as central to the environmental humanities, but have not effectively engaged them: the capacity for humanistic scholarship to inflect scientific and professional practices; the focus on the entanglement of human and nonhuman systems and flows, and subsequent re-conceptualizations of the human; and the importance of imagery—literary, artistic, scientific, economic, and so on—as a site for communication about environmental histories and possible futures. In this chapter, I will first summarize some of the obstacles that this apparent closeness presents, and then describe a historical episode to indicate possible ways forward for an environmental humanities analytic within the field.

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