Adaptation. Is difficult. We have to change. Yet as hurricanes persist and as sea levels alter, adaptation is a concept we may learn to admire. Today we delve into adaptation w/in the urban context.
Three Architecture and Planning students at Dalhousie University–Fatima Rehman, Anders Peacock and Caitlin Biggar–share their experience designing a performing arts centre for the Qaggiavvut! Society in Iqualuit on Baffin Island. It’s a conceptual design, for the Canadian Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale.
Lola Sheppard is a principal at Lateral Office, the Toronto-based firm that is curating the Canadian Pavilion for the Biennale. Marking the 15th anniversary of Nunavut’s founding, Lateral Office is modeling the designs generated from the five teams of architects, students and Nunavit organizations. The exhibition called: Arctic Adaptations.
In an effort to reveal not only Nunavit today, but also of yesterday and tomorrow, the question, then, is how the role architecture might be re-defined in the North. Lateral Office is also commissioning Nunavit artists to apply their traditional craft of carving to modern structures in their communities. They’re also collecting 25 community portraits in the form of a photograph, and have plans to include soundscapes that reveal the acoustic differentiators of a particular place.
From the Stevens Institute of Technology in New Jersey, we catch up with Alexandros Washburn, and industry professor of design and Founding Director of the Coastal Resilience and Urban Excellence program. The aim is to tackle both resilience to extreme events and quality of life in cities. His recent book, The Nature of Urban Design, reveals how change is an opportunity and how urban design can help.
We talk about some of the underpinnings making The Highline a successful revitalization, one of the many projects Alexandros was involved with as the former Chief Urban Designer under Mayor Blumberg in New York City. We hear how the Athenian Oath, “Leave the city better than you found it,” fosters resilience.