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10.19.15 – Elise Shelley and Jane Wolff discuss the role of form and performance in resilient urban landscape design

Assistant Professor Elise Shelley, Associate Professor Jane Wolff, and Derek Hoeferlin (Washington University in St. Louis) presented their paper "Autonomy and Contingency in Urban Contexts" at the Between the Autonomous and Contingent Object Conference on October 9th. Their paper argued that "form and performance are equally essential to resilient urban landscape design." They presented the paper in a debate style format among other academics arguing different perspectives on issues of environmental design and climate change. They were joined by Andrew Atwood (U-C, Berkeley), Neyran Turan (Rice University), and Michael Jefferson (Cornell University).

The Between the Autonomous and Contingent Object Conference hosted by the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) explored the “debate on architecture's position between autonomous discipline and cultural product.”

From the ACSA website:

“Does the development of the architectural object need to be autonomous to control the final form or ‘image’ we want to convey? If architecture retreats to an autonomous production of form without considering contingent issues such as the environment or the economy, will it become too self-referential and unable to engage with ‘real-world’ issues?  And if architecture neglects what some would call the “disciplinary discourse” and relies solely on contingent issues to justify form, do we lose integrity as a discipline as we distance ourselves from the core? Or can contingencies, such as energy consumption, the environment, or technological advancements enhance the final form without losing the integrity of a designer’s intended ‘project’?”

For a catalog of abstracts from the conference, visit the ACSA website.