27 April 2022, 15:00–17:30 GMT+1, Online
The effects of climate change have become increasingly legible with implications across multiple geographical scales and regions. Read as ecological and environmental transformations, accelerated transitional states are unfolding consequences and prompting responses within social, political, economic, human and non-human spheres alike. For instance, the term ‘cli-migration’ was coined by an Alaskan human rights lawyer in 2008 to describe the permanent, forced relocation of communities due to climate change. That same year Ecuador introduced articles 10 and 71-74 to their constitution that explain the Rights of Nature as both a definition and the means to its legal and practical application.
While climate change can be described as a ‘hyper-object’ (Morton 2013) whose effects are generally conceived to exist at an incomprehensible scale, its causes are grounded in the accumulation of various actions that are linked with the extractivist and capitalist logics resulting in a positive feedback loop– more resource extraction leads to more consumption and vice versa. Architecture is indeed one facet among an ecosystem of production and consumer based economies that has inextricably linked resources to commodities. Further to this, the use of territorialising technologies and mediums (such as satellite imagery and land surveys) is now coupled with artificial intelligence such as machine learning, optimization algorithms and sensory devices, increasing the efficiency of all aspects of the supply chain, from prospecting to extraction and transport. It would seem that technology’s inevitable end is towards colonisation.
This has in turn drawn the attention of some to investigate alternative modes of land and resource management. Meanwhile, contemporary trends in circular economies have begun questioning and testing the viability of re-utilising materials and rethinking logistical processes. Parallel to this, relatively recent technological trends that are predicated on decentralised protocols such as blockchain inherently possess political ideologies whilst exhibiting practical implications. Although technology tends to be presented as generic, the aforementioned hints at the possibility, and perhaps the inevitability, of encoding ethics.
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