Projects and texts that address architecture's role in taking on complex global challenges including climate change, housing, migration, and social justice.
What is the role of architecture and design in addressing complex global challenges? How does one define “action” in terms of architectural scholarship and practice? How is architecture at MIT uniquely positioned to lead? Architecture education at MIT, celebrating its 150th anniversary, today encompasses research and teaching projects that address large—and sometimes highly charged—topics, including urban resilience in the face of climate change, energy use and futures, refugees fleeing conflict or disaster, water management, infrastructure, the teaching of global architectural history, and explorations into the self-assembly of materials. Architecture and Action focuses on the agency of architects and architecture within the overlapping spheres of the institution, the discipline, and the profession. Through a presentation of projects and texts, the book reveals how students and faculty—whether architects, artists, historians, technologists, or scientists—define action, considering its possible forms, procedures, and scales, as well as its potency and limits. The selected work exemplifies the wide range of approaches and zones of intervention, bringing together projects that find space for action while questioning assumptions about where architectural value is located. Whether advocating for utopian idealism, systemic overhaul, instrumental tools, or pragmatic arguments, all of the work collected here presents a powerful case for architecture's embrace of agency and action.
Contributors Azra Aksamija, Brandon Clifford, Rania Ghosn, Mark Jarzombek, Caroline Jones, Sheila Kennedy, Miho Mazereeuw, Ana Miljacki, Nasser Rabbat, Christoph Reinhart, Rafi Segal, Skylar Tibbits
The Agendas in Architecture series features student and faculty design, research, and scholarship from the MIT Department of Architecture.