Beaman presents at the Design for Urban Disaster conference
Michael Beaman (Critic, Interior Architecture) presented a session at the Design for Urban Disaster Conference, Harvard University, May 5-7, 2014, with Zaneta Hong (Harvard University), Yutaka Sho (Syracuse University) and James Setzler (GA Collaborative).
The discussion focused on how, in the context of accelerating climate change, where human actions have demonstrably altered the patterns and qualities of the world’s environment, post-disaster interventions only offer reactionary solutions. With the advances in both climatological modeling and the computational power to run them, we are becoming better adept at forecasting the effects of climate change on global environmental conditions. The transformations that await our environment are increasingly predictable, quantifiable, visually accessible, and readily available. This information has added a new dimension to the practice and responsibility of design, where anticipation and prediction become significant drivers of design production, affecting how we generate forms, develop materials, and value performance. Does this new new dimension only allow designers to focus on preparedness and response, positioning disasters as immanent phenomena, or can we use this information to take a more preemptive approach – Should designers be preparing for disasters or actively working against their formation?