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What is NORMAL? Ecologies of Adaptation

India Architecture News - Jul 24, 2021 - 12:30   1256 views

What is NORMAL? Ecologies of Adaptation

History is inscribed by adaptations of various kinds: The pauses, recurrences, and anticipations, have all re-defined human systems creating unexpected spatial, social, and political conditions that question the proclivity for, and the assumption of propensity to, order. Challenges are numerous: climate uncertainties, ecological imbalances, social strains, psychological turmoil, medical emergencies, political imbroglio, have all re-defined the way we live as humans and collectives. As the entire world struggles to stay afloat disarmed by a virus, we ask the most pertinent question: What is NORMAL?

The ripple effects of the pandemic have reached every realm of contemporary society, disrupting the innumerable layers of social life at various scales of its inhabitation. The impacts are visible as we navigate and negotiate spaces even as we live through this pandemic; our perceived sense of self and the affective, familiar, embodied experience of space: domesticity, workplace, and the public space. These unprecedented PAUSES reveal institutional vulnerabilities and systemic challenges, even as we constantly ADAPT.

Global and local disasters have re-defined the ways we respond to the unavoidable conditions of alienation of our bodies, sensory disorientation, spatial delusions, infrastructural transformations, institutional cracks, and rising inequities. However, through every disaster we tread a significant epoch in human history, designing ECOLOGIES OF ADAPTATION. Beyond the dualities of life and death, ecologies of adaptation situate themselves as the sites where myriad realities of human life and survival emerge. How do we readjust the elastic perimeters of the self, determined by and not limited to, isolation, remoteness, distancing, and extended geographies? How do we re-narrate our histories? How do these histories influence the anatomy of artifacts and landscapes? How do our perceptions and practices alter the metamorphosed homes and individual spatial notions of the workplace, living and communing? What do collaboration and interdependence mean in a growing inequitable, and distanced world? What is the nature of impermanence leading to forced migrations?

Design as an agent of power plays a significant role in changing the way we look at disasters as temporary and permanent pauses in ecological lives; Design can determine how we adapt to these changes. Design is also scholarship developed through rigorous engagement in critical discourse through, and contributing to, pedagogical progress. The symposium proposes that while disasters disrupt, they also pave opportunities for subversion through adaptive restructuring and designing of human ecologies, thus (re)calibrating the idea of the practice and the discipline.

The Research Symposium on NORMAL? Ecologies of Adaptation will examine the ecologies of adaptation as design ontologies in sustaining human lives to move forwards. We invite design practitioners, design scholars, and design students to submit 300-word abstracts that are honest and fearless inquiries that are relevant to the symposium premise. Submissions should be original and critical with the potential to be translated into a form of scholarship of global relevance.

The research could touch upon but are not restricted to any of the following themes;

  • Re-narrating histories
  • Living and working: realities of domesticity
  • Magnitude of displacement and inequities
  • Vulnerable ecosystems and Resilience
  • Design pedagogy and practice: bracing for ‘uncertainty’
  • Collaborations for a resilient future

Symposium dates: September 4-5, 2021
Abstract Deadline: midnight 02 August 2021 (Indian Standard Time)
Announcement of Abstract Acceptance: 07 August 2021
Extended Abstract submission: 23 August 2021

Abstract Length: 300 words
Author (s) Bio Length: 100 words
File format: .doc/.docx or any other editable word processing format
Submit Abstracts to [email protected].

Should you have any questions or comments feel free to write to [email protected] or [email protected].

You can download the event brief from here

Top image courtesy of Avani Institute of Design.

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