The Geologic Turn: Architecture’s New Alliance
02.07.2012, 10:49 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

image courtesy Etienne Turpin

“Recent discourse in the fields of architecture, art, and philosophy suggest the increasing influence of geology with the design disciplines, visual arts, and theoretical humanities. The symposium The Geologic Turn: Architecture’s New Alliance … aims to bring together researchers, scholars, and practitioners whose work is at the centre of this fecund transdisciplinary research trajectory. The objectives of the symposium are: first, to allow new productive connections among current scholarship and practice, and second, to expose the students and faculty of the Taubman College to these new transdisciplanary ideas and projects.  – Etienne Turpin, symposium curator

Laura Moriarty,  “Subduction into Trench”, 2011, image courtesy the artist

We’re honored to be a catalyst for and invited participants in The Geologic Turn: Architecture’s New Alliance, a symposium to be hosted by the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, University of Michigan, February 10-11, 2012. The event is free and open to the public. A full schedule appears on the symposium website.

Mt. Saint Helens ash covering airplanes at the Kelso/Longview Airport, May 26, 1980, by Pete Lipman., courtesy USGS/Cascades Volcano Observatory

William Lamson,  “A Line Describing the Sun.”, 2010, image courtesy the artist

FOP’s presentation will announce early sightings of a new and expanding cultural sensibility.  Recent natural and human-made events triggered by or triggering the geologic have made earth forces sense-able and relevant with new levels of intensity.  Journalists and cultural producers are turning toward the geologic as source of explanation, motivation, and inspiration for understanding and responding to conditions of contemporary life.  We’ve written about this geologic turn quite frequently on this blog, including here and here.

At the symposium, we’ll share examples of how artists, designers, and architects have begun to explore and creatively respond to the geologic depth of “now.”  Several are contributors to our edited collection currently under review, Making A Geologic Turn. And we will present our own work as a test site for what becomes thinkable or possible when we humans turn to the geologic as our instructive co-designer—as our partner in designing thoughts, objects, systems, and experiences.

Oblique aerial view of landslide that buried Colonia Las Colinas, USGS image

We’ll report back on what this concentrated weekend of geologic thinking and conversation, applied to the field of architecture and design, might make possible.  Stay tuned for updates.


Download a PDF poster for the event here.

*Sincere thanks to Etienne Turpin, editor of Scapegoat Journal (current issue: Materialism), for the invitation and enthusiasm for our work.

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