October 7-9 2015 at KTH Stockholm

Philosophies 2015 Course Module One – Ecologies

Ecologies tend to be associated with what are assumed to be ‘natural’ systems, or more generally, whatever is supposed to be covered under the term ‘Nature’. This shifts the logic and study of the ‘eco’ into a province that is somehow outside or distinct from human modes of habitation and cultivation, as though the human species could be considered distinct or in charge somehow as caretakers of Nature. But the habitual assumption of some ‘Great Divide’ between nature and culture means that the human species tends to underestimate how far its life, longevity and fitness for the world entangles it with natural as well as with cultural systems. Ecology concerns the relation of organisms to one another, and how such living systems are necessarily produced in the midst of specific surroundings, environments, or milieus, from the savannah to massive urban conglomerations. Today, given global warming, post peak oil, mass extinctions, the sweeping degradation of environments through pollutions, we must surely argue that what has been defined under the category of ‘culture’ and the category of ‘nature’ are not distinct and separate, but intimately entangled and co-productive, as well as co-destructive. The word ‘eco’, it is interesting to note, comes from the ancient Greek term oikos, which quite simply means house or home, also designating the basic unit of Greek society. To organise and be responsible for a household meant that one could count oneself as a legitimate citizen in the ancient Greek polis. Ecology, as such, extends from the question of how we care for the place we call home – and this place extends beyond our own domestic threshold out across a planetary system – to how we participate in a politics. It is also worthwhile reflecting on the ‘ecologies of practice’ we locate ourselves within, and how these not only guide our modes of creative and critical production, but also determine certain requirements and obligations that relate to our discipline or trade.

In preparation for our first meeting of Philosophies, which commences at 10.00am on Wednesday 7th October, in Rinman seminar room in KTH Library, please check out this research event and specifically its framing paper:

The preparatory task we ask you to undertake concerns the critical and preemptive construction of a ‘contents’ page that situates your own research. For instruction and inspiration please survey these examples from architectural theory anthologies:

READING preparation for this pre-course assignment:

To assist you in preparing for the pre-course preparatory task or assignment, we ask you to survey the contents pages of a number of architectural theory anthologies listed below, and consider the ways in which these have been thematically curated or organised in order to then compose your own contents page for a projected future publication or research project:

-K. Michael Hays, ed., Architecture Theory Since 1968, Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1998.

– C. Greig Crysler, Stephen Cairns, Hilde Heynen, eds. The Sage Handbook of Architectural Theory, London: SAGE Publications, 2012.

-Neil Leach, ed., Rethinking Architecture: A Reader in Cultural Theory, London: Routledge, 1997.

-Kate Nesbitt, ed., Theorising a New Agenda For Architectural Theory: An Anthology of Architectural Theory 1965-1995, New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 1996.

-Jane Rendell, Barbara Penner, Iain Borden, eds., Gender Space Architecture: An Interdisciplinary Introduction, London: Routledge, 2000.

-Jane Rendell, Jonathan Hill, Murray Fraser, Mark Dorrian, eds., Critical Architecture, London: Routledge, 2008.

-Krista Sykes, ed., Constructing a New Agenda: Architectural Theory 1993-2009, New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2010.

-We encourage you to add to this list of anthologies in relation to your current research projects.

Please either bring to our first meeting an A3 poster of your contents page, or else a pdf that can be projected.


Wednesday 7 October Ecologies-Subjectivities

10.00-12.00 Introduction by way of discussion of the pre-course constructed ‘contents page’ task described above.

13.00-17.00 Seminar 01: Ecologies Subjectivities

Required Readings:

Verena Andermatt Conley, ‘The Ecological Relation’ in Peg Rawes, ed. in Relational Architectural Ecologies: Architecture, Nature and Subjectivity, London: Routledge, 2013.

Félix Guattari, The Three Ecologies, London: Athlone Press, 2000.

Sanford Kwinter, ‘Notes on the Third Ecology’ in Mohsen Mostafavi, ed. Ecological Urbanism, Lars Müller, 2010, 94-105.

Recommended Readings:

Gregory Bateson, Steps to an Ecology of Mind, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000. Excerpt.

Verena Andermatt Conley, ‘Eco Subjects’ in Verena Andermatt Conley, ed. Rethinking Technologies, Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 1993.

Donna Haraway, ‘Situated Knowledges: The Science Question in Feminism and the Privilege of Partial Perspectives’, in Feminist Studies, Vol. 14, No. 3, pp. 575–599, 1988.

Thursday 8 October Ecologies-Socialities

9.30-10.00 Introduction

10.00-12.00 Lecture: Dr Isabelle Doucet, Lecturer in Architecture and Urbanism, School of Environment, Education and Development, University of Manchester, UK

13.00-17.00 Seminar-Workshop Ecologies-Socialities

Required Readings

Isabelle Doucet, ‘Introduction: The City as a Practice‘ in Isabelle Doucet, The Practice Turn in Architecture: Brussels after 1968, Farnham: Ashgate, 2015, 1-38.

Isabelle Stengers, ‘Introductory Notes on an Ecology of Practices’, in Cultural Studies Review, Vol. 11, No. 1, March 2005.

Jane Bennett, ‘The Force of Things: Steps Toward an Ecology of Matter’ in Political Theory, Vol. 32, No. 3, June 2004, 347-372.

Recommended Readings:

  1. K. Gibson-Graham, ‘A Feminist Project of Belonging for the Anthropocene’ in Gender, Place and Culture, 18.1, 1-18, 2011.

18.00 Philosophies Dinner

Friday 9 October Ecologies-Environmentalities

NOTE: today we will meet in the new Architecture School, entry level in the lecture hall A123. We will join the architecture first years for a double lecture.

9.00-10.00 Lecture: Hélène Frichot, Critical Studies, School of Architecture, KTH

10.00-12.00 Lecture: Dr Peg Rawes, Senior Lecturer, Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL, UK

13.00-15.00 Seminar-Workshop 03 Ecologies-Environmentalities (in KTH Architecture large meeting room level 6)

Required Readings:

Peg Rawes, ‘Introduction’; ‘Architectural Ecologies of Care’ in Peg Rawes, ed. in Relational Architectural Ecologies: Architecture, Nature and Subjectivity, London: Routledge, 2013. (note there are two readings to download here)

Susan Hagan, ‘The Future Provenance’ in Ecological Urbanism: The Nature of the City, London: Routledge, 2015.

Recommended Readings:

Susan Hagen, ‘ “Performalism”: Environmental Metrics and Urban Design’ in Mohsen Mostafavi, ed. Ecological Urbanism, Lars Müller, 2010, 458-467.

Peg Rawes, ‘Biological Ecological Poetics‘ in Peg Rawes, Timothy Matthews, Stephen Loo, eds Poetic Biopolitics: Political and Ethical Practices in the Arts, London: I.B.Tauris,

Peg Rawes, ‘Spinoza’s Geometric and Ecological Ratios‘ in Matthew Poole and Manuel Shvartzberg, eds, The Politics of Parametricism, London: Bloomsbury, 2015.

Jakob von Uexküll, A Foray into the Worlds of Animals and Humans, trans. Joseph D. O’Neil, Minneapolis and London: University of Minnesota Press.

15.00-15.30 Conclusion Philosophies Module One