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The normative turn in environmental architecture


The normative turn in environmental architecture

Cucuzzella, Carmela ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4677-8518 (2019) The normative turn in environmental architecture. Journal of Cleaner Production, 219 . (In Press)

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2019.02.084


How is environmental design influencing the way in which cultural public places (museums, libraries, parks, campuses) are imagined, designed and symbolized in Canadian architecture competitions? In the 1960s, the drive towards holistic approaches of public and individual human settlements gave rise to the idea of environmental design, as a means to transcend the boundaries between various design disciplines: architecture, landscape, urban and product design. In the 1970s, environmentalism started to shift towards an ecological ideology soon dominated by technical solutions. This technological turn was driven by highly structured principles in the search for efficiency. Given that the goal of these reorientations of practice is to design for a cleaner future, how has this turn affected environmental architecture procurement and design practices?

Shifting values and significances in the environmental discourse for cultural public places are not mere rhetorical choices, but meaningful traces of deeper transformations induced by the way in which environmentalism has been emerging as an imperative in the design of the built environment. This paper holds as its hypothesis that environmental issues are increasingly addressed in a normalized manner in architecture procurement and design practices, specifically, when environmental imperatives are highly specialized. This is quite a divergence from the deep systemic research and experimentation of the late 1960s and early 1970s. This potential trend can have significant consequences not only in the future of architectural design and its management of environmental risks, but also in other areas or fields where environmental technology and designs are employed to support cleaner production.

We have selected the architectural competition as the comparative device to study this phenomenon. We will compare competitions launched between the 1970s and the 2000s in order to better understand the changes in environmental design practices. These competitions are selected from the comprehensive database, the Catalogue of Canadian Competitions (ccc.umontreal.ca).

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Fine Arts > Design and Computation Arts
Item Type:Article
Authors:Cucuzzella, Carmela
Journal or Publication:Journal of Cleaner Production
Corporate Authors:carmela.cucuzzella@concordia.ca
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):10.1016/j.jclepro.2019.02.084
ID Code:987570
Deposited By: Carmela Cucuzzella
Deposited On:16 Nov 2020 21:46
Last Modified:16 Nov 2020 21:46
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