AMPS CRITICAL FUTURES AWARD

.

Winner: Dr. Jennifer D. Russell et al.

Year: 2021
Institution: Virginia Tech et al.
Title: Achieving Circular Economy Through a Fixing City Mindset
Format: Book Chapter

Book Title: Place-Based Sustainability: Research and Design of New Pathways for a Sustainable Social/Ecological Future

.

Abstract

By engaging in repair, individuals effectively extend the life of their current products – this life extension is an opportunity to reduce overall consumption of materials and energy; it also means that that product does not have to go into a waste stream. If scaled effectively, repair, as part of a Circular Economy society, can contribute to significant reductions in environmental degradation, waste generation and associated costs, and increased value-retention. The UN Environment Programme estimates that for every item that is repaired (instead of thrown away and replaced), unit-level environmental impact reductions present a 99% reduction in new material requirement, a 95%-99% reduction in energy used, and a 95%-99% reduction in emissions. From a socio-economic perspective, this research also indicates that, relative to the cost of replacement, it is often 50%-90% less expensive for individuals to have a product repaired, versus buying a new version. Through the use of an online survey of urban and suburban communities, focused on, but not limited to the New York City boroughs, data regarding common attitudes towards, understanding of, and engagement in repair activities and product materials was collected. Geospatial analysis and mapping enabled additional insights regarding differences in place-based attitudes and engagement, as well as barriers to repair, including the ability to physically access repair opportunities, essential product or material knowledge, and the tools needed to complete a repair job. This research provides new insights about community-level barriers and enablers to increased urban repair. In addition to offering new data and insights to help independent businesses and organizations become more strategic in their service offerings and marketing efforts, it also provides information that can support the development of best practices, engagement strategies, education initiatives, and other efforts to enable the scaling of repair within urban communities as part of a Circular Economy.

.

See: Full Publication Upcoming 2023

Winners: Katriina Heljakk & Annika Blomberg

Year: 2020
Institution: University of Turku, Finland
Title: Materialising Playfulness: Developing a Social Play Space for a Multidisciplinary Research Community
Format: Book Chapter

Book Title: Participatory Practice in Space, Place, and Service Design

.

Abstract

The purpose of the paper is to explore playful attitudes in the context of a Finnish university consortium in order to develop a multifunctional and communal play space for the use of research and teaching personnel. The paper highlights how a mental predisposition towards adult playfulness may be employed in development and design of a physical university space for a multidisciplinary research and teaching community. The empirical material consists of 80 survey responses of personnel and students, collected in an explorative pop up space – former indoor playground for children – dedicated for free time play for university personnel for a two week period. The survey inquired attitudes towards playfulness and play in adult life. The elements of playfulness as theorized by Lieberman (1977) and brought up in the survey responses, will materialize in the design of the future playful space. For example, positive attributes in relation to playfulness, such as enjoyment, relaxation, fantasy and inspiration as facets of playfulness will be formulized into material equivalents in upcoming workshops. he paper builds on the theoretical framework combining earlier research ideas of play seen as ingrained in everyday life (De Souza e Silva and Sutko, 2008), in adult life, and playful physical space (Heljakka 2013; Saker and Evans 2016). The playful attitude provides a framework for the creation of a space that enables its users to engage in play as an activity. The main contribution of the paper is to illustrate how to combine playful attitudes with the design of a socially shared play environment and how material objects within this space can cater for play as a multidimensional activity.

See: Full Publication Upcoming 2022

Winner: Elizabeth Donovan and Sofie Pelsmakers

Year: 2019
Institutions: Aarhus School of Architecture, Denmark &Tampere University, Finland
Title: Integrating Sustainability in Design Studio through Blended Learning
Format: Proceedings Paper

Conference: ‘Education, Design & Practice’, Stevens Institute New York. Proceedings Series 17

.

Abstract

The complexity of sustainability often makes its integration into architectural education a difficult challenge. Consequently, sustainability is often not taught holistically or critically, leaving students confused as to what sustainable architecture is and how they might approach this themselves. At the same time, sustainable and low energy design must not be at the expense of our architectural imagination, yet this is often the case. Few exemplary buildings exist that are both low impact and also poetic and architecturally imaginary. Sustainable buildings are often aesthetically ‘deterministic’: i.e. their architectural language results in a ‘collage’ of the technological solutions, in a drive to meet energy or sustainability targets. This paper investigates how to bring sustainability knowledge into the studio instead of bringing the architecture studio to sustainability knowledge. In doing so, the authors illustrate the integration of sustainable design in architecture studio using blended learning, such as making use of pre-recorded video lectures, group seminars and discussions, workshops and peer-peer learning as well as traditional studio drawing activities. To embed sustainability in the architectural studio, both poetics and sustainability need to be taught together, focusing especially on the aesthetic and spatial implications of sustainability issues and decision-making. This was done by in-depth investigating and mapping of exemplary sustainable architecture case studies, and by developing studio-specific learning activities that cover both architecture and sustainability aspects. The key to integrating sustainability in architectural studio is not only to give knowledge, but to ensure that specific learning activities allow for the application of this knowledge into students’ own design projects and tasks and to discuss the implications of this knowledge for the students’ own design project and the architectural language. This supports deep learning, critical thinking and reflection skills.

See: Full Publication

Winners: Marantha Dawkins

Year: 2018
Institution: University of Virginia
Title: Performing Multiplicity – Digital Tooling and Ecological Thinking
Format: Book Chapter

Book Title: Critical Practices in Architecture: The Unexamined

.

Abstract

Our landscapes are territorialized by the power relationships which move through them, configuring and refiguring material and movement. Anthropogenic articulations of space and procedure have engendered self-perpetuating power relationships which operate as feedback loops that degrade biodiversity, exploit resources, and disempower voices of dissent. But ways of seeing space are not limited to making legible the untouchable and indifferent ways in which time presses on: simulated space can unfold forms of multiplicity which relate alterity to the everyday. Engaging with novel representational tools can uncover new avenues of composition and illuminate spatial contingencies which offer a rich stage for design. The artifacts of seeing effectively become design interfaces, operating simultaneously as registrations and codifications of space. Contemporary digital tools enable us to understand and apply design imagination to complex landscape dynamics with the object of redefining and redirecting flows and relationships, designing and thinking at multiple scales. The ability to work between scales enables fluidity between the intimate and the regional, between discipline and its effects, between organisms and their physical environments; this kind of comprehension becomes ecological. I contextualize ecological design thinking augmented by digital tools within a Foucauldian construction of power which describes a shift from typical understandings of subtractive and transferable power to productive, ubiquitous power. Under the regime of biopower, resistance operates through performance. I ground this notion of performance in two ongoing design projects: the choreography of robotic agents encoded with autonomous planting behaviors derived from a computational framework designed to transform urban lots into culturally valuable and environmentally productive spaces in Pittsburgh; and a bioremediative planting, habitat restoration, and terraforming project utilizing native seagrasses in Indonesia.

See: Full Publication

 

 

Acknowledgement:

.

AMPS would like to thank and acknowledge the work and insights offered by its academic peer reviewers and awards committee in the selection process for this award.

 

.

.

.