Tutor: Björn Rust

Timetable: Tuesday 2:30pm  – 5:30pm

Location: 051.07.004

This tutorial proposes that in this epoch of human design, we must forge our built environments in response to vernacular peculiarities such that they fulfil local needs while also enriching the entire system beyond our immediate concerns.

The profound influence of humans on the environment and its climate systems since the first industrial revolution has led some to suggest that the current geological epoch, defined by some 12,000 years of stability, is no longer relevant. A vast array of domesticated flora and fauna now define the industrialised countryside, while soot from power stations and carbon isotopes from nuclear weapons detonations fill the atmosphere like never before. Since the mid-20th century, the extraordinary acceleration of carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere has contributed to the warming and acidification of the oceans and the shrinking of ice sheets and glacial retreats. These effects have in turn promoted rising sea levels and more-frequent, extreme weather events. This epoch of human design has been dubbed the Anthropocene.

This tutorial proposes that in this epoch of human design, only human design can set Spaceship Earth, as defined by Buckminster Fuller, on the right course. As the crew of this great spaceship, we must embrace communication and share information. We must forge our built environments in response to vernacular peculiarities such that they fulfil local needs while also enriching the entire system beyond our immediate concerns.

Students will be introduced to concepts from global development and climate science. Together we will explore how built environment practitioners can support community resilience and reduce the risk of disaster in novel ways. The tutorial will draw on the experience of Björn Rust, a post-industrial designer exploring the future of global development, humanitarian innovation and our environment.