CumInCAD is a Cumulative Index about publications in Computer Aided Architectural Design
supported by the sibling associations ACADIA, CAADRIA, eCAADe, SIGraDi, ASCAAD and CAAD futures

id ascaad2006_paper15
authors Anz, Craig and Akel Ismail Kahera
year 2006
title Critical Environmentalism and the Practice of Re-Construction
source Computing in Architecture / Re-Thinking the Discourse: The Second International Conference of the Arab Society for Computer Aided Architectural Design (ASCAAD 2006), 25-27 April 2006, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
summary This research focuses on the implications and applications of “critical environmentalism” as a quintessential epistemological framework for urban interventions while implementing digital applications that foster collective, round-table approaches to design. Essentially centering the environment (Umwelt) as an encompassing and interconnecting catalyst between multiple disciplines, philosophies, and modes of inquiry and technologies, the framework reciprocally fosters individual and critical identities associated with particular places, belief systems, and their participants as a primary concern. Critical environmentalism promotes a comprehensive, reciprocally unifying epistemological framework that can significantly inform architectural interventions and the tethered use of its technologies in order to foster increased vitality and a certain coinvested attention to the complexities of the greater domain. Grounding the theory in pedagogical practice, this paper documents an approach to urban design and architectural education, implemented as a case-study and design scenario, where divergent perspectives amalgamate into emergent urban configurations, critically rooted in the conditional partialities of place. Digital technologies are incorporated along with analogical methods as tools to integrate multiple perspectives into a single, working plane. Engaging the above framework, the approach fosters a critical (re)construction and on-going, co-vested regeneration of community and the context of place while attempting to dialogically converge multiple urban conditions and modes-of-thought through the co-application of various digital technologies. Critically understanding complex urban situations involves dialogically analyzing, mapping, and modeling a discursive, categorical structure through a common goal and rationale that seeks dialectic synthesis between divergent constructions while forming mutual, catalyzing impetuses between varying facets. In essence, the integration of varying technologies in conjunction, connected to real world scenarios and a guiding epistemic framework cultivates effective cross-pollination of ideas and modes through communicative and participatory interaction. As such it also provides greater ease in crosschecking between a multitude of divergent modes playing upon urban design and community development. Since current digital technologies aid in data collection and the synthesis of information, varying factors can be more easily and collectively identified, analyzed, and then simultaneously used in subsequent design configurations. It inherently fosters the not fully realized potential to collectively overlay or montage complex patterns and thoughts seamlessly and to thus subsequently merge a multitude of corresponding design configurations simultaneously within an ongoing, usable database. As a result, the pedagogical process reveals richly textured sociocultural fabrics and thus produces distinct amplifications in complexity and attentive management of diverse issues, while also generating significant narratives and themes for fostering creative and integrative solutions. As a model for urban community and social development, critical environmentalism is further supported the integrative use of digital technologies as an effective means and management for essential, communicative interchange of knowledge and thus rapprochement between divergent modes-of-thought, promoting critical, productive interaction with others in the (co)constructive processes of our life-space.
series ASCAAD
email canz@siu.edu
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