Architectural Theories of the Environment: Posthuman Territory

ROUTLEDGE // JANUARY 2013

As architects and designers, we struggle to reconcile ever increasing environmental, humanitarian, and technological demands placed on our projects. Our new geological era, the Anthropocene, marks humans as the largest environmental force on the planet. This extension of the human technological network across the globe prompts a more comprehensive, or posthuman, understanding of the actors—both human and non-human—that comprise the environment.

In this anthology, editor Ariane Lourie Harrison collects the essays of architects, theorists, and sustainable designers that together provide a framework for a posthuman understanding of the design environment.  An introductory essay defines the key terms, concepts, and precedents for a posthuman approach to architecture, and nine fully illustrated case studies of buildings from around the globe demonstrate how issues raised in  posthuman theory provide rich terrain for contemporary architecture, making theory concrete. By assembling a range of voices across different fields, from urban geography to critical theory to design practitioners, this anthology offers a resource  for design professionals, educators, and students seeking to grapple the ecological mandate of our current period.

Case studies by Arakawa and Gins, Arons en Gelauff, Casagrande Lab, Natalie Jeremijenko, The Living, Minifie van Schaik Architects, R&Sie(n), SCAPE, and Studio Gang Architects

Essayists include Gilles Clément, Matthew Gandy, Francesco Gonzáles de Canales, Elizabeth Grosz, Simon Guy, Seth Harrison, N. Katherine Hayles, Ursula Heise, Catherine Ingraham, Bruno Latour, William J. Mitchell, Matteo Pasquinelli, Erik Swyngedouw, Sarah Whatmore, Jennifer Wolch, Cary Wolfe, and Albena Yaneva.

Reviewed by David Ruy, Constructs, Spring 2013, 19.