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Living Archive_2016

Graduate Studio


The Living Archive and the Sublime Nature of the Anthropocene
co-taught with Lori Brown

The Living Archive, a new architectural type capturing the magnitude of Earth’s inevitable transformation. Through the invention of an ‘archiving machine’, the studio used technological speculation as a way for students to question what nature can or will become. The aim was to use the living archive as a physical commentary or critique on our current relationship to the environment. The paper describes three projects that speculate on the inevitable future of various biomes. Through environmental analysis, technological research, and formal aspirations, each project embodies the reality and potential future of the Anthropocene.

This archive is conceived as the anti-thesis to sustainability and optimization that consumes much of our built world. The living archive scenario is that the environment and its water bodies are changing for the worse, potentially flooded, absorbed, melted, dried up, or obsolete. This program is not meant to be a stable, secure vessel but use technological invention to frame what is being invaded by human existence. As a project, the archive becomes it’s own critique on the abundance of global and ecological change happening in the world today. The archive is conceived as the anti-thesis to sustainability and optimization, that consume much of our built world and leaves little room for alternative ideas.

Student Names:

James Amicone, Philip Claghorn, Yisha Ding, Sou Fang, Kuo Jui Lai, Ruting Li, Yifei Li, Lan Li, Nusrat Mim, Mahan Navabi, Margaret Petri, Zhaoqi Qiu, Xiaoxu Sun, Lina Wang

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