Tatjana Schneider of the TU Braunschweig and Jeremy Till of Central Saint Martins London have been awarded a major grant jointly administered by the DFG and the AHRC. The research with the title 'Architecture after Architecture' investigates the way in which the architectural profession, and other practitioners working in the field of the built environment, might operate in the face of the climate emergency. Living with climate emergency demands systemic change to our economies, behaviours and social structures - all of which have profound implications for approaches to our built environment. Where most research concerning architecture and the environment concentrates on technical and material responses, mainly relating to carbon reduction, this project looks at the cultural and economic contexts of the climate emergency, and the implications these have for spatial practice (a term that designates multiple ways of operating in the production of the built and natural environment). It investigates in particular the urgent need to reconsider assumptions of growth, extraction and progress on which orthodox economics is based - and which the modern project of architecture both signalled and was founded on. The aim of the project is to investigate what happens to architecture after some of those principles are challenged by the demands arising from the climate emergency.
The 'Architecture after Architecture' project will be collaborating internationally with economists, sociologists, designers, artists, writers and journalists to imagine the future of spatial practices. It starts with cultural, economic and political discourses around the climate emergency as they relate to spatial practice. It will also gather evidence from contemporary spatial practice to analyse approaches that might be relevant to facing it. Because climate impacts on wider societal contexts, the project will also explore non-spatial conditions, such as those outlined in the various versions of the Green New Deal (GND). The final stage of the project takes these analyses, and projects future scenarios into which new forms of spatial practice are placed. It asks the questions: What are the spatial implications of the systemic changes arising from the climate emergency, and what role may architects and spatial agents play in the envisioning and co-design of these spatial conditions?