Panel: Crisis Narrative of Landscape: Future Inherent
The paper will address how the Australian landscape continually forces its way back into the built environment. It will attempt to examine how a new urban ecology can be nurtured, an ecology that does not define separate spaces for nature in addition to the built environment, but one that embraces these wild ecosystems as part of its own workings. In Australia these dynamic forces have come to include the now increasing cycles of fire, flood and extreme weather conditions. Similarly, the already vital flora and fauna within our cities need to be preserved and not eradicated. By utilising new technologies, can buildings exist in harmony with rising floodwaters, and architecture be in sync with the annual bushfires or migratory patterns of birds? The paper will examine how future urban design can incorporate the wild and the untamed, making cities open to adaptation, time and contingency. The current urban condition bears witness to a future where the acts of human design, be they via architecture or infrastructure, often contribute further to resource depletion and pollution. Similarly, the push towards carbon neutral skyscrapers and eco-friendly architecture often fails to constructively cultivate environmental conditions that are already present. In the blurry haze of utopia and dystopia, should the crisis not be averted, but adapted for a new futurology?
- Joni Taylor is a researcher and curator with a focus on the urban environment. She is a founding member of the international art group Free Soil. She has been the recipient of grants from the Australia Council and ANAT, and scholarships from the Goethe Institute and the APA. She worked in Berlin for five years as a journalist and has written extensively for publications including Realtime, Artichoke, POLoxygen, DAMN and Landscape Architecture Australia, and contributed book chapters on architecture, locative media and land art. She organised the Urban Transformations roundtable discussion series DIY Urbanism and Wildlife in the City at the Performance Space and an Urban Wildlife Safari for the MCA exhibition In the Balance: Art for a Changing World. In 2009 she organised the conference Sculpture in Public (and Not so Public) Space at the AGNSW. She was co-director of the Electrofringe Media Arts Festival in 2001 and 2002. In her own work she aims to present radical ways of envisioning and responding to our landscapes. She earned a degree in Art History and Theory from University of New South Wales, College of Fine Art (COFA) in 1996 and is currently undertaking a Masters of Research on utopian city design.
Full text (PDF) p. 2335-2338 [title somewhat different]