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Edra45 New Orleans Track 03: Mapping Change
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Environmental design research is often called upon to map the complexity of human cultures within global change. This track will explore the predictive and projective tools used to envision the nature of changing.


Track Chair: Renee Y. Chow


Keywords: modeling, predicting, projecting, representing

To build with change, we need to understand the nature of changing. While there are many ways to visualize change, broadly they fulfill two purposes: predictive and projective. Predictive mapping looks to describe a future, typically singular in outcome. These can be used to describe sequences of actions that need to be taken to lead to certain results. Simulation and optimization models are examples of such representation. The challenge is in validating the results: how can we know that the assumptions and procedures are accurate? Does the complexity of human cultures within global change resist accurate prediction?

Projective mapping is less concerned with describing exact scenarios of change and more concerned with understanding how current actions can make our environment more resilient for change. These kinds of mapping inform design by testing the potential of a solution to accommodate multiple paths to a variety of outcomes. For design, this is a shift from thinking about change to thinking with change. Agent-based and parametric models could be examples of such representation. With accuracy of outcome no longer the goal, how are iterative or diverse projections evaluated?

This track invites scholars and professionals to discuss ways of mapping change: techniques for modeling change as well as ways to inform design to hold change. Submissions could explore two dimensional and three dimensional narrations of change or how emergent modeling, prototyping and big data are used to describe fluctuating environments. Others could explore how macro and micro-scale changes are recorded as well as their interactions. How does mapping change affect design tools (e.g.: building plans and sections to master planning)? How does mapping change transform tools for regulating the environment (e.g.: zoning, flood insurance, water conservations or land use)? This is an invitation to present the history or types of representations of change, new depictions of change, and explorations that reveal the significances of mapping change.


About the Track Chair:

Renee is an associate professor of architecture at University of California Berkeley as well as a principal of Studio URBIS. She currently serves as associate dean of undergraduate studies for the College of Environmental Design and co-chair of the Urban Design Program. To re-shape the discourse about the forms of urbanism both in suburbs and cities, Renee has written Suburban Space: The Fabric of Dwelling (2002) and is currently finishing a manuscript,Field Urbanism: Changing Forms of Chinese Cities. Renee has been recently honored with the Eva Li Chair in Design Ethics, “Ten Top Architectural Educators” by Architecture Magazine, as well as an AIA California Council Research and Technology Honor Award. 


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