PF_Plan Journal_Earth with the Pacific Centred

Plan Journal

Polyvalent Adaptation: Design in a Temporal Context of Uncertain High-Risk Futures

Year:                        2017
Publication:          The Plan Journal
Type:                      Peer Reviewed Journal
Volume:                Volume 2/2017 – Issue 2 [Resilient Edges]
Presentations:      2018, Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture – 106th Annual Meeting, Denver Colorado
Recognition:       The Plan Journal Best Paper Award 2017 – Shortlisted


“If greenhouse gas emissions ceased today, sea levels will continue to rise
for centuries due to the time scale of climate change. This demands a
fundamental shift from solely mitigating impacts to adapting to this new
reality. Architects can play a key role but are often restrained by
outmoded disciplinary norms, and financial and regulatory limitations.
What we require is a new design paradigm that extends beyond site-specific
needs and draws on the context of our high-risk future. “Polyvalent
Adaptation” could significantly impact the profession and the future of our
communities. This approach combines two concepts that are not new to
architecture or to discussions surrounding sustainability and climate
change, but, when married, amplify each others’ potential. Combining the
temporal concepts of polyvalence and adaptation provides a new lens for
tackling the conflict between the permanence of the built environment
and the changing climate. From this perspective, projects can be
designed and constructed to meet current needs, to provide projective
agency capable of assisting in the aftermath of extreme weather, and to
become support infrastructures for new settlement patterns.”

I presented this paper and took part in a panel discussion at the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture’s (ACSA’s) Annual Meeting in Denver, CO on  March 16, 2018.

The full paper is available to read online or for download here. The Plan Journal is also available in print version.