Sunday, April 5, 2009

Boeri on Autonomy

Stafano Boeri, in his morning lecture, gave an efficient presentation that seemed to me to be echoing Branzi's lecture from yesterday in the sense that he was trying to shake the environmentalist notion of nature as exterior to human activity, e.g. the city. He went through three main trajectories for reconciliation: mimesis (that is copying natural forms by technological means), confinement (which he interprets as increased control over nature) and autonomy, for him the more promising trajectory. Boeri described autonomy as nature reinhabiting cities, creating a curious, essentially ecological condition of shared spaces between humans, animal, plants without moral or evolutionary hierarchies. For me this notion of autonomy plays a dual role: on the one hand it is presented as a positive, pragmatic way out of current failures in sustainable thinking while on the other maintains the dystopian imagery ever present. In this sense Boeri collapsed the two lines of human history: the apocalyptic and the progressive, presented by Koolhaas on friday, into a single, preversly irrational, post-technocratic view on the future of cities.

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