‘Atmosphere’ is an annual, interdisciplinary design symposium advancing academic enrichment and inter-disciplinary research by creating an opportunity for students, instructors, and friends of the faculty to interact with distinguished keynote speakers, scholars and designers from around the world. The three-day event includes invited lecturers, peer-reviewed presentations, exhibitions, student installations, receptions, and numerous casual opportunities for serious exchange.
Atmosphere is the consequence of the projects we make as designers of landscapes, cities, buildings, and interiors. Atmosphere is hard to grasp, and even harder to talk about – yet the production of atmosphere, intended or not, is one of our most apparent contributions to the world. Though palpable, atmosphere resists registration. So fragile and dependent on the world around, atmosphere is also susceptible to our perception. It is not something that can be read or interpreted. It is.
‘Atmosphere’ 11 will explore ADAPTATION. This theme intends to attract researchers from diverse disciplines into an open but topically oriented exchange. ADAPTATION is a mutation, a change that aids organisms to thrive in their environments. ADAPTATION implicates designers as organisms with the particular places, materials, contingencies and intentions that enable survival or better living in an increasingly unpredictable environment. In other words, this symposium will examine not merely what and how we adapt, but the sites and situations of adaptation. The aim is to critically and creatively explore how contextual, cultural and environmental circumstances of our world serve as meaningful catalysts for design, building, teaching and research within a discussion of atmosphere and adaptation. This theme encompasses multifaceted, dynamic scales and terrains including the complexities of our social fabrics, intricacies of environmental function, potentials of adaptation as process, as fitness, the materials and patina of our everyday adaptations, and the stories and arguments that share understandings of our designed world. Do we engage in pre-ADAPTATION? Do we register atmosphere through adaptation?
The Faculty of Architecture has hosted an ‘Atmosphere’ symposium each year for the last ten years. ‘Atmosphere’ invites exploration of the less physical conditions of design: the temporary, experiential, situational, phenomenal and epiphenomenal states of our shared world. Difficult to pin-down, capture and express, ‘atmosphere’ is enveloping yet recessive. It is what we as designers, planners and interpreters of the built and natural world strive to generate, understand, and meaningfully engage.