I'll be returning to the Lone Star state, one of my favorites, to discuss the role of the design community in averting the effects of disaster. Cesal's recent research and writing focuses on the passive means by which the construction of the built environment invites disaster. The rising frequency and costs of disaster, both domestically and abroad, are both cause and effect. This presentation will discuss how building and design strategies can be applied to an uncertain future, and how the profession of architecture can and should evolve against emerging global threats.
Climate change suggests that the world we inhabit 40 years from now will be even more different than the world we grew up in 40 years ago. Designers of today can and must contemplate what the country begins to look like when we have a Superstorm Sandy once a year and a 40-year drought in California. Architecture, by its nature, is place-specific. Climate change, and the disasters it creates, are regional and global. Therefore, the future practice of architecture must look beyond simple mitigation strategies. It will no longer do to merely elevate buildings on stilts when facing the threat of a flood.
The changing landscape of climate, place, and disaster requires that we radically rethink the cognitive boundaries of architecture. It requires that architects shift their role from adherents of building codes to their progenitors. It will require that architects shift from adviser to activist.