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Conference Proceeding

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EDRA45 New Orleans, Louisiana: Building with Change, Proceedings of the 45th Annual Conference of the Environmental Design Research Association

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Conference Title

45th Annual Conference of the Environmental Design Research Association

Conference Date

May 28–31, 2014


New Orleans, LA, United States


How can research enable innovative ways of accepting, absorbing, and reacting to change in the built environment? To answer this question, we bring together a diverse panel of practitioners, who focus on the core idea of change and authenticity. Change without addressing the authentic becomes change for change’s sake; while the exploration of the authentic becomes opportunity to create lasting change. In this Intensive, the presenters approach the issues of change and the authentic from a number of different perspectives. “Building With Small Change” looks at melding the local with the global, and the importance of the small scale at effecting real change. This idea is built upon in “The Authenticity of Invasive Systems,” which explores the notion of physical change providing other opportunities for new ways of being authentic. “The Graveyard of the Authentic” examines the relationship between the authenticity of the original, and of the copy. “Authentic Fun” addresses the authenticity of context, and how we have changed the definitions of architectural theory. “Thinking About Architecture” explores how language drives change and evolution in architectural theory, and how it can detach people from their cultural context. “Come Hell or High Water” investigates how informal architecture in the U.S.-Mexico borderlands responds to rapid ecological and accumulative sociopolitical change. From socio-political change and cultural context, we turn to the destruction of place in “The Authentic on the Cusp of Gentrification: A Tale of Two Cities,” and how change in the urban fabric can be both negative and positive. Moving in the direction of the spiritual, “Towards a Sacred Aesthetic” challenges the idea that in sacred architecture, the form itself can be considered sacred, in mistaking the vehicle for the essence. Distilling the divine down to propaganda, “Building Balderdash: The Propaganda of the Divine and the Modern American Dream” scrutinizes the ways in which divine myth and American building programs have been carefully identified since the country’s founding, and brings us home again to New Orleans. Tying it all together, “Changing Our Understanding of Authenticity” poses important questions to launch a dialog: How can the idea of authentic indigenous place-making change processes and approaches for research, design, and the outcome of place-making; and go beyond individual projects and activities, to impact architectural knowledge and pedagogy? We anticipate that this Intensive will generate wide-ranging dialog between the panel and the audience, revolving around the key ideas of change and authenticity in architecture.


Copyright 2014 The Environmental Design Research Association. Posted with permission.

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The Environmental Design Research Association



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